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Constructive Details: The Latest Architecture and News

"The Art of Pattern is the Legacy of our Grandparents": Koen Mulder on the Brick Bond as a Composition Tool

"Welcome to this strange book. With all the drawings, it might appear like a manual, but it isn't. The book is as much about joints as it is about pieces. Above all, it seeks the order that is inherent in things". These words are part of the introduction to Koen Mulder's book, "The lively surface: Masonry associations as a pattern art and tool of composition". Available in German, the 160-page manual, rigorously illustrated, presents a universe of possible pattern variations that can be created when you start designing.

We interviewed Koen to find out what inspired him to talk about this topic and to understand how he managed to gather all this information, while also figuring out the impact that this type of study can have on architecture students and architects.

Details of Wooden Structures in Kengo Kuma's Work

Kengo Kuma's architecture can be defined by its respect to Japanese constructive traditions and alignment with its context. Internationally recognized, the architect is known mainly for his wooden (or mixed) structures, which arise from a simple pattern of assembly and, which through different intersections and angles, generate a complex whole. The representations created by his team bring very specific details, ranging from didactic isometrics to complex parametric drawings. We have gathered details of five inspiring projects by Kengo Kuma that use wood.

15 Details of Metal Structures and Facades for Residential Projects

The use of steel in both the past and present is mainly associated with the success of grand industrial and civic structures. But due to the commercialization and standardization of steel profiles, its use in residential projects (thanks to its mechanical properties and fast installation) has resulted in complex and interesting solutions on a domestic scale.

Dive into these 15 construction details from residential projects that have made use of steel structures and cladding. 

CAD Files of High Pressure Laminates (HPL) Panels Available for Your Next Project

A facade must meet steep requirements as both the first skin that protects a building, its interiors, and its materials, and as the first thing a person sees. In addition to weather resistance and durability, its appearance is extremely vital for any architectural project. Prefabricated facade panels provide a clean, precise, and sophisticated finish to buildings and sport high versatility through different patterns and shapes.

Is Integrating Building Performance Difficult at Your Firm?

In a study recently published by AIA, less than 13% of architectural firms have incorporated building performance as part of their practice. With buildings contributing 40% of total carbon emissions leading to climate change, just 25 projects are roughly equivalent to planting 1 million trees each year. In addition to that, teams that are able to showcase data-driven and performance-driven decision-making and feature an energy analysis in every pursuit are able to increase fees and generate more revenue. Although integrating building performance sounds like a no-brainer, it proves to be difficult at many firms, because in addition to the practical changes, it requires a culture shift. That culture shift can only happen if the tools are easy to use, accurate, and mesh well with current workflows. Right now is the perfect time to tackle these culture changes due to a few reasons:

8 Interior Acoustic Panels and Their Constructive Details

Picture this. You're in a restaurant and you can hear the conversation of the person in the table next to you better than the person you're sitting with. Then, everyone begins to speak louder, making the environment chaotic. Absorption, reflection, reverberation, frequency, decibels, etc. Although acoustics is a complex science that can render buildings almost uninhabitable when not properly thought out, architects do not always possess the theoretical resources nor have the necessary concern to develop acoustically comfortable spaces.

BISA. Image Cortesia de MikodamGETA. Image Cortesia de MikodamTOBA. Image Cortesia de MikodamSAPA. Image Cortesia de Mikodam+ 37

The Foolproof Way to Manage Revisions

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“Are you looking at the latest revision?”

This is just one of the many questions we architects frequently ask, and get asked. But how much easier it would be if there was a foolproof way to manage revisions and know that everyone else is on top of it too.

16 Brick Cladding Constructive Details

Traditionally, bricks have been used in architecture to fulfill a double function: structural and aesthetic. While they act as an effective and resistant modular solution in building structures, their faces can be exposed to constitute their architectural appearance, generating facades rich in texture and color, thanks to the iron present in the clay they are composed of.

At present, there are products that allow the attractive appearance of bricks to be merged with other structural systems, separating their functions and providing the necessary freedom of design so that the facades can adapt creatively in favor of the conditions of each project and the requirements of its users.

5 Ways to Discuss Building Performance for Your Next Project Pursuit

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Today in the United States, buildings account for nearly 40% of carbon emissions (EESI) and 78% of electricity usage. The most sustainability-focused firms run energy simulations for less than 50% of their projects (10% for a typical firm) and only doing so late in the process when design changes are limited and insufficient to combat red flags found in the performance report (AIA 2030 report). We can make building performance widespread once we help the entire community discuss the subject in terms of investment and return. Especially during a project pursuit, since having the buy in from the whole team helps ensure the key project metrics are met. Owners are seeking out teams who are using actual metrics and data driven processes that affect their bottom line. This new approach to practice is what makes the younger teams’ standout and will benefit both the climate and the bottom-line. Here are 5 ways to talk about building performance in your project pursuits: 

Home Automation In Renovations: Is It Possible to Transform an Old Building into an Intelligent One?

Although the ability to install home automation in a practical way is associated with new projects, it is possible to adapt previously built buildings in a relatively simple way. In both small and large renovations projects these systems can deliver automated features that responds to the requirements and needs of its users. They can also improve the habitability and comfort of its spaces, increase their security and promote long-term energy and money savings. So, what considerations must be taken into account in order to transform an regular architecture project into an "intelligent" one?

© Eric Laignel© Zooey Brown© Adrià GoulaAquatio Cave Luxury Hotel & SPA / Simone Micheli, remodeled by AVE. Image © Juergen Eheim+ 14

Architectural Models of Constructive Details: Examples of Representation and Utility

It's not easy to find theory in the implementation of architectural models: a practical model that allows you to analyze and showcase the organization of material elements according to a particular process. They also allow you to detect and modify the key elements of a project while also addressing the project's executive procedures. 

Together with architectonic construction details, the development of the constructive facets is pushed to the background up until the ultimate steps of the design process, but this is also when we identify what is appropriate for a certain stage in the process in order to facilitate a seamless execution.

In the search to bring ourselves closer to the presentation and utility of architectural models, we invite you to take a look at a series of examples:

6 Spanish Projects That Creatively Use Louvers and Shutters in Their Facades

During warm summer months, buildings must maintain an adequate and comfortable temperature for the users of the space. Blinds or solar screens are an effective solution in projects that have large glazed surfaces, thus reducing the temperatures generated by direct sunlight.

Below, we have selected 6 Spanish projects that creatively use louvers and shutters in their facades. 

Ampliación del Hospital de Sabadell / Estudi PSP Arquitectura. Image © Jordi Canosa i BlajotEscuela Secundaria Honoré de Balzac / NBJ architectes. Image © PhotoarchitectureCampus Universitario y Parque Científico-Tecnológico / CANVAS Arquitectos. Image Cortesía de CANVAS ArquitectosCampus Diagonal / Enrique Batlle i Durany y Joan Roig i Durán. Image Cortesía de Gradhermetic+ 17