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Architectural Koyaanisqatsi: 10-yr, 100-yr, 1000-yr Buildings
December 16, 2021 @ 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
With what level of confidence would you be able to design a building that will last for 100 years? 1000 years? When detailing, how much of an influence does longevity influence your design? This presentation will demonstrate the qualities, both big picture (market forces, style mentality) and small picture (detailing, technology) that lead to buildings that can last for more than 1000 years. The secret lies in an understanding of both building performance and building style. Due to market forces, lack of technical knowledge, and architect-led obsessions with style, the majority of today’s buildings are only designed to last 30 years or less. While the original designer, builder, and subcontractors may be long gone after 30 years, a building torn down after only 30 years should be considered a miserable failure. The technology exists for us to build facilities that will last over 1000 years, but that would require a significant mental shift from the majority of today’s architects. We will present the context (owner goals, market forces, and architectural priorities) that result in the creation of 10-year, 100-year, and 1000-year buildings. Specific case studies regarding detailing and durability will be shown to demonstrate the competing forces of building performance versus fashion. This presentation is a polemic on the current state of architectural design, but also a guide to improved training of architects and improved performance of buildings.
- Understand market forces that result in buildings designed only to last 30-years or less.
- Learn specific strategies that can be utilized to design details that will be durable for 100-years or more.
- Understand how fashion and style influence decisions regarding longevity of buildings.
- Understand the importance of understanding redundancy, factoring in maintenance, and building science control layers regarding the importance of designing for longevity.
Keith A. Simon, AIA, CPHC, BECxP, CxA+BE
Mr. Simon is a Senior Architectural Consultant and Building Enclosures Department Manager for Terracon Facilities in Austin, TX. He is a Registered Architect, Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC), Legacy LEED AP, and Building Enclosure Commissioning Provider (BECxP) with over 15 years’ experience in architectural design and building enclosure consultation. His experience includes investigation, evaluation, analysis, renovation design, construction administration, testing, and peer review of design phase documentation of building envelope issues. Mr. Simon was the founder of the Austin Building Enclosure Council (BEC: Austin) and currently serves as a board member for both BEC: Austin, as well as the Passive House Austin Chapter. Mr. Simon is a Terracon Subject Matter Expert (SME) for Hygrothermal Modeling and Building Enclosure Commissioning. Mr. Simon has been adjunct faculty at the University of Texas School of Architecture (UTSoA) in Austin since 2011 and currently serves as Secretary for the National Institute of Building Science (NIBS) Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council (BETEC) Executive Committee.