Friday, May 24, 2013

Curated Friday: BIM infographics

There seems to be a lack of information, or at least a lack of awareness about BIM. As we mentioned before, there are Architects, Engineers, Construction Managers, and Building Owners who simply feel that this process has little-to-no monetary value. So we wanted to leave you with some facts and figures that hopefully will inspire you to make the investment in this process.  With greater understanding we can make a smarter built environment, which ultimately is a more sustainable one!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Augmented Reality (AR) could Revolutionize BIM

-It's no surprise that knowledge is power; when the knowledge is organized through BIM standards, the power is limitless.

A long time ago we created buildings by telling stories, when that became outdated we began to log the dimensions.  Eventually Othrographics filled out the visuals, yet that too was eventually superseded by CAD.  As we discussed earlier this week, BIM is slowly but surely making it's move on CAD.  So what is the future of BIM? Well given the innovation of the digital age, the safe bet would be in Augmented Reality.

The Route to BIM in 10 Steps

-It's a big step, to overhaul your workflow to adopt a new system- but it's not impossible.

If you checked out our post on Monday, then you have already seen some of the benefits of Building Information Modeling, as well as some of the barriers holding the AEC industry back from fully embracing it.   Today I'd like to share with you an article from outlining the 10 steps for a successful BIM integration.

Please check out the full article HERE
And be sure to follow us this week for more BIM related posts!

Later today: Augmented reality 
Friday's Curation: BIM Infographics

Monday, May 20, 2013

Building Information Modeling: Collaboration in Design


Building Information Modeling

The construction and architectural industry has been in great crisis in the past two decades. This was mostly due to lack of communication between the inter-disciplines that share knowledge on the lifecycle of a building. This resulted in most complex and large projects to be over budget, a failure to meet planned dead-lines and design inconsistencies.

However, BIM and GIS are revolutionizing the design and building industry in a myriad of ways through its design software platform that offers solutions to planning, designing, construction, and management of data throughout the building’s lifecycle.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It's time for a break

This week, the Sustainability Club took the time to revisit our policies and procedures to better suit our members' needs and concerns. Part of what that contains is looking at this blog and it's structure. So this week we will not be bringing you any new content, nor will we be leaving our presence on our social media.   We hope to use this time to organize our ranks, delegate our duties and make a more streamlined organization.  We apologize for the derailment and hope to come back to you renewed and rejuvenated.

Have a great week!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Living walls curation

Good evening!
We regret to announce that due to technical complications we are unable to bring you the regularly scheduled style curation.
Instead I invite you to check out Flipboard as they have just unrolled their 2.0 version in which users can create their own magazines.  I've been playing arIound with it and love the ease and aesthetic. It is a wonderful article aggregater, and may become a useful tool.
Check us out! 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Bottle Tower Gardens: Project Case Study

By Ian Salamanca

As I mentioned earlier today, Urban Agriculture is an important topic i'm glad I have the ability to discuss. One key factor of most major cities is a lack of space.  Often time people barely have enough space for themselves, much less the ability to plant in either soil or roof.  This leaves us with only one way to go; UP!

A case for Urban Agriculture

Overpopulation, malnutrition, poverty; these are not just worldwide problems, but ones we face at home in the United States, and even in a metropolis such as Los Angeles. Though often exacerbated by the last one, population control and hunger are two social problems that are within our means to solve.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Green Walls: An Overview

By Ian Salamanca
This week i'm going to talk about a concept both myself, and the Sustainability Club of LATTC are fascinated by; Green Facades, Living Walls, and Vertical Gardens. We'll look at what those mean and how they differ, some substantial benefits of including them in your design, and some DIY methods in multiple scales.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Meet our President: Isai German

Club President:
Isai German

Educational background

I've had my run at a few community colleges, and took my crack at art school, but my passion was in Architecture; and my heart with my community.  This school of thought is greatly emphasized at Los Angeles Trade Tech.  This is where I have attained the most growth in my adult life.

