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Selling or Buying a House? Make sure the Plans are up to date!

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, In : Building Plan Approval 


I often get asked whether you need a set of plans to sell your house  here in South Africa.  I also get called a lot to get illegal / 'as built' additions and buildings approved at Council.  Fortunately Johannesburg Council is a lot more relaxed than elsewhere in the world and usually will only order demolition if you have built over a servitude or the building/addition is unsafe or poorly built.

Increasingly banks and mortgage lenders are making it a requirement for a seller to have a complet...


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World's Tallest Sandcastles

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, September 8, 2017, In : Architecture 

The Guinness World Record for the World's Tallest Sandcastle record has just been beaten.  The Sandcastle is in Duisburg, Germany and was commissioned by Schaunisland-Reisen a German Tour Company.  It is 16.58m (54.72ft) beating the previous record for a sandcastle in Odisha, India (which measured 14.84m (48.8ft tall).

 

Unlike one of  previous record holders - Ed Jarrett this project used Excavators and Cranes rather than hand packed sand.  The design features famous buildings around the wor...


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New Drone Footage Shows that BIG's LEGO House looks Like "A Real Lego Play".

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, September 8, 2017, In : Architecture 



Bjarke Ingels Group's new LEGO House is nearing completion at the centre of Billund, Denmark and the world-renowned toys manufacturing brand Lego has released a new drone footage video to experience every part of this stacked complex interactively, showing that how each colourful boxes are balanced and coming together cautously.  The Eagerly anticipated LEGO House will be officially opened on September 28 2017 - the playful looking complex will provide a unique place with a number of new LEGO...

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Eco-friendly 'plyscrapers' on the rise

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, August 24, 2017, In : Green Building 

Ever since the 10-story Home Insurance Building in Chicago was called the first "skyscraper" in 1885, architects have been striving to create ever-taller buildings. Ten stories quickly became 20, 20 became 50, and on and on. In 2009 the Burj Khalifa in Dubai became the world's tallest building, with its 154 floors towering above ground level.

So why is the mayor of Portland, Oregon, calling a modest 12-story tower set for completion there next year “a true technological and entrepreneurial a...


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Humans have killed nearly half the trees on earth so far.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, April 13, 2017, In : Sustainability 


This is the kind of news that makes us groan. A new study of arboreal density around the globe indicates humans are directly responsible for killing almost half the trees on the planet. This latest report confirms the devastation we already knew, but in a very real way, since this study is the first of its kind to be derived from actual data, giving us a more accurate picture of the Earth’s forests than ever before.
Like many scientific reports, there is good news and bad news in this one, w...

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MAD and Stefano Boeri propose crinkled towers and vertical forests for Milan's disused Railway Yards.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, April 13, 2017, In : Green Building 

MAD, Stefano Boeri Architetti and Mecanoo are among five architecture studios to unveil proposals to completely transform unused railways across Milan, creating high-density housing and swaths of greenery.
The five proposals emerged from a workshop held in December 2016, which invited architects to reimagine the brownfield sites of Farini, Porta Genova, Porta Romana, Lambrate, Greco, Rogoredo and San Cristoforo as public parks, social housing and hubs for sustainable modes of transport.
The ide...

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Solar Powered Safari Lodge offers Sustainable Luxury in Botswana

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Sunday, April 9, 2017, In : Energy Efficiency 


If visiting the rich wildlife at the Okavango Delta is on your bucket list, consider a stay at Sandibe Okavango, a sustainable safari lodge in Botsgo simultaneously blends in with the landscape and stands out from lowana that boasts a light environmental footprint. Designed by Michaelis Boyd and Nick Plewman, the recently reopened Sandibe Okavancal architectural typology with its curvaceous timber-clad form. The striking and sculptural 24-bed lodge overlooks the banks of the Sandibe River, a ...

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Dropping Costs in Renewable Energy spurs rapid shift to Clean Energy

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Saturday, April 8, 2017, In : Renewable Energy 

Welcome to the clean energy revolution – with or without Trump. A new report from the United Nations Environment Programme, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), and Frankfurt School – UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance reveals plunging costs in renewable technology have generated a whole new world of power. Unsubsidized renewables in more countries are now the cheapest new form of energy.
Renewable energy detractors love to claim it’s too expensive, but th...

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Inside Zaha Hadid Architects under construction One Thousand Museum in Miami

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, April 7, 2017, In : Architecture 


Inside Zaha Hadid Architects’ under-construction One Thousand Museum in Miami.

Located on the water’s edge and overlooking Herzog & de Meuron’s Pérez Art Museum, ZHA’s One Thousand Museum’s curvaceous exoskeleton makes a statement. In accordance with the vernacular of condominium buildings in the city, the structural framework is all white, but that’s where the building’s flirtation with Miami modernism ends.
While serving as a structural device and taking on the typical billowin...

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Hanging Spherical Lodge is a Treetop Retreat in Laos.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, In : Architecture 


Spherical eco-lodges that hang from the trees could allow visitors to observe and immerse themselves in the flora and fauna of the Nam Et-Phou Louey Biodiversity Conservation Area in northern Laos. Coupled with new observation decks for observing the area’s endangered tiger population, the suspended sleeping pods give guests a protected and unique place to sleep. The project by Cole Company would be located near the village of Nam Poung, and it would create jobs for local villagers.
Inspired...

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OAS1S "treescrapers" are modern skyscrapers inspired by trees.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Monday, April 3, 2017, In : Green Building 

OAS1S has introduced a unique concept for the future of urban green living:  a 21st century home that merges architecture and nature into one. The OAS1S houses are inspired by trees that act as modern skyscrapers. These “treescrapers” consist of wood and leaves, collect sun and water, plus provide oxygen, shelter and food. The tall, slim and detached houses have average tree-like dimensions of 6 x 6 x 12 m, with spectacular vegetation facades. The basic architecture is shaped as a number ...

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Jared Kushner's 666 Tower by Zaha Hadid gets re-imagined as the Eye of Sauron

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Saturday, April 1, 2017, In : Architecture 


When the family of presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and China’s Anbang Insurance Group announced plans to redevelop a Zaha Hadid-designed skyscraper at Manhattan’s 666 Fifth Avenue, just about everyone, from lawmakers to government ethicists, balked. Although the deal would have helped transform the Kushners’ struggling office-and-retail property into a 1,400-foot mixed-use tower with retail space, high-end condominiums, and an 11-story hotel, negotiations eventually buckled under ...

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Plans unveiled for Incredible Skyscraper that Hangs from an Asteroid

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, March 30, 2017, In : Architecture 

Just when you thought skyscrapers couldn’t get any taller, a clever group of architects have designed one that reaches space.
But the Analemma Tower isn’t grounded on terra firma, like other buildings.
New concept art for the futuristic structure courtesy of a New York design firm illustrates how the structure would be built on a asteroid that circles the globe from outer space.
The brainchild of Clouds Architecture Office, Analemma would be the tallest building ever created.
The asteroid fro...

