Earlier this month, KieranTimberlake researchers Billie Faircloth, Christopher Connock, and Ryan Welch attended the Smartgeometry conference in Toronto and conducted a week-long workshop called "Materials as Probes." The workshop was an outgrowth of an ongoing research collaboration between KieranTimberlake and the Center for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA) in Denmark about the design potential of thermodynamic modeling.
The Architects Newspaper recently hosted Facades+ Philadelphia, a multi-city conference series that brings together architects, industry experts, academics, and building owners to discuss “all things building skin.” The event was co-chaired by Partner Matthew Krissel and moderated by KieranTimberlake staff Efrie Freidlander, Fátima Olivieri, and Jon McCandlish.
Last week, KieranTimberlake partnered with Metropolis Magazine to host a Think Tank discussion about new paradigms for planning and designing 21st century cities. The event, titled “Pedestrians, Bikes, and Cars: Designing a Balanced Multi-Modal 21st Century City,” was moderated by the magazine's Director of Design Innovation, Susan S. Szenasy.
Using Philadelphia as a case study, Szenasy led a panel of experts to explore how the city might re-balance its infrastructure as equitable for all modes of transportation. The panelists were KieranTimberlake partner James Timberlake, former Mayor's Office of Transportation Chief of Staff Andrew Stober, Sarah Clark Stuart, director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, safe streets advocate Dena Ferrara Driscoll, and Drexel University professor and department head Alan Greenberger.
At the 2015 Greenbuild Conference in Washington DC, KieranTimberlake researcher Roderick Bates presented regarding the evolution of Tally®, the firm's custom Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tool for designers. Speaking to a room of sustainable building practitioners and advocates, Bates explained how this tool has the unique capacity to allow designers to quickly assess the environmental implications of different materials used in their projects. As an example, his presentation articulated KieranTimberlake's experience using Tally in the selection of materials for Brown University's new School of Engineering building.
KieranTimberlake partner Matthew Krissel presented on the topic of digital design culture at KA Connect 2015, a knowledge management conference for the AEC industry.
He talked about how KieranTimberlake created a platform to facilitate knowledge sharing and innovation—with a focus on the firm's members, and their relationships to one another, rather than solely the tools they would use. By developing a formalized network of exploratory behavior in the office, team members could experiment with and even implement new technologies in a matter of months. Watch as he describes the facets of this platform at KA Connect.
Researchers Roderick Bates and Ryan Welch are heading to Greenbuild this month to take part in several events tied to the Tally application for Revit, including a special USGBC Master Series session, “Transforming Markets through Data Collaboration.” This two-hour session will celebrate innovative tools and information technologies that can accelerate market transformation and achieve impact at scale. It will feature commentary from a panel of leading data experts and a set of ten “lightning demos” featuring transformative new tools and services—including the Tally app.
This “datapalooza” is the second of two events on data that USGBC has convened as part of its LEED, Materials, and Health Initiative. It builds on the Building Materials Data Jam held in Chicago in June in conjunction with the 2014 AIA National Convention. The Data Jam brought together representatives from 40 organizations specializing in data, tools, and services related to human health and environmental attributes of materials. The group discussed data-related challenges facing the building industry and identified opportunities to drive large-scale data transformation.
Now, USGBC's "Transforming Markets through Data Collaboration" session at Greenbuild will follow up on the success of the June Data Jam and celebrate the latest developments in tools and services. The industry leaders featured at this event are driving positive change in the green building industry and realizing the vision of accessible, actionable building materials data.
KieranTimberlake has a busy season of lectures and other appearances on the East Coast and overseas this fall. Matt Krissel kicked off the month of September in London as a speaker at the Big Cities, Big Ideas conference presented by the AIA Committee on Design, followed by a panel discussion by David Riz at a workshop on the Future of Design and Construction Management, and a keynote by Billie Faircloth at the Wood Urbanism conference at Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Topics for upcoming talks run the gamut from live demonstrations of our Tally LCA application, to an education session and tour of Dilworth Park, to a "power talk" by James Timberlake at AJ Footprint Live, a conference focusing on sustainability in cities.
Environmental researchers Stephanie Carlisle and Max Piana recently presented green roof research findings at the 11th annual Cities Alive Conference in San Francisco, attended by international green roof professionals, designers, and researchers. The theme of this year's conference was resilience, with presentations and research exploring the many ways in which green roofs and walls contribute to social, environmental, and economic resiliency within our cities. The role of green roofs in urban water management and the potential for agriculturally-based green roofs were topics of particular interest.
Growing Resilience: Long Term Plant Dynamics and Green Roof Performance
Focusing on studies of two mature green roofs, one intensive and the other extensive, Stephanie and Max discussed changes in green roof vegetation, challenging the audience to consider the long-term dynamics and transformations of these living systems. Questions under consideration included:
How does green roof vegetation change over time?
How does vegetation performance relate to building and site context?
How do the growth trajectories of an extensive and intensive green roof compare?
As part of the Home from Rome series sponsored by the American Academy in Rome, Steve Kieran delivered a lecture this week entitled "Carrying Rome." His lecture traced a passage back to his 1980-81 fellowship in Rome and its influence on thirty years of making architecture.
While in Rome, Steve made more than 3,000 index card-sized sketches that continue to inform design at KieranTimberlake. His drawing of the Palazzo Maccarani, in particular, allowed him to disassemble the entire facade, completed in 1532, to understand how architect Giulio Romano established then flouted convention and then pointed a rhetorical finger at it (minute 24:00 in the video below). Partner James Timberlake was also a Rome fellow, in 1982-83, and the balance of art, intuition, science, and innovation that the two observed in Roman architecture led them to seek a similar balance in their own work. Steve pointed to Brunelleschi's dome in Florence as an exemplar of this equilibrium, explaining that truly compelling beauty hangs in the balance between art and science.
Steve noted, "Rome is still home. The insights I gained through disassembling and recording what I was seeing more than thirty years ago have remained ingrained in every facet of my life as an architect."
KieranTimberlake researcher Ryan Welch presented a paper on BIM-integrated environmental impact assessment at the 29th annual PLEA (Passive and Low Energy Architecture) Conference in Munich. PLEA 2013 brought together architects, engineers, and academic researchers from over 50 countries to present research around the theme of Energiewende (German for "energy transition"), which considers the shift to a low- or zero-carbon economy. Research topics explored a range of scales, from the human body to the urban environment, and examined sustainability through both cultural and technological lenses.
"Quantifying the Embodied Environmental Impact of Building Materials During Design," coauthored by Roderick Bates, Stephanie Carlisle, Billie Faircloth, and Ryan Welch, examines the potential for architects to consider embodied environmental impacts as an integral part of their design process. The paper lays out a methodology for resolving the discrepancy between the abstract representation of materials in BIM and the higher resolution of materials required for Life Cycle Assessment. When combined with life cycle inventory data, this information allows architects to understand and refine their designs through the lens of environmental impact.
While approaches to reducing operational energy are well established within the discipline of architecture, methods for quantifying embodied environmental impacts of building materials have yet to gain traction within the architectural, engineering, construction community due to the difficulty in quantifying building materials and the high cost and limited availability of pertinent life cycle inventory data. Our presentation served as a prescient counterpoint to the operational energy discourse of the conference—and in his closing remarks, Douglas Mulhall posed the quantification of building materials and their impacts as the paramount challenge for next year's PLEA conference.