Sustainable DesignPrinciples- Monica

4 12 2008

This website outlines the five design principles that help make a building more sustainable, the article touches on the following issues that will optimize the buildings green potential.

  1. Optimizing use of the sun
  2. Improving indoor air quality
  3. Using the land responsibly
  4. Creating high-performance and moisture-resistant houses
  5. Wisely using the Earth’s natural resources

By implementing the above practices it will make houses more sustainable, efficient and create a healthier environment.


Relief Architecture+ Lauren Pritchard

28 11 2008

As we learned from Edd’s lecture last Thursday, natural disasters such as flooding can have a huge impact on design, not only in the planning of the original structure, but also in what comes next.

Dealing for what comes after the tragedy is the next step. This summer I bought a book publsihed by Architecture for Humanity, “Design like You Give A Damn.”  Relief Architecture is an area I am very interested in.  I feel it is a way in which good design can improve the quality of peoples lives.

“Architecture for Humanity represents the finest of the new breed of architectural leadership, employing architectural skills and directing them for the larger good. Committed, unapologetic ally architectural in name and mission, Architecture for Humanity stands up for people in need.”
– Robert Ivy, Editor in Chief, Architectural Record

Architecture for Humanity is involved in everything from relief efforts the day after the disaster in providing the neccessary shelter to the displaced, to eventually helping communities rebuild the site, making it  a home once a gain. There work is invaluable, and appreciated by so many.


Above is a picture of one of Architecture for Humanities projects in Sri Lanka.

“the team developed Safe(R) House, a dwelling designed to resist the force of a tsunami as well as flooding. The designers emphasized the use of locally available materials and building methods to make the house both cost effective and easy to replicate.”

Flood Architecture: Lauren Pritchard

27 11 2008

Last Thursdays class Edd Epp gave a lecture on flood architecture. More specifically The International Centre for Flood Architecture. It was a very interesting discussion not only because of the importance of this type of architecture but also because at that time in studio my group was facing the challenge of how to deal with a city that regularly floods. In architecture there are many things to be taken into consideration.  Flooding is a major issue for designers.

In Edd’s presentation he covered several flood cases and how devastated these natural disasters left the communities. Not only do we have to design in case of a disaster, but we must also design for temporary shelter as well as post disaster rebuilding. Design is involved in all aspects of a built structures life therefor we must always be thinking we can work with the environment, designing our buildings with the knowledge of the occurrences, and planning for them.

There are many areas of the world where water constantly is interlaced with the built environment, Venice, and Amsterdam for example. These great cities have perfected water design, from there canals to there bridging systems. But what happens to cities who are not adequately designed for flooding situations. Tragedy. Cities that are not prepared structurally for large quantities of water can be left in tatters. Take New Orleans for example, New Orleans was hit in 2005 by hurricane Katrina, because of New Orleans poor flood planning and inadequate flood system, 90 percent of the city flooded. Taking lives and destroying much of the city. This is an example of what can happen if flooding is not considered in design. Katrina was a powerful and dangerous hurricane by nay means, destruction of some degree was inevitable, however if sustainable flood architecture would have been implemented into New Orleans, they may have been able to protect much of the city as well as prevented many deaths.

Disaster Architecture

27 11 2008

Branching out of flood architecture, what about other natural disasters? How do people re build after natural disasters such as earthquakes? 

This is a list of some of the companies who re build after natural disasters. They efforts are on an international level and are all very respected companies. 

An example of a model of a building built to withstand an earthquake.

How an earthquake can destroy a building. 

Tornado Resistant Homes and how they are being implemented.

stoughton_tornado_icf_house1 Concrete House Withstands Tornado Winds

– Kayla Schlosser

Mobile Art Park- Steph M

26 11 2008

The Roosevelt Island Universal Arts Center is made up of a system of interconnecting floating barges. Each barge can hold a variety of items such as skate parks, forests, wind turbines, tennis courts artist studios and much more. There are two levels to each barge and the upper level floats on a platform above the other. The barges come in different sizes depending on the activity that is on them and are able to connect in multiple different ways. Situated around Southpoint Park on Roosevelt Island NY, this park network incorporates art into everyday life.











– Steph M

After the Flood: Building on Higher ground and Flood Architecture- Steph M

26 11 2008

During Thursday’s lecture Professor Epp talked about the International Centre for Flood Architecture.  Flooding is a major issue all over the world right now and with global warming and rising sea levels it will continue to get worse. As Winnipeg is situated in the Red River flood plain we are also faced with many of these problems, specifically during spring runoff and with the eroding banks of the river. Currently the solution to this Winnipeg problem is to contain the river and channel it into the flood way during times of high water. After Hurricane Katrina, designers all over the world began to really think about better ways to design around water. “After the Flood: Building on Higher Ground” was an exhibit that presented proposals for replacement housing and redevelopment in New Orleans. This exhibit, composed of six spaces, shows maps, photos, and videos from the hurricane and the damage that it caused as well as new proposals for the reconstruction of the city.

Eight Inc. Received a top award for their design of a high density, 12 story, 160 unit housing community. The building is located by the Mississippi River on a high ground site and consists of commercial and residential units.


Anderson Anderson Architects also won a top award for their design of Camelback Shotgun sponge garden. This is also a high density housing unit but the landscape was designed to act as a sponge and absorb climatic impacts and slowly filter capture water and energy back into their natural ecosystems.

 Camelback Shotgun sponge garden

-Steph M

Sound, Acoustics, & Architecture

23 11 2008

Learning the important role of sound and acoustics in the world of architecture was an interesting topic to say the least.  The many dimensions of architecture keep unveiling themselves to me and improving my overall understanding of the subject.  I often reflect on the massive impact music has not only on architecture and design but a mulititude of asoects in my life.  Music and sound is everywhere.  My sense of hearing is how I relate to and observe the world around me.  Sound evokes a response in me in many ways, wether it be for pleasure, sounds of warning, sound perceptions, cultural sounds, sounds for holidays, etc.  Most of the events in my life are associated with sounds that make them unique and distinguishable.

It is so interesting to see how the use of sound and music has evolved in so many ways depending on cultures and geographical locations.  Also how architecture has transformed to be able to provide different levels of auditory experiences for its audience.  An example is shown below to contrast the evolution of these acoustic architectural spaces.


-Vikki Drapeau