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See? SEE?! There is nothing we can do, the sill will leak, the condensation will form, the ice dam will dam, and in the end water will get in because water always wins.  Water laughs at us; as Tom Robbins said water invented us as a means to move itself around and no matter what we do we can't keep it out; we are more likely to keep it IN where it will then invite its friend mold in to join in laughing at our silly attempts to control it.

Apr 2, 13 12:01 pm

i had one undergrad professor who said that - while he could give criticism and he could make suggestions - he only had one universal piece of advice for every architect:  "learn to think like water."

Apr 2, 13 1:04 pm
You mean be merciless and find every weakness and crack and then enlarge them ? Your prof worked on Wall Street?
Apr 2, 13 6:56 pm
Sarah Hamilton
Nice, Will. Wish archinect had a Like button some times.
Apr 2, 13 7:05 pm

Steven was that Eean? I think he said something like that to me once.

Apr 2, 13 10:46 pm

Ah, the old water test. Lots of architects fail this one.

Apr 2, 13 11:15 pm

I just drew up a small set of drawings to repair a couple of concrete balconies where the previous architect failed the test.

Worked for a roofing conctractor one summer and he'd always take me to unique job sites in order to (paraphrasing) "show an architect how to properly flash things."

Apr 3, 13 2:11 am

what i recently learned was that - no matter how good your window detail is resolved for thermal AND water separation - if the building is pressurized wrong, WATER WILL GET IN!  negative pressure can basically hasten failure of sealants and suck water in! this was a mystery that we finally solved after 6yrs of attempting to address leaks at one project, taking windows out, putting back in, reworking wall/opening around the windows, etc. physics is crazy. 

Apr 3, 13 10:48 am

we need to quit sealing buildings.  let some air in and out.  i'm sure there is a mechanical way of doing that instead of poking holes in the wall, but in the end we should still be pushing a bit of outside air into the building (in a balanced way).  that would reduce mold because moisture can evaporate and reduce the likelihood of negative pressure buildings.  also make carbon monxide poisoning, radon, and most sick building syndromes almost impossible.

i think negative pressure probably comes from adding exhaust fans or hoods independent of the HVAC system, so the in-out balance of air supply and return doesn't take into account the out of the exhaust.

Apr 3, 13 11:36 am

not a fan of passivhaus standards, i take it? 

Apr 3, 13 12:20 pm

nope.  oddly enough, i'm old school on this one.  use the sun for solar heat if you want it :)

curious to see if that really ends up being a successful movement.  maybe it already is.  the houses they make seem to waste less energy, so the numbers probably meet their goals.

i wonder if you had a baby in one of those houses, if it never breathed any pollen or bacteria because of the hepa filtration and whatnot, if it's immune system would be stunted.

Apr 3, 13 12:32 pm

But passivhaus has specific fresh air intake requirements, right? So you actually get a lot of air movement throughout the building just in controlled locations?

Locations which, per my previous post, are actually not controllable anyway.  So nevermind.  Wattle-and-daub huts and canvas tents for all!

Apr 3, 13 1:10 pm
Sarah Hamilton

Wattle and daub.....

Apr 3, 13 4:23 pm

whole foods is the next starbucks.  where I live there are places where they're maybe a couple blocks from each other.

Apr 3, 13 11:23 pm

passivhaus has air quality requirements. i still don't care for the idea so much, mostly because its technocratic as solutions go...and i really like to keep windows open if i can.  there is another alternative with a few built test houses in tokyo called, exergy house.  not sure if i like it much better for same reasons as passivhaus, but at least it is based on keeping doors open and letting house breathe.


wattle and daub sounds oddly kinky

Apr 4, 13 6:56 am

i've had similar questions about passivhaus, but it's fun to follow bruteforceblog and learn about the efforts of our own holzbox. (i'm surprised he hasn't shown up in this conversation yet, since we're practically summoning his wrath.) 

