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Call for Submissions: 2018 Wood Design & Building Awards

03:30 - 16 October, 2018
 Call for Submissions: 2018 Wood Design & Building Awards, Audain Art Museum (Whistler, British Columbia) / Patkau Architects
Audain Art Museum (Whistler, British Columbia) / Patkau Architects

The design and construction community is revolutionizing the way we think about wood in construction. Growing pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, coupled with a desire for aesthetically appealing designs, have resulted in a wood momentum that is being celebrated by architects and engineers around the world.

Courtyard House on a River (Greenwater, Washington) / Robert Hutchison Architecture Georgica Cove (East Hampton, New York) / Bates Masi + Architects Valley Villa (Vilnius, Lithuania) / Arches Organic Farm (Tangshan, Hebei , China) / ARCHSTUDIO + 16

Tips For Using Concrete in Architecture

08:00 - 21 August, 2018
Tips For Using Concrete in Architecture, <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/stankuns/4941477191'>© via Flickr Fernando Stankuns </a> Licença CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. ImageFAUUSP / Vilanova Artigas
© via Flickr Fernando Stankuns Licença CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. ImageFAUUSP / Vilanova Artigas

In the eyes of an architect, concrete is practically a fetish. Currently, it's used in a wide range of projects and buildings, from infrastructure to residential, and offers an architect a great deal of freedom in generating eye-catching results. To start, we will show you how to pre-dimension concrete structures and understand what cracks in concrete structures mean. Continue reading to get our tips on how to use concrete and get the best result possible.

Could Carrots Make Concrete Stronger and Greener?

12:00 - 10 August, 2018
via flickr user conchur licenced under CC BY 2.0
via flickr user conchur licenced under CC BY 2.0

Carrots cannot help you see in the dark, but they could make your buildings stronger, and more environmentally friendly. Engineers at Lancaster University in the UK have worked in collaboration with Cellucomp Ltd UK to study the effects of adding “nano platelets” extracted from the fibers of root vegetables to enhance the performance of concrete mixtures.

The vegetable-composite concretes, made from vegetables such as sugar beet or carrot, have structurally and environmentally out-performed all commercially-available cement additives, such as graphene and carbon nanotubes, doing so at a much lower cost. 

Mind the Gap: Minimizing Data Loss Between GIS and BIM

09:30 - 6 August, 2018
Mind the Gap: Minimizing Data Loss Between GIS and BIM, via Wikimedia. ImageDom Luis Bridge / Porto, Portugal
via Wikimedia. ImageDom Luis Bridge / Porto, Portugal

An unfortunate fact of the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry is that, between every stage of the process—from planning and design to construction and operations—critical data is lost.

The reality is, when you move data between phases of, say, the usable lifecycle of a bridge, you end up shuttling that data back and forth between software systems that recognize only their own data sets. The minute you translate that data, you reduce its richness and value. When a project stakeholder needs data from an earlier phase of the process, planners, designers, and engineers often have to manually re-create that information, resulting in unnecessary rework. 

How to Bring Construction into the Future

09:30 - 3 August, 2018
How to Bring Construction into the Future, Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects. ImageOne Thousand Museum high-rise residential building in Miami, Florida, will feature a curving exoskeleton finished with glass fiber-reinforced concrete.
Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects. ImageOne Thousand Museum high-rise residential building in Miami, Florida, will feature a curving exoskeleton finished with glass fiber-reinforced concrete.

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "The 4 Forces That Will Take on Concrete and Make Construction Smart."

When it comes to building a bridge, what prevents it from having the most enduring and sustainable life span? What is its worst enemy? The answer is, simply, the bridge itself—its own weight.

Built with today’s construction processes, bridges and buildings are so overly massed with energy and material that they’re inherently unsustainable. While concrete is quite literally one of the foundations of modern construction, it’s not the best building material. It’s sensitive to pollution. It cracks, stains, and collapses in reaction to rain and carbon dioxide. It’s a dead weight: Take San Francisco’s sinking, leaning Millennium Tower as an example.

Modern, smart construction can and will do better. A convergent set of technologies will soon radically change how the construction industry builds and what it builds with.

How Construction Workers are Using Drones on Building Sites

08:00 - 25 July, 2018
How Construction Workers are Using Drones on Building Sites

On construction sites, workers are increasingly using drones to do what humans can’t. In the past, we’ve covered brick-laying drones, their impact (for better or worse) on the urban environment, and how the technology can help improve the accuracy of architectural renders. CNBC recently reported on how drones can be used to take aerial photos of construction sites at hard-to-reach angles—an innovation that has caused drone sales to sharply increase. According to the article, "construction drone usage has skyrocketed by 239 percent year over year."

