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Building Systems: The Latest Architecture and News

Basic Principles of Acoustics: Why Architects Shouldn’t Leave It All To Consultants

04:00 - 11 February, 2019
Basic Principles of Acoustics: Why Architects Shouldn’t Leave It All To Consultants, © ELEMENT
© ELEMENT

More than half the world’s population lives in dense urban areas. Uncomfortably loud restaurants, stores, hotels, or offices are enough to keep patrons away. When planning a meeting or even a night out with friends, we are conscious of selecting a location where we can focus and hear one another. The noisier our world gets, the more difficulty we have focusing on the sounds we actually want to hear.

Since the beginning of time, our ears have warned us of approaching danger. While their function remains the same, the dangers of today are different than they were in the past. Unwanted sounds can have serious health effects such as: hearing loss, cardiovascular disease high blood pressure, headaches, hormonal changes, psychosomatic illnesses, sleep disorders, reduction in physical and mental performance, stress reactions, aggression, constant feelings of displeasure and reduction in general well-being. With this laundry list of side effects, it would be foolish to leave the acoustic comfort of our spaces up to consultants alone. When we take acoustic comfort into our own hands, the end result can be quite extraordinary.

© Saint-Gobain / illustration by Elisa Géhin © Saint-Gobain / illustration by Elisa Géhin © Saint-Gobain / illustration by Elisa Géhin © Saint-Gobain / illustration by Elisa Géhin + 24

How to Design for Optimal Thermal Comfort (And Why it Matters)

04:00 - 31 January, 2019
How to Design for Optimal Thermal Comfort (And Why it Matters), ZEB Pilot House - Pilot Project / Snøhetta. Image © Bruce Damonte
ZEB Pilot House - Pilot Project / Snøhetta. Image © Bruce Damonte

Have you ever found yourself losing a good night’s sleep due to an overly warm room? Or wearing four jackets and a scarf just to tolerate your office’s frigid air conditioning? Truth be told, you can’t please everyone when it comes to adjusting an indoor climate, and there is always that one unfortunate individual who ends up sacrificing their own comfort for the sake of others.

Evidently, there are no ‘universal standards’ or ‘recommended comfort ranges’ in designing building systems, since athletes training in a gym in Mexico will not feel comfortable in an interior with the same building systems of a nursing home in Denmark, for instance. Which is why, if we were to briefly define ‘thermal comfort’, it is the creation of building systems that are adapted to the local environment and functions of the space, cooperatively.

So how can we design for optimum thermal comfort?

© Saint-Gobain / illustration by Elisa Géhin © Saint-Gobain / illustration by Elisa Géhin © Saint-Gobain / illustration by Elisa Géhin Diagram by Snøhetta + 24