Apr 4, 13 8:01 am

good morning all, so it appears i have a stress fracture in my shin area....wearing a boot is a total inconvenience. on the upside it makes me move a bit slower....

Steven i was thinking the same thing.

Apr 4, 13 8:09 am

yes!  where is holzbox?

i went to see a few passivhauses in denmark last fall and they were coolio but also not so nice as palces.  bad architecture, good tech.  also went to more extreme energy efficient place in copenhagen that only worked correctly if the humans didn't touch anything. convinced me we are on the wrong path with that approach and maybe efficiency is not the droids we are looking for...

Apr 4, 13 9:21 am

i <3 star wars references

Apr 4, 13 9:23 am
Sarah Hamilton

Since I'm not really in the field anymore, I don't keep up with these field of thought and energy-approval.  But it seems that anything that doesn't allow me to open my doors and windows, well, sucks.  I love opening my windows, see the curtains hangin in the window, summer breeze... Makes me feel fine.

Apr 4, 13 9:52 am

Hey Design Peeps-

Anyone know of good flooring options for high traffic areas and heavy objects (motorcycles)?  The present space has a mix of carpet and vinyl flooring.  The owner wants it all to be uniform.  I originally thought about just taking it all up and polishing the concrete below but they used self leveling stuff so that's out.  Stone carpet is out because the pricepoint.  The client is concerned about pricing.  Thoughts, suggestions?

Apr 4, 13 10:36 am

melt, either terrazzo ($$$) or Marmoleum ($$); Marmoleum just came out with a new striated pattern I really want to use somewhere. 

I too feel we've been summoning holzbox and he hasn't shown up yet.  Should we all close our eyes and chant "passive-tight-passive-tight" over and over for a few minutes to see if it works?

Rough exhausting freaking morning so far today.  And it won't slow down - I had to retreat to my office to catch a breather before I strangle someone.

Apr 4, 13 10:55 am

melt, do industrial resinous flooring that is oil resistant ( since you are motorcycling over it). Do Stoneclad GR for environmental friendliness. 

Apr 4, 13 12:08 pm

Thanks so much Rusty!  Do you know if that stuff is easy to install?  I've heard there may be a chance they will just get their buddies who are handy to install.

Apr 4, 13 2:05 pm

Do buddies know how to prep a concrete floor? How about mixing a 4 component epoxy system without fucking up the entire batch? It's not hard but it requires a degree of discipline different from general carpentry.

Apr 4, 13 2:38 pm

No clue.  I would hope, considering it is a retail space they hire a professional installer, but I've heard stories that sometimes they don't.  Just trying to make sure the material I use is as idiot proof as possible.  

Apr 4, 13 3:03 pm
Sarah Hamilton

In that case, you should go with the epoxy and paint flecks stuff.  Roll on, throw, let dry, then roll on the clear coat.  Pretty idiot proof.  Even better, they can pick their own colour combination!

Apr 4, 13 3:06 pm

So last week, I was stuck doing marketing. I had no hope of doing what I was actually hired to do because although I was hired specifically to do this job, my then-boss put a favorite consultant on every single proposal, because she a) has connections with the clients we wanted, b) has 20 years of experience on me so a more established/sellable portfolio, oh and c) was in a long-term relationship with one of the principals.

Now in the first week at a new job, suddenly I get to design the environmental graphics for 10 stories of corporate headquarters for a giant client, oh and the campus wayfinding for a brand name hospital. Funny, how life can change so fast. Looks like I need to re-discover my hustle.

Apr 4, 13 5:30 pm

umm what exactly is "stone carpet"

Apr 4, 13 7:17 pm

Should I respond to Mr. ROBERT SWAN MUELLER III in Hong Kong yahoo address? I need the money...



We hope this notification arrives meeting your good health and mind. We are happy to inform you that your funds valued at US*$10,700,000.00 (Ten million Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) has been approved by the Treasury
Department of the United States.

Respond back via [] for further directives.

Thank you very much for your anticipated co-operation.

