"An Ambition to Invest in Our Collective Futures" is Required to Rethink Home Building

Fifty percent of landfill waste in New Zealand is construction and demolition waste. The demand for homes in the coming years and decades is rapidly outstripping any possible supply we could provide with our current construction methods. PhD student Ged Finch discusses the problems with the home building industry and practices in New Zealand and proposes an alternative to what he terms the "disposable model" of building. Today's homes are not built to last, and can make us sick in the time they are here. Finch's research focuses instead on a completely reimagined, zero waste model for construction. Utilizing today's digital fabrication technologies, we can create a set of building parts that are optimized and reusable from naturally durable materials. But the technical solution is only one part, states Finch. The real key is human ambition.

The Importance of Antibacterial Surfaces in Healthcare Architecture

Although any architectural project must ensure the safety and well-being of its occupants, this goal is especially pertinent for healthcare spaces, whose primary occupants are those prone to getting sick or worsening their initial condition. For this reason, its design must not only support medical procedures in their optimal conditions, but also ensure that the environment is kept sterile and clean at all times.

How do materials that fight the growth of pathogenic bacteria work? Is it possible to improve the hygiene and healthiness of an environment without neglecting the aesthetics of the space? We address this question by reviewing the case of Krion® solid surfaces, widely used in the healthcare sector but also in residential, commercial and office projects.

Rearrange, Paint, Cultivate: Brightening Up Your Home While Practicing Social Distancing

As cities around the world go on lockdown in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, most individuals have been asked to stay at home, leaving only essential workers - EMTs and other healthcare professionals, grocery workers, bus drivers, deliverymen, and more - continuing to go out to keep the world running. Other families and individuals have found themselves spending most of their time at home, permitted to leave only to buy groceries or exercise for limited periods of time. With many no doubt searching for ways to pass the time in replacement of social interaction, we suggest several ways to brighten up your home while practicing social distancing, both improving the space you’re in and giving possible activities to pass the time.

Recycling Tires as Waterproofing Reduces Landfill Waste and Emissions

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In Mexico, 40 million used tires are thrown away each year and only 12% are recycled. Tires are a difficult waste product to address, due to the sheer volume produced as well as their durability and the components within tires that are bad for the environment. According to specialists, in Mexico about 5 million tires are recycled in organic products and in the cement industry. 

Curtains as Room Dividers: Towards a Fluid and Adaptable Architecture

Over the past few decades, interior spaces have become increasingly open and versatile. From the thick walls and multiple subdivisions of Palladian villas, for example, to today's free-standing and multi-functional plans, architecture attempts to combat obsolescence by providing consistently efficient environments for everyday life, considering both present and future use. And while Palladio's old villas can still accommodate a wide variety of functions and lifestyles, re-adapting their use without changing an inch of their original design, today, flexibility seems to be the recipe for extending the useful life of buildings as far as possible.

Cross Ventilation, the Chimney Effect and Other Concepts of Natural Ventilation

Nothing is more rational than using the wind, a natural, free, renewable and healthy resource, to improve the thermal comfort of our projects. The awareness of the finiteness of the resources and the demand for the reduction in the energy consumption has removed air-conditioning systems as the protagonist of any project. Architects and engineers are turning to this more passive system to improve thermal comfort. It is evident that there are extreme climates in which there is no escape, or else the use of artificial systems, but in a large part of the terrestrial surface it is possible to provide a pleasant flow of air through the environments by means of passive systems, especially if the actions are considered during the project stage.

Architecture for People with Hearing Loss: 6 Design Tips

Contrary to what we might believe, hearing loss is not always congenital, but could sooner or later happen to any of us. According to the WHO, almost a third of people over 65 suffer from debilitating hearing loss. Yet from a certain perspective, hearing loss could be considered more of a 'difference' than a 'disability'. Although the spatial demands of people with hearing disabilities are not as noticeable as spaces for the blind or for those who experience reduced mobility, the reduction of hearing capacity does entail a particular way of experiencing the environment. Is it possible to enhance this experience through interior design?

Healthy Living: How Natural Light and Fresh Air Transform Homes

Danish company VELUX began with a belief in building healthier homes. Created over 75 years ago by Villum Kann-Rasmussen, the manufacturer has now expanded around the world, with millions of people getting fresh air and daylight through their products. With recent events on the COVID-19 pandemic, Lone Feifer and Peter Foldbjerg of VELUX explore how architects and designers can find better ways to work at home and create healthy living spaces.

How to Design Museum Interiors: Display Cases to Protect & Highlight the Art

Museums are complex organizations: curators, exhibition designers, conservationists, editors, and marketers have to work together to ensure that artworks in galleries and exhibitions are properly displayed to the public. Instrumental to this process is the use of effective display cases, which must both protect the art and highlight it aesthetically. Below, we delineate some of these visual and practical considerations with photographic examples from Goppion, giving some indication how one should choose which display cases to use.

How to Minimize Harmful Effects of Formaldehyde Gas Indoors

As people are spending more and more time inside their homes, offices, and other closed areas, it is important to ensure that these spaces are safe and healthy environments, especially indoor areas designed for children and seniors. In recent years, several of the materials that shape the spaces we inhabit and directly influence the quality of the air we breathe have increasingly used a potentially dangerous chemical compound. This compound is called formaldehyde.

What are 'The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly' of Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic Systems?

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As concern grows regarding the contribution of fossil fuels to global warming, solar energy is an increasingly attractive power source due to its zero emissions and infinite supply. As builders turn to incorporate solar energy systems into their projects, many options are available to harness the power of the sun for commercial and industrial installations. While AEC Daily’s course on “The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly” of rooftop solar photovoltaic systems might not be a 1960s spaghetti western, it will guide you through the wild west of installation processes and options.

Adaptive Environments: Shaping Space Through Light & Color

With the aim of creating immersive environmental experiences in interior spaces, the design studio Aqua Creations has developed Manta Ray Light, a lighting installation built with responsive RGB LED technology that mixes the colors red, green, and blue to generate more than 16 million light tones. By presetting its color spectrum, offering a range of brightness settings on a scale of 0.1 to 100%, and even loading images and videos into its internal memory, the system allows its user to add color and movement to expressive spaces, or deliver a feeling of warmth and concentration to intimate and private rooms.

How to Design Schools and Interiors Based on Waldorf Pedagogy

Introduced by Rudolf Steiner, Waldorf pedagogy draws on the principles of anthroposophical philosophy. One of the theory's foundational characteristics is its holistic approach to the human being: feelings, imagination, spirit, and intellect are considered unique to every individual, and thoughts, feelings, and actions are understood to always be linked.

What Is Interior Design (And Why Can It Really Make You Feel Better)?

If you don't like a specific musical style, the theater bores you, or you're not attracted to works of art, you can almost always avoid them. Architecture, however, is different. A poorly thought-out project will affect the lives of many people consistently and for a long time. With interiors, this effect is even more amplified. Humanity is spending more and more time indoors, which directly impacts our well-being and health. In periods of compulsory retirement, as in the current pandemic of Covid-19, we gain a sense of how important interior spaces are for our well-being and even for the prevention of diseases. Designing an indoor environment is a huge responsibility for a professional. An interior designer must plan, research, coordinate, and manage these projects to obtain an adequately healthy and aesthetically pleasing environment for the people who use the space. But what, in fact, is interior design?