What is Green Home Construction?

A ‘green’ building is a structure that is either converted or constructed from the blueprint to be environmentally safe and consumer friendly. They are usually created out of recycled (if applicable) materials wherever possible, and have either a positive impact on the Earth or a very slight carbon footprint, especially when compared to standard structures.

Regarding materials, green design is based on the idea to create high quality constructed buildings with a low environmental impact. More buildings with lighter footprints mean a healthier, longer-lasting planet, which is not only a win for the builder but one for the consumer and obviously the environment as well. Green structures rely on solar panels and off-the-grid environments to capitalize on the sun’s natural energy.

Using sustainable and natural resources as building materials is important because green construction isn’t just a matter of using certain resources to build; it’s about a cleaner Earth and using different building processes and materials to maximize savings, durability, and efficiency.

The boons of having a green home are numerous. The use of toxin-free materials helps to reduce indoor air pollution. The unhealthy air inside your home can pose severe risks to your health. A healthier and more natural home can mean less risk of airborne and other types of diseases, as well as (potentially) reduced medical bills and fewer days lost at work.

Another bonus is cost efficiency. The average costs of owning a green home versus a standard come in at being either slightly or significantly while still being very environmentally. However, they can cost more to build up front. If that is the case, it’s because engineers, designers, plumbers, electricians, and architects don’t have the experience to quickly and cost effectively build green homes yet, but that can and will change in time. Find out more by visiting the U.S. Green Building Council website.

Additionally you may want to learn some “Must Knows” in the video below:

On average, the values of green homes are often significantly higher than their standard non-green counterparts. In New York City, an LEED-certified green high-rise apartment draws between fifteen and twenty percent higher monthly rent.

State, town, local and federal governments are offering more and more tax breaks to owners or contractors that own green-constructed or green-modified homes. These tax breaks are not only an incentive to design your home with the green mentality but also to add more LEED certified green features to your home.

As previously stated, green homes are far more environmentally friendly. Home and residential cooling and heating make up for more than 25 percent of the United States’ annual energy use. Not to mention appliances and other forms of electronic equipment that are commonly used. With all of that in mind, houses make up for more than 40 percent of the United States’ yearly energy consumption!

The environmentally friendly attitude that greenhouses possess extends to water conservation, not just electricity conservation. Far more efficient plumbing, shower, and bath fixtures and water-conserving irrigation systems also contribute to saving more water than standard homes.

All in all, the green structure mindset is more than an architectural or money saving technique, it is also a way of life that is dedicated to prolonging the life of the Earth, bettering the community, and saving the environment.

What is an Architectural Engineer?

You may be interested in following a career in Building Engineering or Architectural Engineering, but you are not quite sure what the subject covers. The first thing to realize is that architectural engineers are not architects. While an architect may be most interested in the appearance of a building, the architectural engineer will concentrate on the engineering within that building: This includes best practices and principles which he has learned from his schooling and experience in design and construction. If you wish to follow this type of engineering career than an architectural engineering degree is an excellent qualification to achieve.

What is the difference between an architect and an architectural engineer?
An architect is a professional who designs a building. A structural engineer is a professional who applies his knowledge of engineering techniques and technologies to ensure that the building is safe and functional.

A degree level course in architectural engineering will start to educate the new engineer in the techniques applicable to buildings. Electrical, mechanical, structural and civil engineering branches will all be studied. Students will also learn about CAD (Computer Aided Design) techniques and tools.

Structural engineering is the study of materials and structures. Students learn about the properties of building materials such as wood, concrete, steel, etc., and they learn how to analyze the performance of structures made from those materials. The performance of a structure includes the cost of materials, the ease of building the structure, and the ability to withstand the required environmental stresses. Analysis techniques will be learned to ensure that the structure can withstand hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. With proper safety margins.

As well as ensuring the security of the building the architectural engineer will have the task of designing the various services which the building needs. All buildings require services such as heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC), as well as lighting, plumbing, electrics such as elevators and security systems, etc. The student architectural engineer will learn the engineering basics which enable him to design these building systems. For example knowledge of thermodynamics, fluids and electrical engineering will all be vital for the designer of HVAC systems.

School students who are planning to study architectural engineering are advised to concentrate on mathematics and science courses. High mathematical standards is a must for students of all branches of engineering.

During your course, you will probably find that your college or university arranges co-op and intern programs to help students gain real-world experience. Taking part in an intern program will give you a lot of good experience, and will undoubtedly be an excellent addition to your resume. Experience will certainly help you get a better job when you finish your course.