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Daniel Libeskind unveils twisted, Tree-covered Skyscraper for Toulouse.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, In : Architecture 

Studio Libeskind has been tapped to design Toulouse’s first skyscraper, the Occitanie Tower, a twisting modern building draped in vertical gardens. Created in collaboration with Paris-based landscape architect Nicolas Gilsoul, the 40-storey mixed-use skyscraper will serve as an economic catalyst for the French city’s central business district and comprise offices, a hotel, a restaurant, and residences. The tree-covered areas of the tower will give the building its iconic appearance and a ...

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Russian Ice Skating Rink doubles as a Solar Powered outdoor Cinema and Geothermal Spa

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, In : Architecture 

This solar-powered ice skating rink for a natural lake in the Kamchatka peninsula, Russia, is designed to double as an outdoor cinema and natural geothermal spa. Photovoltaic panels and geothermal turbines provide enough energy to keep the lake at frozen temperatures, power the cinema and LED lighting , and still pump excess energy back into the grid. Margot Krasojević Architects designed the project as a fully self-sufficient multi-use structure that reflects the fluid nature of its immedia...

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6 Ways to add Passive Solar Features to Your Home

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, March 23, 2017, In : Energy Efficiency 

6 ways to add passive solar features to your home.

Looking for a way to reduce that electric bill, lower your carbon footprint, and show off to your neighbors? The good news is that you don’t have to build a brand new home in order to reap the benefits of sustainable building techniques. Here are 6 ways to passively solarize your current home so you can slash electricity costs, cut emissions, and impress your friends with science.
Thermal Mass
Have you noticed that your pool tiles stay hot eve...

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Futuristic Dutch 50 out of this world Spherical Homes.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, In : Architecture 


Although it might look like the set of a science fiction film, this neighborhood in the Netherlands was built by humans for humans. Dutch artist and sculptor Dries Kreijkamp designed this unusual apartment community, dubbed the Bolwoningen (“ball” or “bulb” homes). Built in 1984, the residential development is comprised of 50 of these futuristic spherical structures grouped together amid winding walkways and tall trees, alongside a scenic canal.
Kreijkamp initially designed the bulbo...


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Students use rice husks to build affordable homes in the Philippines.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Monday, March 20, 2017, In : Green Building 


Rice husks used to be considered a waste product good for nothing but fire or landfills, but now enterprising companies are beginning to realize their potential as a sustainable building material. A group of students from the Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering at University of California used waste rice husks to manufacture termite-resistant composite boards with help from a $75,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and build affordable housing in the Ph...


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Libeskind unveils Zero-Emissions University building designed in collaboration with Students

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, In : Architecture 

Libeskind unveils zero-emissions university building designed in collaboration with students.
A new building with exciting geometry and eco-friendly design is inspiring students at Leuphana University at Lüneburg, Germany. Architect Daniel Libeskind recently completed the New Central Building, a landmark university structure designed in collaboration with the students as part of the tradition at Leuphana University to involve students in campus changes. Topped with a green roof and powered by...

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5th Grader builds off-grid solar powered tiny house shelter for just $10.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, March 9, 2017, In : Sustainability 

One fifth grader took a school project to a whole new level with an entire renewably-powered mobile tiny home. Ten-year-old Callie Hilton designed Callie’s Coop, an off-grid shelter powered via a small solar panel that boasts its own rainwater capturing system and composting toilet. The whole thing is light enough that Callie can move it herself, and by using reclaimed materials, she kept the cost of the project to under $10.
Callie’s Coop is Callie’s fifth grade project; she and her cla...

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Kevin McCloud: Britain's best houses of 2015

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, In : Architecture 


What makes a house a home? Kevin McCloud discusses the 20 houses on the short list for RIBA's House of the Year 2015 as well as his own ideal property.
You might think, after 14 series, that Grand Desigs would be running out of projects to film; that the pool of families prepared to reveal the details of not just their bathroom grouting but their wallets and marital tensions would be running dry. 

But no. To kick off the latest Channel 4 series of the show – the 15th – the programme-makers ...


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The Hanoi Lotus Centre will bloom from the middle of a lake

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, In : Architecture 


The building will act as a symbol of growth and prosperity for the city of Hanoi.

The proposed Hanoi Lotus Centre doesn't just pay homage to the national flower of Vietnam in name only; Decibel Architecture has designed the building to physically resemble a series of young lotus blossoms.

The Centre will be positioned along one of the city’s main roads and, per the City of Hanoi’s request, will sit atop a lake that will act as part of the city’s stormwater control system. The building is ...


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Robots construct an art gallery in Shanghai from recycled bricks.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, In : Architecture 

Archi-Union Architects have completed an unusual art exhibition space in Shanghai with the help of robots. Created for the Chi She artist group, the building in the city’s Xuhui district was built with recycled gray-green bricks salvaged from a former building. Designed with both traditional and contemporary elements, the Chi She exhibition space features an unusual protrusion made possible with advanced digital fabrication technology.
The 200-square-meter Chi She exhibition space was built ...

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Green Facades : Why are some architects scared?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Monday, March 6, 2017, In : Green Building 

Why are some architects scared to use vegetation at the heart of their façade design? Is it the loss of control implied by adding vegetation to the design? Is this due to a varying emphasis on greenery during architects’ training? Or just that it challenges the defined image of a building? Whatever the specific reasons, it’s still very rare to see vegetation placed at the centre of the design concept, as in the Bosco Verticale ('Vertical Forest') apartment buildings in Milan, Italy.

Why i...

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Parasitic wooden cubes slash Parisan building's energy consumption by 75%

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Sunday, March 5, 2017, In : Energy Efficiency 

Stéphane Malka has designed a clever way of optimizing the energy efficiency of older urban structures while working within the restrictions of Parisian building codes. Malka’s Plug-in City 75 design envisions attaching parasitic wooden cubes to the facade of a 1970s-era building, extending the living space and significantly reducing the building’s annual energy consumption by approximately 75 percent.
The innovative design is slated for a 1970s-era building in the French capital’s 16th...

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Architect turns old cement factory into incredible fairytale home.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Sunday, March 5, 2017, In : Architecture 


When Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill stumbled upon an abandoned cement factory in 1973, he saw opportunity in the ruins. Bofill bought the early twentieth-century compound and, together with local Catalan craftsmen, transformed the sprawling structure of silos and compounds into an incredible fairytale home that blends surrealism, brutalism, and modernism. Located in Catalonia, Spain, the renovation is remarkable – not only for its stunning appearance, but also for the architect’s ongoin...

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Copycat Tower Bridge in China sparks controversy.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, March 3, 2017, In : Architecture 


China is infamous for copying famous architecture from other countries; according to the New York Times the country boasts 10 White Houses, a couple of Great Sphinxes, four Arcs de Triomphe, and at minimum one Eiffel Tower. Now in the city of Suzhou, a Tower Bridge based on London’s iconic landmark is drawing attention, although the New York Times says it’s unclear why the bridge, which was completed in 2012, has suddenly been garnering international notice.

Images of Suzhou’s Tower Brid...

