See below for current research. Updates will be posted as available.
- Land Battery: (Research) (Poster) (Abstract Book) Accepted for presentation at the 5th Global Science Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture 2019 Bali, Sub-theme 5 on reshaping business supply and waste chains from farm to fork. Food and energy are critical to our survival. They need to be available globally and managed locally in an equitable, distributed, resilient network; and, they need to be extensively re-envisioned to meet climate challenges and population growth. Land Battery visualizes these two critical systems – food and energy production – as co-located operations in shared physical spaces. Further, co-locating these production systems should produce unforeseen, beneficial synergies in community-building and operations-maintenance. In the most discrete view, Land Battery can be understood simply as a local food producing site including self-sufficient on-site sustainable electricity-producing sources feeding on-site processes located in traditional building or landscape conditions. In an broader view, Land Battery can be understood as a regional food network including sustainable electricity-producing assets feeding both local systems as well as regional legacy and/or new regulated electrical grids deployed in stitch conditions between metropolitan centers and topographic figures. At the largest scale, Land Battery can be understood as a planning framework intended to assess balanced positive global terrestrial energetic and materials flows for long-term human well-being. As such, Land Battery is an approach, assumes an overlay condition given that existent contexts are always present, and redresses the urban/peri-urban/rural trichotomy, in acknowledgment of the potential that we may have long-ago entered the Anthropocene. Various public-private funding scenarios should be available to achieve a proposal such as this – a proposal which sees two basic human activities of food production and energy production carried out in an integrated, mutually-reinforcing manner for just and safe human existence.
- The Need for Establishment of Research-based Regulation of Time-sensitive Embodied and Operational Greenhouse Gas Emissions Assessment as a Primary Segment of Building and Home Design and Construction:. In-progress. Greenhouse gas emissions need to be significantly reduced across all industrial economic sectors to maintain a healthy and safe climate for human habitation. This required reduction extends to the need for greenhouse gas sequestration, and is linked to specific time-critical milestones. As of 2021, building and home operational greenhouse gas emissions are, to a certain extent, regulated in the United States and other Countries; however, embodied greenhouse gas emissions are not regulated in the United States and not commonly regulated in other Countries. Similarly, as of 2021, there are a good number of building and home operational greenhouse gas emissions standards in the United States and other Countries; however, there are far fewer embodied greenhouse gas emissions standards in the United States and other Countries. Building and home operational efficiency improvements have demonstrated decreases in energy use intensity, with that improved efficiency resulting in decreased greenhouse gas emissions depending on other project criteria such as fuel source type. However, despite this improved efficiency and potential concomitant emissions reductions, studies show emissions from buildings and homes likely increasing over the near term due to preferences for more space per occupant, more equipment with greater environmental loads, and the coincidence of high embodied greenhouse gas emissions with high operationally-efficient buildings and homes. The coincidence of high embodied greenhouse gas emissions with high operationally-efficient buildings and homes can be caused by high embodied greenhouse gas emissions of the typically available materials and systems selected for said buildings and homes. Without careful selection, even Code-minimum buildings and homes can have very high embodied greenhouse gas emissions to the point which said embodied emissions outstrip operational greenhouse gas reductions realized through operational efficiency measures. In fact, greenhouse gas sequestering building materials can be used to effectively create greenhouse gas sequestering buildings and homes which positively contribute to environmental safety and health. Without an understanding of both embodied and operational greenhouse gas emissions, a building’s or home’s impact on human health and safety in terms of their positive or negative contribution to climate change cannot be determined. Further, without an understanding of a building’s or home’s total time-based contributions to greenhouse gas emissions or sequestration, there is no ability to determine said project’s or said sector’s support of various 2030, 2050, and other climate change mitigation milestones. This lack of understanding poses a likely gap in assessment of cost-effectiveness and financialization. Total building and/or home embodied and operational greenhouse gas emissions must be understood in a time-sensitive manner to determine a project’s positive or negative impact on human health and safety. Research-based improvements must be made to our regulation of building and home embodied and operational greenhouse gas emissions to increase certainty, and/or established best practices, for this assessment of total emissions. As such, there is an immediate need for federal, local, private, and public research funding to determine: Current typical building and home climate-zone-based embodied and operational greenhouse gas emissions averages linked to energy use intensity, construction assembly materials types, cost effectiveness, and fuels types; Per property and per occupant building and home greenhouse gas emissions limits to align sector emissions with Paris Accord and similar identified frameworks; Transference of said limits into Building Energy Code (residential and commercial) requirements, as well as establishment of compliance protocols for assessing and meeting said limits; Alignment of embodied and operational greenhouse gas emissions with the current ongoing progressive Code glidepath to zero.