An architectural engineering degree course will require a lot of hard work over its four-year duration. If you can pass the course, you will have many well paid and exciting career possibilities ahead of you.

To find out about the salary in this field, see the below video, or check out the Bureau of Labor and Statistics here.

How to Choose an Architect For Your Home

There are some essential issues to consider when you are searching for a home design architect. If you are looking for someone to design a new building or a perform a renovation for your home, you will want someone willing to listen to your direction. You likely have specific ideas for what the finished product will look like, and your home design architect should be sensitive to that. Here are a few things to remember when considering different designers.

The first thing you should do is to seek referrals from friends, co-workers, family members, or other professionals in related fields with whom you feel comfortable. This first step is always a great way to start. To compliment referrals, you should also look through the yellow pages under the terms “Architects.” Third, you should do an internet search for architecture companies, or you can search beyond your area if you are comfortable working with an architect across state lines.

After you have made a few choices to select from, now comes the part in which you will need to interview each architect to get a feel for the person as well as his or her work. There are several important things that you should key in on with each architect’s interview. There is no particular order in which these questions, however, they should at the very least respond to a level of satisfaction on your part. And for more helpful tips, check out this article.

1. Experience 
How long have they been in the design business? What is their training?

2. Request to see examples of their work
It is customary to see their portfolio, i.e. a set of plans, photos of finished products, etc. Ideally, if an architect has a website you usually can see a portfolio of photos and stock plans there before your initial interview.

3. References
While they will only provide you with references from folks who had “good” experiences with the designer, it is still helpful to hear what their experiences were.

4. Professional affiliations
Is the designer a member of a business related organization? Often this is a testament to how serious they are about their profession.

5. Continuing education
Ask whether or not your choice designers participate in Continuing Education.Usually, if they are a part of a professional organization, it is required.

6. Do they use contracts?
Ask if the designer has a contract for custom home design services. Ask about the terms and what will each party accept.

7. Pricing
How much? Don’t ignore the elephant is the room. Know what you are projected to pay for the service. (Note: It is important that you have some knowledge of home design services and pricing before interviewing the designer, so you will have a benchmark on the cost to determine your budget for a set of custom plans.) Prices will vary as will the level of talent and experience.

There may be more questions that you would want to ask, but the above are essential in making a decision on who you will hire. Remember, you will have to work with this person for several weeks, perhaps months. Make sure you are comfortable with the architect, that way the process can be a smooth and pleasant journey.

Find out more about choosing an architect in this short video. Thanks for stopping by, and Good luck!!

Types of Architecture Designs

In order to survive, it’s obvious that a shelter is of great importance. Not only does it provide a comfortable place to live, but it also offers protection from many things. In ancient times, humans used caves as their shelter. A cave was primarily intended to provide protection from the weather and wild animals. With the passage of time, the residence of man evolved along with everything else.

These days, there is a large variety of choices regarding the style and architecture of houses. Many of these styles are the most ancient ones. Almost every great civilization in history has introduced a unique style of its own. Many are now rare to see because of the expenses and area they require. Most of the new ones, however, are less costly derivatives of those grand ancient styles.

Let us take a look at some of the most significant architectural styles:

• The history of a particular architecture starts from the great Egyptian civilization in around 3000 BC. There were several other cultures with their unique architecture at the same time, but none was as grand as that of Egyptians. However, one similarity between all the ancient architectural structures was that pleasing the gods was one of the primary functions of their buildings. Therefore, temples from Egypt, Greece and places like the Indus-Valley are considered the best structures to show off the architectural beauty of their times. Later, Greeks also introduced their unique architectural style, which was simple yet beautiful. The Pyramid of Giza and the Temple of Athens are the best examples to define the ancient architectural style.

The Chinese developed a unique style which is still vastly used in China. It also has its great influence on Japanese architecture. The Chinese architectural style and is heavily based on a horizontal axis with a floating roof on the top.

The Roman architecture started the architectural style of the Middle Ages. Although people speak of its similarities with the Greek style, there is a significant difference between the two. The Romans introduced arches while Greeks preferred a more block-like structure. Furthermore, Roman forms were not just pleasing; they were engineered to be more practical.

• Byzantine Architecture also got very popular in Europe. Hagia Sofia became a symbol of this beautiful style. The Roman and Byzantine style, however, later evolved into the Romanesque and Gothic style. Concurrently, the Renaissance style became very popular in Europe. It is quite obvious that this style significantly affected the Islamic architectural style during the crusades.

