25Jul

Net Zero Buildings

Net Zero BuildingsThe fact that the world is facing regarding global warming is something we should really be aware of, and act about. This is why architects and engineers have really got their heads into creating green system that keep the environment from being damages when building houses. There are two main aspects that can damage the environment in a house. First of all, the construction process and the materials it might need. Normally, these materials damage the environment in the moment they are built. The other way a house can cause damages to nature is by the gas emissions, the electrical energy usage and the water waste there might be in it. These are the most important areas to cover. A house that keeps these three things controlled is considered to be a green house.

These systems are not only available to be used and applied in houses, but also in any kind of building. The newest system is called Net-Zero energy generation. This system basically manages the spaces, materials and electrical installation to make the building self-supplied when it comes to energy. This means that it will have no external energy source like any other house or building there is. People normally think that this is made by only using a solar panel. However, solar panels have a great disadvantage. They only work if they are supplied by the sun. During the winter, when people see no sun for entire weeks, it is important to have side systems.

Net zero buildings have special floors for example. These floors generate energy out of the friction caused by shoes of Net Zero Buildings - 2people walking over it. This is ideal for buildings that have a lot of people movement. Of course, net zero buildings use solar panels as well, and they also have hidden mills that generate energy from wind. This leaves us with the fact that these buildings are almost a 100% auto sustainable when it comes to energy. The nice thing about NetZero is that companies are interested in adding these systems to their buildings because they would save money on energy as they wouldn’t have to pay for it anymore. This invites people to adopt the new technology. There are some green systems out there that really don’t offer any kind of benefit for the buyer. A very low percentage of people are interested in investing money for the world sadly. So if a system is not attractive to companies, there is no way it will help the environment ever.

Today, architects and engineers are joining this idea with the “green” buildings. These buildings are created with materials that cause minimal damage to the world in their creation and existence. Some of them are more expensive than traditional ones, and some are cheaper. However, specialists are working very hard in making them 100% efficient so that people will be more interested in getting them.  In the moment they actually achieve this, there will be Net Zero buildings that will also be green. This way, houses and other buildings will no longer damage the earth as they do today. It will take a long time until a good number of constructions start using this systems. However, it is totally necessary take care of the environment, or what’s left of it, now that we still can do it.

There is definitely no doubt that there will be hundreds of more ideas on this niche. More architects are adding to teams that research about these things every day. A green-building era is approaching to us and it is something to really adopt and take advantage of.

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20Jul

Interior Design Grows more Expensive

Interior Design Grows more ExpensiveWhen it comes to prices in architecture, there are various aspects that can come to affect the cost of a final construction. As time goes by, architects and material providers have looked for the way to reduce the costs of their services and products respectively. This is done in order to, obviously, get more clients. Today, it is impressive how people are so worried about finding low-cost designers and low-cost materials more than finding quality on their projects. So, this has brought companies to try to find the way to provide low cost services and products that offer good quality as well. This way people would see both of their needs totally satisfied; quality and price.

Now there is a third aspect that has come to stage in the last years. This is the care that architects and material providers have started to have about the environment. Green and friendly materials are all over the stores. Architects are also applying new techniques to build houses powered by the sun and other systems that somehow take care of the environment.

Now architects have to find the way to not lose their clients due to this. The problem is that environmentally friendly products are not always the best or most efficient ones at the moment of constructing. They are also not the cheapest ones most of the times. This forces architects to spend more material and more time in making the construction safe enough using these materials. People that are into building a green house are not always aware of the price difference there is between one of those and a normal house.

Architects that deal directly with material providers in order to make things simpler for their clients have started to Interior Design Grows morehave some issues when it comes to interiors. Interiors were not affected by the aspects described above. This was exactly were architects balanced their spending to generate a good price. They looked for a way to lower the spending inside the house even if the outside was impossible to lower. However, for some reason, interior materials have come to increase their prices strongly. Lamps, furniture, floors, ceiling, all there is in an interior has come to be more expensive. This was something that had not happened for dozens of years. However, recently, designers have had to start charging more for their services as it is more expensive for them to materialize what they design.

