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And they’ve set up their very own embassy in inner city Sydney! The new embassy was designed by LAVA, with partners Will O'Rourke and The Glue Society, as a fusion of a whale, a rocket ...

© Christos Drazos

Plinthos Pavilion / by mab architects

The Plinthos Pavilion is built using 21816 clay bricks to make a continuous floor and walls. Usually hidden perforated sides of the bricks are exposed thus creating permeable surface.

Kaohsiung Maritime Cultural & Pop Music Center, Taiwan / by MADE IN

Situated in the taiwanese city of Kaohsiung, the project proposes a responsible urbanism based on the heterogeneity of the program, on the urban porosity and on the adaptability to the different situations and events.

Triangular House, Ecuador / by WE Architecture

The starting point of the project was to create a house around a patio as we know it from a lot of colonial style housing. By triangulating the house we minimized the distances from 1 ...

© Javier Rodríguez

Viewpoint Emerging Dining, Chile / by Javier Rodríguez Acevedo

The project was built using wood waste bins, impregnated poles, raschel mesh, river rocks, and wire recycling. It seeks no more than resolve a request from the rural, through the material and the ...

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Category: Building Materials

Flooring for the Modern Home

10181073_1416037_27903 Choosing the type of flooring to install in the various rooms of a home is one of the most important decisions that a homeowner can make. From a construction point of view, the flooring selected needs to be durable; from a design point of view, it needs to be attractive and flexible enough that it can fit seamlessly with a variety of interior design options.

In the past, flooring options for homes were usually quite limited, particularly for homeowners on a budget. Hardwood flooring and carpeting were the primary types of flooring used, with accent flooring such as tile or linoleum only used in smaller rooms and spaces. Today, the range of flooring options to choose from is impressive, including slate and natural stone; porcelain, ceramic, and mosaic tile; a wide variety of carpeting ranging from low pile to shag, and hand-woven area rugs; linoleum; vinyl flooring; cork; parquet and laminate wood flooring; and, of course, hardwood floors in a wide variety of textures, colors, and styles.

Incorporating different flooring themes and designs into a modern home

Having different types of flooring installed throughout the house helps to make each room unique, and is easy to accomplish with so much variety in flooring available. Coordinating flooring, particularly if the home’s floor-plan is open, is a good idea, and finding unique and beautiful ways to blend different types of flooring while maintaining the individual style of the various rooms is simple if a few guidelines are kept in mind.

When it comes to choosing flooring for the kitchen, durability and ease of maintenance are the primary considerations. The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in a home so having quality flooring that will stand up to high foot-traffic is essential. Linoleum is always a popular choice for the kitchen since it lasts well under extreme conditions, resists staining, and is easy to clean and maintain. Tile and laminate flooring are also popular options.

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Application of Photovoltaics in Glass Façades

The use of photovoltaics (PV) is not only limited to generating electricity but can, in fact, also play a major part in energy-saving strategies. With respect to daylight control, in particular, semi-transparent photovoltaics provide a wide range of façade applications.

Application of Photovoltaics in Glass Façades

© Dyesol

The transparency of crystalline-based solar modules is determined by the distance between each cell: the closer the cells to each other, the higher the total photovoltaic output of the panels. In the course of a research project carried out at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT, Germany), scientists have investigated and compared the energy efficiency of three buildings with façade-integrated PV, located in Fortaleza (North Brazil), Florianopolis (South Brazil), and Frankfurt a. Main (Germany). All façades of the three buildings contained windows with integrated semi-transparent crystalline solar cells. Since the transparency of all PV windows was only 30%, significant energy savings were achieved during the summer months due to a reduced need for cooling. At the same time, more energy had to be spent on artificial lighting inside the building. “However, we were able to counter this side effect by installing a lighting control system,” explains Evelise Didoné, one of the researchers at the KIT.

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New VELUX Modular Skylight / by Foster + Partners

New VELUX Modular Skylight

VELUX and Foster + Partners launched the new VELUX Modular Skylights during an event at 30 St Mary Axe in London on 13 September 2012. The first collaboration of its kind for both companies, the project aims to radically improve the environmental performance of every aspect of roof lights – the new frame offers levels of insulation far better than a typical aluminium profile.

The innovative VMS solution is designed to function in a wide range of building types, from offices to schools, retail spaces and hotels. The range of three skylights fulfil different requirements in terms of size, placement and functionality and the modular system is highly versatile – it can be used to create a single window or long light, or even to cover an entire atrium.

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Why You Shouldn’t Rule Out Laminate

Laminate flooring in your kitchen gives the look of a quality high price job for a lot less. You can find the materials fairly easy. They are sold in many home improvement stores across the country. You might have to shop around a bit only to find the style, color scheme, and design you want, but the little money you spend will be worth it.