• Islamic architecture can be classified into several categories, some elements remain same in all the styles and are easily identifiable as Islamic art.

• Modern day design is a unique blend of all styles, with the very first emphasis on safety and practicality. Architectures and engineers have incorporated different styles inspired by historic buildings to art movements. While some buildings are based on incredibly simple block styles, some have broken all the conventions with their unbelievable design. With so many styles and endless combinations, the future of architecture seems beyond the conventional boundaries. If you are having your own home built, and are interested in what potential blue prints and plans look like, check out some options here from the popular magazine Southern Home Living.

In addition to the above summary of types of architecture, we have included a video that you’ll find useful.

Careers in Architecture and Construction

An architect will design new buildings and the spaces around them, plans alterations to existing buildings, works on building regeneration projects and advises on the restoration and conservation of old properties. On every project, architects work in close collaboration with many other professionals. They collaborate with the construction industry, and they liaise with engineers and surveyors to make sure that buildings meet the necessary standards. These measures include health and safety and building regulations.

Their job is to oversee projects from its beginning to its end. They are involved at the start of a project, working closely with clients and officials to make sure that projected designs meet the specific requirements of these groups. The client must be happy, and safety inspectors must be satisfied with the quality of construction. Additionally, planning officers must agree the project meets planning standards.

The skills and aptitudes needed for a career in architecture are wide. They need a strong background in various fields of mathematics, but also need good design and creative skills, so art and technical design are particularly useful. They have to be good communicators and must be able to articulate information clearly to a broad range of people, from clients to builders. A knowledge of IT and business skills are also essential.

Other routes open to someone with an architectural background include:

1. Building Inspector
Building Inspectors (also known as Building control officers or building control surveyors) check to see if buildings meet construction regulations. These laws cover areas like fire safety, energy conservation, public health, and the accessibility of these construction sites. These inspectors also get involved in the planning and development project phase. These projects will range in size from even a small housing extension to as large as city center redevelopment.

2. Industrial Designer
An industrial designer’s job is to mix the art and design factor with the mathematics and discipline involved with engineering.
Their job is to study the connection between the product and its consumer. They also usually work with engineers and other designers to ensure that the design is feasible and that the product can be made, and made sure that it works. Also, they collaborate with marketers to make sure that this product is something the average consumer will want to purchase.marketers (to make sure it is a product that consumers will want). If you’re thinking of pursuing this field, take a look here for your higher education. If you’re thinking of pursuing this field, take a look here for your higher education.

3. Interior Designer
An interior designer’s primary role is to create indoor spaces, specifically. This skill includes designing the look of walls, windows, doors, textures, light, and furniture. Their job is also to plan the areas and outlines of almost every type of building including business offices, hospitals, schools, private houses, restaurants and airport terminals. Interior designers tend to have varied experience and skills, including environmental psychology, architecture, product design, and traditional decorating skills.

4. Landscape Architect
A landscape architect is a branch of the umbrella term ‘engineer’ that is mostly involved in the creation, planning design and execution of an exterior landscape or outdoor space idea. Landscape architecture involves investigating the landscape and designing according to that particular environment. The profession includes site planning, environmental restoration, urban design and parks and recreation planning. It combines art and design, technical and construction skills with an aim to care for and be in sympathy with nature.

5. Urban Planner
An urban planner is skilled at making the best use of a community’s infrastructure as well as the land available for the various projects. They design plans for the construction of buildings, as well as managing projects in not only urban but suburban areas as well. They consider many factors in their planning such as the social needs of that demographic, effects on the environment, as well as costs to make the most use of the land. Community plans need to also take account environmental pollution, traffic, real estate values and safety issues of the area.

And for a bonus to you, we’re even adding this cute little video on Urban Planning.


And for a bonus to you, we’re adding this cute little video on Urban Planning.

What is the Meaning of Texture in Architecture?

Different kinds of textures have consistently been used throughout the ages, and throughout the history of architecture to breathe life into buildings and to make certain emotions arise from the individual who is analyzing the structure, creating a unique experience for the individual’s senses. The ability to express the real qualities of certain materials for the purpose of establishing and articulating a structure or room is essential to any designer. The texture of a surface, whether it be inside or outside, is a very important and fundamental that exists to some extent in all types of buildings.

