My Items

I'm a title. ​Click here to edit me.

The Future of the Faculty Office

Join MKThink’s Marijke Smit and a panel of experts in facilities management and academic administration from colleges and universities across the country to discuss the future of the faculty office with The Chronicle of Higher Education. As institutions look to do more with less space, and work and learning patterns shift – the role of the faculty office is under constant review. What are the key drivers shaping the future of faculty and academic workplaces? Midway during the panel discussion, Marijke and Jeff Young, AIA from Perkins Eastman will join The Chronicle’s Ian Wilhelm to take a deeper look at the modern workplace, highlighting how institutions can leverage the shifts in the pandemic to unlock new potential for realigning policies, people, and places in support of an evolving faculty and student experience. Our friends at Perkins Eastman are sponsoring the event. Sign up and join us at the link below! https://lnkd.in/dyXKWBnu

More

Planning learning spaces: how to rethink classroom space utilization for better learning outcomes

Fe News released a recent article that illustrates how Trumpington Park Primary School, part of Cambridge Primary Education Trust, has committed to an international project that plans to rethink space utilisation in the classroom. Planning Learning Spaces was a book published in October 2019, and it was a guide that looked to gather expertise from educationalists and innovative school architects from all over the world to inspire the design and development of more intelligent learning spaces. “To support this, Planning Learning Spaces in Practice was launched to help schools translate their educational vision into learning space design principles, enabling them to create new, or refurbish existing, spaces that actively support their learning goals. Schools are guided through a reflective process, building the link between curriculum and design via a structured framework. Focusing on the school’s vision, values and ethos, the process helps translate learning behaviours and activities into design principles”. Trumpington Park Primary School will participate in this global pilot of the Planning Learning Spaces in Practice project. The main idea of their project is to align physical learning environments with the educational vision of schools, supporting children’s personalised and independent learning. “Whilst we want to emphasise collaboration and ownership of learning, this can sometimes feel restricted by the furniture and fixed features of a space and make it harder for children to be able to do some of the things we feel are fundamental in their learning. From there, we have looked at different models to enable children to be able to work in different ways in that space” said Mel Shute, Headteacher at Trumpington Park Primary School. The Planning Learning Spaces Design Framework looks to build an exchange and consensus between the teaching staff and the wider school community to support change, by empowering schools to create this very important relationship between pedagogy and space. The main objective is to design and organize spaces in order to lead to better learning outcomes. “The Planning Learning Spaces approach represents common sense about the positive articulation of spaces and pedagogy. Delivering a methodology that makes this connection explicit, and ultimately driven by educational imperatives, is a really important potential contribution and I look forward to being involved in the rigorous assessment of outputs from this project”, said Professor Peter Barrett, author of the Clever Classrooms report. At MKThink we are also looking at how learning environments can adapt to our evolving needs over time and how those spaces are designed considering factors such as wellbeing and learning outcomes. To see more about our recent work in developing outdoor learning, please check out: https://www.mkthink.com/post/outdoor-learning-for-the-complete-child-hillbrook-school To read more about the article discussed above: https://www.fenews.co.uk/press-releases/70511-planning-learning-spaces-could-fundamentally-rethink-space-utilisation-in-the-classroom #learningspaces #learning #education #environments #outcomes

More

UNStudio Report: The broader scope of community building and placemaking in post-pandemic urbanity

UNStudio, a full-service architecture design network in three locations, posted a recent report regarding community. The work looks to explore the future of community building, and placemaking in a post-pandemic urban environment. According to UNStudio for urban planning and architecture, both community building and placemaking have become the most important themes. “Prior to the Covid19 pandemic, facilitating the creation of communities related mainly to the workplace and the shared (living) economy, and was principally focused on co-creation, innovation and productivity.” After the pandemic, events pointed out the human need of connecting on a broader scale and as an essential part of human health. Let’s review some of the highlights of the report: COMMUNITY BUILDING: A matter of survival Human beings have always shown and experienced an emotional need of connection, interpersonal relationships and being part of a group. The human species is exceptionally a social species. Becoming socially connected has been essential to the survival of human experience. Tamas David-Barrett, researcher at the University of Oxford explains: “ We learn from society: what to eat, where to find food, we process food in a very social way, we share it and receive a share from others. We live in shelters, houses that we build together with others. We raise our young together, we teach them our technologies together. We defend our families against predators, and sometimes more importantly from other human groups in a very social, communal way. In short, humans are dependent on society in almost every aspect of their lives.” The 'New Science of Cities' - Clicks or bricks? It is extremely important to create urban planning policies that understand “the human and economic value of community building”. This will allow the building of more polyfunctional neighbourhoods with sufficient public space, local social connectivity, social amenities and a balanced use of the space for (tourism, housing and others). The biggest learning after the pandemic is that the ‘proximity factor’ is essential to mental health, “even though we have recently discovered the convenience of digital meetings and the relative ease at which many knowledge workers could abandon the office and shift to working from home”. “Research lately confirmed the importance of community building to the success of our urban centres. Creativity and prosperity of many cities is now understood as a dynamic interaction between networks of proximity and casual encounters that take place in public and semi-public spaces (‘third spaces’)”. Placemaking Placemaking strategies have a very important role in the creation of community “as they facilitate creative use patterns by intertwining the physical, cultural and social identities that define a place and support its continuous evolution”. To understand better, placemaking is the process of creating quality spaces, places that can create an emotional attachment and “that thrive when users have a range of reasons to be (and stay) there”. For architects and urban designers, placemaking is about the creation of resilient, accessible, dynamic and inclusive spaces for the long-term. “In placemaking, urban development is understood to draw its main strength from how it enhances its surroundings and community knowledge is embraced as an essential resource from the get go. In essence, a successful placemaking strategy ensures that urban areas feel like real communities, rather than isolated - and isolating - concrete jungles”. At MKThink we are also working on projects that involve urban design and planning through a process of equity and community integration. We run community-based workshops where we prototype designs and/or play games that elicit creative ideas from people young and old. We believe that cities should uplift us all, and we love working on projects that bring that dream a bit closer to reality. #community #engagement #publicspaces To read more: https://mailingtool.iwink.nl/webapp.php?hash=d4ccfc&mid=152205349&rh=permalink&utm_medium=website&utm_source=archdaily.com