This notable price increasing has been studied, and it has been proven that Europe is suffering it more than America. This is due to a simple fact. Thousands of interior material producers are installed in the United States and other parts of America. In America, generally, it is cheaper to produce materials than in Europe. Handcrafting is a lot more expensive in Europe in fact. Also, America doesn’t really have to worry about shipping costs. In the other hand, Europe does have to pay shipping costs in order to get products from America.

Why is this something to be worried about? Well, a very characteristic thing about inflation of prices is that once a price increases, it never decreases again. This makes us understand that prices will stay as high as they are now, or simply increase more. This will force interior designers to pay more for their materials and charge more for their services, which lowers the amount of clients they will have. This way an economical crisis is clearly starting to hit the interior designing niche. The only thing that there is to do is finding the best materials at the best prices in order to lower the total construction cost. Even if you are the client or the architect, look for the way to lower your prices without living quality aside.

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15Jul

How to Build a Green House

First of all it is very important to be clear about what a green house really is. A green house is a building that manages to use self-generated energy in order to save electrical energy and help the environment. These houses were not very famous ten years ago. However, as the global warming issue has started to get worse, more people are considering building their houses like this in order to not suffer any issues in case something went wrong with power suppliers. These systems also represent substantial money saving in a long term perspective, as there will be no power supplier to pay to. There are some things that have to be taken into consideration if you are willing to make your house able to use a green system. These aspects have to be revised from the very beginning of the construction.

The Building’s Orientation – There is a specific way to place your house in order to take as much energy as possible from heat and the sun. This orientation is exactly within 10 degrees of true south. This will help your panels take as much heat as you might possibly need. Always take special care of trees or other buildings surrounding your house. Remember that these can work as shadow producers and keep you from getting the energy you need.

Window Designs – the “Window Area” is what they call the area in which solar panels will be laced. Some people think that it is better to have very big window areas in order to take more energy from the panels. However, having a larger window area can cause the system to overheat. Then you will be forced to use cooling materials like concrete and so to keep your house from being too hot during the summer.

How to Build a Green HouseThere is actually a formula that will give you the exact amount of window area that you should install in each room. That is the percentage given bellow, divided into the total floor area (times 100 as it is a percentage).

-          If the glass is facing south – 5% to 12% of the total floor area of the house.

-          If the glass is facing east – less than 4% of the total floor area.

-          If the glass is facing west – less than 2% of the floor area (this will avoid the house to overheat during the summer.)

-          If the glass is facing north – less than 4% of the floor area.

These are very basic tips that will help you install a very nice green system in your house. About 80% of all the problems people have with these systems are caused by a misunderstanding of the percentages above. This is exactly why it is important to be very careful about them and find the exact amount of window area to place.

This is not something you will have to do by yourself. Remember that there are specialists that can get the idea you want in your roof and make your dream house start working. However, it is also important that you measure your floor area, and make your calculus several times so that you know you are not making any mistakes. This way you will avoid future problems with your solar system.

A secondary aspect to also be careful about is the placing of the common windows in the house. The position of these will affect the amount of air that will get into the house. This can also keep the house from overheating due to the solar panel system. Good ventilation is enough to keep a house fresh even during the summer.

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10Jul

Façade Design Inspiration

Façade Design InspirationIn general terms, a façade is the skin over something deep which porpoise is to somehow hide what is really kept inside. In architectural terms, however, a façade is the very essence of a building. It probably has the strongest impact at a first sight in the street. Often the façade shows the essence of the general structure and all its shapes. So working with facades is something very special and delicate. The entire look of a house can depend on the perfection and precision of the façade.

The basic inspiration for facades designing in modern architecture comes from a variety of places. There isn’t an established inspiration source from which architects take their ideas. Architects are actually characterized for being able to find inspiration in about anything they see. An architect can be watching a documental on the ancient Rome and at the next day start designing Doric columns all around their houses. This is how most of all architects find their inspiration. Looking at a landscape or a single object somewhere can be enough to plant a seed of inspiration in one of these artists’ mind.

