Different Shades of Green

I came across the carbon-emission maps at CoolClimate.org by accident yesterday, from a mention in Kate Wagner’s twitter feed. Ms. Wagner is best known for McMansion Hell, but has been branching out into other architectural and urbanism critique. The maps are fascinating for what they have to say about our assumptions and actually addressing carbon …

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Modeling and Understanding, Part 1

Like most people, engineers work best when we’re bouncing ideas off each other. I’m sure there are examples of great engineers who work in isolation, I just don’t know any of them. This rather banal observation is the introduction to a few posts* I’m going to write on the topic of how I use engineering …

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Semi-Hidden Damage

The photo above was taken in the stair of a school, between the cellar (the first level below grade) and the sub-cellar (the second level below grade). More accurately, the line representing the flood during Hurricane Sandy was 33 steps, or roughly 20 feet, below grade. Grade at this location (according to the topo map …

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Conflicting Goals

In the picture above, the older buildings mostly have brick or limestone-veneer facades, while the new buildings mostly have glass facades. That’s partly the result of changes in architectural styles over the course of the twentieth century, party the result of advances in glass technology, and partly the result of construction economics. What’s notably missing …

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