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Why Circadian-Effective Electric Lighting Matters

August 11, 2022 Eduardo Souza 0

“Counting sheep” is a well-known mental exercise that people use when trying to fall asleep. It is thought to have been popularized by Miguel de Cervantes in Don Quixote, who is said to have been inspired by a twelfth-century Spanish tale. Whatever its origin, it is curious to think that falling asleep has been a problem for so long, even long before the invention of electric light or social networks on smartphones. In the early 2000s, the University of Oxford developed a study to prove the effectiveness of this sheep-related method. The conclusion: this tactic does not work.

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Construction Materials that Increase Resilience to Natural Disasters

August 11, 2022 Eduardo Souza 0

Eucalyptus forests in Australia are known to burn periodically. It is the trees’ way of ensuring propagation, as its fruits – known as gumnuts – have an insulating layer breaks down with the heat of the fire. Once they open, the burnt soil is covered with seeds, initiating a process of forest renewal. Glenn Murcutt, an Australian architect, has created a body of work rooted in the country’s landscape. His innovative houses embrace the possibility of frequent fires, including elements that allow for fire control with the least possible loss. In short, the houses are built with very non-flammable materials, always have huge water reservoirs, and a “flood system” that allows the building and its immediate surroundings to be spared in the case of a forest fire.

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Concrete Jungles: 6 Cement Alternatives that can Reduce its Impact in Cities

July 26, 2022 Eduardo Souza 0

The expression “a perfect storm” refers to an event (typically an unfortunate one) which is exacerbated due to a confluence of negative or unpredictable factors. It is widely used when describing meteorological phenomena, but can also be applied to other contexts, such as the economy. The analogy can also be used to describe the relationship between the climate crisis and the world’s dependence on concrete. As demonstrated in the Chatham House report, while cement (an essential element for concrete manufacturing) is extremely detrimental to the greenhouse effect and climate crisis –representing about 8% of global CO2 emissions–, its global production is nevertheless expected to increase over the next 30 years. It is said that this increase will stem from the demand for rapid urbanization in regions such as Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, the last IPCC report warned that we only have 11 years to reduce emissions and prevent irreversible damage due to climate change. In other words, the cement industry is facing a significant expansion at a time when emissions need to fall rapidly – a perfect storm.

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Concrete Jungles: 6 Cement Alternatives that can Reduce its Impact in Cities

July 26, 2022 Eduardo Souza 0

The expression “a perfect storm” refers to an event (typically an unfortunate one) which is exacerbated due to a confluence of negative or unpredictable factors. It is widely used when describing meteorological phenomena, but can also be applied to other contexts, such as the economy. The analogy can also be used to describe the relationship between the climate crisis and the world’s dependence on concrete. As demonstrated in the Chatham House report, while cement (an essential element for concrete manufacturing) is extremely detrimental to the greenhouse effect and climate crisis –representing about 8% of global CO2 emissions–, its global production is nevertheless expected to increase over the next 30 years. It is said that this increase will stem from the demand for rapid urbanization in regions such as Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, the last IPCC report warned that we only have 11 years to reduce emissions and prevent irreversible damage due to climate change. In other words, the cement industry is facing a significant expansion at a time when emissions need to fall rapidly – a perfect storm.

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Concrete Jungles: 6 Cement Alternatives that can Reduce its Impact in Cities

July 26, 2022 Eduardo Souza 0

The expression “a perfect storm” refers to an event (typically an unfortunate one) which is exacerbated due to a confluence of negative or unpredictable factors. It is widely used when describing meteorological phenomena, but can also be applied to other contexts, such as the economy. The analogy can also be used to describe the relationship between the climate crisis and the world’s dependence on concrete. As demonstrated in the Chatham House report, while cement (an essential element for concrete manufacturing) is extremely detrimental to the greenhouse effect and climate crisis –representing about 8% of global CO2 emissions–, its global production is nevertheless expected to increase over the next 30 years. It is said that this increase will stem from the demand for rapid urbanization in regions such as Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, the last IPCC report warned that we only have 11 years to reduce emissions and prevent irreversible damage due to climate change. In other words, the cement industry is facing a significant expansion at a time when emissions need to fall rapidly – a perfect storm.

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Feeling the Breeze: Comparing Coverage Options for Outdoor Environments

July 25, 2022 Eduardo Souza 0

The primary function of architecture, and possibly the most important and basic, is to protect against the weather. Whereas our ancestors would stack tree trunks and animal skins to create rudimentary shelters against the sun and rain, the emergence of architecture took on impressive proportions, creating temples and captivating spaces that fulfill many other functions. The purpose of sheltering people from the outdoors, however, remains an important one and can turn an outdoor area into a functional and engaging space. With all the innovations that currently exist, there are also numerous improvements emerging for their mechanisms and functions.

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Meet the Winners of Saint-Gobain’s “Architecture Student Contest”

July 20, 2022 Eduardo Souza 0

The 17th edition of the “Architecture Student Contest” has come to an end, with the participation of over 220 universities from 32 countries. This year, the challenge was to transform a district located in Warsaw, Poland in order to revitalize an area located next to Warszawa Wschodnia (Warsaw East). The contest involved the design of a new student residence and housing, as well as a meeting and entertainment center in an old factory building that is classified as a historical heritage site. With the requirement of addressing the space’s performance as well as its architectural, environmental and social aspects, the contestants were tasked with a project that positively impacts its users and the planet, with low carbon emissions throughout its life cycle.

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Using Wallpapers to Completely Transform Interiors

July 19, 2022 Eduardo Souza 0

Wallpapers can be quite controversial. They can be typical of old-fashioned and antiquated homes, but at the same time, they can also add personality to otherwise dull spaces. One of the best parts of using these elements is that they can be quickly installed, and with relatively low costs. This also means that they aren’t very long-lasting, and can therefore be quickly discarded and replaced, making them transient decoration items. As Joanna Banham—a researcher on wallpapers—states, “Wallpaper is often regarded as the Cinderella of the Decorative Arts – the most ephemeral and least precious of the decorations produced for the home. Yet, the history of wallpaper is a long and fascinating subject that dates back to the 16th century and encompasses a huge range of beautiful patterns created both by anonymous hands and by some of the best-known designers of the 19th and 20th centuries.” Today we are seeing another wallpaper resurgence, with numerous options of materials, patterns, and colors, and several examples of architects who have used them creatively in their projects. In this article, we go through the history of wallpapers and some of the current alternatives on the market, by diving into the Architonic catalog.

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What Is the Environmental Impact of Each Building Material?

July 7, 2022 Eduardo Souza 0

Food pyramids are familiar to all of us. They are visual guides that show us the proportions of foods that we should supposedly eat on a daily basis, in order to stay healthy. Composed of a series of layers with different food types–such as grains, flour, fats, vegetables, and others–, at the base are the foods that should be consumed in larger quantities. Towards the top, each layer becomes successively smaller, indicating the foods that are meant to be ingested rarely. The pyramid can vary according to countries and cultures, but its main purpose is always to provide a guide for a balanced life. There are no prohibitions, but it does indicate some foods that should be consumed with caution because of their impacts on our health.