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Plumbing is one of the great developments of human civilization!. To turn a faucet handle and have clean, hot or cold running water issue forth is truly a wonderful thing. If you do not think this is wonderful, spend a few days camping!
design is about responding to, and meeting, needs.
for good designers the result of this pursuit is the
creation of something that is 'good'. 'good' is a multi-
dimensional characteristic, including things like appropriate
material use, cost and value, energy required to
manufacture, et cetera.
in fact, we often say something 'looks good' precisely because it works well. the 'beauty' of something may lie in, and be revealed as, the working, functioning, of it.
think of a high performance sports car, a well designed, high
quality electric tool, or a high tech, high performance running
shoe. we see these as 'beautiful' because of their refinement,
performance capabilities, and ingenious uses of materials and
this is what we call 'design'
adding a floral pattern to the surface of an object, or a wall, is not design.
an aesthetic of functionality and of production processes needs to be
encouraged, and celebrated, in place of the aesthetic of appearance.
the phrase 'aesthetically pleasing to the eye' is not only lacking in
meaning, but it distracts from the true essence of beauty and of
'beautiful'. Something that looks nice is just that, something that looks
Think of Adolf Hitler dressed in a really nice suit. Perhaps someone
might say "My he looks very nice".
about him, and we say "No, he is bad, period." By definition, Adolf
Hitler cannot even look nice, period.
What does 'bad design' mean? Potentially many things, including; it is
wasteful of material, of energy to manufacture, it is overly expensive
for what it offers, it does not work well, it is likely to break too soon, et
The current trend in residential kitchens is to include 'gourmet' or 'chefs’
while this may be primarily a ploy to lure people
to spend more money for a kitchen that looks fancy, it also happens to
reveal a range of products that are functionally much better than those
typically installed in a residential kitchen.
components, and of the overall kitchen, is too high.
A $6,000 refrigerator, a $5,000 stove, a $7,000 granite counter top, is
too much money to spend for these items, and is a bad way to suggest
that people think about their living environment.
better than ever before.
Components are available that are designed and produced at high
Look through a good design magazine, such as Domus,
Dwell, Metropolis, and you will see many interesting variations of sinks,
toilets, ovens, stoves, and refrigerators.
these are the terms that we typically use to discuss aspects of
in fact the true meaning of these terms is very complex.
for a good explanation of the complexities of electricity, look through this web site.
chemical energy in fuels or the flowing energy of wind, water, or steam
into electrical energy, using a mechanical turbine connected to a
The force of the fluid causes the turbine to rotate, which in
turn rotates the magnetic field inside the generator to produce
boiler to produce steam.
The chemical energy in the fuel becomes heat energy
as it burns, forming hot gases.
The steam, under great pressure, rushes through pipes
and valves and turns the steam turbine at high speed.
The turbine is made up of blades on a shaft and is driven
by the steam like wind drives a windmill.
of "electrical pressure" that causes current flow.
(for example, typical residential electric lines have 110 volts)
'Amperes' (amps) is generally used to describe
the amount of electricity in a circuit. (a typical circuit
in a house is described as being 30 amp, or 20 amp, which is a description
of how much current there is in the circuit)
'Watts' is the term used to describe the power used
by a circuit. (for example, a light bulb may use 100 watts of power
to generate the level of light that it produces.)
up space; hidden inside walls, floors, and ceilings, or
exposed to view.
requiring coordination: between designers and electrical
adding heat to the space: many commercial environments
always require cooling because of internal heat generated
by occupants, electric fixtures and machines.electric wiring, and electric components impact the design of interiors by:
Caliper Studio designed a three thousand square foot duplex apartment renovation in a building on new york's upper west side. their solution removed all existingvertical circulation and connected the two floors with a new feature stair, located centrally in the apartment, free from all walls and supported only at the top and bottom. From designboom.com
2R + t = 24-25 inches: this is one standard way to describe the requirements of riser height and tread width in a number of codes.
no more than 3/16" variation between successive risers and treads
minimum width = 36"
maximum riser height = 8 1/4"
minimum tread depth = 9"
minimum headroom = 6'-8"
minimum width of the stairway = 44"
minimum height of riser= 4"
maximum height of riser = 7"
minimum tread depth = 11"
minimum headroom = 6'-8”
maximum distance of travel of 12' in horizontal travel distance(in plan view) without a landing. landings must be as deep as the stair is wide.
stairways must have a landing at the top, bottom, and at
changes of direction
handrails must be on both sides of a stair
handrails are to be between 34"-38" above the stair-tread nosing
handrails are to be a minimum of 1 1/2" from the wall/mounting surface
to allow for grasping
adhere to the riser and tread requirements of
the width of an exit stair is calculated in terms of
'exit units' which are 22" units, based on the
idea that one person is approximately 22" wide.
ramps are to be no steeper than 1:12
a ramp may not be longer than 30' without a level landing
ramps are limited to a vertical rise of 30" between landings
the width of ramps shall not be less than the width of exit corridors: a
minimum of 44" (2 exit units)
to calculate the number and size of steps in a run of stairs:
identify the required height, from finished floor, to finished floor
divide this height by the approximate height of the riser of one step
since there can be no partial steps, round off any non-whole numbers and divide the rounded number into the height of the run of the stairs.
this number is the accurate size of one riser, to the nearest tenth of an inch.
plug the riser height into the 2R+T=24-25 formula to determine how long each tread needs to be
The distance, from the first floor finished surface, to the second floor, finished floor surface is to be 13'-7".
How many risers and treads are needed to
make a legal stairway here?
13'-7" = 163”
163 divided by 7 = 23.28
Now, we know that you cannot have 23.28 risers; risers must be a whole
greater than 7", which is not allowed by code, so we will take 24 as a total riser
So, take 24, and divide 163 by 24, which is 6.7916": this is the height of each
riser, in the run of 24 that makes this stairway.
total height of the stairway, in inches, and divide it by 7" as a way to determine
a close number of risers. (if this comes out to a whole number, then you are
Then take the total height in inches, and divide it by the number of risers to
arrive at a precise riser height dimension.