Different kinds of textures can essentially ‘make or break’ the feel of a structure when it comes to the design aspect. It’s extremely crucial and can create a certain rhythm or pattern, that can create or dampen the sensation that an individual experiences when traveling through the area’s space. Different textures allow the person to see and feel the building as well as catching a glimpse of how it was made.

One of the foremost areas that any architectural designer could excel in is the lighting department. A lot of art-inspired structures are built with lighting in mind because the contrast of shadows and the juxtaposition of the light can have a profound effect on whoever is inspecting it. Because shadows have depth, the right lighting conditions can make something pop.

An alternative, as is the subject of this article, is the material or texture of the resources used. People already know what the most common materials feel like; concrete is rough, marble is smooth, and steel is cold. But how does that factor into the art that is architecture? The texture of a certain material can give the viewer an insight and a more complex appreciation for the mathematically genius work of art that is in front of them. Check out the architectural works of art in these buildings.

Texture can be used in a work of art or architectural masterpiece, such as a magnificent capital building, to create a visual interest or focal point in the composition of a particular area. Again, with the light, it can also create either a subtle or overbearing contrast with the rest of its surroundings, depending on its incorporation.

The texture (or lack thereof) of materials used in architectural structure can have a misleading effect, which is called an implied texture. An implied texture is something that you expect to feel if you were to run your hand over something. Imagine going to pet a cat and feeling sandpaper as you brushed its fur. Pretty odd, right? This has its uses in both art, architecture, and photography.

Lastly, the differences of light interaction with the materials used to create the structure can potentially create an extraordinary experience for the individual who is analyzing the piece of work.


What is Greek Architecture?

Whenever you drive through your local big city, you see a lot of incredible architecture; whether it be in the form of your state capital building using that old marble style, or that crazy looking glass thing that you’re quite unsure of, but still looks great. We take great architecture for granted more than we’d like to think. It’s everywhere on our daily commute. Sometimes it’s beautiful, sometimes it’s far too shabby for our tastes, but it’s there.

How often do we stop and look at and admire a piece of architecture? Stopping and examining a piece of work such as those that you find interesting not only gives us a chance to realize the connection that our society has with ancient times in the shape of architectural formations but also lets us understand our surroundings. These kinds of architectural similarities have the ability to link together entirely separate cultures through the art that is Architecture, and this is particularly the case with the different types of Greek architectural styles, which have stood the test of time and has made its way through every kind of western civilization. If you are interested in seeing some Greek Architecture pictures, check out this article on History.com.

What we now know as Greek architecture refers to the architecture of the Greeks and Peloponnesian speaking peoples, who lived in the B.C times around the Aegean sea. Greek architecture greatly inspired Roman architecture in profound ways, so the more modern Roman Imperial architecture incorporated many Greek elements into its practice and style.

Greek architecture and more importantly Greek temples are often lumped into categories depending which style they followed at the time of their creation. A ‘prostyle’ designed temple has pillars and columns that are only placed at the front, while an ‘amphiprostyle’ temple has columns placed at both the front and rear of the structure. Temples that follow a ‘peripteral’ arrangement (from the Greek word ‘pteron’ which means ‘wing’) have a simple and straightforward line of columns and pillars that stretch all the way around the perimeter of the structure.

Even a basic overview of Greek architecture as a whole demonstrates the range, style, and diversity that it possesses. The most recognizable Greek structures are certainly the temples. The earliest variants were made with wood, mud, brick, and thatch; materials that wouldn’t ordinarily survive very long. The primary form of these temples was a simple rectangular building with projecting walls that created a shallow porch. This basic concept remained unmolested for many centuries until the use of more permanent materials began to emerge. Some examples of this are shown in the oldest standing formations that are still in Greece; they are made of granite, marble, and other stones.

During the time span known as the Archaic period, the core tenets of Greek architecture in the mainland was beginning to be established. This led to an astonishingly big wave of temple and monument building.

During the fifth through sixth centuries B.C, the Greek city-states invested significant amounts of time and resources into temple construction; this led to the competition between different resources, styles and economic values that created what was known as Graeco-Roman architecture.


Art that influenced Greek Architecture

In the B.C. ages, the Ancient Greeks became renowned for their mathematical genius and political intrigue when they invented democracy. Not to mention the most attractive aspect of all; when they looked at art through the distorted eyeglass of western civilization. During the Classical Ages, they also had a plethora of great historians, and developed the style of storytelling and recounting historical actions known as the Severe Style, which is still very popular today.