Favorite Architect or Designer and why?

Sam Mockbee had the ability to take novel materials and interject an architecture vocabulary that caters to the rural backdrop of Alabama.   His involvement with under-served communities connects academia and the built environment.  His design studio correlates with Auburn Universities Architecture program and introduces students to finite sources and vests in socially engaged projects.  This opportunity would give students a tangible understanding of the practical applications verses theoretical process.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Curious Curation: Innovation Inspired by Nature

Innovation Inspired by Nature

 What does this mean exactly? Probably and most likely it would mean the process of studying and imitating natures best ideas to solve human problems. Biomimicry is the name given to this wonderfully innovative idea. The truth is, Nature has already solved many of the problems we deal with today as a human race. By “nature” meaning everything from plants to animals and even to the smallest specs of life. 
"We are learning how to harness energy like a leaf, build ceramics like an abalone, create color like a peacock, compute like a cell, run a business like a hickory forest..." -Janine Benyus

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Modern Day Evolution: Atlantic Tomcod

So I wanted to give you a small post today but my planned post fell through. So i'm pulling this bit from the past, as I don't have the time to create at the moment, (even something so small) but will be updating a little later today as well!  As i'll explain later, i'm hoping to develop a bit better blogging system. So please enjoy this snippet about The Persistance of Life.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Gamification: Good for the Community?

Pam's attempt at the Gamification of chores
is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context in order to engage users and solve problems.

We begin with a narrative.

It's nearly midnight as Agent DJ Goddessa makes her fourth lap of the surrounding 6 square blocks.  It's a chilly night as she makes her way through the park, cell phone light dimly guiding the way.  Appearing to ramble aimlessly she meanders across various terrains.  Though to someone watching she would seem lost, she could never be more accurate in her location.  She reaches the spot she was looking for, and anxiously awaits the confirmation from her phone.  LEVEL UP! She gave a whispered hooray, just as her phone notified her of a low battery.  She looks up at the monument, basking in the moonlight, she never really realized how pretty this park was at night.

Places like this.
All of a sudden she hears a rustling behind her! Spinning around she peers into the darkness and can make out a figure across the street.  Who could it be?! The shadow approached, slowly at first. When it crossed the street she could see the person was also lit by their cell phone.  Agent DJ peered through to see if she recognized the person. Almost as if in response the person flashes their cell phone screen.  She knew it, he was the enemy!  Though not at all dangerous.  She didn't have enough battery to battle over the park tonight, so instead she flashed her own phone as a sign of the torch being passed, a shift being changed, and for a little while longer this park will be safe. Even if it isn't Enlightened.

Can Gamification really make our cities safer, cleaner, and more popular? Can it bring about positive change in our communities?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Building a Better Battlefield: A look at two tech titans' shift into Architecture

Image from: The Poly Post
It seems that more than ever we as a nation are divided by one thing or another, and unless you've been living off the grid this past decade, you're more than well aware of the tech rivalry that is Apple v Google. What started with music, moved to phones, and then to the courthouses-has now evolved to the built environment as both companies have BIG plans for the coming decade. Each with their own creative ideas of 'a perfect work environment.' Which is ultimately the reason for constructing such (digital age) cathedrals.  As they both move forward to define themselves as an institution, the focus certainly seems to be on Building innovation through employee satisfaction. 
Stock-photo employees are easy, real people require a bit more...
Photo from

Today, we are going to look at both buildings from not only a business and an aesthetic view, but of course a sustainable view as well.

Some notes before I begin:

I'm going to start by saying that the majority of information i've acquired for this article were posted online (linked below each piece) and many of them quoted each other, so i'm going to give you the same facts as you may find anywhere else.  However most of those articles are focused on either the aesthetics or the Financials- practically nothing is written about the Architecture, nor the green practices. Which is why I'm choosing to rehash it.