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Science meets Architecture in a robotically woven, solar active structure.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, March 2, 2017, In : Renewable Energy 
New York's MoMA PS1 will feature a shelter installation that uses robotically-knitted solar fabrics that absorb and release light. Winner of the art institution's Young Architects Program competition, the canopy from Jenny Sabin Studio is photo-luminescent by night and cooling by day, with a misting system that delivers a cooling spray when someone comes near.
The installation includes long fabric tubes that hang from the canopy stalactite style, and make up part of the site's multi-sensory e...

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A $10K Tiny House 3-d printed in 24 hours.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, March 2, 2017, In : 3d Printing 

Building a house typically takes months, exacerbating the housing crisis so many people face worldwide. Apis Cor, a San Francisco-based company that specializes in 3D-printing, decided to tackle that crisis with a groundbreaking mobile 3D-printer that can print an entire 400-square-foot tiny home in just 24 hours. What’s more, doing so costs just over $10,000 – a steal compared to most modern homes.
On their website, Apis Cor says the construction industry may be sluggish now, but they wil...

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Duke University researchers use light to convert carbon dioxide into Fuel.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, In : Sustainability 

What if the carbon dioxide building up in our atmosphere could be put to good use as fuel? For years chemists have chased a catalyst that could aid the reaction converting carbon dioxide to methane, a building block for many fuels – and now Duke University scientists have found just such a catalyst in tiny rhodium nanoparticles..

Duke University researchers converted carbon dioxide into methane with the help of rhodium nanoparticles, which harness ultraviolet light’s energy to catalyze car...
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New Silicon Nanoparticles could finally make Solar windows commercially viable.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Monday, February 27, 2017, In : Renewable Energy 

The trend toward integrating solar into homes and buildings seems to be taking off. First Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled his rooftop solar shingles that are invisible when viewed from the street. Now, researchers at the University of Minnesota and University of Milano-Bicocca have developed technology that could usher in a future with photovoltaic windows harvesting renewable energy from the sun. The research, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Photonics, demonstrates that high-tech silico...

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China plans it's first "Forest City" to fight air pollution

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, February 23, 2017, In : Green Building 
Just weeks after Stefano Boeri announced plans for China’s first vertical forest, the Italian architect unveiled an even more ambitious vision: Forest Cities. Scaling up from his tree-clad Bosco Verticale skyscraper, Boeri created a blueprint for new cities in China that will be blanketed in greenery to fight air pollution. The first implementation of the nature-filled city will start in the city of Liuzhou, with construction expected to begin later this year.
Stefano Boeri’s Forest City m...

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Straw Bale Buildings are Carbon Neutral

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, In : Green Building 

A study by the Solar Energy and Building Physics Laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland finds that straw bale buildings are carbon neutral. Engineer Adrien Chaussinand conducted extensive testing of ECO-46, a straw bale building that houses the Department of Parks and Gardens in Lausanne.

He conducted a life cycle analysis of the building, which accounted for all the energy that went into its construction — from planting the grass to the eventual destruction of the structure. “If all of the b...


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Solar Power System could provide clean drinking Water in rural India for the first time.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Monday, February 20, 2017, In : Sustainability 
A solar-powered purification system could slake the thirsts of rural India with clean drinking water for the first time. This would be no ordinary feat. Tens of millions of people in India lack access to potable water, and roughly 600,000 Indian children die every year from water- and sanitation-related diseases like diarrhea or pneumonia, according to UNICEF. In the country’s most far-flung regions, where 70 percent of India’s population lives, toxic bacteria routinely fouls at least hal...

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Self-Shaping Shelters that could revolutionise emergency housing.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, February 17, 2017, In : Green Building 
Emergency shelter design is becoming increasingly important due to the various refugee situations occurring around the world. Although some designs have already been awarded for their crucial role in providing emergency housing, other forward-thinking designers such as Haresh Lalvani are actively working to create a biomimicry-based system where shelter structures would be able to assemble themselves.
This type of installation could be a potential game changer for shelter design considering so...

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This Smog-fighting Music Academy will have an air purifier as effective as 33,000 Trees.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, February 16, 2017, In : Green Building 
The Polish city of Krakow has some of the worst air pollution in the world. In hopes of improving the city’s air quality, FAAB Architektura proposed a smog-fighting music academy fitted with a German air purification system that they say works effectively as 33,000 city trees. The music academy was designed as part of a larger “Krakow Music City” masterplan that envisions a largely car-free and environmentally friendly development atop a former military base.
Located between Krakow and t...

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China's first Vertical Forest is rising in Nanjing.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, February 3, 2017, In : Green Building 
Stefano Boeri Architetti is bringing the vertical forest concept popularized in Milan to Nanjing, China with the Nanjing Towers. The two green towers could provide the city with a breath of fresh air, producing around 132 pounds of oxygen every day as they absorb carbon dioxide. They’ll accomplish this air-cleaning feat with 1,100 flourishing trees from 23 local species and 2,500 cascading shrubs and plants.

http://inhabitat.com/chinas-first-vertical-forest-is-rising-in-nanjing/

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The end of air conditioning? Asia architects use green solutions to cool buildings.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Wednesday, February 1, 2017, In : Green Building 

Spend five minutes in humid Ho Chi Minh City and you'll probably be running for cover into the nearest air-conditioned refuge.
In the Vietnamese city -- and many developing subtropical countries across Asia, such as Indonesia and the Philippines -- air conditioning (AC) is increasingly being considered a necessity.
But one architecture firm is advocating a different way to keep cool.

T3 Architecture Asia, which has offices in Vietnam and France, specializes in back-to-basics "bioclimatic archite...


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Flat-Packed Refugee Shelter Wins Best Design Of 2016 By Design Museum In London

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, In : Sustainability 
IKEA Foundation and UNHCR's refugee shelter has been named the 2016 Beazley Design of the Year by the Design Museum in London, selected as the winner of Architecture category. Designed by Johan Karlsson, Dennis Kanter, Christian Gustafsson, John van Leer, Tim de Haas, Nicolò Barlera, temporary refugee shelter gives a response towards the global issue of population displacement.
Better Shelter pipped the 5 other category winners to claim the overall prize. Better Shelter is a social enterprise...

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Green Building and Sustainability by Jack Laken

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Saturday, January 28, 2017, In : Green Building 

Our climate is changing. A shift in the number of wildfires, tsunamis, earthquakes, droughts, and heavy rainfalls has been attributed to climate change. These changes have had an impact on agriculture and wildlife, including the introduction of new pests and depleting habitats.

Humans and our current life style practices remain the leading contributors to climate change, with carbon being the main culprit.

To read more go to :- https://www.bebee.com/producer/@claire-cardwell/green-building-and-...


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Futuristic green city design runs like a real rainforest in Malaysia

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Saturday, January 28, 2017, In : Green Building 
If would If money were no object, what would be the ideal city of the future look like?  Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) answered that question with a spectacular design for the Forest City, a proposed masterplan for a new city in Malaysia.  This 20Km2 green smart city will be built around a central rainforest and mimic the forest’s ecosystem by adopting a closed loop system that reuses all its resources and controls out-flow.

