facade design materials1

facade design materials1

1. Masonry veneer

For its performance and durability, brick is hard to beat as a material in Indiana. Although many view brick as an expected solution to their façade, we compare it with other materials on nearly every project for costs, performance, and aesthetics. Brick usually wins the contest because of its durability, flexibility, and familiarity. Our standard walltype consists of a brick veneer, air gap, 3” rigid insulation, and backup wall. This construction may sound simple, because it is, but it offers a competitive price point to other wall systems, good durability, and good insulation, as well as a common aesthetic rooted in the Midwest. There are options, as with any material, for brick sizes, colors, texture, and more. Other masonry types such as stone and CMU can be used instead of or with brick as well. Masonry is simply the most common façade type we utilize in our projects.


2. Metal Wall Panels

Metal panels may be an appropriate choice for a building skin – depending on the Owner, type of project, and budget. These wall systems often come to mind when picturing a modern, sleek, building aesthetic. Metal panels offer a wide variety of options to achieve the look desired and performance. However, this material is often a more expensive option than other materials and can affect a project’s schedule. Field verification and production of the panels can have a major impact on a project schedule and enclosing the building. Working with manufacturer’s standard panel sizes is important to keep costs down.

Insulated metal wall panels can provide a higher R-value than typical wall construction with encapsulated insulation. Depending on the system and the backup wall construction, supplemental framing may be required to support the façade. Although some manufactures indicate additional sheathing is not required, it is recommended to include the sheathing on your project to allow the building to be enclosed and not delay interior finishes from being installed.

modular design

Modular design

Modular design, or modularity in design, is a design principle that subdivides a system into smaller parts called modules (such as modular process skids), which can be independently created, modified, replaced, or exchanged with other modules or between different systems.

A modular design can be characterized by functional partitioning into discrete scalable and reusable modules, rigorous use of well-defined modular interfaces, and making use of industry standards for interfaces. In this context modularity is at the component level, and has a single dimension, component slottability. A modular system with this limited modularity is generally known as a platform system that uses modular components. Examples are car platforms or the USB port in computer engineering platforms.

In design theory this is distinct from a modular system which has higher dimensional modularity and degrees of freedom. A modular system design has no distinct lifetime and exhibits flexibility in at least three dimensions. In this respect modular systems are very rare in markets. Mero architectural systems are the closest example to a modular system in terms of hard products in markets. Weapons platforms, especially in aerospace, tend to be modular systems, wherein the airframe is designed to be upgraded multiple times during its lifetime, without the purchase of a completely new system. Modularity is best defined by the dimensions effected or the degrees of freedom in form, cost, or operation.

Modularity offers benefits such as reduction in cost (customization can be limited to a portion of the system, rather than needing an overhaul of the entire system), interoperability, shorter learning time, flexibility in design, non-generationally constrained augmentation or updating (adding new solution by merely plugging in a new module), and exclusion. Modularity in platform systems, offer benefits in returning margins to scale, reduced product development cost, reduced O&M costs, and time to market. Platform systems have enabled the wide use of system design in markets and the ability for product companies to separate the rate of the product cycle from the R&D paths. The biggest drawback with modular systems is the designer or engineer. Most designers are poorly trained in systems analysis and most engineers are poorly trained in design. The design complexity of a modular system is significantly higher than a platform system and requires experts in design and product strategy during the conception phase of system development. That phase must anticipate the directions and levels of flexibility necessary in the system to deliver the modular benefits. Modular systems could be viewed as more complete or holistic design whereas platforms systems are more reductionist, limiting modularity to components. Complete or holistic modular design requires a much higher level of design skill and sophistication than the more common platform system.

Cars, computers, process systems, solar panels, wind turbines, elevators, furniture, looms, railroad signaling systems, telephone exchanges, pipe organs, synthesizers, electric power distribution systems and modular buildings are examples of platform systems using various levels of component modularity. For example, one cannot assemble a solar cube from extant solar components or easily replace the engine on a truck or rearrange a modular housing unit into a different configuration after a few years, as would be the case in a modular system. The only extant examples of modular systems in today’s market are some software systems that have shifted away from versioning into a completely networked paradigm.

