How we design

Again and again I am astonished as to how long it takes for a great idea for a design until it becomes mainstream.
It likewise amazes me how we design things on a daily basis, the things that are not the great inventions but just things like buildings and infrastructure.

Is Green Really Green? – Material Selection In The Context Of Sustainable Buildings

Most modern designs consider energy as the most important factor in the sustainability of buildings; however, it is not only the energy a building consumes that impacts on its overall sustainability. Materials form a very important factor when analyzing their embodied energy, reusability, recyclability, and impact on both their occupants and the environment as a whole. Materials require to be carefully selected, taking into account their whole life cycle, including their raw material composition, energy mix, production location, durability, long term effects and end use.

Environmental and energy balances of wood products and substitutes

The FAO Forestry Department promotes, among others, the responsible use of wood as an environmentally friendly raw material. In the last decades, wood and wood-based products have been faced with stronger competition from substitute materials, such as plastics, concrete, steel, glass or aluminium, as these materials appear to offer wider options to the customers. Some of the factors that can influence customers’ decisions on what kind of end products to acquire include marketing efforts, product prices, quality, durability and image.

Life Cycle of Window Materials – A Comperative Assessment

This article addresses the life cycle assessment of the materials normally used for window frames, highlighting their respective benefits and weaknesses. Frames of different materials have been assessed on the basis of their production, energy consumption and environmental impacts. It has been found that the embodied energy of the windows made of aluminium, PVC, Al-clad timber and timber, for a reference window.