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The Low2No project is designed to help transition our cities to a low carbon future. We aim to balance economy, ecology and society through strategic investments and interventions in the built environment.

11. Week in Review

Week 11 marked the beginning of our co-location scheme described last week. While I was not there, this method seems to already be bearing fruit. The design of the block is beginning to "click" according to Marco, and the disparate needs of the client partners are being translated into the project in a more robust and rapid way. Good news for everyone as we are closing in on our June detail design deadline.

One challenge has been Finland's still somewhat mysterious floor area measurement unit: the "kem." Kem boils down to a way of calculating a development's square meters minus a deduction for mechanical systems and a standard dimensional deduction for insulation/wall cavity. As an unusual Finnish construct, this has caused some confusion among the design team, but through an aggressive auditing regime, we all seem to now share an understanding of exactly what "22,000 kem of allowable development area" means and that the Low2No block will meet this allowance.

Sketch of the block plan and detail of interior "deck" over the basement
Sketch of the block plan and detail of interior "deck" over the basement

Detail design is a flicker between scales. The designer is at once designing at the scale of a city block and the detailed scale of material connections at key interfaces. The simultaneous flood of sketches and plans on our project's Basecamp site is testament to this exciting phase that separates architectural design from so many other disciplines. Here we are endeavoring to transform abstract ideas into concrete, purpose-built things. 

March 25th, 2011

Posted by: Justin W. Cook

Category: Weeknotes