Archive for November, 2009

Ecology and Design #9

November 19, 2009

This week I want to discuss our field trip to Smith Carter. Their building is quite interesting, and is packed with features. The most interesting part in my opinion is the raised floors and the things that come with that. They have a geothermal heating and cooling system that uses water to regulate temperature which seems like a really good alternative. Also the “plug and play” system they have is interesting. They have movable electrical plug ins in the floor that allows for an ever changing set up in their studio. These are features that would be interesting to see on another scale. For example a smaller one like in a house, or smaller design school/studio. What was maybe the most interesting part of the tour was his talk relating their building to the new Manitoba Hydro building. Since I was at the Hydro building two days earlier it was neat to see the similarities. The Hydro building is a much larger scale example of what can be done with these sort of technologies. Now I would like to see this done more often, and maybe even on a smaller scale as well.

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Ecology and Design #8

November 19, 2009

This week we read a few short case studies about various sustainable, moveable, and alternative material use designs. One that I found interesting was “Scupper Houses, or the Dogtrot House, and the Shotgun House Reconsidered” by Brian D. Andrews, and W. Jude Leblanc. It dealt partly with different ways to slope the roof of a house apposed to a traditional gable roof. The part that I found interesting was the roof they designed was like an inverted gable roof which I haven’t seen before. So instead of the slope away from the middle of the house, it slopes into the middle. Rainwater then runs off down the middle and is collected. This is an interesting way to collect rain water, and probably a very efficient way to do so. I know people who collect rain water at their cottages, and a design like this could be implemented around here and could work quite well.

Ecology and Design #7

November 5, 2009

I was not able to attend the lecture by Marc Treib last week since I had to work, although from reading other blogs it was a little disappointing. That is unfortunate, but anyways I will discuss this weeks article instead. It was “Culture and the Re-calibration of First Ring Suburbia” by William Conway and Marcy Schultze. This text was slightly confusing to me, since it seemed to jump right in and cut right out without any introduction or conclusions to what they were taking about. It almost seemed like an excerpt from an essay, not the entire one but I am not sure. Anyways I like the idea of a website where homeowners of an area could be involved in issues surrounding them. In Winnipeg at least most people live in an area, but are disconnected from it. For example I know my close surrounding neighbours, but have no idea who people down the street are. Also new construction will occur in an area that affects the homeowners, but they have no say and are informed at the last minute. This idea of a website to voice opinions within an area would be helpful and would be nice to see it in effect.