Why The Laminate of Today Isn’t Your Mother’s

Traditionally, laminate flooring have been seen as cheap or hokey, but anymore it is increasing in popularity because of the many positive benefits – the two most popular being design and ease of installation.


When it comes to laminate, there are large varieties of styles and designs to suit almost every home style. There are some styles that look like wood, or perhaps you prefer the elegant ceramic look., and there are plenty of colors and shapes also available. Some homeowners get creative and design their own custom patterns with laminate tiles.


You can install your new laminate kitchen flooring in a few hours. There are installation kits to assist you with your project so whether you are looking to install economical kitchen flooring or a great tile look alike to liven up a sun room, you can easily do it in a weekend with laminate.

Other flooring materials – in particular, hardwood – often become a challenge when you try to do it yourself, forcing most people to give up and hire professionals. These costs can be almost unbearable as you pay for the material, labor, and of course those little unexpected expenses.

One More Thing to Remember

An added benefit to laminate kitchen flooring is its durability. It is able to stand up against the everyday wear and tear due to the many layers it takes to manufacture each laminate piece. It’s easy it is to care for and clean with the special coating that tolerates food, dirt, and spills. It doesn’t require any harsh chemicals to maintain, making it good for the environment. So essentially laminate lets you keep the style you want without having to worry about spills or scratches.

Beautiful flooring is easy and possible with the use of laminate. Do a bit of research before diving into that reflooring project and you will see the difference. You’ll easily find a style that works for you without breaking the bank, and be able to have a new floor to walk on in a matter of hours.

General Information about Asbestos Effects on Health

asbestos sheets

Asbestos is a substance which used to be commonly used in building work, but which is now used with far less frequency – primarily because of greater awareness of the effects that prolonged exposure to asbestos can have on a person’s health –whether it is someone living in a home with asbestos built into the structure, or someone working with it on a daily basis.

Probably the most common disease that can result from prolonged asbestos exposure is lung cancer, although other diseases of the lungs are also common results of such exposure. These include conditions such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and non-malignant lung disorders. The conditions generally develop as a result of long term exposure to the substance, rather than occasional short term exposure, making those who work with asbestos – and there immediate families – the ones who are at the greatest risk of developing any of these serious lung conditions.

Although an individual can work with, or around, asbestos for many years, they may experience no symptoms of any health disorders until years after they have ceased to be exposed to it. Most of the major conditions caused by asbestos, such as asbestosis and various cancers, do not manifest themselves for a long time after the initial contact with asbestos – indeed many of those who work with asbestos products do not begin to show symptoms of lung cancer or other lung problems until around fifteen years after the initial period in which they were exposed to it.

This lengthy gap between exposure and the public display of symptoms was a major factor in the failure to recognise asbestos as the common denominator in such cancer cases, for a long time after people began developing them. In the case of other asbestos related health conditions – such as mesothelioma – the time period between exposure and the manifestation of symptoms has sometimes been as long as thirty years. This is the primary reason why the dangers of asbestos were not fully recognised for a long time, and why workers required to use it were not provided with adequate protective clothing.

If you have been around asbestos, and you have some illness because of this, and you want to learn more about making asbestos claims you can discuss things with a solicitor, such as those at

Artisan for Bolon / by Form Us With Love

Form Us With Love shared with us their creative interpretation of woven vinyl flooring company Bolon’s 2011 collection, the ‘Artisan’.

Think Green with Sustainable Cork Flooring

Cork flooring has been gaining recently more popularity due to its environmentally friendly nature and its ecological benefits. Perhaps, you encountered some friend or neighbor who has installed such flooring or at least you have heard of it. Actually, it can be a perfect addition to any household. It is a member of the family of flooring with a woody style, but meanwhile it is not as expensive as hardwood floors which make it a handy replacement to tiles, carpets and other hardwood floors. And though it is comparatively cheaper, it still maintains a nice appearance just like other flooring.


Green Architecture in Ghana: The Augustino Neto Condominiums

Modern Green Architecture in Accra

The Concept Ghana, a development group based in Ghana, has a project to design the Augustino Neto Condominiums. The site located in Acra with the area of 1,500-square-foot-units (25 units total) and the 3/4-acre site is on the airport road which has noise problem. This problem solved by using special material called PozzoGhana to reduce the jet-engine noise.

The Concept Ghana adopts green building products and sustainable material such as bamboo, adobe plaster, recycled oil drums, and the combination of local sedimentous soils, waste palm kernels, and Portland cement. “The building’s frame is our concrete product, then we mixed in ancient local building materials in a modern way.” said Kanner from the group. The Condo expected to finish in 2008 and will sell for $300,000 each unit.