45 Construction Terms & Concepts All Architects Should Know

09:30 - 16 July, 2018
45 Construction Terms & Concepts All Architects Should Know, Dune Art Museum. Image Courtesy of Open Architecture
Dune Art Museum. Image Courtesy of Open Architecture

For most recent graduates, it quickly becomes evident that what you learn in architecture school is not necessarily enough to become a confident architect. Some things can’t be taught in classrooms at all; instead, they're acquired through years of work on site and solving construction problems first-hand. Among the many things you learn on site are the terminologies used by construction workers that can sound like absolute nonsense to architects at first.

An architecture dictionary might seem like a superb idea, but in practice wouldn't be convenient on a construction site—unless you can memorize the useful entries out of the 25,000 terms in Cyril M Harris' Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Alternatively, here’s a more manageable list of 45 construction terms and concepts every architect should know.

Cross Bracing. Image <a href='https://pxhere.com/en/photo/970928'>via pxhere</a> (public domain)  Precast Concrete blocks used in Frank Lloyd Wright's Tonkens House. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Example_of_precast_concrete_blocks_in_the_Tonkens_House._Photo_courtesy_of_Toby_Oliver..jpg'>Wikimedia user Factfile8</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 4.0</a> Virtual Design & Construction. Image <a href='https://pxhere.com/en/photo/547880'>via pxhere</a> (public domain) Diagrid. Image <a href='https://unsplash.com/photos/VIrwcwdr2Bc'>via Unsplash</a> (public domain) + 11

MAD's First US Project 'Gardenhouse' Tops Out in Beverly Hills

16:30 - 3 July, 2018
Bird view. Image Courtesy of MAD Architects
Bird view. Image Courtesy of MAD Architects

MAD Architects’ first project in the U.S., an 18-unit residential complex, has topped out in Beverly Hills. The project named ‘Gardenhouse’, is founded upon the idea of coalescing nature and the built environment in a dense urban center, providing residents an experience similar to that of living in a “hilltop village”. Once fully completed, Gardenhouse will feature a terraced arrangement of urban villas atop a plant-covered podium.

Rendering. Image Courtesy of MAD Architects Rendering. Image Courtesy of MAD Architects Bird view. Image Courtesy of MAD Architects Interior. Image Courtesy of MAD Architects + 9

OPEN’s Pingshan Performing Arts Center in Shenzhen Nears Completion

04:00 - 28 June, 2018
OPEN’s Pingshan Performing Arts Center in Shenzhen Nears Completion, Courtesy of OPEN Architecture
Courtesy of OPEN Architecture

OPEN Architecture has released a new set of photos that documents the construction milestones of Pingshan Performing Arts Center in Shenzhen, China. The project was initially announced in 2015 as the first theatre planned for the newly-developed Pingshan area. With its building envelope now fully formed and cladded in precision-engineered aluminium panels, the Performing Arts Center is set to open by the end of this year as one of the city’s most anticipated cultural venues.

Courtesy of OPEN Architecture Courtesy of OPEN Architecture Courtesy of OPEN Architecture Courtesy of OPEN Architecture + 15

15 Innovative Pedestrian Bridges (And Their Construction Details)

12:00 - 22 April, 2018
Cortesía de RO&AD Architecten
Cortesía de RO&AD Architecten

Cortesía de DVVD Engineers Architects Designers Cortesía de Mark Thomas Architects Cortesía de VAUMM Cortesía de cepezed + 32

There has been increasing awareness in recent years of the importance of infrastructure for pedestrians. These additions to the urban environment improve the quality of cities by connecting spaces and shortening travel distances, and their introduction can be beneficial not only to pedestrians but also to cyclists seeking a more environmentally friendly method of transport. In order to encourage the use of pedestrian infrastructure, here we present 15 footbridges, alongside their construction details, to showcase innovative solutions in terms of materials, forms, and structures.

Dune Art Museum by OPEN Architecture Tops Out 'Under' a Beach Near Beijing

06:00 - 18 April, 2018
Dune Art Museum by OPEN Architecture Tops Out 'Under' a Beach Near Beijing, Courtesy of OPEN Architecture
Courtesy of OPEN Architecture

OPEN Architecture has released the latest construction photos of the Dune Art Museum topping out in a Chinese coastal city near Beijing. The art museum manifests itself as a complex of interconnected concrete shells, which in the next and final stage of construction, are to be buried in sand and shrubs to restore the natural silhouette of the dunes on the beach.

Courtesy of OPEN Architecture © Ni Nan © Fangfang Tian © Fangfang Tian + 14

The Next Sustainability Crisis: Humans Are Using So Much Sand That We May Actually Run Out

09:30 - 16 April, 2018
Objects made of Finite, a material developed by students from Imperial College London using desert sand. Image © Finite
Objects made of Finite, a material developed by students from Imperial College London using desert sand. Image © Finite

Sand is the most-consumed natural resource in the world after water and air. Modern cities are built out of it. In the construction industry alone, it is estimated that 25 billion tons of sand and gravel are used every year. That may sound a lot, but it’s not a surprising figure when you consider how everything you’re surrounded with is probably made of the stuff.

