Star Wars and an Empire of Climate Denial

Posted on May 12, 2019 by

It was a perfect Summer evening in June of 1977. I was all of 6 years old, and throngs of people circled the block around Huntsville’s only cinema. I had never seen such a sight, and the excitement and anticipation of the first local showing of Star Wars held a kind of still magic in […]

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Posted under Economy, Research

Air is Life

Posted on April 29, 2019 by

While the current debate over the human diet seeks to settle the question of optimal health, both for the individual and for the planet (keto? veg? local?), few realize what a significant role the air we breathe has on our overall health. The fact that we can’t see, and can only vaguely smell the quality […]

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Posted on April 27, 2019 by
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Skateboarding, Sprawl and Carbon Control

Posted on March 3, 2019 by

The neighbourhood I grew up in, Burlington, Canada was about 1km by 1km. It was a classic mix of 1970’s social housing towers with townhouses and townhouses with public hallways we called ‘maisonettes’. As a kid we used to play on the street.  Right in the middle of it. There were hockey nets, bicycles with […]

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Architecture & A Green New Deal

Posted on February 19, 2019 by

“Yes: this will be expensive. Like a war. Or a tax cut for the rich. Or bailing out banks and automakers. Unlike those expenditures (which are never subject to the “but how will we pay for it?” smackdown) this plan will massively increase the tax base, create full employment for a generation, improve everyone’s quality […]

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Posted under Policy, Research

Thomson Architecture; A Family Legacy, sortof…

Posted on February 11, 2019 by

Architecture is not an easy business. Just as with any career in a creative field, it’s not nearly enough to be talented. My grandfather, George James Valence (GJV) Thomson had an incredible eye, was a skilled craftsman, and had the education of an Architect from both Pratt Institute in NYC, class of 1933, and later […]

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Posted under Economy, Research | Tags:

TEUI Calculator (kWh/m2*yr)

Posted on January 11, 2019 by

We have made this handy calculator that lets you determine the energy performance of your home or building in the units of the most widely used Building Energy energy metric, the TEUI or Total Energy Use Intensity. The units are the amount of all energy sources in Kilowatt Hours (kWh) required as a function of […]

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Earth Rise and Architecture, 50 Years Later

Posted on December 24, 2018 by
Earth Rise Apollo 8

Today is the 50th anniversary of the iconic photo, Earth Rise, captured by the crew aboard the Apollo 8 spacecraft in 1968. I was a child of the groovy, mellow, and high-tech 1970’s. The Space Shuttle wouldn’t fly until 1981, but it was promised to follow in the footsteps of the Mercury and Apollo programs. […]

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Total Energy Use Intensity (TEUI) for Dummies

Posted on December 6, 2018 by

We have made this handy calculator that lets you determine the energy performance of your home or building in the units of the most widely used Building Energy energy metric, the TEUI or Total Energy Use Intensity. The units are the amount of all energy sources in Kilowatt Hours (kWh) required as a function of […]

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Posted under BIM, Economy, Research, Residential | Tags: ,

How many Miles per Gallon does your building get?

Posted on November 20, 2018 by

OK, so buildings don’t move of course, but the funny thing is we have an easy way to evaluate energy performance when we buy a car – why not buildings? Even the flawed Miles per Gallon Standard has been around for at least 100 years, albeit only officially imposed since 1975.  And improvements to measurements […]

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Posted under Economy, Research, Residential

Laneway Housing Requirements

Posted on November 12, 2018 by

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Robot Architect

Posted on January 2, 2018 by

If anyone had told me last year that starting in 2018 I would be using a robot to create measured plans of existing buildings, I would think that either a) they are whackos that over-estimate the capabilities of current technology or b) they must assume that I have unlimited funds to buy such equipment.  Neither […]

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Electric Motorcycles

Posted on December 11, 2017 by

Transportation architecture is a thing. Vehicle designer is a thing. Vehicle Architect? Nope. But here I will try. My hobbies have always involved going fast on/in a vehicle of some sort. In winter this has been snowboards, skis, even kayaks downhill! On water, windsurfing. On asphalt, bikes, skateboards and electric cars. And soon … eBikes. […]

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From Pythagoras to Pizza

Posted on January 3, 2017 by
Dodecahedron Rafael Araujo

Who didn’t love making their first circle with a compass? Although a love of building blocks and form in general appeals to every kindergartener, it was this subtle abstraction of  the ‘geometry’, the graphic description of the rules of form that took hold of my imagination. I imagined that every footfall, the arc of every […]

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Strong Communities through Affordable Housing

Posted on November 30, 2016 by

Ordinary homes have become too expensive for ordinary citizens. The growth of housing costs have far outstripped income growth in recent years, resulting in what is now called the ‘affordability gap’. Many, if not most people will find themselves on the brink of over-extension if they try to find a way to purchase what is on the pages of the weekend […]

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Posted under Economy, Laneway

A Note on Passivhaus vs. R2000

Posted on November 19, 2015 by

I have lived and practiced green design in Germany, and I witnessed the introduction of the WSVO (Waermeshutzverordnung) firsthand in 1994. These were mandated changes to the levels of insulation required to be placed in the walls, roofs and floors of new buildings. At the time of my first R2000 build near Stuttgart (1996), I […]

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Posted under Economy, Research

Ecotecture

Posted on November 8, 2015 by

Short for ecological architecture – ecotecture is a term coined by my German friend and mentor Rudolf Doernach (1929-2016). Doernach was a partner of R. Buckminster Fuller in Germany and a pioneer of the living building movement in Germany in the 1970’s. As a consummate wordsmith and eco-philosopher, he inspired many to question whether a building […]

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Media

Posted on November 7, 2015 by

Andy’s work has been recognized internationally and published widely in books, magazines, television and radio features, some samples are featured below. TELEVISION   MAGAZINES Oprah’s O At Home Magazine, Spring 2007 Dwell Magazine – Can Design Save The Trailer Park? October 2008 Dwell Blog – Various natural life (pdf) – and www – Natural Life […]

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Tiny Homes – Are They Legit?

Posted on April 11, 2014 by

    Tiny homes are everywhere in popular media and the internet, and the meme has persisted for well over a decade now. With click-bait headlines like, “Man Builds Tiny Log Cabin For $500” and “You Can Turn A $2000 Shipping Container Into An Epic Off-Grid Home!” we get seduced into believing that if only we had […]

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90,000km Later, Do I still Love Tesla?

Posted on April 11, 2014 by

I have wanted an electric car since I was 16. Global warming and pollution was at the top of my mind. I biked everywhere, and imagined that in a future not so far off – EV’s would be widely available. Fast forward 26 years. Yes, that is how long it took. I expected my first […]

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The Eco Trailer Park

Posted on April 11, 2014 by

WHILE SMART GROWTH AND ECO-DEVELOPMENTS HAVE BECOME PART OF THE MAINSTREAM PLANNING DIALOGUE, TRAILER PARKS DEMONSTRATE A FORM OF SUSTAINABLE INFRASTRUCTURE AND DEVELOPMENT PATTERNS THAT ALREADY EXIST.  THE OFT-SNUBBED TRAILER PARK IS PROBABLY THE MOST OVERLOOKED FORM OF SUSTAINABLE AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING, A TRUE DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH.  WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM GREEN DESIGN, […]

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Portfolio

Posted on April 10, 2014 by
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Home Showcase

Posted on April 10, 2014 by
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Home Slider

Posted on April 10, 2014 by
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