Keeping Your Cool: Designing ice lounges

Shortly after the famous Swedish Ice Hotel opened its doors in the early 1990s, interest in snow- and ice-sculpting hit an all-time high. The interest is continuing to build, with icy spin-offs in cities around the world fuelling a modern resurgence of these traditional art forms. For centuries, artisans plied their trade using hand saws and chisels.

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Selecting the right ceiling for an office

In the business world, how people work and interact is constantly changing, affecting how interior office spaces are designed and built. Ceilings play an essential role in providing a productive, creative environment. Architects, designers, and specifiers who follow workplace trends will have a greater understanding of how to select different ceiling systems to best meet the needs of both employers and employees.

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The right finish for abuse-resistant walls

In certain high-traffic applications, abuse-resistant gypsum boards can be cost-effective alternatives to concrete masonry unit (CMUs). These drywall products can contain specially designed fibreglass reinforcement that provides resistance to hard impacts and penetrations, contributing to overall durability and longevity of interior spaces in buildings.

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Rethinking wired glass

Traditional wired glass, which for years was labelled as a ‘safety glass,’ is increasingly being recognized as not being safe when it comes to human impact—it has directly caused serious injuries, most often to school-aged children. In the United States, building code effectively banned wired glass in the 2006 International Building Code (IBC), but Canada has been slower to change its rules.

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How to give open-window comfort to multi-storey structures

With an appropriate strategy and design, a naturally ventilated structure can be comfortable for all occupants, including those in a multi-storey building. This article examines how natural ventilation fits into mixed-mode setups, safety considerations for building occupants, and esthetic features, and also explores how it can relieve engineers of issues associated with pairing an off-the-shelf actuator with a standard window.

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Designing enclosures from the outside in

There are well-established best practices for delivering energy-efficient buildings on the path to net-zero. After site selection and building orientation, perhaps the most important consideration is the building enclosure or envelope. Next, the energy conservation measures (ECMs) are determined based on the envelope’s predictive energy-efficiency performance; they also include lighting, HVAC equipment, and controls. The last step for high-performance, low-energy buildings involves designing performance contributions of renewable energy technologies.

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