Winner of the second place prizeinternational design...
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More than 400 Architecture Firms in the US address Donald Trump on Climate Change in an Open Letter

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, January 26, 2017, In : Climate Change 

Right before Donald Trump’s inauguration last Friday, more than four hundred American architecture firms—such as Leers Weinzapfel Associates, Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects, Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects, Lake Flato, and ZGF Architects LLP—signed an open letter addressed to the incoming president regarding climate change, writes Allison Meier of Hyperallergic. The campaign was organized by the Chicago-based organization Architects Advocate, which formed in September.

The letter asks...


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Students build Solar Devices for Rural Hospital in Africa.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, In : Renewable Energy 

 A group of graduate students at Grand Valley State University recently created devices that provide solar power when electricity fails at a rural hospital in Malawi. They then made the 22-hour trip to southeastern Africa to deliver and install the devices, according to a press release.  
Embangweni Mission Hospital is in an area where electricity is often disconnected, and the results can be fatal.
Martha Sommers, an American physician currently working in Madagascar, frequently experienced th...

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Will these houses make you dizzy? Architects Build Rotating Homes

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, January 24, 2017, In : Green Building 
Will these houses make you dizzy? Architects build rotating homes.  Imagine living in a house that follows the direction of the sun when it's hot. Or one that offers a different view out of your bedroom window every day of the week. For some bold homeowners this is becoming a reality, thanks to an innovative wave of architects who are re-imagining the concept of the house. Once something firmly routed to the ground, homes are now becoming moving entities that can rotate, change shape, and eve...
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NEXT Solar Window Coating Generates Free Electricity From Sunlight

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Monday, January 16, 2017, In : Renewable Energy 
NEXT Solar Window Coating Generates Free Electricity From Sunlight - they have developed a scalable solar window coating that allows commercial glass products to produce clean energy from the sun. The product pays for itself in a year and provides clean energy for up to 30 years.http://greenbuildingelements.com/2016/06/29/next-solar-window-coating-generates-free-electricity-sunlight/Close


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Green buildings make you work smarter and sleep sounder, study reveals

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Sunday, December 18, 2016, In : Green Building 
Improved light, ventilation and heat control can boost workers’ productivity by thousands of dollars a year and reduce instances of sick building syndrome

People working in green buildings think better in the office and sleep better when they get home, a new study has revealed.

The research indicates that better ventilation, lighting and heat control improves workers’ performance and could boost their productivity by thousands of dollars a year. It also suggests that more subjective aspects...


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New recycled plastic sidewalk harvests energy from the sun

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Saturday, December 17, 2016, In : Renewable Energy 
New recycled plastic sidewalk harvests energy from the sun -Imagine a colorful modular paving system that snaps together “like LEGO bricks” replacing dull pavements currently populating today’s concrete jungles. Hungarian startup Platio designed that paving system to make our sidewalks do more for us. Their paving system, made with recycled plastic, offers firm ground while harvesting clean energy from the sun.
Platio’s paving system harvests power from the sun via monocrystalline sili...

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Google says it will run entirely on renewable energy by next year

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Wednesday, December 14, 2016, In : Renewable Energy 
Google just announced that it will be fully powered by renewables before the end of 2017. The tech giant has been growing its solar and wind investments over the years, and is now making a final push to achieve 100 percent renewable energy through additional purchases. Google initially announced its 100-percent goal in 2012, and this week’s announcement confirms the company will hit the target next year. http://inhabitat.com/google-says-it-will-run-entirely-on-renewable-energy-by-next-year/

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Sweden’s new ICEHOTEL 365 uses solar cooling to stay open all year-round

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Monday, December 12, 2016, In : Green Building 
Sweden’s famed ICEHOTEL, perhaps the “coolest” hotel in the world, has just unveiled a permanent luxury lodge made entirely of ice. The newly-designed ICEHOTEL365 has all of the chilly charm of its sister hotel, but will be open 365 days a year thanks to state-of-the-art solar-powered cooling technology that will keep the structure frozen during summer months. http://inhabitat.com/swedens-new-icehotel-365-uses-solar-cooling-to-stay-open-all-year-round/


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Zaha Hadid - 'The Queen of the Curve'

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Saturday, December 10, 2016, In : Architect 
I have long been a fan of Zaha Hadid and was saddened by her untimely death earlier this year. Her eye catching, thought provoking futuristic designs inspired many debates.  The latest project completed in the UK since her death is a new permanent mathematics gallery at the Science Museum in London. It's the first permanent public exhibition space designed by the architect.  Mathematics also defined the design of the gallery.  Zaha Hadid Architects took inspiration from the historic 1929 Hand...
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Common Mistakes People make when Designing a House by Claire Cardwell

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Wednesday, December 7, 2016, In : House Plans 

You are about to build your dream home - but have you thought everything through?  Poor design choices can make your home uncomfortable and sometimes unhealthy.  Good pre-planning can help you avoid these common mistakes  .https://www.bebee.com/producer/@claire-cardwell/common-mistakes-people-make-when-designing-a-house



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Scientists blend photosynthesis and quantum physics to improve solar cells.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, December 6, 2016, In : Sustainability 
Scientists blend photosynthesis and quantum physics to improve solar cells. Four physicists at the University of California, Riverside decided to blend photosynthesis and quantum physics to work towards greener solar cells. Plants effectively regulate energy flow from the sun, but since current affordable man-made solar cells hover around just 20 percent efficiency, the scientists decided to take cues from vegetation.

Current solar cells require feedback controllers and voltage converters to m...

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Living Microalgae Lamp Absorbs CO2 from the Air

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Monday, December 5, 2016, In : Sustainability 
French biochemist Pierre Calleja has designed a fascinating eco-friendly lamp that could light up streets and parking garages while cutting CO2 emissions. It runs completely free of electricity, powered solely by a tube filled with glowing green algae. The lamp uses the energy created by the algae’s own photosynthesis process to power the light within, while the algae itself lives on CO2 in the air outside.

The lamp is designed so it can store the energy from photosynthesis for later use. Th...

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Furniture grown from bacteria and mushrooms is now available for purchase

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Saturday, December 3, 2016, In : Sustainability 
Mushrooms are good for so much more than just eating. Ecovative, the company behind Mushroom Packaging, has teamed up with cement-growing company bioMASON to create classy furniture grown entirely from microorganisms and mushrooms.   Living organisms are put to work to create the sustainable mushroom furniture in radically innovative processes. Ecovative and bioMASON’s furniture is grown – with mushrooms, microorganisms, and agricultural waste – and consumes far less energy than traditi...
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The Importance of Insulation by Claire Cardwell

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, December 2, 2016, In : Sustainability 

Heating and cooling accounts for up to 50-70 percent of the energy used in an average home. Installing Insulation in your house is the most practical and cost effective way of making your home more energy efficient keeping it warmer in winter and cooler in summer and can save up to 50% on your energy bill. In addition Insulation can also reduce condensation in your home and some types of insulation can make your home more soundproof. A well insulated house is very energy efficient and will ne...
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How stone can help you create a more sustainable home

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, December 2, 2016, In : Green Building 
How stone can help you create a more sustainable home

From the pyramids at Giza, to Stonehenge, to Machu Picchu, it is no coincidence that all of the longest lasting human structures are made from stone. Stone lasts forever, is natural, and is readily available in the environment. When it comes to outdoor landscaping or interior applications that see a lot of use and moisture (i.e. kitchens and bathrooms), natural stone is often the most durable and lowest-maintenance choice for surfaces. Unli...