Secondly, I, the writer of this post, am particularly fond of one of these institutions; so I will be doing my best to provide an accurate view of the projects, and avoid bias. I will NOT  be slamming either company for their practices, however I cannot pretend that there isn't a clear winner in my opinion. That conclusion comes from the analysis of all information provided-not from my personal life.

Lastly, I decided to break this up into multiple posts to ease the reading load.  So below you will find both buildings in a stand alone post, with links to each other and back here.  Please feel free to comment on any of them to let us know how you feel about the projects, or share them among your social platforms!

Google Complex- Bayview

Location: Mountainview, CA
Architects: NBBJ
Estimated Date of Completion: 2015
Current Estimated Cost: Not Disclosed
Parti: Angled Interactions

Continue Reading: "Bayview: Letting the Data Drive Design"

Apple Campus - Spaceship HQ

Location: Cupertino, CA
Architects: Foster + Partners
Estimated Date of Completion: 2014-16'
Current Estimated Cost: $5 Billion
Parti: Circular Unity

Bayview: Letting the Data Drive Design

“We started not with an architectural vision but with a vision of the work experience and so we designed this from the inside out.” -David Radcliffe

Location: Mountainview, CA
Architects: NBBJ
Estimated Date of Completion: 2015
Current Estimated Cost: Not Disclosed
PartiAngled Interactions

Spaceship HQ: No Thrown Phones in Glass Houses

 “We have a shot, at building the best office building in the world. I really do think that architecture students will come here to see it.”-Steve Jobs

Apple - Spaceship HQ

Location: Cupertino, CA
Architects: Foster + Partners
Estimated Date of Completion: 2014-16'
Current Estimated Cost: $5 Billion
PartiCircular Unity

Friday, April 12, 2013

"Make it look like a duck..." or The Falsification of Sustainability

Courtesy of Brimen Cartoons

I have seen this all too often. A company makes an announcement of their intentions, the speech littered with hot button words,and in the end we all feel warm and fuzzy at the progress we're promised.  Fast forward some time and it seems more often than not these companies show little progress, if not backwards movement. Was it a lie? Was it a misunderstanding? How is it that we have been talking about Sustainability for over a decade, with so little to show for it?  I believe it all boils down to what we choose to call Sustainable, more specifically, how many things we call Sustainable.  Slapping labels on things, doesn't actually make them so.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

We are Champions at work!

Hey everyone!

So I apologize for not issuing my second installment of This Week in Sustainability, I hope you liked it, I sure did! Check it out here!

I tried to write up a little something Friday night, but I was wiped out from a day's worth of competition.  I will provide a write up soon on this as well, but in brief, Los Angeles Trade and Technical College participated in and totally rocked the State Level of Skills USA in San Diego!

In an impressive sweep, our school pulled in 10 gold medals, as well as getting 4th place in  highest membership growth, earning the title of Mega Chapter!

Friday, March 29, 2013

This Week in Sustainability: 03/22-03/29

So in our effort to stay relevant we have decided to pay more attention to the news.  It's important to understand what others are doing, and to see the whole picture as well as the details.  So without further ado, I present to you the Sustainabilty Club's first installment of what I hope to be a weekly publication.

This Week in Sustainability 

"Portland argues the definition of "Sustainable."

From: All Things Writing
This week's Portland Business Journal is taking a stab at symantix, as it debates what it really means to be "Sustainable."  As many logicians would tell you definition is key to correct debate, so I'm interested to see their outcome.  I have personally felt for a while now that the term has been overused and underexplained; or in  some cases abused for the sake of business or politics.  As Ecotrust President Astrid Scholz puts it, “You don’t have to care about ‘sustainability’ to use it,” she said. “You can attract dumb capital, so to speak, just by virtue of getting a financial return and getting it to do the right thing.”1  

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Following nature's path: A brief introduction

Bio-mimicry is an innovative process inspired by nature to seek sustainable solutions to many of mother earth’s problems. It is a method of emulating natures design process by discovering the genetic  DNA code of mimicking its structure and design models. According to Janine Benyus, “bio-mimicry is the conscious emulation of life’s genius by taking the design principles and the genius of the natural world and learning something from it."

