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Hello.

This is a personal blog documenting my journey from California to rural Alabama. I am currently studying architecture and learning how to be a decent human at Rural Studio; a design/build architecture program with a strong focus on ethics and social responsibility.

Posts are my own and have no affiliation to the school. Enjoy!

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Rural Studio | Week 4 Workshops Enclosures + Thermal Mass, Buoyancy

Rural Studio | Week 4 Workshops Enclosures + Thermal Mass, Buoyancy

Rural Studio | Week 4  |  September 9 -13, 2019                                                                            Workshop .o3  Contemporary Wall Assemblies | Emily McGlohn, architect                            Workshop .o4 Thermal Mass + Buoyancy | Salmaan Craig, engineer;  Kiel Moe, architect 

We are currently half way through the intensive month of September workshops.  I’m learning in architecture school a week equates to all seven days, and nights.  Apparently we come up for air in October. On the flip side these workshops are highly engaged, multi-day assemblies, with an exceptional panel of visitors.  I wouldn’t trade the exposure for sleep although my mind wanders to the temperate California climate while roasting in Red Barn.

Last week started with Emily Mcglohn, who just might be the radest woman in the industry. Every student wants to be her - or date her. I think it’s how she pronounces interstitial condensation. Emily is an expert in wall assemblies and taught all things performance related. We got in the weeds about vapor barriers, retardants, air barriers, insulation, u-factors.  Basically every control layer sandwiched between siding and sheetrock. Our deliverable was to draw a 1:1 collapse section of a past project and discuss its assembly layers.  Lucky for me I chose (at random) the only project not built. This meant I could bypass some steps and just trace over the CAD section. Which still took me way too long!! (Note: My undergrad is city planning so cheating on wall sections is allowed) 

The section I drew is part of the Mass Timber Research Project. Four thesis/grad students have been studying (very scientifically!) the benefits of using stacked timber in replacement of the typical layer cake. The team is currently prepping to begin construction of two small timber Pods. I highly suggest checking out their blog and insta. Mass timber is bad ass.

The week continued with the arrival of Salmaan Craig, Kiel Mo and David Kennedy.  Over the course of three days we discussed all things science as it relates to thermal mass, buoyancy ventilation and my favorite- supply chain flow.  We started the workshops by tracing a Fiji water bottle back to the very beginning, beyond the factory and water source to its molecular level! I really enjoyed how this presentation looked at a product holistically on a micro/macro level. 

We then jumped into successful heating and cooling models by studying a termite mound. The overarching goal was to learn about energy (and emergy!) and the high prices we pay (fiscal, social, resource) to heat and cool buildings when nature could potentially be doing the work for us. Once again back to the nature knows best mind set. Sal walked us through his calculation method that helps compare materials (steel, timber, concrete, etc) as they relate to surface area, heights, and ventilation needed to passively heat/cool a space while considering other factors such as material volume, thickness, temperature, and carbon variables. Our deliverable was to re-mass the existing fire station using Sal’s equation

I also squeezed in my OSHA certification from the main university mid week. I am officially cleared to play with power tools!! Now I just need to rest my brain and a weekend.

- devin







Rural Studio | Week 5 Workshops Structural Exploration + Detailing Construction

Rural Studio | Week 5 Workshops Structural Exploration + Detailing Construction

Rural Studio | Week 3 Workshops Storytelling + Observing

Rural Studio | Week 3 Workshops Storytelling + Observing