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8 inexpensive earth homes almost anyone can afford

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, December 1, 2016, In : Green Building 
Many people dream of building their own home, but the financial cost and environmental toll of starting from scratch can often seem overwhelming. It doesn't have to be. By stepping outside the box and using natural methods, almost anyone can afford to build their own green home out of sustainable materials. "Earth homes" utilize surrounding terrain or other natural elements such as dirt, bamboo, wood, and clay to create a space with a negligible environmental impact. These homes are very well...
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What you need to know before installing a Rainwater harvesting System by Claire Cardwell

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Monday, November 28, 2016, In : Sustainability 
Water is vital to life and is such a precious natural resource that it makes sense to collect every drop of rain and re-cycle grey water and back-washed pool water. In fact you can reduce your water bill by as much as 90% by harvesting rain water & grey water. To read more go to : - https://www.bebee.com/producer/@claire-cardwell/what-you-need-to-know-before-installing-a-rainwater-harvest-system


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Elon Musk says Tesla’s solar roof will be cheaper than ordinary roofs

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Monday, November 28, 2016, In : Renewable Energy 
Elon Musk says Tesla’s solar roof will be cheaper than ordinary roofs. He also says the energy-generating roofs will last longer than typical roofs, so, said the real-life Iron Man, “Why would you get anything else?”

At first Tesla solar roofs will be a premium product, according to Bloomberg, as the company’s slate and terra cotta tiles are 20 times more expensive than asphalt singles. But that factor could become irrelevant because of reduced shipping costs. It’s expensive to ship ...

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Ecovative Design’s Mushroom Magic by Glenn Meyers

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, November 17, 2016, In : Green Building 
Are there alternatives to foam  when it comes tp packaging and insulation? Absolutely yes. contends Evocotive Design, a Green Island, NY company engaged in the design, development, and testing of new products and biomaterial applications. The company has launched two extremely green mushroom-based products.  Start with the packaging material, said to perform in customized shapes like foam does. This  high-performance alternative to molded or fabricated EPS, EPP, EPE is renewable, compostable,...
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New Construction Materials… That Self-Repair?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, In : Green Building 



Opening up a new field of design for construction technology, the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is envisioning futuristic materials that repair themselves.

After recently launching the Engineered Living Materials (ELM) program, DARPA’s goal is to create a whole new class of construction materials. Imagine engineering living cellular systems into the structural features of traditional construction materials. The results might offer, for example, a driveway...
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Safety Overhead - The Importance of Roof Maintence by ITC SA

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Saturday, November 12, 2016, In : Home Maintenance 

The recent storms and aftermath in Gauteng over the last few days means that it is very important to get a professional to check your roof for damage and any potential problems before  small problems become expensive ones.  Your roof is the first line of defense against rain, wind, hail, fire, ice, snow and extreme heat.

The Institute for Timber Construction - ITC-SA has written an excellent article on this :-
 

https://www.bebee.com/producer/@claire-cardwell/safety-overhead-the-importance-of-...
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Revolving solar-powered home for veterans wins California’s first tiny house competition

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, November 10, 2016, In : Green Building 
Santa Clara University students recently won California's first tiny house competition with 238 square feet of technological and design genius. Called rEvolve House, referencing its ability to track the sun throughout the day to optimize solar gain, the prototypical home was designed in collaboration with Operation Freedom Paws as a low-cost housing solution for veterans training their own service dogs.  To read more go to:- http://inhabitat.com/solar-powered-revolving-home-for-veterans-wins-...
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SolarWindow Window Coating – Versatile Solar Power Generation

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, In : Renewable Energy 
http://greenbuildingelements.com/2016/08/15/solarwindow-window-coating-solar-power-generation/

SolarWindow™ window coating generates electricity from light, both from the sun, and artificial light, as well. It is extremely versatile, able to be printed onto glass, plastic, or even paper, making it easy to install this wonder material in many places.



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Building your House with Straw? How about Rice Straw? by Claire Cardwell

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Monday, November 7, 2016, In : Green Building 


https://www.bebee.com/producer/@claire-cardwell/building-your-house-out-of-straw-how-about-rice-straw

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Thorncrown Chapel by E Fay Jones

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Sunday, November 6, 2016, In : Heritage 

https://www.bebee.com/producer/@claire-cardwell/soulfulsundays-thorncrown-chapel-by-e-fay-jones#c13
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1000 year old UK Cathedral now the oldest to go Solar

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Wednesday, November 2, 2016, In : Renewable Energy 
http://inhabitat.com/1000-year-old-uk-cathedral-is-now-likely-worlds-oldest-cathedral-to-go-solar/


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This Reverse Pyramid is a Green Urban Community in the Skies of Paris

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, October 28, 2016, In : Green Building 
https://www.bebee.com/producer/@claire-cardwell/this-reverse-pyramid-is-a-green-urban-community-in-the-skies-of-paris

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Green Power Installations beat Fossil Fuel for the First Time

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, October 25, 2016, In : Renewable Energy 
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-25/record-green-power-installations-beat-fossil-fuel-for-first-time

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Bio Bricks - the Future of Construction by Claire Cardwell

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, October 25, 2016, In : Green Building 
https://www.bebee.com/producer/@claire-cardwell/bio-bricks-the-future-of-construction

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Bricks - The ABCs of Green Building Materials by Aisha Abdelhamid

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Monday, October 24, 2016, In : Green Building 



https://www.bebee.com/producer/@claire-cardwell/bricks-the-abcs-of-green-building-materials-by-aisha-abdelhamid

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Are Algae-powered Oxygen Bars on the horizon?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Sunday, October 23, 2016, In : Sustainability 
Are algae-powered oxygen bars on the horizon? Take a deep breath... are you ready for this? Algae-powered oxygen bars could be headed your way in the near future. Sometimes when you’re tired or stressed, what you really need is a breath of clean, fresh air. That was the inspiration for designer Adam Miklosi when he created his Chlorella Pavilion, a futuristic, basket-shaped oxygen bar that uses the purifying power of algae to suck CO2 out of the air and rejuvenate it with oxygen. The struct...
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Top 8 Design Strategies for Smaller Homes by Claire Cardwell

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, October 14, 2016, In : Building 
https://www.bebee.com/producer/@claire-cardwell/top-8-design-strategies-for-smaller-homes


Herron Island Cabin by First Lamp Architecture, Seattle, USA

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Cheap Quotes - Good News or Bad News?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, In : Building 
http://bdjbuilding.co.za/2016/09/19/cheap-quotes-good-news-bad-news/

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Green Building Envelope Towards a cleaner, greener, and healthier human ecosystem