Façade Design Inspiration - 2Another architect can approach to the South Ocean Islands to take a rest and come back home full of inspiration to use natural materials.  A trip to Asia, Africa, India or just about any place in the world can get an architect on the mood to design something fresh and something new. So it is clear that an architect’s inspiration when it comes to façade designing comes from anywhere.

However, it is clear that clients have the last word when it comes to design. Even though the architect might feel like designing an Asian-like house, the client might be looking for something different. It is important for architects to be able to adapt to the client’s needs and likes. This way they can find inspiration on what they need to build and not what they want in the moment. There are a lot of common façade designs that can be found almost in any city around the world; bricks. However, it is impressive to see the amount of styles and textures of brick there are in the market. This is probably the reason why people seem to really like it. Bricks are also one of the most inexpensive facades available.

However, there are hundreds of façade styles that can be found in different parts of the world. Some people really like stone, marble and such materials. However, the cost of a construction using them can really increase. This is because not all builders now how to deal with these less-common facades.

Façade Design InspirationThe reality is that the whole façade choosing is up to the house’s owner. It is important for those that are building a house to take some time and check all the façade styles there are available. Don’t go for the first brick imitation or anything like that. A house can really change its complete look just by using a different façade. Always take into consideration that some facades are not designed to go through some kinds of weather. If you choose the wrong façade, you might end up having to change it entirely a few years later. This is why it is important to take an architect with you in order to chose well and avoid future problems. An architect will also be able to tell you which façade will be cheaper to install and maintain. Remember that each material has to be washed in different ways and all of them require a different type of care. Some facades are very expensive to maintain, and that’s what keeps people from buying them.

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05Jul

Building Wood Houses

Building Wood Houses

The usage of wood in house building started differently in every country. When researching about the history of architecture from various places, it is easy to see that every region started using wood in different moments. However, thanks to globalization and communication facilities, modernized systems of using good in construction have been added to the market. We have come to the point in which artisanal wood treating has been almost taken out of the picture due to the introduction of industrial wood. Huge factories with automated machines are the ones in charge of providing wood for constructions today. There are certain things that have to be taken into consideration when building a house with wood. These are purely the builder’s responsibility.

Preparing and cleaning the field: in order to start tracing the house in a piece of land, it is important to clean the field in the following way:

  • Removing the trees inside the property that can get in the way of the project. It is important to remove the roots.
  • Remove rocks if necessary.
  • If the terrain was used before, all past cementations should be removed as well.
  • Remove all brushes that can make the construction more difficult.
  • Leveling the area: Making sure that the field is as even as it is needed for the construction to be successful is the first thing to do. Remember that this is something you will be able to do until the final planning and design of the house is completed. A slight uneven area on the field is enough to make a house deteriorate a lot easier with years. Architects are very aware of how to do this. This is probably one of the most basic processes that have to take place before building a house, especially if it will be built with mostly wood. Remember that wood behaves very differently from concrete. It is normal to hear about concrete houses that have no problems with rain for example. However, wood can be affected easily with rain. Each material in construction is different, and there are plenty of procedures that are recommended for each.

    Now, the size, density and type of wood will vary depending on the size of the building and its shape. Some designs will require stronger supports, which need thicker, denser wood. However, thicker wood will always be expensive, and prices are certainly something to take special care of. So, the real challenge is to find the balance between quality and efficiency, at the best price.

    Wood is a material that can be used to build only in some regions. A very wet area where rain is too strong is not the ideal place to build a wooden house. However, if someone in this region really likes wooden houses and the way they look, it is always a good option to opt for a wooden façade. Wooden facades are normally what people choose to use, and they work just fine. This is because wooden facades are normally not 100% wood. This allows producers to make the material a lot more water-resistant, even if it becomes weaker. Therefore, as the wood will not have to hold the house, but only decorate it, it can be weak.

