Historic Structural Detail 3, Sort Of

Construction projects are full of changes and this was just as true in the past as it is now. In particular, where different trades’ and/or different designers’ work meets, there is a good chance that the as-built condition to not look like the drawings. Recently we’ve been looking at cornice supports at the building where …

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The Center For An Urban Future has released an interesting report on the importance of design services to the New York City economy. Some of their stats are a little weak (they compare the total people employed in design and total number of firms in NYC, LA, Chicago and other cities, where per-capita numbers would be more …

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Design Intent Versus Common Sense

An engineering or architectural design has many components, one of which is intent. The designer has a goal in mind – which may not be obvious to someone looking at the design drawings or the completed construction – and that goal influences design decisions from beginning to end. There are occasions when the intent is …

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Under-appreciated Inefficiency

Efficiency is ordinarily a goal in any technological undertaking. We want our vehicles to be energy-efficient, our computers to be time-efficient, and our building designs to be simply “efficient.” But what does efficiency actually mean? Any design is a response to multiple criteria including the physical properties of materials, code requirements, costs, clients’ stated desires, …

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