One of the major functions of a building is to provide shelter from the climatic rigors, which may vary tremendously throughout the seasons and across the world. A building must be adapted to the local climatic conditions. This results in a great difference between a building in a tropical climate in the South, as opposed to one in the colder climate of the North.
The skin of the building.
The outer layer of a building compares to the layer of skin on the human body in many ways. It breathes, perspires, cools you down, and heats you up, according to the climatic conditions.
The cold gives the skin goose bumps and the body starts to shiver to produce more heat, and the skin of the building close up to preserve the temperature as the inner sources of heat are turned up. And, the heat makes you get undressed to expose your bare skin to the cooling breeze, and the windows and doors of your house are opened up to allow a draft to fly through and cool it down.
Clothing for any weather.
The temperatures may vary across the seasons as much as 70-80 degrees Celsius on extremes. It poses quite a challenge to build houses that are adaptable and comfortable in all kinds of temperatures. In addition there are the geographical and seasonal variations of extreme wind, rain, snow and sunshine to consider.
It is like finding one set of clothes that you have to wear all year around, no matter what the weather is actually like. Unlike the layer of skin, which you protect with another layer of clothes, the outer layer of your buildings stays put (even though you can open the doors and windows). Imagine wearing an all-year wind jacket, rain suit, down jacket, and a breezy summer dress, all at once!
The static nature of buildings.
A building cannot shed its outer layer of clothing, or switch from a thick wool sweater to a wind jacket when it is appropriate, so you need to take it all into consideration simultaneously. A building must provide an indoor environment with stable temperatures, which protects you from the wind, snow, rain, and sun, all year around!
A well known solution.
A well-ventilated earth hollow with a hearth does this superbly, and it is not without reason that the soil cave is the oldest and most widely used piece of architecture in history. It is cheap and easily built, and it is 100% ecological (when well-ventilated)!
Human beings of today are not prone to considering the earthen cave an ideal dwelling. The list of demands put on our architecture seems to be never-ending. In addition to provide shelter from the climatic forces our houses are also symbols of status. As such they need to be fresh and stylish, which, lets face it, earth isn`t. Throughout history the need to shock and impress with our buildings have moved humankind further and further away from the simple solution of the earthen cave, but the climatic rigors still prevail.
As opposed to buildings made of earth, Modern Architecture is often built of materials that balances temperatures poorly, that do not “breathe” or let out humidity, and that emit toxins to the indoor environment. Therefore the problem of poor indoor air quality have become one of Modernisms greatest challenges in the building industry.
Padded balloons on life support.
To compensate for this problem, our buildings are getting equipped with increasingly complex ventilation systems that regulate the quality and temperature of the indoor air. In order for these technical installations to work properly windows and doors must be kept closed at all times!
You may wonder whether our buildings have seized be supplements to our skin and clothing, and instead turned into hermetically sealed, technically dependent, living machines.
Despite lower home prices, the availability of affordable housing remains a concern across the country. While it’s true that there are a lot of homes on the market, they are still out of reach for the nation’s low-income residents. While home prices have fallen dramatically in the last few years, so have incomes. And rental prices have actually increased. Consequently, affordable housing is still in short supply. The state of Maryland is no exception. In an effort to address the issue in Maryland, its governor, Martin O’Malley, recently announced a new housing initiative.
Called the Rental Housing Works initiative, it allocates $15 million for affordable housing projects in Maryland. The state currently faces a rental housing shortfall of about 127,000 units. This new initiative will fund the building of over 1,700 rental units and will help create or support over 1,000 jobs. In addition, Governor O’Malley estimates that the new housing projects will generate $36 million in taxes for both local and state governments over the 15 years. บริษัทรับสร้างบ้าน
Though city and state officials throughout the U.S. are aware of the low-income housing shortage, few have allocated the resources needed to create solutions. Most cities have opted to reduce low-income housing requirements, in hopes of encouraging increased development. While that may result in more housing, it does little to help low-income families. Some states have explored the option of converting foreclosed properties into low-income housing, with marginal success. Still others have proposed changing zoning regulations, including density limitations. Any one of these policy shifts could prove effective, but the fact remains that the best way to address a housing shortage is to build housing.
Maryland currently has a residential development budget of about $15 million, so the new initiative will double the amount of money available for low-income housing-related projects. Rental Housing Works will also act as a stop gap, filling in financial shortfalls that have been left by reductions in federal money.
The governor estimates that about 20 new housing projects will be funded through Rental Housing Works. Some of those projects have been in the planning stages for a while and are shovel-ready. Others, however, haven’t yet been selected.
Often, when federal money is made available for construction projects, it spurs private investment as well. Maryland Housing Secretary Raymond Skinner estimates that each $1 the state offers in housing funding prompts over $15 of private investment. Some developers challenge that ratio, and suggest its closer to 5-to-1. Even so, leveraging federal money for private investment ensures that the responsibility for housing development doesn’t rest solely on government shoulders.