Aside from the Greek’s love of architecture was art, of course. The different ages inspired the architectural progress between the ages. You can look at a pillar from any Greek period and, without actually knowing it, take one look at the details near the top and bottom of the column or the material and figure out which age it’s from. Art inspired architecture, and architecture inspired art; these two tenets of Greek culture were the basis of not only western society but what also call art today.

There were three periods of time that mattered the most for the development of art. The Archaic Period, the Classical Period, and the Hellenistic Period. All three of the different ages gave monumental advantages in the techniques performed in creating art.

Archaic Period
The Greek sculptors from the Archaic Period made statues of people, mostly, called Korai (for women) and Kouroi (for men). All of these statues had similar features, except for the differences in the busts for the different genders, and were sculpted with their arms stiffly at their sides. Both of the two variations of statues were clothed in loose fitting robes and held no distinctive poses or mannerisms.

Classical Period
During the time following the Archaic Period, known as the Classical Period, the artists and sculptors would craft the same kind of monuments and statues, but in different poses, with a more relaxed stance. They were also far more detailed than the previous ages’ statues. Before, when it had been a rectangularly shaped loose-fitting toga, it transformed into breastplates and armor with very individual and precise details, with each statue that an artist created becoming more beautiful and renowned than the previous. Some of the postures that were now being crafted were even action scenes. Some of the most famous and brilliant examples from this period were the statue of Zeus at Olympia and incredibly well known Athena at Parthenos statue. This statue may be the most famous work of art to come out of any Greek period, since the inception of its style.

Hellenistic Period
After Alexander, the Great had already conquered most of Asia and East Asia, the sculptures and artwork of the Greeks had become heavily influenced by all of the different cultures that had originally intermingled with the culture and society of the Greeks. This period is also known as the Hellenistic Period. This new age of art saw new subjects, not just men in armor or gods, like women, children, and animals being incorporated into the art and mosaics. Some of the more widely known works of art from the Hellenistic Period include the Dying Gaul, the Winged Victory of Samothrace and Venus de Milo.

Greek sculptures as a whole were meant to show perfection in the way they were designed. Their goal was to create near lifelike images of humans and other things. Unlike their competitors, the Romans, they never allowed any art to be displayed that had any imperfections, no matter how minuscule.

However, not all of the ancient Greek’s art was in the form of marble statues. Modern historical records from reputable sources indicate that painting was one of the most enjoyed art forms of its time. Sadly, less than a handful of these paintings have survived over the millennia, since the majority were painted on wood and canvas, both of which are very susceptible materials.

The legacy of the ancient Greek’s art is one to be admired and studied. Greek art and architecture have had an incredible influence in today’s society, and societies prior. The artists during the period of the Renaissance were even inspired by the art of the Greeks. If we’ve aroused your curiosity, you can take an online class through Khan Academy on Ancient Greek and Mediterranean art!



Whats The ROI On Choosing The Right Renovation Company

There are many different approaches for how to choose the right renovation company. Some things you can look out for are professionalism, good client-renovation company chemistry, and having a pleasant experience. But some people might say that these are more or less “feel good” benefits and that it’s a better deal to just go with the lowest offer from a reputable renovation company. The reasoning behind this is that as long as the company is reputable, you’ll get a good job no matter what.

The fact is, “reputable” doesn’t mean a renovation company necessarily has the right manpower, skills, or experience to deliver your specific type of job on time, on budget, and to your expectations.

Let me give you a quick example: A renovation company recently won a bid for a restaurant space. They hadn’t ever done a restaurant and there quite a few things had to be resized, reordered and redone. They finally got things right, but it forced the restaurant owners to delay their opening for several months – and pay rent even though they weren’t yet open. Cash flow isn’t just a “feel good” benefit. With a better-fit renovation company, the restaurant owner could have started seeing money come in months earlier if he’d chosen a better-fit renovation company.

You see these same kinds of experience shortfalls in home remodeling. For instance, a renovation company that is very experienced at doing kitchen and bathroom remodels doesn’t necessarily have the expertise to do a great job on a “pop top” addition project.

Once you determine that a renovation company is reputable (professional, financially stable, etc.), make sure they have done projects similar to the one you’re considering. That way, when you talk with former clients, you can make apples-to-apples comparisons between what these clients experienced and the ROI you’re likely to see on your own project.

Remember, ROI isn’t just about that initial bid. It’s about finding a company who can deliver all the “feel good” advantages of professionalism and quality craftsmanship plus the dollars-and-cents rewards of delivering a great job on time and on budget.