Friday, March 22, 2013

Career day at Jefferson Highschool

Yesterday the Sustainable Architecture club joined several colleges and universities at Jefferson High School to promote our college and give a little insight into what our class does and hopes to achieve. Our station provided High School students with "seed bombs" with the idea of making your environment a nicer place; while Isai's station provided knowledge about kinetic energy and it's different uses. Our two stations were recognized by Jefferson High, inviting us back for another event gathering approximately two months from now!
We seek to find more events like these and others to get the name of our Sustainability club out in the world. If you would like to be part of this our know of events, please let us know and your help will be greatly appreciated!
Written by Ernesto Aguilar
Edited by Ian Salamanca
Photos by Isabel Arroyo

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Something Sustainable this way comes

Yes, we are once again going to tip on the hard hat and buckle down this blog and give it the fine tuning it deserves.  Trimming the fat, alternating the fonts, a new color scheme and a (hopefully) better mobile version- oh and a redux twitter.

I'm doing this now, to make way for a new assistant Editor, and a couple contributors.  The idea being that we could start producing more content by having options.  There will be a competition for who gets the spot, so stay tuned to meet the deary eyed hopefuls!

Besides that we have been competing left and right, as well as teaching and learning; but I'll leave that post to the side until the dust chips settle.

Thanks for bearing with us.

Update: This blog can now be found at
Update: Follow us @SustainableARC
Drop us a text, or call to: (612) 787-2721 or (612) Sus-Arc1
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Thursday, January 10, 2013

It's a New Year! Let's start it off RIGHT!

Clockwise from Left:  Isai German, Raphael Lavine Jr. ,
Hildemar Cruz, Professor Marcela Oliva, Martin Saunders,
John Snelling, Isabel Arroyo. Not Pictured: Ian Salamanca
Good Day Everyone!

That's right! We're BACK!  Since the end of the semester we have scheduled random meetings among our board members to keep ourselves focused for the work to come.  The day after Christmas we got together on Google+ Hangouts and discussed our upcoming involvement with a design competition known as Skills USA, which we are lucky enough to be hosting at our college!  More to come regarding this! Then on Monday, Jan 7th we met in the Historic Figueroa Hotel for our first official meeting of the year.  It was a refreshing experience to be talking about Architecture in a setting as this, as opposed to simply in the classroom.  We liked the experience so much we are considering holding meetings in other local landmarks.

It's hard to believe you're in LA
 Followed two days later with the first, of many more enlightening field trips.  We feel it's important to be connected to one's community, and our community has had a lot of hardships, but it is in no means a dire place.  As our club president, Isai German recounts:

An interesting Harmonograph
The Sustainable Architecture club took a tour of the Inner City Arts, a non-profit organization with spaces and classes available to the community.  The architectMichael Maltzan,  had the neighborhood in mind when designing the location and had programmed the site for growth.  With transparent walls and corridors visible from the street, the campus has a welcoming sensation even in the heart of this outskirted community.  All of the buildings are clean of graffiti, which goes to prove that the community supports this effort of art education.  The spaces nurture several types of art from performance to animation. The species of trees that encompass the land softens the sound pollution of the city and creates an urban forest.  The scale of the operations are such that they are supported with generous donations from the Annenberg Foundation, Disney and others.  To understand the our community  and bridge the arts to those who need them, Inner CIty Arts is a beacon of hope for the under served.

Beautiful spaces facilitate bright minds
Trips like this help us round out our learning, by exposing us to the good work of other local Architects.  We plan to have many more this coming year and will keep you informed!  On a related note, if you have a suggestion for our next learning trip please let us know in the comments section below!  Until then, it's good to be back and I can't wait to tell y'all of our plans for the start of the semester!