The RED Letter
RED Engineering & Design
Structural Engineers
November 2015
Thanksgiving's little known facts    
While we in America celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday each November; likewise, Canada celebrates their Thanksgiving on every second Monday of October.
Thanksgiving's roots date to the English Reformation during the reign of Henry VIII. Some Protestant reformers wanted to eliminate all Church holidays, including Christmas and Easter, and institute days of fasting and giving thanks. As time went on, Days of Thanksgiving were held after such things as the defeat of the Spanish Armada and the like.
George Washington issued a proclamation of Thanksgiving following our winning the War of Independence -several days of festivities ensued. John Adams and James Madison followed suit during their presidential terms with Thanksgiving proclamations. It was Abraham Lincoln, in 1863, who proclaimed thanks were to be given every November on the fourth Thursday. In 1941, Congress made the fourth Thursday of November a national holiday.
All of us at Red Engineering & Design are wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving!
Four future trends in architecture

1. "Starchitecture" is fading.
Think Frank Gehry, I. M. Pei and their iconic designs. Their designs are all about the building and the way the building looks. According to Julian Weyer, architect and partner in the Demark firm, C.F. Moeller Architects, "There's a counter trend which focuses more on meaning."

"Meaning" is interpreted as how people meet, gather, and interact. While not as defined as wayfinding in the sense of urban design where signs and paths are designated to help one get from point-A to point-B, architects will shift their focus to designing building where people's pathways cross in spontaneous ways that encourage interaction.
2. Architecture will become more collaborative
Some may remember how Steelcase started designing their systems furniture 30 years ago to encourage a more collaborative work-space. Panel walls were lowered and workstations contained adjoining curved desk-space that allowed workers on either side of the panel to "meet at the end."

Today, architects are thinking of new and better ways to collaborate with experts outside their field. They are tapping public policy experts, social anthropologists, and environmental scientists to be part of their design teams. The trend is to take a more holistic approach with design.
3. China's buildings are maturing
As China's economy has burgeoned, so has its architecture. The resulting designs have been unusual, to say the least, yet commercially viable. As the Chinese market has matured, design is becoming more sophisticated. Buildings in China will be assessed more for their utility than their extreme design.

4. Old building materials will be new again
Wood is an ancient building material. Now days, cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels are engineered to be stronger and more fire-resistant than regular wood and, as a result, this millennia-old material is steadily making a comeback. C. F. Moeller Architects is currently designing one of the world's tallest timber buildings. It is a 34-storey residential building located in Stockholm, Sweden. CLT is a major component of the building.
Architects are also testing the use of "rammed earth" for commercial structures. Known as taipa in Portugal, this ancient building technique uses earth, chalk, lime, or gravel for walls, foundations, or floors.
Feature Articles
Dates & Events
November 26th: Thanksgiving

Cross-laminated timber (CLT): a few myths dispelled

1. CLT is in the building code. The International Building Code, just this year, adopted ANSI CLT Standard PRG 320 into the 2015 IBC.
2. CLT is fire-resistant. It is just as fire-resistant as steel and concrete, and then some. Approximately 15% of a CLT panel is water. Therefore, a lot of evaporation takes place before the material actually burns.
3. CLT is good for the environment. Sustainable forestry has been taking place in the U.S. for the past 50 years. CLT comes from these managed forests and mostly from Mountain Pine Beetle-killed trees.
4. CLT is cost-effective
CLT cost savings are found with reduced installation costs. Using CLT, some installation costs are reduced as much as 50% when compared to other materials.
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