Modular design inherently combines the mass production advantages of standardization, since modularity is impossible without some level of standardization, (high volume normally equals low manufacturing costs) with those of customization. The degree of modularity, dimensionally, determines the degree of customization possible. For example, solar panel systems have 2-dimensional modularity which allows adjustment of an array in the x and y dimensions. Further dimensions of modularity would be introduced by making the panel itself and its auxiliary systems modular. Dimensions in modular systems are defined as the effected parameter such as shape or cost or lifecycle. Mero systems have 4-dimensional modularity, x, y, z, and structural load capacity. As can be seen in any modern convention space, the space frame’s extra two dimensions of modularity allows far greater flexibility in form and function than solar’s 2-d modularity. If modularity is properly defined and conceived in the design strategy, modular systems can create significant competitive advantage in markets. A true modular system does not need to rely on product cycles to adapt its functionality to the current market state. Properly designed modular systems also introduce the economic advantage of not carrying dead capacity, increasing the capacity utilization rate and its effect on cost and pricing flexibility.

What Is An Ideogram?

What Is An Ideogram?

An ideogram or ideograph (from Greek ἰδέα idéa “idea” and γράφω gráphō “to write”) is a graphic symbol that represents an idea or concept, independent of any particular language, and specific words or phrases. Some ideograms are comprehensible only by familiarity with prior convention; others convey their meaning through pictorial resemblance to a physical object, and thus may also be referred to as pictograms.

In proto-writing, used for inventories and the like, physical objects are represented by stylized or conventionalized pictures, or pictograms. For example, the pictorial Dongba symbols without Geba annotation cannot represent the Naxi language, but are used as a mnemonic for reciting oral literature.[1] Some systems also use ideograms, symbols denoting abstract concepts.

The term “ideogram” is often used to describe symbols of writing systems such as Egyptian hieroglyphs, Sumerian cuneiform and Chinese characters. However, these symbols represent elements of a particular language, mostly words or morphemes (so that they are logograms), rather than objects or concepts. In these writing systems, a variety of strategies were employed in the design of logographic symbols. Pictographic symbols depict the object referred to by the word, such as an icon of a bull denoting the Semitic word ʾālep “ox”. Some words denoting abstract concepts may be represented iconically, but most other words are represented using the rebus principle, borrowing a symbol for a similarly-sounding word. Later systems used selected symbols to represent the sounds of the language, for example the adaptation of the logogram for ʾālep “ox” as the letter aleph representing the initial sound of the word, a glottal stop.

Many signs in hieroglyphic as well as in cuneiform writing could be used either logographically or phonetically. For example, the Akkadian sign DIĜIR could represent the god An, the word diĝir ‘deity’ or the word an ‘sky’. The Akkadian counterpart Assyrian cuneiform U1202D MesZL 10.svg could represent the Akkadian stem il- ‘deity’, the Akkadian word šamu ‘sky’, or the syllable an.

Although Chinese characters are logograms, two of the smaller classes in the traditional classification are ideographic in origin:

Simple ideographs ( zhi shizi) are abstract symbols such as shàng “up” and 下 xià “down” or numerals such as 三 sān “three”.
Semantic compounds (会意字 huìyìzì) are semantic combinations of characters, such as 明 míng “bright”, composed of 日 rì “sun” and 月 yuè “moon”, or 休 xiū “rest”, composed of 人 rén “person” and 木 mù “tree”. In the light of the modern understanding of Old Chinese phonology, researchers now believe that most of the characters originally classified as semantic compounds have an at least partially phonetic nature.[2]
An example of ideograms is the collection of 50 signs developed in the 1970s by the American Institute of Graphic Arts at the request of the US Department of Transportation.[3] The system was initially used to mark airports and gradually became more widespread.