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, In : Green Building 
http://www.arup.com/greenbuildings?utm_source=LinkedIn&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=GreenBuildingEnvelope

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BI(h)OME Is a Flexible Housing Unit That Can Be Plugged Into an Existing Home

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Sunday, September 18, 2016, In : Green Building 
http://architizer.com/blog/bihome-1/

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Urban SkyFarm Soaring With Sustainability by Aisha Abdelhamid

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, September 16, 2016, In : Sustainability 
http://greenbuildingelements.com/2016/08/18/urban-skyfarm-soaring-sustainability/

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Cellulose Insulation - ABCs of Green Building Materials by Aisha Abdelhamid

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, September 16, 2016, In : Green Building 
http://greenbuildingelements.com/2016/09/14/cellulose-insulation-abc-green-building-materials/

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Living Walls play a significant role in tackling toxic air hot spots in cities.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, September 16, 2016, In : Green Building 
http://www.hortweek.com/living-walls-play-significant-role-tackling-toxic-air-hot-spots-cities/landscape/article/1408943

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Brush & Wattle — The ABCs of Green Building Materials by Aisha Abdelhamid

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Sunday, September 11, 2016, In : Green Building 
http://greenbuildingelements.com/2016/09/09/brush-wattle-abc-green-building-materials/

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Floating Seahorse villas: CLAD gets exclusive first glimpse of underwater residence

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, September 9, 2016, In : Green Building 
http://view.bebee.com/?u=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5jbGFkZ2xvYmFsLmNvbS9DTEFEbmV3cy9hcmNoaXRlY3R1cmVfZGVzaWduL0Zsb2F0aW5nLVNlYWhvcnNlLUNMQUQtSGVhcnQtb2YtRXVyb3BlLVRoZS1Xb3JsZC1LbGVpbmRpZW5zdC1Hcm91cC8zMjM1OTI/c291cmNlPW5ld3M=

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Affordable Homes made with Recycled Plastic Bricks pop up in a matter of Hours

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, September 9, 2016, In : Green Building 
http://inhabitat.com/affordable-chandi-gar-homes-made-with-recycled-plastic-bricks-pop-up-in-a-matter-of-hours/

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Bamboo - The ABCs of Green Building Materials by Aisha Abdelhamid

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Wednesday, August 24, 2016, In : Green Building 
http://greenbuildingelements.com/2016/08/10/bamboo-abcs-green-building-materials/

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Climate Change & Renewable Energy Myths - Greenpeace

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Saturday, August 13, 2016, In : Renewable Energy 
http://www.greenpeace.org/africa/en/campaigns/Climate-change/renewable-energy-myths/

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European Wind Energy is now Cheaper than Nuclear Power

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, August 12, 2016, In : Wind Energy 
http://inhabitat.com/european-wind-energy-is-now-cheaper-than-nuclear-power/

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Enrolling your new home with the NHBRC is a statutory requirement, by Hometimes.co.za

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, August 4, 2016, In : NHBRC 
http://hometimes.co.za/2016/03/enrolling-your-new-home-with-the-nhbrc-is-a-statutory-requirement/

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Home improvement projects that actually improve your home by Hometimes.co.za

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, August 2, 2016, In : Building 
http://hometimes.co.za/2016/07/home-improvement-projects-that-actually-improve/

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The ABCs of Green Building Materials – Adobe by Aisha Abdelhamid

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, July 29, 2016, In : Green Building 
http://greenbuildingelements.com/2016/07/28/the-abcs-of-green-building-materials-adobe/

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Home is where the Bark is by Jonathan Glancey

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, July 28, 2016, In : Green Building 
https://www.1843magazine.com/design/home-is-where-the-bark-is

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Green Buildings can Reduce Climate Change

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, July 28, 2016, In : Green Building 
http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/green-buildings-can-reduce-climate-change-wgbc-2016-07-27

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Considering Buying or Renovating a Heritage Home? Pros and Cons by Claire Cardwell

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Monday, July 25, 2016, In : Heritage 
https://www.bebee.com/producer/@claire-cardwell/considering-buying-renovating-a-heritage-home-pros-and-cons-by-claire-cardwell

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How to Safely Senior Proof your Home by Xavier de Buck

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Saturday, July 23, 2016, In : Building 
http://northcliffrealestate.com/real-estate-blog/senior-proof-your-home/

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Living Green - How it affects your Home Insurance

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Saturday, July 23, 2016, In : Green Building 
http://sustainablog.org/2016/07/living-green-how-it-affects-your-home-insurance/

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3d Printer makes Affordable, Durable Housing made out of Dirt.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, July 22, 2016, In : 3d Printing 
http://inhabitat.com/bigdelta-machine-3d-prints-durable-affordable-houses-from-dirt/

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6 Great Green Designs that put South Africa on the map.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Monday, July 18, 2016, In : Green Building 


House Abo by Nico van der Meulen
http://inhabitat.com/6-great-green-designs-that-put-south-africa-on-the-map/

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Should I rebuild or renovate?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, In : Building 
https://www.bebee.com/producer/@claire-cardwell/should-i-rebuild-or-renovate



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Pros and Cons of using Shipping Containers for your New Home

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, In : Green Building 
https://www.bebee.com/producer/@claire-cardwell/pros-and-cons-of-using-shipping-containers-for-your-new-home





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Building Materials, Fossil Fuels’ Ugly Cousin by Jay Wanty

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, In : Green Building 
https://www.bebee.com/producer/@claire-cardwell/building-materials-fossil-fuels-ugly-cousin-by-jay-wanty



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Regeneration and Urbanisation by Edgar Kiviet

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, In : Architect 
https://www.bebee.com/producer/@claire-cardwell/regeneration-and-urbanisation-by-edgar-kiviet


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As Baby Boomers age, is Architecture Failing them? By Julia Bunch

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, In : Architect 



https://www.bebee.com/producer/@claire-cardwell/as-baby-boomers-age-is-architecture-failing-them-by-julia-bunch

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Should I use Hemp to Build my House?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Monday, June 6, 2016, In : Green Building 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/should-i-use-hemp-build-my-house-claire-cardwell?trk=hp-feed-article-title-publish

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8 Advantages of using Straw Bales to Build your House

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Monday, June 6, 2016, In : Green Building 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/8-advantages-using-straw-bales-build-your-house-claire-cardwell?trk=hp-feed-article-title-publish

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Are Green Buildings more Expensive to Construct?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, June 3, 2016, In : Green Building 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/green-buildings-more-expensive-construct-claire-claire-cardwell 

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10 Reasons why you should use Sustainable Building Materials by Shelley Little

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, In : Green Building 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/10-reasons-you-should-use-sustainable-building-shelley-cardwell?trk=pulse_spock-articles

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What does it take to stay in the Construction business? By Howard Betts (CEO Betts Townsend)

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, In : Building 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-does-take-stay-construction-business-howard-betts-cardwell?trk=pulse_spock-articles

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Renovation vs New Construction - Which is Greener?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, In : Green Building 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/renovation-versus-new-construction-which-greener-better-cardwell?trk=hp-feed-article-title-publish

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Avoid a Bad Building Experience