    The interior can also be covered with an interior wooden façade. Today it is possible to build a normal, concrete house and make it look like a wooden one. This way, we can avoid all the processes and spending that a wooden house’s construction requires. Of course, fifty years ago, all houses that looked wooden were actually wooden. Technology has advanced very quickly in the last years, and this allows us to make just about any design we want and bring it to life.

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    30Apr

    Department of Architecture’s Hilton Pattaya

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    Located in the Pattaya beach, the Hilton Hotel offers one of the freshest and most luxury concepts available in the region. The Department Of Architecture’s architects are the responsible of creating outstanding design in the most important parts of the building. These parts are the First Floor lobby, the Main lobby, the bar and various recreational areas. The building has been effectively rated as outstanding thanks to the great designing skills of these architects. The team spent a lot of time on creating the plans and designing brand new concepts of interior designing. It is for sure that most of the things that are available in the Hilton hotel are not available in any other place in the world. This is because the architects on the team set the objective of creating unique styles that would be never seen before by people. The building has a great view to the beach in front of it. This was a reason for the architects to create an interior design that had something to do with ocean and tropical climates. The team started from scratch with a clear concept in mind. This is what they have managed to create; a top quality building that offers great luxuries to people visiting it. Of course, the hotel is more expensive than a common Hilton hotel in a normal city.

    For example, the lobby and the bar are both a combination of waves and sandy colors. The walls and roof give a very soft sensation, which gives a great effect to the bar, especially during the night time. The place is perfect for those moments of music and crowd. However, while the pace is almost empty, It gives a very calmed sensation that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. The lobby, which is the first thing people, sees when entering the hotel has to be one of the most sensational things inside the building. Let’s remember that the first impression is always very important when it comes to hotels. People never expect any good experiences from an hotel that looks mediocre from the first step inside. So, the lobby was a very important place to design. However the Department of Architecture is extremely good at its job. The lobby is considered to be one of the most thematic and attractive places in the area.

    When designing an interior, it is very important to consider several things. Some architects are only worried about the way colors are combined, and whether they match or not. However, there are other things to carry about. For example, it is very important for an interior to be inviting and personal. If an interior feels somehow indifferent, it will be very hard to make people feel comfortable inside. A combination of colors, textures and appreciation angles is what makes an interior a nice place to be in. The team has managed to accomplish all those goals and design the best lobby of all Hilton’s history.

    Other linking parts in the hotel, which are usually nothing more than hallways, are very well decorated as well. There are ceiling arrangements that include very unusual light patterns all over the place. This gives it a very wavy, ocean like style. This is what makes the place very thematic, as it is located in front of the beach. The place has been designed to be both simple and complex at the same time. This way the concept is kept fresh, but also very luxury.

    The Hilton Pattaya is definitely a place to visit sometime in the next couple of years.

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    25Apr

    Environment Friendly Curtains

    Today, the main subject when it comes to interior design and the materials used for exterior design, the catch is to create nice looking designs with materials that are not very hard to find, or that are somehow recyclable. This is a method that architects are considering very seriously to save the environment and keep it from losing its essence quickly. Some time before, interior items were fabricated with materials that were somehow very hard to find. So the catch of the new environment friendly curtains is to complete two tasks. The first one is to enhance the commercial activity of the sales with people that are interested in taking care of the environment. The second is to actually be able to reduce costs and reduce the amount of damage that is done to the planet by producing millions of common curtains. It is a fact that a single company will never make the difference against thousands of others that are producing common curtains. However, the idea of launching this new concept is to somehow create a standard. This is a new idea that hopefully will be adopted by several other companies. This means that a very high amount of curtain producers could start adopting the “green” concept for their productions. This will be easier when they see that green curtains sell better as millions of people around the world are worried about the environment. As long as this new concepts comes to the top sellers list, it is for sure that more than the 80% of all companies will have adopted the new concept, and that is the key for an environmental revolution; something we have been waiting for since the world started overheating and showing so many damage traits.

