Thursday, January 8th, 2015
The following is a reprint of a Compass: The 3DEXPERIENCE Magazine article by Vicki Speed.
The Permasteelisa Group, based in Italy, is a leading worldwide contractor in the engineering, manufacture and installation of architectural envelopes and interior systems.
Compass spoke to Permasteelisa IT project manager Federico Momesso and communication manager Massimiliano Fanzaga about how the company is adopting more standardized technologies and processes to better meet the construction industry’s growing demand for customized building systems on short timelines.
Thursday, January 1st, 2015
Renovating and retrofitting existing buildings can increase their longevity, reduce their energy use and beautify or modernize.
With commercial buildings that need renovation, “usually the target is to have a result that’s aesthetically nice, healthy and at the least cost,” says Marc LaFrance, energy analyst, buildings sector, at the International Energy Agency. “If somebody comes from that approach but says, ‘I want the least-energy-consuming building possible within my budget,’ that would lead to a different set of measures.”
Thursday, December 25th, 2014
A jungle is green and leafy, and the urban jungle should be the same, right?
Since 2010, more people live in cities than in the countryside for the first time in human history. The trend is expected to speed up in developing countries, with more than 60% of the world’s population living in urban areas by mid-century, the United Nations predicts.
Bringing nature into cities can make urban environments more sustainable as well as more aesthetic, more comfortable, and healthier.
“Many architects today already claim to do green design, some to a greater level of authenticity than others. I contend that in the next five to 10 years just about every architect and student will do green design as second nature in their work,” says Ken Yeang, a principal with T.R. Hamzah and Yeang, a Malaysian architectural firm focusing on ecoarchitecture, and of Ken Yeang Design International in the U.K. “Green design is just one of the criteria for good design.”
Click to tweet: “#Greendesign will be second nature
for architects and students in the next 5-10 years”
Architects often see green design as a matter of certification, such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes, or the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) in the U.K. Beyond aiming for certification, “I take the holistic view of an ecologist,” he says. “I see green design as bio-integrating everything that we as humans make and do on the planet with the natural environment in a benign and seamless way.”
That requires integrating flora and fauna, water, humans, and the built environment in a holistic way. “We start design by looking at the ecology of the land and see how we can bring more nature back to a location and bio-integrate nature with the physical built environment,” Mr. Yeang says.
The Solaris, designed by Mr. Yeang and part of the Fusionopolis research and development park in Singapore, has more than 8,000 square meters (9,567 square yards) of landscaping—13% more than the original site—thanks to roof gardens, planted terraces, and a 1.5-kilometer (0.9-mile) ramp of continuous vegetation that spirals up the 15-story building’s facade, helping to insulate as well as offering a range of habitats that enhances the locality’s biodiversity.
“I design buildings as ‘living systems’ and as ‘constructed ecosystems,’” Mr. Yeang says. “It’s not just about green walls. I bring back the native fauna that are not hazardous to humans and match these with the native flora selected to attract the fauna, now set as ‘biodiversity targets’ in a matrix. With this, I create the local landscape conditions to enable flora and fauna to survive over the four seasons of the year.”
The idea is spreading. A primary school and gymnasium in the Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt, now under construction, was designed by architects Chartier-Dalix to be covered with a living shell and house local flora and fauna.
Argentine architect Emilio Ambasz built a multi-use government office building in Fukuoka, Japan, with 14 one-story terraces that make the one-million-square-foot building look like a green hill rising from the park in front of it. Mr. Ambasz also renovated the headquarters of ENI in Rome with curtains of vegetation.
Basel, Switzerland, has required since 2002 that flat roofs be covered with vegetation, in part to save energy and in part to protect biodiversity. While the peregrine falcon, one of the first species on the U.S. endangered species list in 1974, rebounded in part through urban nesting programs to nearly 100,000 birds world-wide today, less-glamorous endangered species, from spiders to beetles, also benefit from the increase in habitat. In the U.K., the Bat Conservation Trust has published a landscape and urban design guide for bats and biodiversity.