Vernacular architecture

Vernacular architecture

Vernacular architecture is architecture characterised by the use of local materials and knowledge, usually without the supervision of professional architects. Vernacular architecture represents the majority of buildings and settlements created in pre-industrial societies and includes a very wide range of buildings, building traditions, and methods of construction. Vernacular buildings are typically simple and practical, whether residential houses or built for other purposes.

Although it encompassed 95% of the world’s built environment in 1969, vernacular architecture tends to be overlooked in traditional histories of design. It is not one specific style, so it cannot be distilled into a series of easy-to-digest patterns, materials, or elements. Because of the usage of traditional building methods and local builders, vernacular buildings are considered part of a regional culture.

Vernacular architecture can be contrasted against elite or polite architecture, which is characterized by stylistic elements of design intentionally incorporated for aesthetic purposes which go beyond a building’s functional requirements. This article also covers the term traditional architecture, which exists somewhere between the two extremes yet still is based upon authentic themes.

Green space

Green space

Green space (or greenspace) is an area of vegetated land (grass, trees, shrubs, etc.) within an urban context, i.e. the countryside is generally not considered to be greenspace.

The SuDS Manual published by CIRIA in 2015 suggests that a green space is: ‘An area of grass, trees or other vegetation set apart for recreational or aesthetic purposes in an otherwise urban environment.’

The HS2 London-West Midlands Environmental Statement, published by the Department for Transport in November 2013 suggests that green spaces are areas of natural or semi-natural land. For example parks, gardens and woodlands.

Typical examples of green space include:

Community gardens.
Common land.
Green roofs.
Playing fields.

Green corridors such as paths, disused railway lines, rivers, canals and so on. Derelict or abandoned land that has been redeveloped into useable green space.Green spaces play an important role in an urban ‘ecosystem’, providing a place for physical activity, relaxation, social interaction, community events, and so on. In high-density urban areas, or areas with a high concentration of traffic, green spaces can provide a place that is relatively free from air and noise pollution.

Access to green spaces is considered important for mental health and wellbeing. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has highlighted analysis suggesting that physical activity in a natural environment can help alleviate mild depression and reduce physiological stress indicators.

Green spaces, particularly those with water features, can also play a critical role in cooling cities, particularly mitigating the urban heat island effect (UHI), which is primarily caused by the replacement of natural surfaces with hard impervious surfaces that are generally dark and absorb large amounts of solar radiation. This has a significant impact on thermal comfort in city environments.

Landscape urbanism is the theory of urban planning through the medium of landscape. It promotes the general idea that cities are best planned and organised, not through building and infrastructure design, but through the design of landscape.

NB The green belt establishes a buffer zone between urban and rural land, separating town and country and preserving land for forestry, agriculture and wildlife where environmental conditions can be improved and conservation encouraged.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was an American architect, designer, writer, and educator. He designed more than 1,000 structures over a creative period of 70 years. Wright believed in designing in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. This philosophy was best exemplified by Fallingwater (1935), which has been called “the best all-time work of American architecture.” As a founder of organic architecture, Wright played a key role in the architectural movements of the twentieth century, influencing three generations of architects worldwide through his works.

Wright was the pioneer of what came to be called the Prairie School movement of architecture, and he also developed the concept of the Usonian home in Broadacre City, his unique vision for urban planning in the United States. In addition to his houses, Wright designed original and innovative offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, museums, and other structures. He often designed interior elements for these buildings, as well, including furniture and stained glass. Wright wrote 20 books and many articles and was a popular lecturer in the United States and in Europe. He was recognized in 1991 by the American Institute of Architects as “the greatest American architect of all time.” In 2019, a selection of his work became a listed World Heritage Site as The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Raised in rural Wisconsin, Wright studied civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin and then apprenticed in Chicago with noted architects Joseph Lyman Silsbee and Louis Sullivan. He opened his own successful Chicago practice in 1893, and developed an influential home and studio in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1898. His colorful personal life made headlines: leaving his first wife, Catherine Tobin for Mamah Cheney in 1909, the murders at his Taliesin estate by a staff member in 1914, his tempestuous marriage with second wife Miriam Noel in 1923, and his relationship with Olgivanna Lazović, whom he married in 1928.

