Tag Archives: detail

It’s not just Solar power

Colector SolarIt’s not just Solar power now, there are many types of solar power collectors, all making use of the suns free energy, and as time goes on, we see leaps and bounds in product innovation, helped so much by the battery storage innovations we see from Tesla.

So is it just solar panels, hell no, there are at least a dozen different methods, this article on Wiki, is probably the best I have seen so far, and is well worth the time to read, and follow up on the links and references.

I particularly like the way steam power is making a come back, all be it in a very different form, and the way the suns power is being collected and amplified by mirrors.and lenses, known as Concentrated solar power.

So far this is large scale but it should not be long before simple domestic models are available or at least local communes of houses, each sharing a small collector array.

There are problems the further north or south of the equator, the less sun and more cloud, so no power, but watch and see, battery technology, and increased equipment efficiency, with better building design could over come this. Oh and taking the human out of the control loop for heating, and letting the house run things.

Levi Stadium App

Levi StadiumThe two Scoble Videos he posted onto Facebook, Part 1 and Part 2, are the Levi Stadium Apps and back ground infrastructure, are must view videos on the way apps are going, but most importantly, they show the real need for Technologists to appreciate the technology, and the Architecture they need to exist, that is the ducts, power and specific rooms.

Look behind the vide, and see the vast rooms they need for screens, then the way these screens can be fed with data, the cable runs, power supply and the room layout.

Then think of a stadium like the Levi Stadium, it general size and the way cables will need to be fed to the individual stations, like entrances, bard and kitchens.

The Wifi cabling to allow people in the stadium to use their cell phones and the incoming cabling to the stadium.

All need planning and adding to the drawing set, but some one, and mostly we as Technologists start and control it.

Just think of the data you can learn about people movement, how they access the stadium, and leave, timing, and parking trends,,,,,, so good.

How Cheap Can Solar Get

noneThis article on Ramez Naam, show exactly why, we as Architectural Technologists should get into Solar in every way possible, from its design, installation, and use. The title I have used today says it all, which is why I have also used it, How cheap can solar get.

Lets get this straight, we need energy, the whole planet the way we live, talk, travel, communicate, is all based on power. The use of fossil fuels is not endless, its limited at best, and its continued use affects the very nature of the planet earths well being, solar on the other hand is endless, well mostly is you consider the life span of the sun as being a few billion years.

Apart from the way panels are made, and the small footprint that leave behind, solar just sites there and works, no pollutant of any kind, it does not spin whine, or leave residue on the ground it just works…….. mostly, the high end solar farms, I must take time to study, but on the whole I think they are better than nuclear reactors and coal fired station, even gas fired plants.

One are of all this I have not really covered in any of my blog posts, is the way we can design new materials that absorb small amounts of energy and store it ready for the evening pulse of activity, or charging my car, yes I will go Tesla just as soon as I can.

Staying with the theme of material design, this is probably the biggest area that we as technologists can influence change, designing construction methods that utilise these ideas and new materials, adding space that will allow battery storage, exploring the concept of small neighbourhood collectives that share energy, which nicely opens up the debate on AC or DC.



Doodles – There are no rules

Moleskin in actionAs students start to think about attending Uni for the first time, I want to introduce them to that noble art of Doodling, and right from the start, I want to emphasise Scay’s first rule, in Doodles – There are no rules.

Doodles are,,, a life line to allowing the mind to escape, to freely wonder, to follow lines of reasoning that are just not allowed in day to day conversation, its allows thoughts to bubble up from the depths of your inner self and be seen, perhaps for the first time.

I am a massive believer in students carrying their moleskin into every situation, making notes, thoughts ideas sketches and why we are here, doodles.

I constantly ask students to draw a situation, or detail they see, they I know I use my iPhone for much of this, but when time allows, sit and look, sit and think, and practice drawing, use colour, line styles, fonts, what ever takes your fantasy, and if time is short, grab your iPhone.

There is also the type of paper, I use a moleskin with fairly heavy paper 80 gram, but thats my choice, currently I am using a birthday present, my Beano note pad, yes I did read the Beano, and still do, the paper quality os poor, but its usable, but forget water colours and ink pens, they bleed.

The point is, doodle, on anything, if all you have is an old envelope, use it, stuff it into a pocket and reread it.

Its surprising, but I can go over a doodle or sketch and see my mind working, others often can’t, and they start saying all sorts, mostly to defend against the possibility that they just don’t understand and think they should, wrong, doodles are personal, and very much your inner self. I used to attend a class in Junior school, with an autistic kick, remember in those days we did not have special school, or teachers, it so happened our teacher seemed to be able to communicate with him, and asked what each of his sketched meant, and he sketched incessantly, it soon became apparent, that inside, the mind was pin sharp, and doodles allowed him to express thoughts that just some could read.

In other blogs I have asked you to think about Evernote to store scans of your doodles, its such a pain when you remember a sketch and want to revisit, it, but which book or note pad, or envelope way it in , evernote allows me to scan in and tag it, so I can find it, the work to do this is not much, ok I do spend a little more time that I want, but its so worth  My iPhone evernote app is just fab for this.

Do a search in the bar above and look for moleskin, doodle or notepad, and read my other blogs. Try Visual Thinking, for a blog I wrote ages ago.

And for my Students next year who will enter their final Third year,,,,,,, sketch,



CIAT Article on the Tesla Powerwall & how it is set to revolutionise

tesla solarThis article appeared in the latest CIAT weekly bulletin, its so good to see CIAT get a UK first in such a global revolutionary technology. I know I mentioned it recently, but this article has and says it all.

I am pleased that CIAT gave me permission to reproduce the article.