Best Regards,


Apr 4, 13 9:20 pm
Very cook rationalist! Sounds like a great gig.
Apr 5, 13 4:30 am

Very cool indeed rationalist.  Funny how the universe sometimes works.

Apr 5, 13 9:45 am
Sarah Hamilton

So it's like a rubber mat?

Apr 5, 13 1:17 pm

how often do they publish aia compensation surveys?  the last was 2011, before that was 08 and 05 right?  so is the next one anticipated to be towrads the end of 2014?

Apr 5, 13 1:33 pm

I've decided that there should be a section in the code that states spaces where anyone under the age of 5 would inhabit shall require a hose bib and floor drain.

Apr 5, 13 10:37 pm
toaster, I thnk anywhere inhabited by college students, too.
Apr 5, 13 11:15 pm

I've decided that there should be a section in the code that states spaces where anyone under the age of 5 would inhabit shall require a hose bib and floor drain.

Or over 50.

Apr 6, 13 12:02 am

Home from another day of Weekend Warrior. Our Diner is ready to Fly!  Finished cribbing her up and then broke away the masonry brick skirt wall.  There were  8 of us who smashed thru about 90 lf  by 2' tall  masonry wall in under two hours.  Then we had to go around and pick at the brick where trusses and beams were imbedded in the walls. You have never seen such a bunch of happy guys at  3:00 in the afternoon. So  we be rocking and rolling next weekend.

Apr 6, 13 6:38 pm
vado retro


Apr 8, 13 5:59 pm

The salary poll will be excellent.

I just finished hand drawing some conceptual designs for a porch addition (my last freelance client) while husband watched a movie across the room.  The credits rolled with Alice Cooper singing I Never Cry - now it's in my head, and I like it!

I was thinking, while working on this project, that maybe it would be much easier to be a successful architect if I didn't like my clients.  I've always been proud and felt fortunate to like my clients, but I wonder if it would be easier to not like them: care less about whether the work is good, and not feel guilty charging them for every single moment I work on it? Yeah, there are downsides to that relationship I know all too well.

Apr 8, 13 11:39 pm

Salary poll doesn't even include my job title. Fine! I don't even work in Architecture. I arrange flowers for NYC Illuminati. 

Apr 9, 13 9:51 am

Turd-polisher isn't listed either.

Apr 9, 13 11:01 am
Sarah Hamilton

Donna, I thought of you when I read this about Max Anderson and his wife splitting.

Apr 9, 13 1:14 pm

@ rusty,  i guess you can be an "other".  thats a good position to have, no?

doesn't really match my business, nor my job as edumacator either.  if i told folks i was professor and not the assistant professor that i am, i would probably get a letter from the dean's office telling me to stop it.  it's like saying you are an architect in USA but still don't have license...very bad form.  but you know, only people in the business give a damn.

we're starting intense 6 day workshop today.  going to be very tired a week from now.

oh and has anyone over here heard of Abe-nomics yet?  financial types are starting to circle the country looking to cash in on new policies.  either we are heading for crazy bubble and crash or the economy will actually start to move out of its 30 year tailspin.  either way we are suddenly getting quite busy.  who knew what governments do could matter to what architects do?

Apr 9, 13 8:21 pm



Oh, hahaha, I've been cadding.  Sorry.

But yeah, divorce really depresses me.

Apr 9, 13 10:33 pm

one of them is writing a book about it though, and they seem pretty cool with it donna.  reads like a discussion from robert heinlein story.  which is sorta cool in itself.

Apr 9, 13 11:39 pm

Will, are you trying to tell us that we just don't grok the full complexities of their relationship?

Apr 10, 13 1:10 am

More grokking would make the world better place no doubt.
Apr 10, 13 2:55 am

heh, also uggh i stayed up too late last night...

Apr 10, 13 8:14 am
Sarah Hamilton
Wow, hadn't thought of groking in ages!
Apr 10, 13 8:36 am

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