But it’s running out.

This is a scary fact to think about once you realize that sand is required to make both concrete and asphalt, not to mention every single window on this planet. The United Nations Environment Programme found out that from 2011 to 2013, China alone used more cement than the United States had used in the entire 20th century and in 2012, the world used enough concrete to build a wall around the equator that would be 89 feet high and 89 feet thick (27 by 27 meters).

Steel Frame and Wood Frame: The Benefits of Dry Construction Systems

08:00 - 15 April, 2018

You have to consider many factors when designing an architectural project in order to ensure quality and value. The construction technique is in most cases the first item to be evaluated, because it is the one factor that properly materializes the proposed design and determines the efficiency of the project in terms of time, costs, labor, finishes and final quality.

BI Group Architect Awards

Sponsored Article
BI Group Architect Awards, logo
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BI GROUP ARCHITECT AWARDS – is the first international competition for young professionals and graduates of architectural universities in Kazakhstan. The organizer is a large construction holding BI Group — the leader in the real estate market in Kazakhstan. The purpose of this competition is to develop a concept to draw and identify the most modern and progressive architectural and engineering solutions, as well as innovative technologies to solve acute social problems on the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan, caused by a shortage of cultural facilities, educational and health facilities.

This Instagram Account Collects Hilarious Construction Fails and Home Improvement Disasters

08:00 - 23 March, 2018

We’ve all seen them: cringeworthy designs and abysmal construction fails. For architects and designers, it's difficult not to hone in on the details of every space we encounter. And, it’s even harder not to laugh at doors incapable of opening, plaster jobs that could have been completed by a 4-year old, and an overly liberal use of caulking to solve any construction mishap. 

Inspired by this guilty pleasure, the Instagram account of “Certified Caulk Installer” Trevor Lahey aka greaseball1987 has collected the best of the worst home improvement disasters for your viewing pleasure. See more of Lahey's plethora of hilarious tragedies below.

Competition-Winning Students Design and Build Pavilions for Remote Chinese School

14:25 - 16 March, 2018
Competition-Winning Students Design and Build Pavilions for Remote Chinese School, © Jakub Andrzejewski
© Jakub Andrzejewski

For students of architecture, few things are as thrilling as seeing one of their designs physically built. For a group of Polish and Norwegian-based students, this dream has become a reality.

Having won the 120 Hours student competition in 2017, the Warsaw University of Technology team behind the “In ‘n’ Out Village” winning proposal has combined with students at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design to realize the design, constructing 19 pavilions in a Chinese schoolyard.

© Jakub Andrzejewski © Jakub Andrzejewski Courtesy of PR 120 Hours Courtesy of PR 120 Hours + 20

Concrete Blocks in Architecture: How to Build With This Modular and Low-Cost Material

09:00 - 12 March, 2018
Concrete Blocks in Architecture: How to Build With This Modular and Low-Cost Material, Mipibu House / Terra e Tuma Arquitetos Associados. Image © Nelson Kon
Mipibu House / Terra e Tuma Arquitetos Associados. Image © Nelson Kon

Concrete blocks are a prefabricated material mainly used to build walls. Like bricks, the blocks are stacked together and joined with a mortar, usually consisting of cement, sand, and water. The blocks are hollow inside to allow for steel bars and mortar filling. 

These blocks come in a variety of dimensions and textures, from traditional smooth surfaces to fluted or rough finishes, as well as special units for corners or for beams with longitudinal reinforcements. The dimensions of these blocks range from the classic 8x8x16 inches (approx 19x19x39 cm) which is meant for structural use, to a size of 8x3.5x39 inches (approx 19x9x39 cm) for partitioning walls. How can we incorporate them creatively into our designs?

Vila Matilde House / Terra e Tuma Arquitetos Associados. Image © Pedro Kok Casa + Estudio / Terra e Tuma Arquitetos Associados. Image © Pedro Kok Silent house / Takao Shiotsuka Atelier. Image © Takao Shiotsuka Atelier Casa entre Bloques / Natura Futura Arquitectura. Image © JAG Studio + 24

P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S Transforms Warehouse into Dynamic Medical Facility

07:00 - 9 February, 2018
P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S Transforms Warehouse into Dynamic Medical Facility, Courtesy of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S
Courtesy of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S

An adaptive reuse project by P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S is currently under construction in North Hollywood, California. The project transforms an existing warehouse into a dynamic medical campus with Urgent Care, Elderly Daycare, Surgical Centre, Physical Therapy, Imaging Centre, Medical offices, café and a small shop.

Courtesy of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S Courtesy of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S Courtesy of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S Courtesy of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S + 14