Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Environmentality 25 March 2015, Emily Braham, Editor of Sanctuary Magazine

If I was to tell you that this week we would be talking about biomimicry, indoor plants for health and air quality, induction cooktops, designing a home for climate change and a house that has a positive ecological footprint you may well think that our studio was going to be packed with guests each with their own piece of expertise. Well in a way you may be right, however all this information is delivered in the form of Sanctuary Magazine and was discussed with our guest Emily Braham, its Editor.

Biomimicry is something I for one am fascinated by. It seems to be so intuitive that we look to nature to get ideas for design and innovation. The environment that surrounds us has spent millions upon millions of years trying to reach the most efficient way of living, breathing, building, running, swimming, flying and so on. It is only recently that humans have started to tap into this free resource of ideas like the shark-skin inspired swimsuit design that resulted in an avalanche of world records being broken, the termite mound inspired buildings that use 90% less energy than conventional buildings through the use of ventilation tunnels and chimneys and the paint that repels dust, dirt and water inspired by the lotus flower’s ability to do the same thing when emerging from muddy water. Have a listen to the show to hear more the biomimicry article in the current issue of Sanctuary.
A building inspired by the termite's mound efficient way of regulating temperature
Who knew that the humble pot plant was so good at improving health and air quality in the indoor environment? Well I had my suspicions but there is now new research from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) that gives us an explanation of how the plants do it and how good they are at doing it! Plants are able to remove Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), dust, carbon dioxide and monoxide from the indoor air which is obviously a real benefit to us indoor inhabitants. Check out the article for more info or have a listen to this week’s show.

If you’ve been listening to our show regularly you would have heard us talking about induction cooktops over the past few months and how they are becoming the way of the future in terms of energy efficient cooking and moving away from gas. This issue of Sanctuary takes us further with our understanding of induction cooktops and why they are the easiest, fastest, cheapest and most efficient option for cooking. The article also takes you through ‘What to look for when selecting an induction cooktop’ which is a must for anyone in the market for purchasing one.

During this week’s chat with Emily we discussed the article ‘Design for climate change – tropical Australia’ and through this article we touched on the concept of The least house necessary. This is a philosophy that really makes sense to me. Smaller house designed on actual spatial needs = more outdoor spaces to enjoy, less cost for heating and cooling, encourages moving into the outdoor space, less destruction/alteration of natural environment, room to plant more trees and gardens/vegie gardens, less cost to build… this all seems to point to “less is more!”.

Head to the ATA’s website or Sanctuary website for more information about environmentally sustainable home design and architecture.

Music tracks from this week (thanks Emily)
Palace by The Antlers
Frankie's Gun by The Felice Brothers
Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead
Flame Trees by Sarah Blasko

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