Friday, 30 October 2015

RMI report on the Energy Storage North America conference (ESNA 2015)

One thing is unmistakably clear: the energy storage market is only in its infancy and is poised for huge growth in the coming decade, and it will make the biggest impact we have seen on construction in general.

Why do I say this, well I have just been reading the report of the RMI, Rocky Mountain Institute on the  Energy Storage North America conference (ESNA 2015) in San Diego, California

We can expect massive changes in the way we create, store, distribute, and use electricity, and you can easily see that this will have an effect on the way we design, and detail. Plus the way we treat the sun, its position, and out use of via both PV and water panels, ie roof orientation, and the attachment of panels to gather the best of the sun, ie tracking software.

This is not just a USA project, the impact is global, so perhaps the UK government can take another look at the nuclear plants they plan to build.

Big apologies for the blatant use of the battery logo from the RMI report, but it say's it all.

To read the report use this link

Big Data is best

Kenneth Cukier talking on Ted, Berlin 2014, outlines how Big Data can be better, but add some warning. This is a realy good overview of data, so often we used to her about data overflow, just to much data, now the complete reverce is relevant, we just can't get enought data.

Watch the Video in full.

A Better File Renamer

In a previous blog, I wrote about having my CAD program, export pdf files with the correct file name, well this nifty little program for the Mac, seems to be an answer.

Called "A Better File Renamer". it seems to offer all I want as a work around. I still would like the CAD program to allow some form of control, but this clearly does the job.

Now I think about it, I have a lot of photos that I might just want to use this on.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Vectorworks and a new Function called Marionette

Last night, I watched one of the best explanations of a new function in Vectorworks, called Marionette. Simply put, its a visual scripting process that uses symbols and links between those  symbols to add function, and link the symbols to script some pretty dan amazing stuff.

Presented by my good friend Jon Pickup, it has all his knowledge and background in Vectorworks, presenting something I think will make a big difference to some large projects.
Plus you have Jon's easy going lecture style, thats great to listen to. I spoke to Jon about this a few weeks ago, and saw the potential, so when I saw the webinar I made time to watch, but I am so glad Novedge put it up on Youtube.

But rather than try to explain it, just watch the video.

Past Maps

I recently found this site, from an email I received from the next President of CIAT Gary Mees. Its a UK wide map with different layers that can be applied, to show a variety of items and places related to conservation, the list is quite interesting :

Be careful, you can only use the layers on PastMap once you have zoomed in to scale 1:27000. After this point you will be able to apply one or multiple layers. I spent a long time trying to make it work, so sent an email to the site owner, he replied very quickly and I was sorted.

This is a clasic example of map use and layering to show graphical data. I think I overdid the photo today which is a screenshot of all layers switched on for a portion of Scotland.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

London 1927

I love watching old video, in this case its a view of London 1927, from a link I saw from one of my Facebook Contacts.

So much to see, the old building,s which I might add, many are still standing, the people, the trams and cars, people walking,

I try to teach my students to observe, just site and watch, and please look up, most people walk with their head down looking I suppose at the ground, but so many buildings have such Wonderfull detailing, high up above the first floor, and its so often untouched, by signs and modern upgrades to a shop front.

Structure lecture - First Year

It's so hard, how to teach the basics of Foundations in less than an hour, so this presentation set is my stab at introducing the subject. There is a load more to teach, so this is meant as the opening salvo.

I have one on Piling, water tables and an intro into Walter Segal, and his pad foundations, plus more on the Building Regs Part A, and more on the effect of trees.

Its also a chance to see if I can import my presentation into Blogger from google Docs using the link code.  Which I am please to say seems to work well. One of the benefits of using Google Slides, is that as I see more info on the subject, I can add it to the slide set, and my students will see it, as the link as in this case is direct to my account.

I am also using this as a test to post date this blog, so although your seeing Wednesday, I wrote it late Tuesday afternoon.

File Names

I recently had to make a large planning application via the Planning Portal, for those readers not in the UK, its an online web site that allows us to make electronic planning applications, using pdf files.

The pdf file upload area demands specific file names and my Vectorworks file name format, is not compatible, so I had to spend some 1/2 hour going through the separate pdf files generated and change each file name to suite. this all covers the Heritage statement, we made, plus the D&D statement.

It's time I could have use else were, so you can imagine I was not best please having to alter some 20 file names, and use the online help file to understand why "&" could not be used, beats me !, ie D&A-statement, I eventually gave it a correct file name jobnumber-drawing number/rev.pdf,
159970-23-A.pdf note only one "." to show the extension format.

I try to get it into my students the importance of a correct file name, and the correct use of revision
 numbers, and any drawing they send me, I will send back work thats not labeled correctly.

Todays photo is the logo I think I will use in the header, still giving it some thought.

The web site is still live to I can link to past articles using Zemanta, so use the links below to read slightly related past posts. As soon as I overcome the file size problem of exporting from Wordpress to Blogger, I will upload all the past posts.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Books - Paper, Electronic, all into Evernote

I buy construction books,,,, a lot, from any place, Amazon, Secondhand book stores, Ebay, any city any language, as long as there are pictures.

My collection is growing so much, I have a dedicated shelf to them, but even that is over flowing, so I also use Amazon Kindle, I started using it some time back, but although the reading was great, I just could not get on with the references I wanted to make, the highlighting made a list, but it was not easy to get at, and there was no search.

By contrast, with paper books, I often would add a sticky tab, to remind me of something, but even that got out of control.

Then I found Evernote, and life changed, to the point I scan, photo my links direct into Evernote, the OCR is brilliant, to the point of, what would I do without it. I can be reading a kindle book, and see a reference I want to keep, so I take a screen shot and save the photo to Evernote, the OCR will pick up the points I want, but if I want to make it absolutely clear, I can highlight the text this way I can see the text I want, I tag everything, so searching is made easier, I now scan almost all documents, and my reading is now not littered with yellow tags.

All my blogs get posted to Evernote, via the very Wonderfull ifTTT, a free service to watch this blog and for every new post, it  posts to evernote.

Even my Moleskin gets the Evernote treatment, my writing needs to improve for the OCR to work, but given enought tags, I can find most things.

Monday, 26 October 2015

British Listed Buildings

I have for a few months been looking at alterations to existing buildings that are listed in some way or other.

This site we found recently,  British Listed Buildings, is a really good tool for checking, the accurate status of the listing for your building.

The listing covers England, Scotland and wales, and the excellent search engine is realy good at finding a building just by Post Code.

We have used it several times recently, and found it to be a great help.
For further reading on Listed buildings, try this Wiki site,  the reading list at the end is also worth following up.

The photo today is of a classic window timber shutter detail to a stately home I visited this summer.

You might also want to read up on producing a Heritage Statement, and a complimentary D & A statement.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

UK Road Signs

I have never given the uk road signs much thought, until I read this excellent article on Word