Recently, the GCCDS has been researching a variety of building systems and their applications to architecture on the coast. We have looked at everything from whole-building systems (such as structural insulated panels or insulated concrete forms) to individual components (floor finishes, insulation types, etc). For each system, we attempt to analyze its advantages and disadvantages in many areas, including strength, thermal performance, ease of construction, environmental impact, and affordability.
Even when we are finished, our research will only partially cover the vast number of building systems and products that are available. With our guide, we hope to compare a variety of the most common and most promising systems in a way that is useful and easy to understand. If you have experience with any building technologies that we should include, or have ideas for useful ways to present and share this information, let me know.
Information about building systems is not always easily accessible. ToolBase is one site that does a great job collecting information about different systems, but if superior building technologies are to become more widespread, we need more tools for sharing that information. In particular, we need ways of sharing information on the regional level. Throughout the Gulf Coast and the deep South, there are major climate factors and other issues that affect buildings. These include long summers with high temperatures and humidity, seasonal threats from hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding, mold and insects, expansive wetlands and other environmentally sensitive areas, high levels of poverty and inequality, and more. The GCCDS is committed to seeking regionally appropriate design solutions for the Gulf Coast. Keep an eye on our website or this blog for more!