Out of sight, out of mind – not a good strategy to encourage conscious consumerism of natural resources and energy! In the developed world, people take for granted resources they use on a daily basis; in a world of diminishing resources, that perception needs to change. What if buildings were constructed so that basic systems such as water and heating, were built on the outside of the buildings? Would we all be more conscious consumers if resources were exposed in a more obvious way?
That was the theory behind “Ecoschool,” the recently announced winner of the Flux Emerging Architect’s Design Competition. Ecoschool won the top prize of Most Innovative and the People’s Choice Award for their project. Ecoschool exposed all the basic systems of a housing complex on the outside of the building so that the systems were no longer just functional, but also expressive of the connectivity between people living near each other, and to each individual’s dependence on those resources on a daily basis.
The contest was sponsored by Flux, a technology company born out of Google’s Moonshot factory to find ways for technology to prepare the AEC industry for the rapid urbanization and coinciding resource challenges we are facing.
Flux provides cloud-based collaboration tools for architects, engineers, and contractors to exchange data and streamline complex design workflows. Flux acts as an interchange point for sharing project data such as the architectural program, schematic designs, analysis models, and material schedules. Flux plugins work with popular design software, such as Rhino/Grasshopper, Excel, and Revit/Dynamo, to automate data transfer to and from Flux. In contrast, most design software today relies on manual file transfer, data conversion, and data-merge, which are tedious and error-prone tasks. Let us handle “the plumbing” so your teams can spend time on what is most important to them: design. Collaboration tools are critical infrastructure to address the urgent need for affordable and sustainable buildings for an urbanizing world. Today, there are 1 billion people with substandard housing. By 2050, another 2 billion people will move into cities. Our industry needs to work together to develop new methodologies to meet this demand, while minimizing our usage of energy, water, and extracted materials. We want to partner with people and companies who share this mission.
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