The Role Of Furniture In Interior Design

The Role Of Furniture In Interior Design

Furniture plays a crucial role in interior designing. Original, innovative, interior design requires stylish furniture. Interior designers who want to create their own unique style in a particular room use furniture in diverse ways. Some of the most creative yet functional interior designs are defined by the way furniture is positioned throughout the room. Often, other items in the room use the furniture as a focal point around which they are placed to create a designer’s signature look. In that sense, furniture can be considered on of the main tools of an interior designer.

It Creates A Formalized Structure

Many of the top interior designers use furniture to give the open spaces in a room a formalized structure. The right combination of pieces of furniture give rooms a balanced look and feel. It makes even the intentionally unused spaces look more beautiful and can help to create an airy, yet well put together feeling in any room. With attractive, cutting-edge pieces of furniture providing a foundation, interior designers can let their imagination run a mock, yet still put together rooms that are functionally appropriate. Furniture is basically the bones of any room’s design.

What Is a Facade In Architecture?

What Is a Facade In Architecture?

When we look at different kinds of buildings, we may have very different reactions to them. Some are tall and imposing, with massive arched doorways and towering spires. Others are welcoming, perhaps with a large porch or wide windows. How these building entrances look is no accident. Someone designed them with a lot of attention to their front facade.

A facade is the exterior wall or face of a building, and it usually involves design elements like deliberate placement of windows or doors. Depending on architectural style, these elements have a certain order to them. While the word ”facade” can signify any external wall of a building with a design element, it often refers to the front wall with an entrance. Often, the front facade has more elaborate or special architectural treatment than the rest of the structure. A facade can be imposing, decorative, or rather simple.

Facade Designs

When an architect designs a facade, they consider many elements. What will the entrance look like? What type of building material, like stone, wood frame, or brick, will be used? They must also consider fenestration, or the placement and proportions of windows.

Throughout history, architectural styles have changed, and they continue to change today. Architects from different periods have preferred very different styles of facades. Let’s look at three examples.

Gothic Facade
Beginning in the twelfth century, when Gothic architecture was prominent, facades of buildings were massive and imposing. The western facade of the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris features multiple levels of windows and two tall towers. People enter the church through three massive arched entrance doors. As they look up, they see a large rose window, a circular form of a stained glass window. Every element of Notre Dame’s facade was purposefully placed, and as a whole it conveys a powerful statement about the role of the Church in society during that time.

Greek Revival Facade
Our next example is a facade from residential architecture built in the Greek Revival style and popular in the United States during the nineteenth century. Greek Revival recalled ancient Greek architecture and stressed order, proportion, and symmetry, which is where two sides of something are balanced and equal.

facade of Greek Revival house
In the example of this house built in upstate New York in 1847, we can see a central columned porch, each side supported by two columns of equal size and decoration. The porch leads you to the entrance door. Flanking the porch are windows with rectangular shutters, and the window placement on the first and second floor balances with the whole. It gives the building a stately appearance while maintaining simplicity.

Modern Building Facades
Today, architects have many options. They may build something that reflects past styles or create something bold and new. All over the world, contemporary architects have designed striking facades with wild textures, bold color, and extreme asymmetry. Some large modern buildings have facade systems, constructed pieces that provide decoration and environmental advantages (like better energy conservation). They have metal or glass suspended or attached to a building’s face like a skin.

The front facade of HARPA, a large concert hall and cultural center in Reykjavik, Iceland, is a good example of contemporary architecture. It’s asymmetrical with long perpendicular forms and a glass-faceted skin that changes in appearance as the sun shifts during the day. It’s a dynamic facade for a dynamic building.

