Category Archives: Santa Cruz Architect

Building Responses to Heat Events

Climate-Proofing Buildings Against Excessive Heat
There are several options to implement climate-proofing of buildings with respect to excessively high temperatures. Such options relate to building design including the use of IT technologies to optimize thermal comfort and those involving building envelopes, including roof, wall, doors, windows and solar control glazing enhancements. Continue reading

Building Responses to Floods

With floods washing into low-lying areas throughout the U.S in recent years, there is a lot of discussion about way to prevent and manage floods. Given the fact that excessive flooding is not going to go away, let’s investigate five different ways to make a house more flood proof. As climatic conditions become more extreme, more houses will be at risk of flooding and these techniques will become increasingly important. Continue reading

Building Responses to Wildfire

Buildings, properly prepared, can survive wildfire events

Although the severity and timing of fire seasons vary widely from region to region, wildfires often pose a threat to lives, property, and resources. During an average fire season, hundreds of homes are damaged or destroyed by wildfire, and in extreme fire conditions, thousands of homes can be damaged or destroyed. Severe fire weather in areas with significant amounts of wildland fuels can lead to extreme fire behavior. This article describes the various responses that building construction can adopt in response to wildfire. Continue reading

Architectural 3D Printing

Like so many other technological advances, 3D printing was also slow to get off the ground. In more recent years, however, people are talking of little else. The fast and fascinating developments in this amazing technology are making everyone and every industry sit up and take notice. Architecture is one area where 3D printing is making a lot of headlines, and it will continue to do so in the years ahead. In this piece we explore what the future potential holds. We also look at the current limitations of 3D printing within the construction industry. Continue reading

All About Transparent Concrete

What is Transparent Concrete or Light Transmitting Concrete?
Transparent concrete also called as translucent concrete or light transmitting concrete is achieved by replacing aggregates with transparent alternate materials. The bonding material in transparent concrete may be able to transmit light by using clear resins the concrete mix. Use of optical fibers and fine concrete also used as transparent concrete. Transparent concrete was originally developed in 2001 by an Hungarian architect Aronlosonzi by using glass fibers. Transparent concrete is produced by mixing 4% to 5% (by volume) optical fibers in the concrete mixture. This concrete has less weight compared to original concrete. Continue reading

Choosing Between a Prefab ADU vs. Traditional Stick-Framed ADU

Construction Options for an ADU
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) continue to be a topic of heightened interest for homeowners and real estate investors.  As the need to have more usable space during a real estate market with scarce affordable housing increases, legislators are easing zoning laws and local building codes.

With relaxed restrictions, more homeowners are taking the next step of exploring which type of construction would be best for their particular ADU needs and usage plans. Should you construct your dwelling using the Traditional Stick-Built method to get exactly what you want? Or would a Prefab Modular Unit make more sense based on time and budget constraints? Continue reading

Bluebook Cities Envisions Private Cities Without Government Control

A group of Silicon Valley techies are now formulating a plan to build their very own dream city – away from the US entirely and governed by themselves. Twenty-five-year-olds Dryden Brown of New York University, and Charlie Callinan of Boston College, co-founded Bluebook Cities in 2019 — described as a “full-stack city builder,” which “partners with communities to develop beautiful, energetic, resident-owned cities,” the website states. Continue reading

US infrastructure Scores C-minus per American Society of Civil Engineers

America’s infrastructure has scored near-failing grades for its deteriorating roads, public transit and storm water systems due to years of inaction from the federal government, the American Society of Civil Engineers reports. Its overall grade: a mediocre C-. Continue reading

Mass Timber And Taller Wood Construction

What is Mass Timber Construction?
Mass timber construction, in contrast to light-frame wood construction, is built using a category of engineered wood products typically made of large, solid wood panels, columns or beams often manufactured off-site for load-bearing wall, floor, and roof construction. Mass timber is engineered for high strength ratings like concrete and steel but are significantly lighter in weight. Mass timber products are thick, compressed layers of wood, creating strong, structural load-bearing elements that can be constructed into panelized components. They are typically formed through lamination, fasteners, or adhesives. Mass timber can complement light-frame and hybrid options and is an environmentally friendly substitute for carbon intensive materials and building systems. Continue reading

A Guide to Gypsum Wallboard

Drywall is a construction material used to create walls and ceilings. It’s also used to create many design features, including eaves, arches and other architectural specialties. It’s quick and easy to install, incredibly durable, and requires only simple repairs when damaged. In the commercial building world, drywall is used to wrap columns to conceal steel beams and is an easy and inexpensive way to top off masonry walls above ceilings. Drywall is also used to add fire resistance at walls and ceilings, containing the spread of fire so people can evacuate safely during an emergency. Continue reading