For Spring 2010, I’m teaching graduate-level Environmental Controls II (thermal controls, passive systems) at UT Austin, as well as two undergraduate sections of Building Technology V (lighting, daylighting, acoustics) at UTSA.

Posted in architecture, sustainability, teaching, technology | Leave a comment

Measuring Cost

[Note: this is a lengthier version of an article of mine which first appeared in Matthew Devries’ legal blog, Best Practices Construction Law back in July]

As an architect and a concerned citizen, I frequently am required to evaluate the cost of a particular technology or artifact, and then voice my opinion or advise a client as to its value. In order to shed some light on some of the implicit difficulties in measuring cost, let’s take the seemingly innocuous case of weighing the merits of maintaining existing overhead power lines as opposed to running them underground (the grammatically unpalatable “undergrounding”). Continue reading

Posted in sustainable development | Leave a comment

Review: 3D Modeling in Vectorworks 2009

I’m an advocate of the strategic use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) in architectural design, I’ve trained professionals in the use of Vectorworks (a BIM product) for over a decade, and I’ve taught Vectorworks in universities. So, I have both a practitioner’s and teacher’s interest in what’s available for 3D users of Vectorworks. Lately, I’ve been reading Jonathan Pickup’s new training manual, 3D Modeling in Vectorworks 2009. Continue reading
Posted in 3D modeling, BIM, Vectorworks | 1 Comment

The price of progress

In Hubris and Hybrids, Hard and Jamison adopt a posture which on the face of it attempts to mediate between unbridled technological enthusiasm and reactionary distrust of science. The former, heroic view of science and technology is one which casts all advances in knowledge as inherently salubrious to humanity, while the latter sees all such knowledge as inherently exploitative. Continue reading
Posted in Kennedy, sustainable development, technology | Leave a comment

Who owns saving the world?

In Schatzberg’s critique of Lovins et al.’s Natural Capitalism (2002), the reviewer claims the authors are naïve in enthusiastically and uncritically embracing technology as the solution to environmental problems. This emphasis on technology seems contradictory to the thrust of Lovins’ argument in his 1992 paper (“Energy-Efficient Buildings: Institutional Barriers and Opportunities”, hereafter “EEB”, and which I’ve mentioned previously in this forum), which points to economic inherencies (fee structures, typical project financing, business models, and legal liabilities) as formalized barriers to environmentally sound buildings. Continue reading

Posted in sustainability, sustainable development | 2 Comments

Space 2009

Lunar Regolith Particles in Outposts, a paper for which I’m the lead author, was accepted at the AIAA Space 2009 Conference in Pasadena in September.

Posted in design, extreme environments, lunar settlements, space exploration | Leave a comment

Teaching and press

I am teaching Environmental Controls II to graduate students and Technical Communication at the UT School of Architecture in the Spring 2009 semester. There’s also a profile of me in the Fall 2008 issue of St Johns’ College Magazine.

Posted in teaching | Leave a comment