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, In : Building 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/avoid-bad-building-experience-claire-cardwell?trk=pulse_spock-articles

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The Design Brief - Services your Architect Should Provide

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, In : Architect 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/design-brief-services-your-architect-should-provide-claire-cardwell

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How to Manage your Home Renovation Budget

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, In : Building 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/manage-your-home-renovation-budget-claire-cardwell-claire-cardwell?trk=pulse_spock-articles

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Do I need a Home Inspection before Buying my House?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, In : Real Estate 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/do-i-need-home-inspection-before-buying-my-house-brain-cardwell

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Building an Energy Efficient Home

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, In : Green Building 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/building-energy-efficient-home-marcus-pickett-claire-cardwell

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5 Things you need to know when Building a New Home

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, In : Building 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/5-things-you-need-know-when-building-new-home-claire-cardwell

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Top Tips for a Healthier Home

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, In : Green Building 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/top-tips-healthier-home-claire-cardwell-claire-cardwell

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How Long does it take to Design a New House?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, In : Architect 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-long-does-take-design-new-home-claire-cardwell-claire-cardwell

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How Much is my Home Renovation going to Cost?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, In : Building 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-much-my-home-renovation-going-cost-claire-claire-cardwell

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7 Ideas for Designing a Tiny House

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, In : Building 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/7-ideas-designing-tiny-house-claire-cardwell-claire-cardwell

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The Pros and Cons of Using Shipping Containers for your New Home

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, In : Green Building 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/pros-cons-using-shipping-containers-your-new-home-claire-cardwell

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The Net Zero Influence

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, In : Green Building 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/net-zero-influence-claire-cardwell-claire-cardwell

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The Advantages of Sustainable Building

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, In : Green Building 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/advantages-sustainable-building-claire-cardwell-claire-cardwell

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Should I Rebuild or Renovate?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, In : Building 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/should-i-rebuild-renovate-claire-cardwell
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Building Materials - Fossil Fuel's Ugly Cousin

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, In : Green Building 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/building-materials-fossil-fuels-ugly-cousin-jay-wanty-claire-cardwell?trk=hp-feed-article-title-publish

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Choosing an Architect

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, December 12, 2014, In : Architect 

The first step is to make sure your Architect/Designer is registered with SACAP (the South African Council for the Architectural Profession) - since 2006 it is illegal to practice Architecture or for a de-registered Architectural Professional to practice Architecture.... The first step is to appoint a SACAP (South African Council for the Architectural Profession) registered Architect/Designer.  A list of registered professionals can be found at www.sacapsa.com.  

1.) Do you think you can wor...


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Energy Efficiency - How does it affect my new Build?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, In : Energy Efficiency 

It is a reality that South Africa's coal reserves will probably run out by 2020.  The largest draw on the Electricity Grid is residential homes.  We are all used to turning off appliances that we are not using or lights in rooms that are uninhabited.  Most of us are now using low energy light bulbs and many of us are installing Solar Geysers and Heat Pumps. 

Fact 50% of all your hot water requirements in a new home must be generated from renewable Energy Sources. 

Fact :  Home Owners are be...


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Is my home a Heritage Home and if so how do I get building plans approved?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Sunday, November 9, 2014,
All buildings and structures older than 60 years must go through Heritage Commission approval before plans can be approved at Council.  There is a list of architecturally or historically significant buildings, however the decision has been made to try and preserve our architectural heritage so now all buildings/structures have to go through approval first.  In general try and make sure that you hire an architect/designer with experience at the Heritage Commission as the process is quite trick...
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What do I do if I make changes during the building process?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Wednesday, October 24, 2012, In : House Plans 
It's quite common that a client and builder make changes that deviate from the approved plans during construction.  A new set of plans - Deviation Plans will need to be submitted to your local authority as soon as possible.  Fees will be charged for the new work and you will also have to submit a copy of the previously approved plans together with the new plans to Council.  You will not be able to get an Occupation Certificate without approved plans showing the changes you have made....
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Owner Builders & the NHBRC

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Monday, September 3, 2012, In : NHBRC 

In terms of owner builders and the NHBRC, genuine owner builders are not obliged to register with the NHBRC, nor do their homes need to be enrolled with the NHBRC.

The National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) was established in terms of the Housing Consumer Protection Measures Act, 1998 (Act No. 95 of 1998) (the Act). The Council is mainly established to protect the interest of housing consumers, and to regulate the home building industry.

In terms of Owner Builders and the NHBRC, ge...


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Builder vs Project Manager vs Bakkie Builder - What's The Difference?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, August 3, 2012, In : Building 

Many people are not aware of the difference between a Building contractor, a Project Manager and a Bakkie Builder and there is a big difference. In many cases there is a degree of overlap and as with all businesses there are good ones and bad ones all the way through the mix.

Starting with a Building Contractor or Builder. Generally they employ a number of skilled workers and the majority of trades are done in-house. They own a much of their equipment and are able to take on larger projects. ...


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What is an Architect?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, May 4, 2012, In : Architect 

WHAT IS AN ARCHITECT?

The Rev. J. Jessopp tells the following anecdote: 
The late Mr. Alexander, the eminent architect, was under cross-examination at Maidstone, by Sergeant, afterward Baron, Garrow, who wished to detract from the weight of his testimony and, after asking him what was his name proceeded: "You are a builder, I believe?" 
 

"No, Sir, I am not a builder; I am an architect." 

"They are much the same, I suppose?" 

"I beg your pardon, Sir, I cannot admit that; I consider them to be total...


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What is a SDP?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, In : SDP 
A SDP is a Site Development Plan, basically it is a map of your property showing all the buildings, services, coverage and FAR.  You will need a SDP if you are in a complex or if your property is zoned Residential 2 or 3, Business, Commercial or Special Use.
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How long are my approved building plans valid for?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, February 16, 2012, In : House Plans 
It varies from municipality to municipality but in general your building plans will be valid for one year after approval, you can renew for a further year, but thereafter the plans would be treated as a new submission  In some cases you can get away with putting the foundations in and then finishing the building at a later date.
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Do I need Plans for a Wendy House?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, In : Wendy House 
The rules for Wendy Houses are the same as any habitable structure whether it be brick or any other building method.  You will need to have the plans drawn up and approved by the Local Authority before erecting your Wendy House.  If you stay in an Estate then the plans will have to be approved by the Body Corporate / Home Owners Association before you submit the plans to Council.
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How we draw up a set of House Plans

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, December 20, 2011, In : House Plans 
We will need to come to site to take measurements and to see how your planned addition will fit in with the rest of the buildings on site and on surrounding stands.  We will also establish exactly what your requirements are.  The next stage is to get copies of previously approved plans, your Zoning Certificate and SG (Surveyor General) diagram from Council - for more information on Zoning Certificates and SG Diagrams check out our article - Getting Building Plans Approved.  We will then draw ...
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Occupation Certificates - Latest News

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, November 8, 2011, In : Occupation Certificates 
Owners of buildings and their tenants will be prosecuted if they don’t have a valid occupation certificate. This is the message that is being sent out by most of the major metropolitan councils and the others are soon to follow.

