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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

On 9:13 AM by Rachel Preston Prinz in ,

I started working in the professional world of architecture when I was still in A-school. My first “real job” was working as a research assistant to Dr. Charles Graham, a leading expert witness in the failures of building construction. While he was “just” one of the heads of the Construction Department at the time, Dr. Graham has been elevated to Dean at the College of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma, and was recently elected to the College of Fellows of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in England for his research contributions to architecture and building science.

Dr. Graham was, and is, one of the foremost experts in moisture intrusion and building systems. When I was his RA, Dr. Graham and I traveled all over the country, analyzing buildings, climates, and systems, trying to understand what made buildings fail. (In this case, specifically focusing in on a synthetic stucco product called EIFS). It was an amazing education in the effects of climate on building systems and it was one of the singularly most important jobs I have had in my career.

Thanks to Dr. Graham, I learned, experimented with, and proved the two most important design rules I ever learned in ALL of my architectural training:

BUILDINGS MOST OFTEN FAIL AT THE JOINTS BETWEEN MATERIALS.
THEY FAIL MORE OFTEN WHEN CLIMATE IS NOT CONSIDERED IN THE DESIGN.

So, by applying logic to reverse engineer design rules that WORK, we can safely say that a building is least likely to fail when it minimizes the number of materials, minimizes the number of joints, and adapts to its climate using natural methods (Read: is designed using physics, thermal movement, gravity, siting and landscape, etc. to its advantage).

And thus, here we have the blueprint of where we at Archinia start with design, every time.
That's our promise to you.
excerpted from: http://archinia.com/index.php/55-about-uu/aboutt/391-my-bias-from-principal-rachel-prinz