Bringing the weather inside is usually the opposite of what you want from a building envelope. However, new research from the University of Oregon, described in an article by The Washington Post, aims to show the physical and psychological benefits of letting nature inside. Signs of nature and change are both beneficial to our well-being, yet we don’t always have access to them when inside buildings—and humans are now spending 90% of our lives inside. But even in an urban setting, where nature may be hard to come by, there’s no escaping the weather. When researchers found ways to bring things like wind and dappled reflections of the sun inside, they found that exposure to these natural movements lowered heart rates, while being less distracting than similar artificially generated movements.
Hemp is one of the oldest crops domesticated by humans. With its wide variety of uses and applications, it’s easy to understand why it’s been a desirable product throughout history. Hemp seeds and flowers are used in health foods, medicines, and organic beauty products; the fibers and stalks of the hemp plant are used in clothing, paper, and biofuel. Today even a waste product of hemp fiber processing, so-called hemp shives, is being utilized to create sustainable building materials like hempcrete.
Hempcrete is a bio-aggregate concrete, where the hemp shives – small pieces of wood from the stalk of the plant – are mixed with either a lime or mud cement to create a durable, eco-friendly building material. Hempcrete is lightweight and non-structural, but can instead be integrated with traditional building construction systems. Similar to traditional concrete, it can be either cast-in-place or prefabricated into building components like blocks or sheets.
The construction industry is traditionally one of the most resource-intensive sectors, but with rigorous planning and digital tools, the construction process can instead make an active contribution to environmental protection. Energy, resources, and materials can be intentionally saved during the construction process to widen the conversation from simply sustainable buildings as an end product, but sustainable construction as a process. Digital solutions can play a decisive role, yet the industry has so far made too little use of the numerous possibilities that are available. Below, the experts from the Nemetschek Group present some of the opportunities they provide.
Parking garages present an aesthetic challenge to even the most creative design minds. Their vast scale and monotonous appearance are necessitated by function, but result in the difficulty of making the garages visually interesting instead of simply overbearing. Cladding a parking garage in a unique material can add visual interest and texture to achieve a more human connection. However, this in turn creates concerns about still bringing light and air into the garage.
Multifamily housing in urban environments provides social, economic, and environmental benefits to both individual residents and cities as a whole. Kicked into overdrive after the 2008 financial crisis, demand for multifamily housing has since continued to rise and remains strong today. Generations Y and Z are the youngest urbanized group of adults and these young professionals are fueling much of the demand for compact living in city centers. Though the younger generations are the ones driving the changes, the result is expected to be more secure, convenient living for everyone.
If you’ve been debating whether to submit your work to the 2021 A’ Design Award Competition, now is the time! This is your last chance to enter your design, because the final call for entries ends February 28th, 2021. The international A’ Design Awards give designers an opportunity to showcase their work to a global audience, whether you’re a designer, architect, or an innovator from any other design field. Among other design competitions and awards, the A’ Design Award stands out for its exceptional scale with over 100 design categories.
If you’ve been procrastinating, now is your last chance to enter your design for an A’ Design Award before the deadline on February 28. The international competition was “born out of the desire to underline the best designs and well-designed products” of designers, architects, and innovators from all design fields. Among other design competitions and awards, the A’ Design Award stands out for its exceptional scale with over 100 design categories.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to adapt quickly to new ways of living: new ways of working, communicating, buying groceries, and so much more. That adaptability is the key to navigating our changing world. Modular and flexible building systems can help us adapt our physical spaces to the new realities of social distancing or even to the need for rapidly deploying field hospitals.
The A’ Design Award is an international award whose aim is to provide designers, architects, and innovators from all design fields with a competitive platform to showcase their work and products to a global audience. Among the design world’s many awards, the A’ Design Award stands out for its exceptional scale and breadth, including over 100 award categories and having honored over 12,000 designers with an award over its 11-year lifetime.
Over the past decade, Building Information Modeling (BIM) has been widely adopted and become integrated to varying degrees into every aspect of the design, construction, and maintenance of buildings. But this isn’t where BIM stops, the future of BIM incorporates altered/virtual reality (AR/VR) and has the potential to go as far as automated and intelligent lifecycle management of assets. The concept of creating a “digital twin” to a physical building or system with the aim of making that real-world entity safer, more efficient, and more resilient begins by making our way towards fully-integrated BIM.