Any person or organization that occupies a building or a portion of a building without a valid occupation certificate is guilty of an offence that is punishable by law. The councils are taking action in terms of section 14 of Act number 103 that was already promulga...
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Does a Garage floor need to be lower than the house?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, October 27, 2011, In : Garage 
The garage floor does not have to be lower than the floor in your house.  However it is advisable - if your garage floods or there is an oil leak then the step up into the house will prevent the leak from spreading.
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Why do I need a Title Deed to submit plans to Council?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Monday, October 3, 2011, In : Building Plan Approval 
You will need a copy of your title deeds for Council Submissions because there are often restrictive clauses therein which could affect the outcome ouf your application and to prove ownership.  Ideally you should furnish your architect with a copy of the Deed before they start drawing.  Examples of restrictions include Building Lines, prohibitions on IBR/Chromadek roofing or wooden buildings and whether you are allowed to build a secondary dwelling on your property.
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Do I need to install a Firedoor between my garage and a habitable room?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, September 22, 2011, In : Garage 
You will need to install a firedoor - SABS 0400 TT9.2 states that any door between a garage and a habitable room shall be a solid timber door not less than 40mm thick and with a fire resistance of 1 hour.  You will also need to make sure that a firewall has been built between the garage and the house.  This is a 220mm wide wall to the roof/underslide of concrete slab.
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When do I need to call the Building Inspector?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Saturday, August 20, 2011, In : Building 
You will need sign off from the Building Inspector in order to get your Occupation Certificate.  Your local authority will furnish you with the Building Inspectors contact details, you will need to phone them before 10am as they are only in the office between 7am - 10am.  Building Inspectors need to be contacted when you are digging the foundations, they will need to see the foundations for a trench inspection before you pour the concrete. You will also need to arrange appointments with your ...
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Electrical Certificate of Compliance

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Sunday, June 19, 2011, In : Building 

ELECTRICAL CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE – NEW REGULATIONS

On 1st May 2009 new regulations came into effect with respect to the issuing and validity of anElectrical Certificate of Compliance.

There are a number of clauses under the The Occupational Health and Safety Act No 85 of 1993, which is administered by the Department of Labour,(initially for workplace safety but extended to residential dwellings), which are now in force and which have an impact on the use and transfer of  houses, dwell...


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I want to turn my garage into a granny flat.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : Rezoning 
If you want to turn your existing garage into a granny flat then the following need to be taken into consideration. Basically you will probably need to apply for consent for a second dwelling on your property.  Some areas like the Johannesburg area already allow a second dwelling or cottage to be built on the property. You will also need to check your title deeds and zoning to see if there is a restriction on having a second dwelling.  There are some factors that will allow separate living wh...
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I want to work from home or convert it into an office.

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Monday, June 6, 2011, In : Rezoning 
The rules for running a business from home vary from Municipality to Municipality and even from surburb to suburb.  Generally one can run a business from home providing the parking allowances have been met (usually 4 parking bays), if there is a permanent resident in the house and so long as there are no goods sold to the public.  There may be restrictions on signage that you will need to check on.  In order to run a business from home you will need to have the property rezoned to business or...
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How deep must foundations be?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, June 3, 2011, In : Building 
It's best to consult an Engineer to determine how deep your foundations must be and whether there needs to be steel reinforcing.  This is all dependent on what the soil conditions are and whether you intend building a single or multi-storey building.  The minimum requirements for a foundation are 230mm deep x 600mm wide concrete footing, with 5 course of brickwork (reinforced with brickforce every course) to floor level.  However I can not stress enough the necessity of getting advice from an...
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What can I do to save building costs?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Wednesday, June 1, 2011, In : Building 
Good supervision on a building site will prevent mistakes and pre-empt problems and thereby save you money.  Having to rectify mistakes is always costly and time-consuming.  Supervision will also reduce the amount of  waste on a site by keeping an eye on what is happening and making sure that the builder runs a tidy site.  The flow of building materials must keep going so that the contractor is not waiting for anything.  This will reduce down time and labour costs of time extensions.  If you ...
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Who is responsible for the NHBRC Certificate - the owner or the builder?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Saturday, May 28, 2011, In : NHBRC 
The Owner will be paying the fee to the NHBRC (National Home Builders Regulatory Council) either indirectly through the Builder's quote if the fee has been added to the tender or directly if not.  The fee is not for the Builder's account as the NHBRC warrantee benefits the home owner for five years and not the builder.  However the Builder needs to enroll the house with the NHBRC once building starts and he must be registered with them as well.
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What is Brickforce ?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Friday, May 27, 2011, In : Building 
Brickforce is the steel reinforcing that strengthens a wall.  It is placed in the cement between a course of bricks.  Brickforce is used in every course of the foundations and every course above lintol height (2140mm).  Otherwise brickforce is used every fourth course in between the foundations and lintol height or a concrete slab and lintol height.
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Does a garage need to have a concrete floor?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Sunday, May 22, 2011, In : Building 
It is best to have a concrete floor in a garage to consistently take loads and it is easy to clean.  However you can get away with paving so long as the ground beneath has been well compacted and a surface screed has been laid to discourage weed growth.  I believe that a concrete floor is going to be the cheapest and simplest option long-term. 



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Can you register with the NHBRC after a house has been built?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Thursday, May 19, 2011, In : NHBRC 
There is no possibility of enrolling a house with the NHBRC (National Home Builders Regulatory Council) after it has been built.  The NHBRC only warranties the house against major structural defects and roof leaks for a period of five years. There is no warrantee against shoddy building work, sub-standard materials or poor finishing.  The main problem comes in if one tries to sell a house that is less than five years old to anyone requiring a mortgage. This is because the banks insist on gett...
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How close to the Boundary can I build?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Wednesday, May 18, 2011, In : Building 
Building directly onto the boundary is not generally permitted; in terms of the National Building Regulations, you may not build a habitable room or structure on your property Boundary. Covered entertainment areas, lapas, garages, carports, lean-to shelters and temporary structures like shadeports etc. are usually allowed. However you will need your neighbour's consent and Council approval - dependent on the location, aesthetics of the structure and use thereof.  Bear in mind that you are not...
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How close can you build to a swimming pool?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Tuesday, May 17, 2011, In : Building 
This issue is controlled by the municipal zoning regulations for your particular area and may even differ between streets, let alone towns.  Generally there is a 1m gap called for between a pool and any structure, but with structural engineering design this can be relaxed to zero, as it all has to do with the proximity of the foundations of the other structures around the pool. The zoning regulations supplied by your local Council building department would be able to give you guidelines for y...
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What do I do if there are no plans for my house?

Posted by Blue Designs - Architectural Designers on Monday, May 16, 2011,

There are two options that you can follow. The first is to see if you can find out from the current owner who designed the house when it was built, because they should be able to give you a copy of the original plans. If they know who the builder was, he may be able to tell them if they don't know. If the house is an old one then the above is unlikely to be helpful and the only way to get a set of plans is to have someone measure the house and draw them up for you. If you are planning to alte...


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