Harvesting wind energy within urban environments remains a frustrating task. Wind tunnels created by increasingly prevalent tall buildings throw air currents in multi-directional gusts, rendering most conventional turbines relatively useless as they can only capture wind flows moving in a single direction. In pursuit of establishing an efficient tool for harvesting wind energy within cities,
In Cambridge, England, Marks Barfield Architects (MBA) is erecting a timber-structured mosque inspired by geometric design and landscaping found throughout the Islamic world. The Cambridge Mosque Project, founded by Dr. Timothy Winter in 2008, purchased the one-acre site in 2009. Allées of cypress and linden trees ring the mosque, which occupies a symmetrical 27-feet-by-27-feet grid. The
Chiara Vailati, a doctoral student at ETH Zurich’s Institute for Building Materials, has developed an adaptive shading system that functions without sensors or motors. The shading system is composed of multiple pairs of parallel wooden planks which open and close autonomously. The system can be installed as a type of pergola, or horizontally across a
Hot off of a flamethrower fundraising sale for Elon Musk’s side project, the Hyperloop tunnel digging The Boring Company, Musk has announced that the muck, rock, and detritus produced by the company’s tunneling would be turned into usable bricks. The first announcement from Musk came on March 26, when he tweeted that the rock mined from the company’s California test tunnels would be
Cove.tool is an energy vs. cost optimization software for the AEC industry. It offers users the ability to simulate the material performance of a building in its context by assessing energy against cost over a given period of time. It empowers architects, engineers, contractors, and owners to make better decisions about building by presenting cost
In a 2016 broadcast of NPR’s Fresh Air, author and cultural anthropologist Gretchen Bakke characterized America’s energy grid as “increasingly unstable, underfunded, and incapable of taking us to a new energy future.” Nevertheless, the steady march toward progress continues, and the threat of obsolescence is driving many cities, urban planners, developers, and businesses to invest in the
In my last column I explored the potential impacts of next-generation technology—particularly machine intelligence (also known as artificial intelligence or AI) and crowd-sourced knowledge—on the hegemony of professionalism for architects.