August 2011
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Archive: The Science of Architecture August 2011

First Light House Third in USA

Ken Collins Oct 03, 2011

A few months back I wrote about the First Light House that was too have competed at the Solar Decathlon in Washington DC. The First Light House team in front of their house in Washington DC (Credit: Stefano Paltera/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon) As a quick refresher, the US Department of Energy web site summarises the competition … Read More

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Pre-Designing Your Lab for Sustainability

Ken Collins Aug 15, 2011

VUW Coastal Ecology Lab A short time ago I was reading this article in the R&D Mag online. Titled ’Pre-designing your lab for sustainability’ it makes a number of relevant points when thinking about laboratory design. Although it appears to be aimed at university type projects the points it makes is certainly relevant to all laboratory facilities of all … Read More

First Light on Energy Efficient Bach

Ken Collins Jun 10, 2011

A computer render of the First Light House, from the FirstLight web site Its not often that Wellington City Council allows a bach (crib to you southerners) to be built at Frank Kitts Park on Wellington’s waterfront. However, before Waterfront Watch get too alarmed, this construction was the live demonstration / test of the First Light house, developed and built … Read More

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More Power, Less Acceleration

Ken Collins Mar 16, 2011

Lyttleton's Time Ball Station from the Stuff web site Just a quick update today, following on from the theme of the last post, and the horror of the devastation Japan is now experiencing. With the NZ government announcing a Royal Commission of Enquiry into the building collapses in Christchurch, it has been interesting to observe people’s perceptions, from politicians all … Read More

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How Building Standards Have Changed

Ken Collins Oct 04, 2010

With the recent events in Canterbury and Invercargill it looks like the building standards in NZ will again come under close scrutiny. The suitability of our standards is a valid question and response, especially when our knowledge has recently been increased by the Earthquake and the collapse of the Invercargill sports stadium roof. The first design standards for earthquake loadings … Read More

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Initial Thoughts on the Canterbury Earthquake

Ken Collins Sep 06, 2010

Deans Homestead - Photo from stuff.co.nz The big earthquake in Canterbury last weekend has certainly reminded us just how shaky our isles are, in dramatic fashion. While our thoughts are with all of those affected, and we are all grateful that there has been no loss of life, the quake has exposed — very graphically — just how buildings react … Read More

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Building Materials That Kill Bacteria

Ken Collins Aug 23, 2010

In an effort to control the spread of bacteria (that are harmful to humans), the science world is always coming up with some interesting innovations. This now includes additives to building materials that will kill bacteria, including the dreaded MRSA strain. Antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal powdercoating has been available commercially for a few years, and now scientists have developed an … Read More

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Fit for Purpose?

Ken Collins Aug 05, 2010

This recent article on The Herald web site highlights how careful we all need to be when trying to contain things in a secure laboratory environment. While I don’t know the specific details of this particular facility or the event that was investigated, it does highlight that the success of any laboratory is the interaction between the buildings features … Read More

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