- Statement on climate change and its negative impacts on US national security, health, and safety: Submission written for the Center for Climate and Security, 2021. Climate change is a national security risk to the United States because it threatens our fundamental way of life and form of government by undermining our principles of organization through significant denial of access to and deterioration of natural resources and developed assets. Additionally, as the greatest historical contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, the United States has an acknowledged responsibility to prevent the worst effects of climate change, and in not so doing, imperils the nation’s eudaemonic legitimacy, weakens its moral authority, and counter-productively destabilizes modern cooperative global order. Since mid-century, expert researchers and public leaders have diligently assessed that the previously-identified denial and deterioration may dissolve certain rights to which we have expressly committed ourselves – namely, equal life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness – if swift, comprehensive, and lasting remedies are not developed and implemented. In the face of this, we have allowed distractive narratives and insufficient calculations to shift focus, obscure understanding, and effect lacking alignment of policies and resources. This rhetorical and institutional irresolution, a power vacuum, have allowed unrest to grow founded on classical historical flaws. So, the currently-forecast scale, complexity, and duration of climate change appear to be unique asymmetrical challenges insurmountable by American will and innovation – middling when compared to our nineteenth or twentieth century standing and that of our contemporary competing actors on the global stage. If further insufficiently responded-to, conditions will worsen. Commensurate new models of coordination, investment, and production need to be identified, developed, and implemented at expeditious time- and human-scales in parallel with removal of anachronistic structural inefficiencies. The United States must peaceably dislodge extractive governance from needing populaces through the export of universal abundance – shrinking unjust influence through positive recognition of basic means – renewing the premises of American power. Simultaneously, mobilization of such efforts will require re-engineering our real hierarchies of importance, such that substantial modifications of assets enact an intelligent and robust re-establishment of an equitable built environment – supplanting our past indifferent re-discoveries of so-called terra nullius – evidencing an undiscovered horizon of internal ethics in a yet-expanding moral sphere. Proper navigation of such a renewal, as a necessary thus legitimate foundation for our lasting human project, may provide the opportunity for a safe minimum re-balancing of seemingly irreconcilable regional differences – toward a finer global union. Any less would seem incompatible with, thus unacceptable to, our espoused humane ideals and the American social contract.
- Energy Standards, Codes, Incentives, and Efficiency Designations. (Presentation) Presented at The Energy-Efficient Building Envelope Design and Construction Seminar, Albany, NY, 2019-04-10.
- Buildings Unplugged – Is a Zero Mechanical Code achievable? In-process. How does your building or house work when it’s unplugged? Great? Decent? Terrible? Often, not well. Modern buildings and homes use power and fuels to create function, comfort, and safety but they typically do not perform well without such power and fuels. This work will look back at the history of architecture, societies, and habitation before buildings and homes were so heavily conditioned by mechanical systems and as they came to be so; survey recent and contemporary modeling and analysis instruments which are expanding professional ability to design comfortable and safe spaces in novel, less resource-intensive ways; and look forward to a future in which buildings, homes, and occupants may return in part or in whole to conditions where certain power sources, fuels, resource intensive systems, and intensive emissions footprints may not be needed to remain safe, comfortable, and happy. The central question will be addressed: Can, or how can we, design safe and comfortable buildings without mechanical systems? And, would they be affordable? Technical topics discussed will include: Solar heating; Thermosyphons; Buoyancy; Stack affect; Thermal mass; Night time cooling; Window types & locations; Connective cooling; Earth sheltering & burial; Overhangs; Materials & colors; Layered spaces; and Differential modes of occupation. At-large standards discussed will include: International Energy Conservation Code (various recent editions); American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (various standards); Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Homes protocol; USGBC Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (various standards); Passive House Institute US certification; International Living Future Institute Living Building Challenge and other standards; and Earthship Biotechure resources. The goal of this work is to provide interested citizens and working professionals with pragmatic, contextualized knowledge by which to reduce negative environmental impacts, establish and increase positive environmental impacts, and expand well-being of the built environment and those who inhabit it.
