All you need to know about Building Enclosure Commissioning: Stevan Vinci on adding value with BECx

Building envelope testing. (Courtesy Stevan Vinci)

Building envelope testing. (Courtesy Stevan Vinci)

As Morrison Hershfield‘s Building Enclosure Commissioning Practice Lead, principal Stevan Vinci hears one question again and again: “The design team has an envelope consultant. What’s the point of having a BECx authority on project?”

More after the jump.

Ecological designers fashion a “fatberg” straight from London’s sewers

(Courtesy Thought Collider)

(Courtesy Thought Collider)

When Thames Water extracted a 15 ton “fatberg” from the depths of London’s sewers last year, a neat portmanteau jumped from public utility jargon into the general lexicon.

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To reduce their carbon footprint, four European cities introduce drastic traffic regulation plans

MADRID TRAFFIC. (DAVIDE ZANCHETTIN // FLICKR)

Traffic in Madrid. (Davide Zanchettin / Flickr)

Amidst the COP21 UN Climate Change Conference, numerous cities announced questionably large goals to reduce carbon emissions. However, Oslo, Stockholm, Amsterdam, and Madrid, have backed their goals with concrete plans for extreme traffic regulation, ranging from a car-free city center in Oslo to free public transportation in Madrid.

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Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter shares lessons learned through teaching architecture

Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter served as consultant on DoSu Studio Architecture's Bloom, M&A Gallery. Doris Sung, Principal; Matthew Melnyk, structural engineer. (Brandon Shigeta)

Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter served as consultant on DoSu Studio Architecture’s Bloom, M&A Gallery. Doris Sung, Principal; Matthew Melnyk, structural engineer. (Brandon Shigeta)

For Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, associate dean at Woodbury University School of Architecture, director of  WUHO Gallery, and co-founder of [WROAD], architectural practice and education are inextricably intertwined.

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Designer envisions a Miami Beach that embraces the rising sea

#beachlife at this year's Design Miami/Art Basel (Courtesy joeldanielsz / Instagram)

#beachlife at this year’s Design Miami/Art Basel (Courtesy joeldanielsz / Instagram)

This year’s Art Basel/Design Miami was a wash. The tallest stilettos could not save feet from floodwaters that inundated streets and forced partygoers under small tents. Even when it’s not raining, water bubbles up through stormwater grates and sewers, a result of the city’s porous limestone bedrock.

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Plan uses solar, algae to transform the Tijuana River into sustainable infrastructure

The plan transforms the concrete channel into a sustainable piece of urban infrastructure. (Courtesy GENERICA Architects)

The plan transforms the concrete channel into a sustainable piece of urban infrastructure. (Courtesy GENERICA Architects)

All the chatter may be around Frank Gehry and the Los Angeles River, but that waterway is not the only channelized river on the West Coast. More than 40 years ago a 10.5-mile long stretch of the Tijuana River was concretized as a flood control channel to make more development possible. If Gehry’s scheme is all about hydrology, a new proposal for the Tijuana River is about electricity.

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Koning Eizenberg blends old and new

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(Eric Staudenmaier)

(Eric Staudenmaier)

In 2006, the 28th St. YMCA was added to the City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments List, and in 2009 it was added to the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.

In 1926, just three years after becoming the first African-American member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Paul R. Williams designed a landmark YMCA building on 28th Street in Los Angeles. Nearly ninety years later, the building has been restored, and transformed, into a modern multi-family housing complex. Koning Eizenberg Architects (KEA) worked on the project for Jim Bonner, FAIA, architect and executive director of the nonprofit affordable housing organization Clifford Beers Housing. The architects restored the historic 52-unit building, reorganizing the layout into 24 studio apartments, and constructed a new 5-story, 25 studio apartment building next door.  The project features a perforated metal screen scrim wall, an integrated photovoltaic panel wall, restored historic stone work. and a shared roof deck that programmatically connects the historic building with it’s modern neighbor.
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Conference co-chairs preview Facades+ Los Angeles 2016

Facades+ returns to Los Angeles January 28-9. (Neil Kremer / Flickr)

Facades+ returns to Los Angeles January 28-9. (Neil Kremer / Flickr)

Facades+ Los Angeles co-chairs Kevin Kavanagh and Alexander Korter hope to shake things up when the acclaimed conference series returns to Southern California in January.

Continue reading after the jump.

Architects confront global warming at Columbia GSAPP’s Climate Change and the Scales of Environment

Dean Amale Andraos begins the conference (Columbia GSAPP / Instagram)

Dean Amale Andraos begins the conference (Columbia GSAPP / Instagram)

On Friday, December 4th—while hundreds of officials gathered in Paris for the COP21 UN climate change conference—scholars, historians, scientists, architects, and designers came to Columbia GSAPP’s Avery Hall for a similarly urgent conference, “Climate Change and the Scales of Environment.”

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Snøhetta’s “library without books” encourages social learning at Toronto’s Ryerson University

(Courtesy Snohetta)

(Courtesy Snohetta)

The newest building on Toronto’s Ryerson University campus, the Snøhetta-designed Student Learning Centre, is a new expression of a very old idea: the ancient Greek gathering spaces of Stoas and Agoras. These inherently social learning spaces provided inspiration for the building’s eight storey design, which features unique spaces to meet, study, and exchange ideas.

More after the jump.

Energy strategist Sangeetha Divakar on the role of digital techniques in facade design

OMA/LMN's Seattle Central Library. (Andrew Smith / Flickr)

OMA/LMN’s Seattle Central Library. (Andrew Smith / Flickr)

Digital techniques including parametrization play an increasingly important role in the work of many architects, engineers, and builders, especially those involved in the design and fabrication of high performance facades.

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MVRDV’s Flower Building in Shanghai is Complete

MVRDV'S FLOWER BUILDING COMPLETED. (COURTESY MVRDV)

MVRDV’S FLOWER BUILDING COMPLETED. (COURTESY MVRDV)

In 2013, Rotterdam-based MVRDV won the competition to design and masterplan the so-called Sustainable Business Park at Shanghai Hongqiao. With the firm’s design set to open in early 2016, the first and main structure of the masterplan, the Flower Building, is now complete.

More after the jump.

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