Wednesday, March 27, 2013

More work on Facade models

27 March 2013: Although it is vacation, we managed to get some more aluminium and the BlueSky Dreamers group made further progress with their facade model. This is the 'braced megaframe', although it may be so strong that it may not sway very much. Oh well, it's been a great experience so far making it!
It has to be well secured to the base so that it sways instead of toppling over. There will be a counter-weight at the top.The floor plates are clear plastic, and the intention is to go about a metre tall. This is loosely based on the Hearst Building in New York.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Phil's bookshelves high with tall

21 Mar 2013: Phil posted these photos on Twitter of his bookshelves, groaning under the weight of 500th scale models accumulated over the months and years of teaching tall buildings

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Last week of spring term

20 Mar 2013: The equinox day started with heavy fluffy snow falling and it was the day of our final tutorial before the vacation. Unfortunately, I completely forgot to take a photo during the day!
   We started with a lecture by Richard Waterhouse and Savita Poojari of ActivePlan. They have visual information database modelling software that allows for managed maintenance of facades in tall buildings. They already have a contract for 3 tall buildings in London, including Tower 42. This was a useful lesson in the importance of making the facade durable, and of designing it to be accessible using cleaning cradles. Incidentally, Savita who has worked on this is one of the first cohort of Sustainable Tall Buildings graduates from our course.
 We then had a Lecture from John Macdonald of Ecoworks, a Nottingham based organisation promoting the local growing of edible fruit and nuts. He is also working with Splant. See their YouTube video at:
See also
Although he doesn't know skyscrapers specifically, he understands Vertical Farming, and is excellent at discussing the organisation of species to achieve greatest productivity. Ecoworks/Splant is involved in developing one of about 4 storeys in Nottingham that may be the first in the UK. Best of luck to John with that! John stayed till 2pm helping 4 of the groups who had chosen to include either vertical farming or rooftop farming. We also had Matt Humphreys (from last semester's Singapore project) explaining his vertical farming project for Tanjong Pagar.
The rest of the day was spent on Tutorials with DNC and Phil, trying to help the students make crucial decisions before the long March-April break. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Facade model work: getting there

18 March 2013: We do a big push in the facade modelling project every Monday. This is the last monday of term and we would like to test the models before the end of term, but that looks unlikely. we can't get all the materials in time from the stores. We may be testing in the wind tunnel during the vacation.

DNC Tests the first model to be nearly complete - the baseboard is on a roller base and can be shaken with a metronome to give timing.

The lattice facade model is progressing, but it is awfully hard work with so many bolts to do up.

Pot Luck at DNC House Mar'13

17 March 2013: We celebrated St Patricks day with a Pot Luck lunchtime at the Peveril Solar house. It was raining all the time, and has done so for the last three pot lucks at the house - so yet again, DNC cannot take students onto field to look at the house from Sharp Hill - and no sunshine to show how the panels work. 

The early arrivals are the first visitors to use the Conservatory since last summer!

Forgot to photo the table with all the food, but never mind, here we are all lining up for the desserts!

The Floating Clouds group form a huddle in the sitting room

Before we go, the group photo contains everybody (thanks for the big effort!) except for two, Douglas and Amna, who couldn't for work or travel reasons.

Everybody has been well trained by their Mums and Dads to take shoes off before walking on the carpet. Just as well, as it has been raining all day.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

More work on Facade models

15 March 2013: We've had the interim crit, so attention turns back to the facade modelling project. Much laser cutting has been done and all groups want to push forward and get the models ready for testing next week.

Superscraper are building a core made of transparent laser cutoutsSuperscraper are working on a lattice facade model, but will it ever be complete? - there are a very large number of nodes to be bolted.
Superscraper's lattice close upSuperscraper work on their lattice
Bluesky dreamers: the girls are marking up aluminium strips for drillingBluesky have a very large number of holes to drill in the aluminium strips using a modelling drill.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Crit of 13th March'13

13 March 2013: We had an interim crit for the Elephant and Castle scheme, with students producing drawings that could be pinned up. DNC was joined by John Ramsay and Noura Ghabra for the day. After an initial 'Show and Tell' around the model, we had 40 minute table based tutorials with each of the groups.

Group DAV have a 'Higher Education tower'

While the table tutorials are taking place, the remaining groups work quietly together on their design. I said... Quietly!

Group ZZYZX have a mixed use twin tower, including a vertical farm.

Group ZZYZX (DNC taking photos, and therefore missing from these photos….)

Noura makes a planning point for Group ZZYZX

Jayanth has a tower with a heavy megabrace at the east and west ends, and residentials facing south.

Group ATA have a really nice new model since last week, no laser cutting! This is hand-made craftsmanship!

Group JQD have complex cubic ideas, and it's going to need a very large cup of tea to think this one out!

Meanwhile, a little bit of the Core and Outrigger facade model is put together to show John what we are doing.

Group L2C have a twin tower that meets at the top. We are trying to improve the podium structures, bringing them to connect more closely with the Elephant and Castle

Group Big Blend produced very advanced drawings and a new model which impressed all of us. But it wasn't long before we were moving their entire building to the north, to form a new arrangement.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tutorial day with Steve and Ivan 6 Mar 2013

6 Mar 2013: We were lucky to have two expert visiting tutors, Steve Fernandes (Arups) and Ivan Ivanovic (BDSP). Steve started with a lecture on Structure (while Ivan was still on the train). When Ivan arrived, we had our usual 'Show and Tell' in which each group tells the module what they are doing, using the large model of the Elephant sites. After a few hours of tutorials, we finished with a lecture from Ivan on Environmental Strategies.

Group ATA demonstrating their project in the "Show and Tell"

Ivan has some searching questions for Group DAV

Steve is searching for Structure in Group Big Blend

Steve finding structure in Group ATA

Ivan finds out what Group ZZC are doing - quite a lot!

Steve with Group L2C

Ivan with Group ATA

Ivan delivers a shortened version of his lecture at the end of the day.

More work on the Outrigger model

11 March 2013: It's Facade Technology day again, and after a lecture about ETFE, we see busy hands getting to work to further the facade models. This one is going well, with a realistically laser-cut model of an outrigger truss.

Using the sander on the mini-drill to chamfer edges so that they make a good glued joint.

Two large outriggers are being built.

A happy team, now it's time to resume work on the main project!

We are hoping that everybody will, in some way or other, use ETFE on their building, either for the vertical farming, for atrium walls or for some double skin facade skinning.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Further work on Facade modelling 4.3.13

4 March 2013: Monday is Facade technology day and our minds turn to the modelling project for building some structural facade types.

This is the wind tunnel we intend to use. It is large enough to walk in, there is a turntable at the end, a window to film through and a mobile smoke gun (not sure how to work that!)

The 'Floating Clouds' are working on their core and outrigger model. Although it could be done with a piece of plywood, they prefer to form a laser cut model demonstrating more closely what a major outrigger looks like.

Here is the Belt truss being formed

These trusses wrap around the core, and cantilever out to the belt truss.

Many hands make light work!

Another group, 'Superscraper' are working on the lattice facade, but got a bit disheartened at the number of nuts and bolts they are going to have to secure! 6 bolts per node!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Tall building structures lecture 1 Mar 2013

1 Mar 2013: During the second semester, Phil is reprising the main lectures from the High Rise Issues (HRI) module of the first semester - on Friday mornings to the combined Diploma and Masters Tall Building studios. The lecture on this day was about Structure.