- Should Residential Range Hood Activation Interlocks be Recommended or Required? Submitted to ICC IRC for consideration. Given International Residential Code (IRC) updates addressing such health and safety issues as range hood fresh make-up air, improved mechanical system combustion efficiency and exhaust, and decreased material VOC content, is it reasonable that future IRC updates should require residential kitchen hoods be interconnected to ranges such that activation of the range activates the hood exhaust? Additionally, is it reasonable that design and construction professionals should currently recommend to Home Owners that residential kitchen hoods be interconnected to ranges such that activation of the range activates the hood exhaust? Some studies show unexpectedly low levels of range hood use, for a variety of reasons. Such a requirement as a range-hood interlock, activating hood fan upon activation of range top or temperature rise, could help ensure healthy indoor environments are provided to Home Owners.
- Changing roles and states of currency, property, and law. In-progress. An exploration of potential future shifts in fiat currency, private property ownership, and international legal dynamics given varying projected social ecological scenarios required for broad-scale population sustainability.
- A Case for installing On-site Weather Stations on High Performance Buildings. In-progress.
- A New Formalism. In-progress. Current trends in passive and zero energy/carbon building design versus a possible zero mechanical framework – implications on building and planning form.
- 30/100: Designing Building Systems and Shells for Projected Near-End-of-Service-Life Environmental Conditions. In-progress.
- Quasi-Geothermal. In-progress. Viability analysis of integration of heating/cooling/DHW system circulated refrigerant in typical concrete masonry construction assemblies such as slabs, foundations, and similar construction.
- Plant Every Inch. In-progress.
- Three Ladies: The New American Farm. The direction of New York State’s current regulatory changes is clear without thinking too deeply about projected population and development trends in the context of material resource availability: Governor Cuomo’s focus on waste stream reduction, new Senate Bills requiring increased material efficiency, DEC overhauls of Solid Waste Regulation including BUDs revamp – similar to changes occurring in other States such as Massachusetts and California. Together with broader trends, these regulatory changes present new profitable business opportunities – see Seneca Meadows Waterloo or Wheelabrator Saugus. These changes describe aspects of a yet-emerging industrial ecological framework intended to better-fuel current and future growth via new operational paradigms. The Three Ladies proposal responds to these opportunities as a new business type – a carbon-neutral construction and demolition (C&D) debris facility incorporating synergistic multiple-use business spaces. This proposal has various benefits: first, lowering overhead utility and resource consumption by co-locating multiple scaled uses within and adjacent to a C&D facility, which commonly has low space utilization rates; second, decreasing material handling cost burden while improving source traceability by consolidating intake, processing, and resale within a single facility, simultaneously reducing carbon footprint; third, generating valuable long-term intellectual and social capital by creating a micro-campus setting which promotes a broad range of safe and constructive encounters between customers, workers, and operators.
- What is it from which we make?. Part of graduate thesis work, continued in private practice post-graduate. New methods of construction and fabrication process performance – CAD CAM acquisition, manipulation, and deployment of varying information sources in manufactured material systems experiential final forms as future human prostheses.
- Materials Testing-Digital Ecology. (Journal) Access to credible building product performance information throughout the design and construction process is critical to enable project development, vet product selections, ensure as-built quality, and successfully complete construction. The sources of such information can range from vernacular to formal – from common practice to special reference. The focus of this paper is one of the more formal or specialized information sources, performance testing, as well as how such performance testing information can be better used. This paper’s goals are to familiarize the reader with performance testing and to depict a new kind of valuable informational tool (digital ecology). Reference to pertinent nomenclature, description of a real world example, and detailed description of such an informational tool’s values will be provided. The phrase ‘digital ecology’ as herein used is a new concept proposed by the author. The analysis contained in this paper could be applied to the field of operations and maintenance as it is herein applied to design and construction; however, operations and maintenance is beyond the scope of this paper and may be addressed in future papers.
