Silicone detailing

by scays on 17/02/2015

Mould in a gent urinalYou have heard me going on about the use of Silicone and a sealant and it’s bad use in the construction industry, I can’t even begin to think of the number of hotel bathrooms I have been in and seen the bath or shower edged with a peeling slip of corroded silicone.

So today I gave a 1 hour lecture to my students on its correct use and the need to research the product, specify correctly and most important, detail the joint correctly.

It can be done, just understand why silicone works. take time to specify the right silicone, and phone the manufacturers, I have used several manufacturers and have my pet tech lines, they will help specify the way the site should be cleaned, prepared, and the silicone applied, together with any sealant backer.

Consider also if a better detail can be used, a shadow grove for instance

The slide set below are my notes, which have a reference at the end for sites I found useful, the slide set is dynamic, and will be updated as I get time to research and add new copy.


Guédelon The Final Episode

by scays on 22/12/2014

10" RollThis morning, I watched the final episode of Guédelon, on iPlayer and it was a bumper issue, not best till last, because I have been hooked on all the episodes, but this last one was particularly good. From the design of the Arch, to the way it was drawn full size on the Tracing Floor, to the Masons Lodge both sides, the rough Ashlar and the Smooth Ashlar, to create the design, and its dry fitting and erection.

I can not emphasise the need to understand this process, the way the design is drawn is without doubt the most interesting, the Mason used tools that we tend to forget, the beam compass, and right angle, triangle with plum bob level,the  pencil a new invention but I can forgive this.

My students ask why they were told to buy a small drawing board, I told them this will last for ever, you will use it all the way through your career, I still have mine. But the main reason is that before you learn CAD, I have to teach you to think the detail in your head, to see the detail in 3D, to be able to sketch it without the aid of CAD.

Stay with me over the Christmas period, there will be posts, but good food, wine and excellent company might slow down any blogging.


Big Data & the Technologist

by scays on 19/12/2014

Standing outside Starbucks - #2Quite a while ago, I listed a new section within my CPD, I wanted to get into and understand how Big data would affect not only me as a person, but also my profession, and how I might teach detailing in the future.

Like many projects it got side lined as personal problems like taking up teaching, in a more serious way, my Professorship, which I take very seriously, and business got in the way. But as they say, I’m back, and have started to read more on the subject. I have started by the usual search on Google, and adding the results to my Evernote collection, tagging as I go, with items all linked with a single tag of “big data” then I have added separate tags to identify how I want to see it and whether or not is to be read, the obvious tag of “Read” comes in handy here.

I wrote about this a long while ago, after looking at a couple of IBM videos on Youtube, most of the information available looks at the way big data affects things like transport, improved capacity, the traveller experience, but my interest is how it will affect the design of buildings, or even the need for certain buildings.

Take for instance the way the car is used, I have a garage and a car, in fact we have two garages, and two cars, yet only one car gets put away, mine tends to stay out in all weather, and my half of the double garage gets used for storage and some form of workshop. thats fine, but what happens if the new driverless taxi takes of, do I need a car, and will new house designs need a garage.

Take the idea a little forward, perhaps I might get a better rate if I let the driverless taxi refuel, or plug in at my home, whilst it waits for a call. The point is, will big data and the way its affecting life change the way we design and detail.

Thats my interest, do I need to forget the garage, will planners need to re establish the local road structure and guide lines on house design.As soon as you look into the subject of Big Data, it becomes so clear that the smart house, is intrinsically embedded into the subject matter, and this is a subject I have been looking at over the years.

About a year ago, I started to look at the way, global warming would affect, my detailing, I was concerned that the condensation point for almost any structure might be affected, simply because we design for a singular thermal gradient, in that energy flows predominately out of the building, in fact we detail primarily to stop this happening, but as global warming takes over this might well be reversed, and the condensation point forced to move within the building towards the inside, causing mould and all sorts of rot problems.

