By Christian Schittich, Christiane Sauer

Easily great?
Finding the major to simplicity

As innovation and new advancements in know-how now stick with one another quicker and swifter, making yesterday's architectural fantasies today's development realities, there's already a circulation to come to the basic issues in lifestyles: be it a quest for sustainability, which suggests uncomplicated rules reminiscent of incorporating a region's typologies and fabrics, or for purposes of price, which regularly suggested a look for effective designs or production know-how, or perhaps aesthetic necessities that permit humans to step out of our more and more noisy and heterogeneous setting.

However, attaining simplicity in layout belies the big quantity of attempt required to devise and recognize some of these architectural designs.

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It might, for example, involve the prefabrication of individual components, such as solid laminated timber floors and walls, which have been optimized in terms of their size and weight for easy shipment and quick assembly. At the end of the day, the success of prefabrication is dictated by the market. Prefabricated bathroom units, for example, have not gained acceptance, as there is no cost advantage. Semi-finished concrete parts, on the other hand, are state of the art; as long as the shapes are straightforward and the walls are of an appropriate thickness, they are more reasonable than in situ concrete.

This is because the material performance, in a similar way to the building itself, is related to the individual properties of the building materials used. The well-known construction materials concrete, steel, timber and brick are among the most efficient, most broadly applicable materials. But the possible applications of glass and 5 45 earth are similarly wide. Homogeneous materials and components provide for an honest outward appearance of the structure – on the basis that the material satisfies the complex configuration of needs in regard to construction, structure, building physics and aesthetics (fig.

The worst first The most important rule for developing details is often simply ignored, as it contradicts the usual approach favoured by engineers under time pressure: namely, that if 100 problems have to be solved by the day after tomorrow and 80 per cent of these are trivial, then it is logical to sort out the 80 simple ones today and supply the waiting project partners with the solutions, before racking one’s brain over the remaining 20. This approach temporarily reduces the project manager’s anger in regard to deadlines not being met to 20 per cent, but at the same time increases the probability of having to construct, model, produce and assemble special detail solutions – which, in the long term, will mean considerable extra time and expense.

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