Robin Guenther kicks of the Living Product Expo with a compelling talk about the building materials economy and the ease with which it is possible to ignore the cascading negative human and planetary health consequences.
What kind of impacts do the materials we put into our built environments have on us? Every day, we’re discovering new answers to this question. The fact is, all across their lifecycles, the products used to build, furnish, decorate, and even clean our spaces have ripple effects on our health, wellbeing, and environmental footprint. The more informed we can be about the materials we’re using, the better—and safer—our built environments will be.
Perkins+Will is built upon the idea of interdisciplinary work informed by research. How can we as designers, researchers, architects, strategists, and planners converge with epidemiologists, biologists, exposure scientists, environmentalists, and toxicologists to uncover opportunities for discovery, research, and ultimately solutions?
As I learned of the health implications and realized my role in specifying these chemicals into projects I was trying to make healthier, I searched for ways to avoid using them.
There are tradeoffs to everything; there is no perfect material. Using fly ash as recycled content in concrete solves one problem (how to dispose of a hazardous industrial by-product), but is it perpetuating the justification of burning coal as a fuel source?
A compilation of data on substances in the built environment that may cause or aggravate asthma, a disease of high and increasing prevalence and major economic importance. This is a valuable resource for identifying asthma triggers and asthmagens, minimizing their use in building materials and furnishings, and contributing to our larger goals of fostering healthier built environments.
PVC is unique within the broad spectrum of plastics because it is a chlorinated plastic. Its chlorinated chemistry is responsible for a range of environmental and human health hazards.
Many flame retardants are persistent, bioaccumulative, and/or toxic, and the building products that incorporate them can be avoided in many cases.
We recently spent a week at Boston BUILD Space building a complex curvature Nail Laminated Timber (NLT) structural panel; a proof of concept prototype for a landmark project we are designing in Vancouver, and is slated for construction in spring 2017.
Mass timber high-rise construction is gaining momentum in the United States. Developers are finding that along with its beautiful aesthetic and sustainable appeal, mass timber is a cost competitive and schedule-advantaged structural material. Using the mass timber and concrete designs presented by Timmers et al in the report Mass Timber High-Rise Design Research: Museum Tower... Read more »
This study demonstrates a design of a code-compliant, highrise mass timber apartment tower in Los Angeles. Using the existing reinforced concrete Museum Tower Apartment building in downtown Los Angeles as a basis, the study demonstrates architectural, structural and fire performance improvements and trade-offs of the mass timber design compared to the reinforced concrete design. The... Read more »