Categorie: architecture

High-rise (again): If it needs an elevator, don’t build it.

The discussion keeps coming back: high-rise buildings or not. Cities and towns can’t resist falling in love with high towers.that is, the project developers and politicians. Last year I had the opportunity to explain to a council committee in Utrecht and to a mixed political audience in Eindhoven what is…

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How long do buildings last? 75 year…? 500 year…?

How long do buildings last? There’s little scientifically sound to say on the matter, and there are hardly any studies that have fundamentally examined it. Like the question: when does a building lose its primary function as a dwelling when no maintenance is carried out? In other words, when is…

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‘transgressive ‘ projects: the architect 3/3

Last time I wrote about about project development, and how everything was optimized within project borders, but the effects outside the project boundaries were neglected. But between architect and client, it’s just the same, and even worse, as became evident once again when I attended a presentation about a new…

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A ‘ New Bauhaus’ ? Or Solar Decathlon ?

During my time as a professor I was regularly at odds with the Academy of Architecture’. I feel affiliated with ’the art of building’, but not with architecture or construction as art. That was more or less the reason for the quarrels. Not surprising, because in my guidance I start…

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The Bionological House

With vegetables, we’ve been doing it for years: most current vegetables never existed, in an autonomous evolutionary process. We as humans have slowly transformed them so that they grow the way we appreciate them, and want them on our plates. (Or the industry has adapted them the way we want…

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Double dilemma? discussions as Fellow

In recent years I was a Fellow of the Technical University of Eindhoven, more precisely working with the Building Physics department, in particular with Prof. Wim Zeiler, Installation Technology. And we had interesting discussions, because we strive for the same thing, while we come from different backgrounds. Those discussions can…

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On books: Tip 1: don’t buy Bill Gates’ book.

We are bombarded with books that know how to deal with climate and the environment, and especially how we can improve the situation. And yes, I am also participating in that, since last week I published a new book that offers tools for improvement, or rather: suggestions for adaptations to…

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Solar panels: ≤ 1m2 PV per m2 floor …

As we want to get rid of fossil fuels, we will at least have to develop everything now without fossil fuels. And in any case the operational energy. In the case of new buildings this leads to “0-energy buildings”, which generate as much renewable energy as required, locally, and thus…

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Urban heat islands, a growing problem

Urban heating, or at least the increase thereof, has been in the spotlight for some time. And the basic effects were known to me. But after hearing a lecture by Math Santamouris during a recent Conference, a whole new world opened up for me. He gave a good overview of…

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How (and why) to avoid high-rise buildings…

Architects love to be able to design and build an iconic tower. And a city counselor can leave his signature with it. Well, it happens that the world is urbanizing, and that we see a lot of high-rises in planning, framed as ’there is no other way’: we have to…

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