Friday, September 14, 2007
Michael McDonough spoke this morning and what an amazing guy! He has a project called e-House. He has been working on the project for 7 years and said he'll probably continue developing it for the next 30. For the first 5 years he sourced everything. "Invent nothing, Google everything". He also said that "in the past 15 years, more building innovations have been made than in the past 15,000".
To consolidate what he has learned from this project, he boiled down 5 learning points:
1. Conventional building materials are good conductors - bad for insulation.
i.e. metal, glass, ceramic; all materials we use to cook with. Better to use aerated auto-clave concrete or other high insulation product whose inherent quality is to insulate.
2. Remove dampness.
3. Light - daylight combined with artificial light - use a dimmer. Watch where natural light falls and take advantage of good exposures. Be conscious of what you want to see.
4, Be where you are.
5. How do you want to live? Think about the site and what is there.
He also mentioned that many Leed certified high rises have an r-factor (insulation defense) of 2-3 (40 is optimum, 10 is barely hanging on). I found this confusing so asked him abut it later. He told me that Leed certification, the US Green Building Standard, does not do post occupancy studies. Building Science is a rigorous scientific study team which analyzes post occupancy r-rating and determines, though physics, the long term insulation standard of buildings.
Fascinating stuff, this.