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The Architecture Thread

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Connemara, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I'd rather look as those houses and appreciate the frugal use of energy than look at a bunch of McMansions consuming $400 of electricity every month. No doubt they could look better, but it's at least moving forward.
     
  2. Find Finn

    Find Finn Senior member

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    I don't know if the us has the same building requirements as we have in Europe or the same electricity etc. prices, but we have some codes for new build houses called 2015, 2020 etc. (like Lean etc.)

    Which means that f.ex. in Sweden Passive houses are almost the norm now and they build passiv apartment blocks etc. and have for years.
     
  3. StephenHero

    StephenHero Senior member

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    I'd rather be homeless.
     
  4. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Whatever. This is not simply an "eco-friendly" house.

    If there is technology that allows you to control the climate in your home without the use of heating or air conditioning, relying mostly on adjustments to construction, I should think it a very exciting development. I could give a rat's ass about my house being ecologically friendly, but this is interesting stuff. Sounds like clever, elegant problem-solving.
     
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  5. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    :)
     
  6. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    Yes. People taking pride in their ugly-ass, environment crushing monstrosities.
    Or people taking pride in belittling people that are proud of something. ;)
     
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  7. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    Exactly.
     
  8. Find Finn

    Find Finn Senior member

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  9. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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  10. nootje

    nootje Senior member

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    I saw that 'thing' for several years now in the distance, and never being finished. I guess now the reason becomes clear..

    Interestingly enough, they are building again in the region. But this thing needs to be torn down, Benidorm is an eyesore in the region as it is...
     
  11. StephenHero

    StephenHero Senior member

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    If you have the pride to self-righteously boast about your house in the media, you're morally obligated to assume the risk of being ridiculed for its self-righteous motivation. Does this house move the needle on sustainability? No, of course not, because it's utterly impractical for any scale beyond the narrow core of people who feel morally obligated to undertake it, which is all fine and dandy, except when it's accompanied by a tone of activism that intends for others to feel guilt about not using an excessive amount of their limited money to make a nominal impact on society's ecology. It appears they crossed that line with their stupid yard sign.

    The reality is that the heroism of practical sustainability is achieved nearly entirely through unsexy, incremental developments in the economy of resource usage, which is necessary to be implemented on any scale that might actually be of use to the environment. There's no magical solution yet. Something like say..... a foam injected aluminum window frame prototype with a 5% lower R-value will do far more to lower energy use on a holistic scale (assuming it's cost-competitive) than any particular house among the billions of houses in the world is going to do just because Glen and Cindy pony up $45,000 to have some engineers in Germany trick out their house with whatever technologies exist at a given time. If it's not a form of design or resource-conscientiousness that can be implemented among an extremely large segment of society, then all it's useful for (until further breakthroughs are made) is provoking guilt out of people who otherwise know it doesn't make economic sense.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  12. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Don't you need the Glens and Cindys to spend on the early versions of these techs in order to advance to the more mainstream applications?
     
  13. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    *flippin' mobile site*
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  14. StephenHero

    StephenHero Senior member

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    You shouldn't need them, no. If you have to rely on consumers sacrificially testing technology out of their own pocket for the sake of potentially developing some better technology later, that technology simply won't advance unless some unforeseen accident occurs that otherwise informs the research in a way a laboratory wouldn't. Practically speaking, yes, they'll learn something from these houses, but it guarantees nothing, and it doesn't make the entire process more efficient because the risk of not learning something isn't internalized by those trying to develop new technology for the market. In other words, there's less disincentive for waste when Glen and Cindy play guinea pig. The economy of scale will play a big part in the future of lowering costs if some new technology does emerge, particularly one that's manufactured in mass quantities (like solar cells) but no gamechanger is here or looks to soon be here.

    From an unbiased perspective, the most interesting potential technology for sustainable design right now that could very soon be cost effective is 3d printing, because it could do a whole lot to make concrete formwork and other material-intensive building practices more economically efficient. Things like hybridized wall and structural cores could do a lot to reduce much of the cement and steel production that goes into their respective systems and it should drastically decrease the amount of time (and thus cost) of designing each type of structure.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  15. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    Real world application will almost always show up something all the lab hours will not. Note the problems with the new Dreamliners that testing did not reveal, for example.
    As far as the economics, hybrid cars being one of the best examples- consumers are spending a premium, governments are subsidizing and, at least early on, automakers take a loss on each one to do just that.
     
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  16. Find Finn

    Find Finn Senior member

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    I'm on my phone and in my bed, so this is going to be shorter than it should.

    Passive houses are not build by Germans its a certification ones house can get, if it lives up to some efficiency standards, which means its a very cost effective house to run.

    An average house in Denmark costs around 5-15000$ to heat and a passive house will cost you between 1000 and paying you money, which is a huge saving by anyone's standard.

    The type home manufactures charges around 500-1000$ more a sqm for a passive house compared to a normal house, so the dividends is payed of with a short period of time.

    As I mentioned earlier they are being build in high numbers around here and even as social housing, which is the cheapest of the cheapest. They just opened up a skyscraper in switzerland with passive house certification (power tower in Linz) and from my knowledge HSBC strive to make all their offices zero emissions buildings as well, so it's being done on a larger scale.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  17. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    That's silly.

    By your argument- there can then be no media other than third person reporting of the news as anyone who is featured in such a lifestyle piece is "boasting" - is that it?
    Provoking guilt... did that piece make you feel guilty?

    Let's say it did... let's say it made many feel guilty... and some of them changed their behaviors and bought into what was being sold... then that's a win.

    All marketing is good marketing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  18. StephenHero

    StephenHero Senior member

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    And where, besides nowhere, has that gotten them?
     
  19. StephenHero

    StephenHero Senior member

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    Again, something isn't necessarily economically viable just because subsidization and taxation makes it economically advantageous to do so in particular circumstance, such as in a country like Denmark that has premium fuel costs. If it's not advantageous to do so without underwriting, the technology is insufficient to make any noticeable change globally, which is what actually matters if you have real ecological goals. Just because Leonardo DiCaprio rolls around Hollywood in a $90k Tesla that uses technology that taxpayers subsidized, doesn't mean anything if the holistic goal is reducing carbon emissions from cars. It also doesn't mean we're a minute closer to everybody being able to drive around in cars that run on carbon-neutral unicorn urine. It's just fucking nonsensical to believe otherwise.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  20. StephenHero

    StephenHero Senior member

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    You can choose to have you lifestyle featured in whatever newspaper, magazine, or subforum of Styleforum you want. But assuming you do so with the intention of being judged favorably by others, don't assume everyone who might come along will find the motivation of the spotlight you assumed to be unworthy of criticism.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013

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