Solar Architecture

imagenA curious multi-faceted timber box fitted with solar panels located on the quay at Marina will be in place for the next 12 months. A collaboration between the IAAC (Institute for advanced architecture of Catalonia) together with Endesa the installation is an experimental pavilion constructed under the framework of the Smart City BCN International Congress.


Alternative energy has not quite taken off in the way that perhaps twenty of thirty years ago we might have imagined despite the increase in the price of fossil fuels as well as the complex politics surrounding their extraction and exploitation. Collectively we know as a society that sooner or later new solutions are going to have to be found, and indeed many interesting projects are beginning to be developed such as the Plataforma Solúcar, in Seville Abengoa (see B-Guided #35, Spring 2008).


The ENDESA pavilion marks another step forward in this regard, open to the public during the course of one year it will be monitored and used for research purposes for the intelligent management of energy. The design is generated by its orientation with respect to the solar path, the approach is both intuitive and low-tech. A terrace opens towards the south, while the northern facing facades are hermetically closed ensuring less heat loss. The deep folds and canopies of the timber skin create both a sculpted and practical shading device.


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by  b-guided>

Hummingbird ‘Grinds Bridge Construction to a Halt’

Richmond-San-Rafael-BridgeA tiny unborn hummingbird is getting in the way of a big bridge project near San Francisco.


The discovery of a nest and egg in a tree is stalling a $US70 million ($A92 million) upgrade to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge about 50 km north of San Francisco, officials said on Tuesday.


The species, Anna's Hummingbird, is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act that forbids the removal of the egg.


The nest - about half the size of a fist - was discovered in a tree set to be removed about a week ago.


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by Ahn Jae Wook | SOURCEABLE

What You Need to Know About Managing Legionella Risk

legionellaBack in June 2013, the human cost associated with legionella was on full display when 60-year-old cancer patient John Pearson died after contracting the disease at the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane.


The disease is an infection of the lungs caused by legionella bacteria which are found most commonly in water and soil and can be present in water cooling systems in cooling towers as well as water in other settings such as whirlpool spas, plumbing and shower heads.


Unfortunately, that outbreak was not the only time the disease has raised its head. In Brisbane, for example, a patient tested positive in the Mater Private Hospital in January 2016. In Sydney, 15 people contracted the pneumonia-like condition after visiting the CBD during two separate outbreaks in March and May. One man in his 80s died from the infection.


In response, authorities in New South Wales are reviewing regulation in this area. A discussion paper published in December proposed that building occupiers be required to maintain risk management plans in respect of cooling towers, conduct annual audits of water cooling systems and send evidence of compliance with risk management plans in to local government. The paper also recommended building occupiers notify the local council about legionella bacteria readings of 1000 cfu/mL or above or readings of HPC levels of 5,000,000 cfu/mL or above. The paper proposes that testing of water cooling systems for legionella and heterotrophic plate count (HPC) would be required monthly.


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by Andrew Heaton | SOURCEABLE

Sustainability with Modern Masonry Products

masonryIn recent years, multiple factors have converged to create increasing demand for green and sustainable buildings. Stricter building codes, along with LEED and other building performance systems, have boosted the call for more extensive engineering in wall systems.


Manufacturers have responded with a flurry of new products that combine distinct elements such as masonry systems and structural framing. Structural masonry and esthetic masonry have also been blended in some systems. These advances in wall systems have resulted in buildings with improved energy efficiency, structural integrity, and cost effectiveness, while also maintaining the desired appearance.


The systems approach supports the adoption of LEED, Green Star, BREEAM, and other building performance rating systems, enabling architects and specifiers to identify green building products that are backed by a reputable manufacturer, and that help projects stay on spec and budget.


Contractors and masons can more easily specify materials that save installation time, minimise callbacks, and meet some green objectives. Systems also support the needs of developers and building owners, who value LEED certification as a competitive advantage. Building owners and developers also strive to decrease expenses and increase property revenues by using durable, high-quality, and user-friendly materials.


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by Steve Hansen | SOURCEABLE

Berijiklian Wants Infrastructure Everywhere and More Affordable Housing

Gladys-Berijiklian-1Infrastructure and housing affordability have emerged as the leading priorities for New South Wales as the lady has overseen the commencement of a massive range of transport projects is elected as the state’s new Premier.


In a party room meeting, the NSW Liberal Party elected Gladys Berijiklian as its new leader to replace Mike Baird, who resigned last week.


Berijiklian is widely respected within the property and infrastructure sector after she oversaw the commencement of a massive program of public transport investment during her four years as Transport Minister from 2011 to 2015.


This includes the extension of the Sydney Light Rail Dulwich Line and the commencement of the multi-billion-dollar North West Rail Link.


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by Ahn Jae Wook | SOURCEABLE