Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,
Minnesota AIA Awards
The house on Bert Hodus and Donna Brogan's farm takes design cues from a farm icon. With its south facade "warped" by design, the couple's new home evokes the graceful sag of many aging 19th- and 20th-century American barns.
The Blair, Wisconsin, house is wrapped in rainscreen siding of locally harvested, rough-sawn white oak, evocative of the clients' own turn-of-the-20th-century red barn nearby. And the window and door openings are few and large.
Architecture firm Alchemy designed the barnlike Blair house to serve as a full-time home for Hodus, a rural family doctor, and Brogan, a cabinetmaker.
The living spaces are contained in a steel-clad enclosure within the oak wrapper. The main living space is an open two-story room, like the main volume of a barn, with the master bedroom conceived as a "hay loft." At the northwest end of the building, the wood siding encloses a double-height porch area, providing shelter while allowing light to filter in through airspaces and a large door.
Several sustainability considerations were integral to the design: the siding provides sunshading, concrete floors provide thermal mass and contain an in-floor heating system, and the window placement reduces heat loss, as does staggered-stud thermal-break framing with polyurethane insulation. >>>
Measured global carbon-dioxide levels, in parts per million, from 2006 through 2010. Image: NOAA
Climate Letter to Congress
by The Project on Climate Science
To the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate:
As you begin your deliberations in the new 112th Congress, we urge you to take a fresh look at climate change. Climate change is not just an environmental threat but, as we describe below, also poses challenges to the U.S. economy, national security and public health.
Graph of arctic sea ice volume, measured from 1980 to 2010. Image: University of Washington Polar Science Center
Some view climate change as a futuristic abstraction. Others are unsure about the science, or uncertain about the policy responses. We want to assure you that the science is strong and that there is nothing abstract about the risks facing our Nation.
Our coastal areas are now facing increasing dangers from rising sea levels and storm surges; the southwest and southeast are increasingly vulnerable to drought; other regions will need to prepare for massive flooding from the extreme storms of the sort being experienced with increasing frequency. These and other consequences of climate change all require that we plan and prepare. Our military recognizes that the consequences of climate change have direct security implications for the country that will only become more acute with time, and it has begun the sort of planning required across the board. >>>
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Tools and Downloads
Improving Construction Efficiency and Productivity with Modular Construction
The Modular Building Institute has published a white paper citing a report by the National Research Council (NRC) that identifies modular construction as an underutilized resource for significantly advancing the competitiveness and efficiency of the U.S. construction industry in the next 20 years. Read more and download the white paper:
Vectorworks Architect 2011
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Don't Get Lost in CAD-to-BIM Translation - Cadalyst, 2011.0209
Bentley Introduces eB Insight - TenLinks, 2011.0208
'My Docs Online' Desktop App Offers AutoCAD Cloud Collaboration - Cloud News Daily, 2011.0207
For iPhone, Almost Heaven - New York Times, 2011.0203
Google Takes Street View into Art Museums - New York Times, 2011.0201
Advanced Structural Optimization Capabilities of Scia Engineer - AECbytes, 2011.0131
The Seven Keys to Best Practices for ArchiCAD - AECbytes, 2011.0131
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The high period of Byzantine architecture occurred how many centuries before the beginning of the Renaissance?
You have probably heard the term "highest and best use" in reference to various sites. What exactly does this mean?
Classic Home 020 — Colonial by Frederick L. Ackerman
"Admirers of pure Colonial architecture will find this a splendid example of its use in a modern home."
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