Why Wood is an Effective Material for Schools

Many of our childhood experiences take place in school. Whether these memories are good or bad, most children and teenagers spend a majority of their days in classrooms or other educational facilities. According to IQAir, “every year, children spend an average of 1,300 hours in school buildings.” But even as the world changes rapidly, and the internet in particular increases the accessibility of information, the design and operation of schools remain, in a way, outdated. As noted in a previous article, ideally the typology of educational spaces and the configuration of classrooms should suit more contemporary ways of teaching and learning, rather than the traditional organization of rows of desks facing a teacher at the head. But it is important that the analysis of educational facilities does not stop there. All surfaces and materials have a significant impact on both the well-being and learning of users.

How To Use and Reuse Chimneys in Architecture

Francis D. K. Ching [1] characterizes a chimney as an “incombustible vertical structure, which contains a duct through which smoke and gases from a fire or furnace are pushed outwards and through which an air current is created.” While its pipes can be hidden in walls or other structures, the chimney top usually remains prominent in order to transfer dangerous gases from the inside out without dirtying the interior or harming the health of the occupants. Being vertical elements, there are chimneys that become major landmarks in the urban landscape, especially in industrial projects. At the time of drawing, deciding on the “weight” that the chimney will have in a project is essential. At Casa Milá, for example, Gaudí crowns the building in sinuous and curvy sculptural chimneys. In other cases, the solemnity of the building aesthetic is mirrored in its chimney, whereas in others, the architects render the chimney as hidden as possible. Recently, too, many chimneys have been refurbished for new uses or to accommodate new cleaner technologies. Whether it takes a prominent role or is hidden from view, see below some chimney design tips and possibilities of use.

How to Model Floors, Roofs, and Ceilings in Revit

Floors, roofs, ceilings. Speaking in a very generic way, they are practically all the horizontal elements that we can find in the construction of a building. These three parts have a very similar way of modeling in Revit and this is the reason why when learning this software, they almost always appear one after the other. The order is usually a rather logical and therefore similar order: starting first with the floors, later the soffits and, finally, the ceilings. All this, clearly after having modeled the exterior and interior walls of our building.

4 Solutions for Roofs without Eaves (and their Construction Details)

In his Robie House, Frank Lloyd Wright created an ingenious arrangement of public and private spaces that slowly moving away from the street through a series of horizontal planes. Pronounced eaves made the interior space expand toward the outside. Considered the first phase of the American architect's career, the so-called Prairie Houses had marked horizontality, mainly due to the enormous plans created by slightly inclined eaves. Eaves are ubiquitous in most traditional architecture, and in addition to their aesthetic role, they serve several important functions, the primary one being to keep rainwater away from the building's walls and structure. But for some time now, we have seen plenty of projects with sloping roofs without eaves, forming pure and unornamented volumes. This brings us to the question: in these projects, how are practical issues such as draining rainwater?

Built to Last: Stainless Steel's Contributions to Architecture

Shortly before the First World War, Harry Brearley (1871-1948), who had been working as a metalworker since he was 12 years old, developed the first stainless steel. Seeking to solve the problem of wear on the inner walls of British army weapons, he ended up obtaining a corrosion resistant metal alloy, and added chrome to the cast iron. The invention found applications in almost all industrial sectors including for the production of cutlery, health equipment, kitchens, automotive parts, and more, replacing traditional materials such as carbon steel, copper, and even aluminum. In civil construction, this was no different, and stainless steel was soon incorporated into buildings.

Why We Should Integrate Tactile Surfaces into Architecture

Accessibility is one of the most important considerations in architecture, ensuring that the built environment caters to people of all abilities. However, popular conceptions of what disability and accessibility look like remain limited, and often encompass only physically disabled people such as wheelchair users. Among architectural designers especially, it is common to visualize accessibility as adding ramps, wide corridors, and elevators. However, disability can take many different forms, some less visible than others; accordingly, accessibility in architecture means much more than accommodating just wheelchair users. For the visually impaired, incorporating specific tactile elements in architecture and urban design can vastly improve the navigability of a foreign space. In this article, we talk about tactile paving specifically, including its different forms, its history, and its means of implementation.

Children's Scale: A Brief History of Kid's Furniture

Children's furniture is all furniture –fixed or mobile– that is designed according to the ergonomic guidelines and anatomical dimensions of children specifically. Following this definition, we can identify two types of furniture: (1) those that facilitate a relationship between the caregiver and the child, and (2) those that allow the child to use them independently.

From Stone Walls to Skyscrapers: Understanding Structural Masonry

The Monadnock Building in Chicago began construction in 1891 and is still in use today. The building features a somber facade without ornamentation and a colossal height - at the time - of 16 floors. It is considered the first skyscraper built in structural masonry, with ceramic bricks and a granite base. To support the entire load of the building, the structural walls on the ground floor are 1.8 meters thick, and at the top, 46 centimeters. One hundred and thirty years later, this construction system remains common and allows for the erection of taller buildings with much thinner walls, accomplishing even new architectural works economically and rationally. But what is structural masonry about, and how can designers use it in architectural projects? And for what kinds of buildings is this system most suitable?

How to Start a New Project in Revit

Revit is a parametric and multidisciplinary design software that can virtually create and insert any building within a BIM process. Revit is not a true modeler, but an aggregator of construction components governed by a series of specific rules. In order to avoid issues within the Revit project, it must be set up carefully. Since each project has different characteristics and requirements, there is no standard procedure when starting a new one. However, becoming familiar with various situations and their necessary steps will greatly help.

The Importance of Fire Doors for Creating Safe Buildings

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Building design today, and throughout the 20th century, has been significantly shaped by fire safety considerations. Architects today are familiar with the wide range of code requirements for a building to be compliant, from materials, to fire extinguisher locations, to fire-rated walls and doors. As buildings have become better-equipped to withstand fire emergencies, however, modern life has simultaneously increased the amount of fire hazards we live with.

How to Model Ramps and Stairs in BIM using Autodesk Revit

One of the great difficulties we encounter with “classic” plan delineation methodologies are ramp and stair projections. It has always been difficult to avoid calculating the ramp’s slope, as well as the dimensions of the footprint and riser of the communication staircase between two floors of a building. Do they comply with current regulations in my country? Do they adapt to the project standards? Will they be accurately calculated?