The Masonry Society | Sustainability E-News | Design with Nature

The Masonry Society

Sustainability E-News

Design with Nature

August 15, 2017                                    

Volume 9, Number 15


From the Editor

Like most things in life, balance is important. Too much of anything can become a detriment. In the last edition we featured an article on energy efficiency and the amount of glazing on the building envelope. This week we consider the need to include both passive and active fire resistance in all building designs. As the article inFOOD for THOUGHT (below) points out, reliance on active fire suppression systems has dramatically increased over the last several decades while reliance on passive fire resistance has decreased. A more balanced approach is needed for more sustainable buildings. 


Christine "Tina" Subasic, PE, LEED AP


NOTE: Inclusion in this newsletter is not an endorsement of the products and materials featured, nor have these products been evaluated by TMS or the editor. Furthermore, the views expressed in the articles featured are those of the article authors.



Many designers interested in green building look to nature for their inspiration. Two of the articles below discuss the benefits of nature-inspired designs. ~Tina


New Ideas in Sustainable Design for Buildings


Many leading sustainable design experts argue that buildings should "actively demonstrate ways of living in harmony with nature," writes Kevin Nute, a University of Oregon architecture professor. "Our work suggests that bringing the movements of sunlight, wind and rain indoors could make passive energy-saving features in buildings more obvious to the people who order and occupy them, and so greatly increase their usage."


How Biomimicry Remains Relevant 20 Years Later

Nature holds the answers to successful corporate sustainability, says Janine Benyus, author of Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. When biologists are at the design table, she said, they "basically ask the question: What in the natural world has already solved the problem that we're trying to solve, and what can it teach us?" Read more.


AIA 2030 Commitment 2016 Progress Report: We Aren't Adapting Fast Enough 

The group's annual assessment finds that, although reporting firms increased by 15 percent since 2015, predicted energy use intensity savings are still coming up short. Read more.





IBM Uses Big Data for Energy Efficient, Cost-Saving Buildings


Greg Peterson, IBM's manager of global energy and environment, said the company uses cognitive solutions and analytics to create smarter buildings that save money and energy. Self-adjusting building control systems will become more commonplace, he said in  this article.




Like most things in life, balance is important. Too much of anything can become a detriment, whether that is the amount of glazing on the building envelope, or a reliance on active fire suppression systems. ~Tina


Is This Risk Equation Out of Balance?

"Every week it seems that we are seeing reports and videos of huge fires consuming very large residential buildings-and sometimes multiple buildings," writes J. Gordon Routley. "We learned the lessons of urban fire protection over a couple of hundred years, but there is no doubt today that we know how to build large buildings that will not burn to the ground and threaten their neighbors. We still have challenges with building contents, but the fire risk of the buildings themselves is within our ability to control. I think that we can all agree that this type is mega-fire is absolutely preventable if we apply that knowledge."



EDUCATIONAL NEWS               


Call for Papers: Symposium on Building Science and the Physics of Building Enclosure Performance 

Papers are invited for the Symposium on Building Science and the Physics of Building Enclosure and Whole Building Performance, October 21, 2018, at the Washington Hilton, Washington, D.C., USA. The symposium is cosponsored by ASTM Internationals Committee on Performance of Buildings (E06) and Committee on Roofing and Waterproofing (D08), and will take place in conjunction with the October standards development meetings of Committee E06. To participate in the symposium, authors must submit a 250-300 word preliminary abstract no later than September 29, 2017. For more information, click here.


Symposium on Balancing Resiliency, Safety, and Sustainability

Committee E60 on Sustainability is sponsoring a symposium on Balancing Resiliency, Safety, and Sustainability to be held October 13, 2017 in New Orleans. The symposium will address topics related to resiliency, safety, and sustainability and the built environment including hurricane, earthquake, flood/moisture, tornado, and fire resistance; design, material and system contributions to resiliency; life-cycle and public policy considerations. For more information click here.



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