A revolutionary battery that charges using electricity generated from solar panels is making its first UK appearance today at a CIAT event in Bristol.

The Tesla Powerwall is set to revolutionise how buildings use energy as it will allow homes to store solar energy generated during the day so that it can be used later in the evening when it’s needed, rather than homeowners having to sell their excess solar energy back to their utility company.

The battery will be on display at the Wessex Region celebratory event in Bristol marking the  Institute’s 50th Anniversary.

Wiltshire-based TH White, which advises on and provides a wide range of specialist buildings services products to the construction industry, is the main sponsor for this event and is working with the solar energy division of Austrian technology company Fronius to bring the Tesla Powerwall to the event.

The event will be an opportunity for the industry to find out more about leading renewable technologies.

President Karl Grace said: ‘This is a year-long celebration with events across the Institute’s Regions and Centres and we are looking forward to this event hosted by our Wessex Region as we will be able to show our guests some of the most exciting technology in the world which could change the way buildings are designed for years to come, to enhance the community and environment for those living within it.’

The event will start with a tour of Bristol’s Floating Harbour and its buildings on The Matthew before moving to the M Shed where TH White’s technology zone will be displayed. Guests will be treated to a range of entertainment throughout the evening, a summer BBQ as well as a view of the Bristol Balloon Fiesta’s fireworks from the M Shed terrace.

Alex Lockton, general manager for TH White’s Energy, Fire and Security divisions, said: ‘…Tesla Powerwall technology is set to change the world of energy. It isn’t on sale yet here in the UK so this appearance at CIAT’s event is a real coup and, as European Green Capital 2015, Bristol is the perfect host for showcasing this revolutionary green technology.’

For more information on TH White, click here.

CV – A list of mistakes

Venus, Jupiter, and Noctilucent CloudsIf there is a question I get all the time from Students can you look at my CV, so often is to big, full of stuff that the client does not want to know, and all the important bits are hidden away, so todays title of “CV – A list of mistakes” is worth thinking about.

This article on Linkedin, by Laszlo Bock is about right, I might add, keep it short, Keep it simple, use a nice clear easy to read type face, your name and contact details are top right on the first page. Two pages max.

I link the CV I send to my blog, and the full CV, make use of spell checker, and this comes from the worst speller in history, get some one who can spell to read it over.

Do you add a photo, some say yes some categorically say no, I tend to think a passport sized head and shoulder on the top of the first page works.

In this day and age, a simple CV is only the start, get your online presence sorted, a simple blog, linkedin, a Google presence, clean up Facebook, Flickr, Google photos, If you feel good about it, make a short video, and post on Youtube, link it to a blog. Get a Skype account and also a google address, you will need it.

Work examples, do not send, but link a set of good details, plans elevations, and now a 3D model, and leave them in say three formats, Vectorworks, Autocad, and Revit, Sketchup is also good.I use Dropbox to do this, its free and the public download works, and keep them updated, check weekly and improve, do not put up other peoples work, you will be found out, put a good title block on and be consistent.

Colour is not good, except for links, Black type always.

If your sending the CV with a letter, choose a good quality paper to print on, I purchased a very expensive hand made A4 paper, but check your printer can handle it.

Review your CV for each and every job application, fine tune it, research the practice or company, write to a name, Dear sir is ok, but Dear Professor Scaysbrook, adds a certain intimacy.

So many job applications are online, and are via an agency, I hate it, but it’s reality, deal with it, get and keep all the information each one wants, if they want a CV, and there is a choice, use PDF, word doc can be altered or miss interpreted by the software.

Envelope, so many people forget, a cheap Tesco envelope might do, but a matching envelope does catch the eye, worth the expense.

Finally its your future thats a stake, make it a full time job, follow up, keep a note of who you speak to, and that was said, date it.

If its an online agency, keep logging in, check for updates, if its an agency that asked you to email follow up, or last phone and talk, I do this always, and I use Skype to do it, it keeps costs down, if its a land line call.

Skype interviews are now common, get easy with it, practice, do not rush in, dress like its an interview, make sure they link to your skype name, not your cousin or some guy with the same name. try to do it in a quiet place, if you have to use a public computer, use a ear bud, but do not use your phone, at worst an iPad is ok. get and use only a good wifi, getting cut off, or dealing with a bitty signal is not going to help you, practice, practice practice.

Position the device so that it gives a good head and shoulder shot, a good contrasting background and make sure the room your in does not bounce sound, it confuses the audio and make life difficult.

Get used to swapping screens if they ask to see sample, be ready and have a pdf loaded, or CAD program with a drawing loaded.

Practice, get some one to call, I alway offer to do this with my students, in fact i teach and support by this method, it save time and money, so I use it a lot.

Google video calls or hang outs are also becoming popular, again get used to using them.

An Extra Second’s Sleep

The Law Building, Princeton, WVYou may not have seen or noticed it, but the planets time was altered last night to allow the atomic clock to aline its self with the planet, so an extra second was added at midnight last night, and we got An Extra Second’s Sleep.

Why do we do this, well the earth rotates a little unevenly, and the moon which influences the tides slows us down a little every year, so atomic clocks which are so accurate, need to adjust every so often to compensate.

Last time it happened, was in 2012, and it caused computer problems all over the place, although I am pleased to report, my computer a Mac, had no problems this morning.

Want to read more, take a look at the Guardian Article, it has most of what you need to know, also take a look at the NASA article for a little more tech.

So why should we be so interested, what has it to do with Architecture and Construction, very little realy, it’s just one of those interesting bits of information that link into the way our planet works, and the way time regulates even Architecture, the shadows and how they change throughout the year, and by country.