Published by the Architectural Research Centers Consortium.
- Wind Buildings: Design Flow Morphologies. Our built environment is its performance. ‘Wind Buildings’ is on-going personal research into building performance relative to the wind. In the most basic terms, my goal is to qualitatively and quantitatively understand what are beneficial and/or desired (i.e. psychologically-speaking, significantly beyond what would be termed as ‘safe’) wind conditions – within the built environment. Further, how and whether such ‘beneficial’ and/or ‘desired’ conditions can be definitively linked to predictable performances of the built environment – meaning, whether certain morphologies can be tested and parameterized for intrinsic wind performances such that qualified future A.E.C. design and development can be accomplished to instantiate such said ‘beneficial’ or ‘desired’ ends. I have an personal interest in wind affects – how wind works within and through a building’s envelop, over and around a building’s mass and its immediate neighbors’ masses, and through and around buildings’ and/or a city’s context. There is much research which studies wind operations at discrete scales, but there is a shocking lack of comprehensive multi-scalar and multi-disciplinary (load and environmental) study which models, tests, and analyzes wind operations in the kind of multi-dimensional environment such as that found in reality (here, think of the kind of research done on fire). A bit further (of special interest)…how/what/where/when/if there are threshold limits between wind’s scalar operations which negate certain said operations’ effect on beyond-threshold operations. (This would be, in varying terms and at least in part, significantly related but diverging from M. Sandberg’s research ‘City Breathability’.) There seems to be the lack of a useable tool (possibly CWE?) which can function at both schematic as well as in‐depth levels for either probabilistic or deterministic results. (Though the work is at an early stage, this could be similar to Interpolation of pressure coefficients for low‐rise buildings of different plan dimensions and roof slopes using artificial neural networks by Gavalda et al.) Related to the information above, some specific examples of small research packets could be: a chronological, cultural, and geographic inventory of typical building forms (morphologies), typical manners of treating envelop surface (detailing), and typical surrounding contexts which test for associated wind conditions and affects, which in turn depicts and proposes changing attitudes on acceptable kinds and levels of windy conditions within the built environment; a survey and analysis of how wind performance is handled in typical project environments given normative cultural communicational protocols and cues; computational modeling of simple, wind-related equations such as Rick Quirouette’s pressure equalization formula for an analysis of said model’s robustness given radical geospatial changes; given recent advances in computational power, the development of a probabilistic digital design development tool for multi-story architectural building-envelop development applications which builds flow regimes from “the ground up” based on pre-performed wind tunnel tests of typical envelop assembly configurations – from detail-scale to building-scale. This research focuses on the internalities as well as externalities of discrete research such as policy, digital tools, and physical systems.
- Structure of a Profession, A Legal History and the Cultural Implications of the United States Construction Industry’s Contractual Relationships. This work seeks to clearly depict and propose a history and reasoning within imposed and voluntary professional conduct found in the current American A.E.C. Industry – examining how the interpersonal operations found herein express and generate cultural identity and conditions. This work seeks to 1) develop a detailed accounting of formal and informal communication activities including circumstances of said communications; 2) describe the perceived limits / thresholds of formal versus informal communications; 3) attach this descriptive communicational profile to a roster of technical legal communicational limits; 4) identify how/when/why these legal limits emerged; 5) analyze the implications and risks both known and unrealized of said formal versus informal communications; 6) compare said formal, informal, and legal communicational frameworks with the operational horizons found in various contract sets; 7) compare how said communicational frameworks relate to professional relationships, and how said relationships feather between said professions as well as into complimenting directly‐associated professions; 8) explore how the history and currents in communications, relationships, and contracts function formally and informally with the legal frameworks to help and hinder project development, delivery, change, and innovation.