    So, for those that are about to decorate their homes, it is important to think “green” before going any further. The first step is to choose a good material that could be found easily, or be recyclable. It is awesome how green materials are normally cheaper than those fancy damaging materials. Of course some materials are a lot more luxury and sound a lot better than friendly ones. So it is important to set priorities and think about what is more important when building a house. Remember that the success of this green program will only come when it gets full of costumers and the idea becomes a hit. This will only depend on clients. The company can launch tons of publicity. However, if customers still prefer to use other materials, no success will come to the company.

    The Natural Curtain Company is from the UK. They offer one of the largest stocks of materials and top quality designs. These curtains are all made of 100% natural materials. They have thousands of tones and colors to choose from, which makes them a very good option for pretty much any interior.  It is always important to remember that a house’s interior is not just meant to look good and combine. It is also meant to feel personalized and inviting. The way a interior can be friendly and inviting is what makes it special. Some interiors are very well combined, but generate no invitation to the eye. However, the Natural Curtain Company’s objective is to be able to create curtains that make interiors inviting and original.

    The company is very friendly as well, as it generously offers free samples before having to buy anything. So it is a good idea to check out the designs, colors and textures without any compromise before considering buying a piece of fabric. Although more than the 80 % of all testers have been stunned by the quality and texture, it is possible that it might not be your style. So it is good to try it first.

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    20Apr

    New MSN Offices in Mexico

    newAnyone who has used the internet for more than a couple of months should be aware of the existence of the great MSN. This network has existed for quite some time now and they have been in the top providers list for a lot of time. They provide services such as mailing and chatting. Their focus is purely social as they also provide news to people and keep them updated through mobile internet and other methods. The company has come to grow in a very impressing way in the last years. Now, their focus is not only about the internet and the worldwide network in which people never actually see each other personally when talking to each other. They have been taking care of some personal contact as well. This is exactly why they are interested in opening new agencies and corporate offices in cultural places they have never visited personally. In this case, an agency has been opened in Santa Fe, Mexico. Mexico is a 2nd world country and it has a decent usage of internet. This means that Mexicans have actually heard and used a lot of MSN and its services. However, having an agency in the country is a very good commerce strategy from MSN. Now Mexicans and some other people from surrounding countries will hear more about the company and rent its services more confidently, because they can now actually see them and consult them physically whenever something goes wrong.

    Now, let’s talk a little about the new office’s architecture. The place has a very clear concept. What I mean by this is that it is literary clear. It remains bright at any time of the day and that gives it a very fresh atmosphere both inside and out. The colors that are used inside the place are the common MSN colors that are seen everywhere. These are blue, green, baby blue and orange. These colors are very corporate, and they are defined to be one of the best combinations available for a socializing institution. They generate peace and make rooms very catchy and inviting.

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    The concept of the place was to create a complex interior in which offices were all separated by glass walls and other transparent pieces. This gave a very futuristic style to the place. The roof of the place is kept industrial but shinny and symmetrical. It is possible to see all the air conditioning tubes, connections and power cables in the roof a couple of yards above one’s head. However, the ceiling doesn’t look bad at all. It actually gives it a very corporate style.

    Something very nice about the new offices is that there is a multi-uses space.  This place has no defined function, but it works great for any kind of usage. There are divisions that can work as offices or sub-offices or as a team work main office. It is something that other office centers have not taken into consideration yet.

    Besides looking good, being inviting and simple at the same time, the place is extremely efficient. It is designed to save more than 20% of the water that is normally used in a building of its magnitude. It also saves twenty percent of all electrical energy. This is what makes the MSN new Mexican concept something to admire and applaud. The paintings used inside and outside the place are low in VOC’s. This is a repellent for air pollution. This was used considering the amount of air pollution that is normally found in Mexico main cities, such as Santa Fe. MSN has definitely made the right decision with this building.

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