Grain Silos to Air Silos

Welcome back to another round of Thermal Mass and Buoyancy Ventilation! Now that you’ve seen what we looked like in our presentation, here’s some of what we were actually talking about.

Our project relies on the testing of materials to observe how they work as thermal masses according to the Optimal Tuning Theory. To be able to do this scientifically, we need spaces in which we can test our four materials. These four spaces need to be identical so that they can be directly compared to each other. In each of the four spaces, one material will be tested, either timber, concrete, brick, or earth. These four spaces will be arranged into a “foursquare” configuration, housed under one roof.

Once we decided on a layout for the four spaces, pod forms could begin to be generated. For this, inspiration was drawn from the silos that surround us. In order to gather our airflow into a measurable point, the pods will take on a funnel shape, both on the top and bottom. This is because the ventilation cycles will function both in updraft and downdraft. After creating this funnel shape, we iterated on the basic shape to create options for the pod forms.

From here, we’ll be evaluating these forms, and researching structural systems to support them. Eventually, we will select one form to house our experiments.

Workshop #6 Jake LaBarre

With his extensive background in construction and carpentry, Jake LaBarre has been teaching students how buildings come together and how to detail them since 2011, even acting as 3rd-Year Visiting Assistant Professor at Rural Studio for a year. Jake lives in Seattle, teaching a design-build studio at the University of Washington, and he currently works at Building Work.

The Detailing and Construction workshop, taught by Jake LaBarre, taught students how to begin detailing buildings. The intent of the workshop was for students to gain a better understanding of constructability through the examination of the order of operations in detailing. In order to achieve this, the workshop examined past Rural Studio projects to learn why and how they were detailed. In order for students to even think about creating their own details, they first needed to understand how other buildings were detailed and why those decisions were made.

This workshop acted as a complement and follow-up to the earlier Contemporary Structures, by Emily McGlohn. Firstly, it provided a better working understanding on typical components used in building assemblies. More importantly, Jake stressed the importance of not relying only on flat two-dimensional drawings of wall sections using three-dimensional drawings but to use three-dimensional drawings as well. This became clear to students when they constructed drawings of axons for the same buildings they had previously drawn sections for in the Contemporary Structures workshop. Students realized just how much information was not included when just shown in section. By drawing out how materials come together, the kinds of fasteners that were used, and the three-dimensional thicknesses added another layer of information about how the buildings were constructed.

Students gained the confidence to know where to start detailing. It became clear that before beginning any project that they should first do thorough precedent research. With so many details out there—even just in the catalog of Rural Studio projects where previous students spent a great deal of time figuring out the detailing—so there is no need to start from scratch.