A green exterior is nice, but what goes inside—the design and materials—are important, too. “The building and products sector are seeing that environmental issues are moving up the agenda,” says Martin Charter, professor of innovation and sustainability at the Centre for Sustainable Design at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, U.K. “Construction, buildings and building products are associated with high carbon dioxide emissions on a macro level and big end-of-life waste issues. The sector does have a big-life cycle impact, not just in extractive phase but at other stages of life cycle as well.”
Concrete produces as much as a tenth of industry-generated greenhouse gas emissions. Researchers studying the molecular structure of cement found that changing the recipe to 1.5 parts calcium for each part of silica would cut cement’s carbon emissions up to 60% while making the resulting material stronger.
Click to tweet: “Changing 1 ingredient in cement cuts
carbon emissions by 60% & results in stronger material”
Simple design considerations can make a building greener. The shape and the orientation can affect heating and cooling needs. Natural ventilation with mixed mode systems can alleviate the need for air conditioning even in tropical climates. Mr. Yeang designed the Menara Mesiniaga office building in Selangor, Malaysia, so even elevator lobbies, restrooms and stairwells in the 15-story building get natural ventilation and natural daylight.
Green design includes water management in rainfall harvesting and storing water, so potable water doesn’t have to be used to irrigate the vegetation. Design must close the water cycle within the site, combining water management, water reuse and recycling with sustainable drainage and constructed wetlands for black water treatment, he says.
“In nature, the only energy is from the sun. If we want to imitate nature, we should use only the sun,” Mr. Yeang says. “In nature, everything is recycled. Waste from one organism becomes the food for another. In human society, we have a throughput system where we use things and throw them away, but in fact, there is no ‘away’ in the biosphere—it just goes somewhere and pollutes the environment. If we imitate nature, we should have a closed system. As a design strategy, we need to study the attributes and properties of ecosystems as the basis for designing our built environment. When this becomes mainstream, there will be a stasis of nature with our built environment.”
Originally posted to Perspectives by Catherine Bolgar. For more from Catherine, contributors from the Economist Intelligence Unit along with industry experts, join The Future Realities discussion.
Click to tweet this article: “#GreenDesign
Brings Nature into the Urban Jungle”
Collaborative and Industrialized Construction Solutions from Dassault Systèmes
Thursday, December 18th, 2014
Say “architecture in the future,” and you’re likely to think of buildings with a radical design, like the Absolute World Towers near Toronto, which twist some 200 degrees from base to top. But while architecture in the future might still be a feast for the eyes, other senses and feelings are likely to get more satisfaction as well.
Absolute World Towers Mississauga, Ontario
“Over the last 100 years, architecture has been a conversation about style,” says David van der Leer, executive director of the Van Alen Institute, a New York-based nonprofit architectural organization dedicated to the belief that design can transform cities, landscapes, and regions to improve people’s lives.
“What still largely is lacking in the conversation is how do we actually respond to the spaces we inhabit. If we know how the mind or body responds to the city, we may look at completely different ways of designing buildings.”
Recently, the institute undertook a project to understand people’s reactions to the city around them. The researchers walked around New York with residents of that city to find out how one, for instance, responds to a busy intersection.
Often the subjects, who were wearing brain monitors, would respond that everything was fine, but “their brain activity says something else,” Mr. van der Leer explains. “If we don’t respond well to structures, why do we build them?”
Thursday, November 20th, 2014
Zaha Hadid Architects
During his keynote address at a recent Dassault Systèmes event in Japan, Cristiano Ceccato of Zaha Hadid Architects explained how techniques borrowed from other industries have been applied to some of his firm’s innovative projects.
Click to tweet: “How techniques from other industries
are applied to @ZHA_News’ innovative projects”
Ceccato also examined what happens when designers transfer digital data into the built realm, thereby moving away from the perfection of the computer into the “imperfections” of a real construction environment.
Here is his advice for the architecture community:
1. Build Like Boeing
During his cross-disciplinary research with Boeing, Ceccato saw that the firm was able to take on great risks to develop innovative ways of working.
Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
AEC leaders gathered in Las Vegas this week to take part in the Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE FORUM, a unique event that explores innovation across a number of industries.
“It was valuable to listen to real practices.”
– 3DXForum AEC track attendee 11/11/14
Collaborative Design and Industrialized Construction
The AEC track on the afternoon of November 11, 2014 inspired participants to take on industry challenges such as providing a high quality experience for tenants while completing under budgets, maintaining sustainability, improving project productivity and efficiency, and ensuring construction worker safety.
Attendees were also encouraged to envision the future of their firms by understanding how Owners, Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Product Manufacturers, and Fabricators can collaborate using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform in a cloud environment to achieve efficient, industrialized construction practices and BIM Level 3 adoptions.
In the opening session, speaker Marty Doscher (Vice President, Architecture, Engineering and Construction, Dassault Systèmes) discussed how 3D adoption has spread through the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry and that now is the time to evolve to BIM Level 3.
This session explained how 3DEXPERIENCE Business Solutions provides the new and innovative scheme of design and construction processes delivering Building Life Cycle Management.
Industrializing Construction: Industry Solutions Based on Best Practices from Manufacturing
Peter Terwilliger (Solution Experience Director, Architecture, Engineering and Construction, Dassault Systèmes) demonstrated Dassault Systèmes Industrialized Construction solutions, featuring project modeling applications built on the cloud-based, collaborative 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
“The 3DEXPERIENCE platform interface is beautiful and looks like easy to use”
– 3DXForum AEC track attendee 11/11/14
The comprehensive project management and execution solutions leverage the power of 3D to efficiently and consistently cover construction project requirements end-to-end, from planning to fabrication.
Thursday, November 6th, 2014
“Paradigms in Computing: Making, Machines, and Models for Design Agency in Architecture” by David Jason Gerber and Mariana Ibanez
Today Dr. David Gerber serves as assistant professor of Architecture and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California, but the title he claims is far simpler than his multi-disciplinary research aims.
The son of an engineer and a computer scientist, Gerber has called many countries (and at one point, a sailboat) home, and his work today reflects that blend of technological interests and global perspectives. A design architect by training, Gerber has worked for some of the world’s most innovative architecture and technology firms, including Gehry Technologies and Zaha Hadid Architects.
Since then he has served as professor, lecturer, author, and founder of several technology startups, but his work revolves around one theme: the intersection of architecture, design with computation, and technology.
Click to tweet: “Building a Storied Career
Around Easing #Design Complexity”
Finding A Better Way
It was during his time with Zaha Hadid Architects more than 14 years ago that Gerber says he discovered the lesson that would set his career trajectory.
That path, as he describes it, has been “to develop parametric skillsets, technologies, and knowledge to better equip designers to handle real-world complexity, while maintaining the highest level of quality in design possible.”
Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
Click to tweet: “Designing a Sustainable and
Painless Public Transportation System”
Modul’Air, a finalist for the prestigious International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA), offers a radical rethink of the urban mobility experience.
A central goal of the new public transportation system redesign was to harmonize human activity and nature in the French city of Grenoble.
Friday, October 17th, 2014
It’s rush hour in the city. People make their way home after a hard day’s work. Driverless cars pass by as cyclists stream along purpose-built lanes, safe from motorized traffic and unpredictable pedestrians.
As the city unwinds into the evening, indoor sensors adjust the ambient temperature and turn lights on; televisions, radios and even baths are operated with a gesture from an armchair.
Outside, sensors monitor atmospheric irritants, ready to alert those at risk should dangerous levels be reached. A computer planning the city’s waste collection receives data about foul-smelling and full bins.
Thursday, October 9th, 2014
Founded in 1972, Morphosis took its name from the Greek word meaning “to form or be in formation.” While the name alludes to the firm’s “dynamic and evolving practice,” today it might also apply to its innovative use of parametric design tools.
Since joining the firm in 2008, Kerenza Harris has been a key part of Morphosis’ development and integration of these new technologies into design work. Today, she is helping Morphosis to develop automation systems and parametric tools that can be integrated from the earliest concept design stages through fabrication.