Next comes along the new Nest products, the home automation, which will switch on a house heating just in time for your home coming, I am aghast at this, it seems to me, this will cause even more problems with housing, with heating of cooling being switched on just because its needed by the occupant, I want the home automation hub, to look at local big data and decide if its right to switch on, will there be enough sun to power the system, and is there a weather front heading towards the house that might affect the way it will work, and best of all, will switching on the cooling system cause condensation in the wrong place.

This brings in immediate local sensors embedded within the structure, and community sensors within a small radius broadcasting open free data on say temperature, wind speed, humidity, and cloud cover and cloud movement or direction, which might be stored on say local lighting poles of local buildings, again powered by solar.

So much to think of and so much to research, my note book is going to get filled, and Evernote will be working overtime to store it all, but most of all, will I be able to use it in my practice.



10″ Roll Detail Paper

by scays on 18/12/2014

10" RollFor over 40 years, I have made use of this classic method of designing, and detailing, using rolls of tracing paper to overlay, trace and outline my detailing and design work.

I all started way back in junior school, when we as a class raided the toilets to get the see through toilet rolls paper to trace over some map or picture to use within some project, little did I realise that it would become an almost daily process for the next 40 odd years.

When I first started work there was no specific Architects detail paper rolls, we purchased an A0 roll of tracing paper and used a saw to cut it into lengths, but I am so glad to say, the market has woken up to this and we now get all sorts of suppliers, offering not just the classic roll but all sorts of paper weights, and colours.

Todays photo is one I took to show, introduce, my students into this method of working, I am so pleased to tel you that almost all have purchased rolls from the Internet and use it constantly in my lessons. More of the same can be found on mt Flickr site

I promote the idea of using both pencil and coloured felt tips to layer floors the picture today shows this on a survey we did of a Masonic Building in Severn Street, Birmingham.

The idea is not to throw away details or designs, but keep them, number and date them, add them to your design diary, go back and review if neccasary, but do not throw away the scraps of roll, add notes, scan them if you must, I actually do this with Evernote, making sure I tag the file and show where and what project they come from.

I use both a very lightweight canary Yellow roll, and a heavy weight course grain white roll which I lie to use fr pencil work only.



Guédelon A Castle in the Making

16 December 2014

I have been watching the very excellent program on BBC 2 re the rebuilding of a castle in the middle of France, a place called Guédelon using all construction, materials and methods of the time C 1200 Its interesting to see how and why certain things were done, plus, the tools they used to get such […]

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Germany has yet again Set New Solar Record

15 December 2014

The very excellent article on the  Inhabitat site shows that Germany has yet again set Solar record, this time meeting nearly half the countries weekend power demand. The article is an impressive read, not just because of Germany’s ability to shut down eight Nuclear power plants and concentrate of Solar, but because they are leading the […]

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Think like an Architect – or not

11 December 2014

The following videos, I find interesting, Although I am by heart a Technologist, I have rubbed shoulders with Architects for so long, I tend to wonder, do I now think like a technologist, or Architect. The answer is a little in the middle, students come to me and ask, why we teach design, my answer […]

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Google Mapping – updates and alteration methods

10 December 2014

I am an Apple user, but for the large portion of my work output, I use Google, and that extends to Google Maps, they are very good, and far better than Apples maps. For business, I use then to both locate the site, see the site, and view the plot in satellite mode. The video […]

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Google Drive

7 December 2014

As both a teaching medium, and as my primary writing, spreadsheet, and photo store ( next to Flickr ), Google Drive is farley important to me, I use it daily, and link to the various docs, presentations, and spreadsheets, quite a lot. So I tend to try and keep up with any tutorials, and one […]

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Academic Papers

7 December 2014

I am placed in a unique position as a Professor, I get to read a lot of papers, not just student papers but all sorts of academic papers written by some very intelligent people. This comes from in part researching my own papers, and in part following up lines of research for construction techniques, materials, […]

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