These are just three examples of facades. The next time you’re traveling, look at the building facades around you. How are they organized and what message do they send about the building on which they’re located?

Lesson Summary
A facade in architecture is an exterior wall of a building, usually one with doors or windows. Often the word refers to a structure’s front wall with an entrance. The front facade tends to be more imposing or decorative. Elements to consider when looking at facades include fenestration, or the placement and proportion of windows.

Facades have changed through time. In Gothic architecture, they featured elements meant to be imposing, like massive arched doorways and rose windows, which are a circular form of a stained glass window. In later Greek Revival architecture, facades recalled ancient Greek architecture and stressed order, proportion, as well as being influenced by symmetry, the idea that all design elements were balanced and equal. Contemporary architecture features some wild and bold facades. Some use facade systems, or constructed segments that attach to a building’s external face like a skin.

What is a smart home?

What is a smart home?

The term ‘smart home’ is used to describe a house that contains a communication network that connects different appliances and allows them to be remotely controlled, monitored and accessed, according to the Department of Trade and Industry.

Smart devices connect to the internet and many have smartphone apps allowing you to access and control them remotely over wi-fi.

It’s becoming easier to connect an entire home too. Broadband is faster, more reliable and more affordable than ever before. The improved signal range of Wi-Fi routers means that a single router can offer wireless coverage across more rooms in our homes, allowing more devices to be connected.

What’s more, low-priced networking equipment has made it cheaper to extend home networks into rooms that were difficult to cover using just a single Wi-Fi router. Even previously difficult properties, such as older homes with thick walls, can now benefit from a home network that covers the entire property.

What can a smart home do?

Using the technology within the house, you can control and see what is going on in your home, even when you’re not there using a smartphone, tablet or sometimes computer. For instance, if you’ve just got a couple of brand new puppies and want to ensure they’re behaving themselves, you can install a home camera that allows you to check in on your pets whenever you want

There is also the potential to make a big difference in the cost of your utility bills, as now there’s no need to burn money by forgetting to turn the heating off when you leave for work. By monitoring your heating, water and electricity, there’s far less chance of a large bill sneaking up on you.

Smart homes can also protect the most vulnerable in society. Some devices can trigger an alert if an elderly person fails to take their pills, falls over or is behaving outside their normal routine. The University of Surrey has created ‘living labs’ to test how this technology would help people with dementia.

Bauhaus Architecture School

Bauhaus Architecture School

The Staatliches Bauhaus commonly known as the Bauhaus (German: “building house”), was a German art school operational from 1919 to 1933 that combined crafts and the fine arts. The school became famous for its approach to design, which attempted to unify the principles of mass production with individual artistic vision and strove to combine aesthetics with everyday function.

The Bauhaus was founded by architect Walter Gropius in Weimar. It was grounded in the idea of creating a Gesamtkunstwerk (comprehensive artwork) in which all the arts would eventually be brought together. The Bauhaus style later became one of the most influential currents in modern design, modernist architecture and art, design, and architectural education. The Bauhaus movement had a profound influence upon subsequent developments in art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography. Staff at the Bauhaus included prominent artists such as Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, and László Moholy-Nagy at various points.

Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius (1883–1969)

The school existed in three German cities—Weimar, from 1919 to 1925; Dessau, from 1925 to 1932; and Berlin, from 1932 to 1933—under three different architect-directors: Walter Gropius from 1919 to 1928; Hannes Meyer from 1928 to 1930; and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe from 1930 until 1933, when the school was closed by its own leadership under pressure from the Nazi regime, having been painted as a centre of communist intellectualism. Although the school was closed, the staff continued to spread its idealistic precepts as they left Germany and emigrated all over the world.

The changes of venue and leadership resulted in a constant shifting of focus, technique, instructors, and politics. For example, the pottery shop was discontinued when the school moved from Weimar to Dessau, even though it had been an important revenue source; when Mies van der Rohe took over the school in 1930, he transformed it into a private school and would not allow any supporters of Hannes Meyer to attend it.