Friday, 15 November 2013

Powers of Ten

Perhaps one of the more interesting info graphics commission for Charles and Ray Eames. This short 1977 documentary explores the idea of scale - human scale to big and then to small.

Machine Music

Retro TV but interestingly contemporary take on the transition between analogue and digital. It is still Tomorrow's World - although estimates are that in 2013 less than 2% of stored information in the world is still analogue (vinyl record, magnetic tape, published books, photographic negatives and prints) compared to 1,200 exabytes (1000 to the power of 6 bytes) of information.

Reference: Mayer-Schönberger, Viktor and Cukier, Kenneth (2013) Big Data: A revolution that will transform how we live, work and think (John Murray, London).

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Misawa, Zero Energy Prefabricated House

The world's first pre-fabricated zero energy house was assembled in 1998 in Kanagawa, Japan. This is a measure of the technological innovation in a country where roughly one out of every seven new houses is a prefabricated home (Wilford & Ramos 2009 p45). There are several detailed reports (one of the best by the International Energy Agency) of the technologies used. More interesting is the extended use of modern methods of manufacturing; for the benefits of quality control, speed and minimization of disruption to residents; within the retrofitting / hybrid market (Zimmermann 2012).

References:  International Energy Action (undated) A Zero Energy House (a low energy house with PV system) 
in Kanagawa, Japan (IEA, Birmingham). Wilford, Chris and Ramos, Marylis (2009) Zero Carbon Compendium: Who's doing what in housing worldwide (NHBC Foundation, Amersham). Zimmermann, Mark (2012) Prefabricated Systems for Low Energy Renovation of Residential Buildings: ECBCS Annex 50 (AECOM, St Albans).

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Middlehaven Custom-Build Prospectus Launch

The launch of the Urban Pioneers prospectus for Middlehaven, Middlesbrough has been announced for next week. This is linked to the first set of potential self-build or community-build development plots below. Part of the new round of HCA sponsored custom-build opportunities.