house construction and being local

In many ways, building or remodeling is about the most local, job-creating activity within the economy.  Unless your construction is from very unconventional materials, they are most likely sourced relatively closely to the place of construction.  "Local" may mean the US, not the preferred 500 mile definition, but very few of the things consumers typically purchase can even say that.  Most of the wood in residential construction comes from the US or Canada (the importing of subsidized Canadian softwoods is a touchy subject for US manufacturers).

a haptic practice

I spend about one third of my working time in front of a computer.  Another third is spend on various jobsites.  The final third or so is still spent with paper and pens, glue and blades, pencils and scales.  I am a great believer in the use of computer technology in the service of architecture, especially 3D modeling and the access to design tools that were previously so infrequently used.  However, I do miss the haptic aspects of the practice of architecture

heating and cooling for your house

The types and costs of heating your house

The available array of options for heating and cooling your house is significantly larger than it was just a few years ago.  Heightened awareness of energy efficiency and new, related techologies, have given us options that not only provide a much greater degree of thermal comfort, but do so at less cost and most importantly provide the homeowner with monitoring tools to increase awareness of how these systems can be optimized.

facade rhythm and lessons of Venice

I have been thinking alot about the rhythm of facades of buildings.  Typically a commercial building has some rhythm of openings, windows and/or doors, that trace across its surface.  This can be as simple as the modules of a curtain wall system or a structural system expressing itself on the outside of a building.  This is so typical in fact, that we often fail to see it although it affects how we feel about a building.

architect's glossary - post, pillar, column, pier and pilaster

Architect’s Glossary

Like most of these Architect’s Glossary posts, this one was generated from a misunderstanding between myself and a client. When they expressed a desire for piers instead of posts, my mind went in a very different direction than they had intended. A quick meeting resolved the issue, but started me wondering on the various terms we use for vertical supports of structures