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Category: PERFORMANCE

milestones in the pursuit of better performing buildings


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More From Less #2: Diébédo Francis Kéré

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Meet Diébédo Francis Kéré. Here’s the quick bio from Wikipedia below and a 2005 Washington Post article here. Diébédo Francis Kéré was born in 1965 in the village of Gando. He was the first child in the village to be sent to school as his father, the village chief, wanted his eldest son to learn how to […]

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More From Less: The Principle

More From Less: The Principle
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Here’s some outdoor space. Judging by the colour of the brick, the teapot, and the underused barbeque in the corner, it looks like we’re in England. The peripheral plants are doing their evapotranspiration thing but those benefits won’t be needed much when the average summer temperature is 22°C (71.6 °F). This outdoor space is enclosed […]

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The Tree is Not Trying to be an Asset

The Tree is Not Trying to be an Asset
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Everybody likes trees. This is a tree (in the front.) It’s an overcast day, and almost evening so the tree’s not doing much in the way of photosynthesis or the other stuff that trees do incidentally as a result. Here’s a list of that other stuff from The Encyclopaedia of Earth. Mitigation of heat islands […]

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Prefab Pyramid

Prefab Pyramid
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Shipping container buildings are a blog cliché I know but this post follows on from those on microflats and microhouses because, after all, shipping containers are spatial enclosures with an integrated structure. Now you may say that shell concrete and geodesic domes are also spatial enclosures with integrated structures but these can neither be arranged […]

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It’s Not Rocket Science #3: Yakhchal

It’s Not Rocket Science #3: Yakhchal
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By 400BC, Persians had developed a system for making ice in winter and storing it throughout the summer and in a hot desert climate, in buildings they called yakhchal. Most of what you’ll find written about yakhchal on the internet seems to come from wikipedia. Most diagrams come from one academic paper but images are from several […]

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It’s Not Rocket Science #2: Ventilation

It’s Not Rocket Science #2: Ventilation
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Many architects look to Nature for inspiration for how to make their buildings look more natural even though buildings are very unnatural objects. Instead of actually growing out of the ground or landscape like plants, buildings are constructed from putting lots of building materials together and it takes a lot of people, resources and money to […]

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It’s Not Rocket Science #1: Thermal Mass

It’s Not Rocket Science #1: Thermal Mass
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This is part of the village of Kandovan, on the Iran side of the border with Azerbaijan. Dating from the 13th century, the original inhabitants allegedly escaped to these strange mountains of volcanic ash, to get away from invading Mongols – as one does. You can find more pictures of Kandovan here. Local residents say that the […]

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Venturi’s Vehicles

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This post is to spread the word about the the French company Venturi who are doing good work in giving electric vehicles higher performance. I first found out above them two weeks ago in connection with Princess Elisabeth Antarctica – the zero-emissions antarctic station. Some of the energy produced by its wind turbines is used to charge […]

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The Television Tower is Not Trying to Look Beautiful

The Television Tower is Not Trying to Look Beautiful
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This post is about television towers – those biggish structures that enhance radio communications in much the same way mobile phone masts do, only more so. Here’s an image of models of some made by a German architect. The German ones tend to have lots of  ‘shelves’ to place and access the important bits. (Thanks theinvisbleagent!) […]

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Antarctic Architecture

Antarctic Architecture
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Earlier, I’d thought I’d continue my Miscellaneous Meditations Upon the Reading of The Autopoeisis of Architecture but instead … * * * A lot of the information in this post about Antarctic Architecture comes from the Cool Antarctica website. It has a brief history of Antarctic research station buildings. The first ones, around 1900, were […]

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The Shed is Not Trying to Look Beautiful #1

The Shed is Not Trying to Look Beautiful #1
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The house is aligned east-west so the balcony on the south side probably does all the right things regarding solar gain. If not, it’s nothing a few bamboo blinds won’t fix. Or should we even care? In Japan they’re supposed to enjoy living with the seasons aren’t they? Just the other side of the mountain […]

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The Beauty of the Higgs Boson

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I just copied this article and added emphases where it meant something to me – mostly about missing pieces fitting. The Beauty of the Higgs Boson “The dust is beginning to settle – a new particle has been discovered using the Large Hadron Collider. Discovering new particles of nature is not an everyday occurrence and we are […]