More

UK: How sensors and AI are monitoring social care patients

Another example on how technology can be in service of health and wellbeing. BBC Technology published an article that explains how in Dorset, more than one hundred people that need social care are monitored by artificial intelligence as part of a three month pilot program. “Sensors installed in homes will track behaviour and electricity usage which the AI will analyse to spot potential health problems. Lilli, the UK-based firm behind the technology, says it could cut costs and the number of care visits required.But one expert said the scheme might feel invasive to some patients. People discharged from hospital often require care and support during their recovery, particularly those with joint replacements or conditions such as diabetes, dementia, long Covid and chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as ME”. In the Dorset pilot program, each participant will have at least six to nine sensors installed in their homes. Important facts The installed devices monitor movement, temperature and the use of specific appliances, but in any case there is use of cameras. The hints that are looked at are: “how often they put the kettle on, how often they open the fridge...etc”. The main idea is to register improvements in ‘personal independence within the home’ or reversely, to actually flag up when there is activity that might show problems. “Overly frequent bathroom visits during the night, for example, could suggest a urinary tract infection or other concern”. Loneliness risk Telecare is often cheap to roll out and it permits people to feel more independent from the social health system, but regardless of these advantages it also can raise people’s loneliness feelings. Some health problems can not be easily worked out without visits for example. “The system was not just about cutting costs or reducing contact with patients but to ensure they were receiving the most appropriate care for their condition. We shouldn't be relying on home care agency staff to provide the social interaction for somebody," affirmed Nick Weston, chief commercial officer at Lilli, the UK-based firm behind the technology. Patient privacy To apply to the Lillis system and program, it is required written consent from patients or someone authorised to give consent on their behalf. “Data from participants' homes is encrypted both when transmitted and stored, and Lilli has said that only the organisation providing patient care will have access to it”. MKThink is working with sensors in all of its projects to have good information to drive decision-making regarding health and wellbeing. Learn more by contacting us. Or to read more about today's article, click here: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-58317106 #sensors #spatialintelligence #safeplaces #safeenvironments

More

Healthy places: How to create a positive legacy cities, regarding health, after covid?

Northampton, MA --News Direct-- WSP, released a recent article that illustrates how positive legacy after covid can be achieved for cities. The covid pandemic has impacted physical, mental and emotional health. The results of this world wide health crisis will last for many years to come, not only from the disease but also from all the indirect impacts of: lockdown, disrupter medical treatment, social isolation and economic crisis. A positive legacy can be achieved by improving resilience from many angles, for example by making individual facilities more adaptable, increasing quantities of data that healthcare produce and the most important, by incentivizing the source of resilience that lies within people: “as caregivers, as problem-solvers and, more fundamentally, in the capacity of individuals and communities to cope when crisis hits”. The pandemic reinforced this idea that healthcare itself plays a relatively small role in the overall health of the population, in detriment to the conditions in which we are born, grow, live, work and age (social determinants of health), which are way more influential. “By confining us to our immediate surroundings, the pandemic has made some of the root causes of ill health – as well as the inequities between communities – all the more apparent”. The pandemic gave us an: “insight into what healthier, happier places might look like, and the potential for a new kind of urban design, refocused around wellbeing. Applying these lessons to our cities would not only aid the long recovery from COVID, but shore up resilience against whatever the coming decades bring”. Let’s review come of the lessons: The city as a lab One of the biggest concerns after the pandemic was accessibility and disparities. The first lesson to learn about what we experienced is that it is very important to address disparities by looking at where health-supporting amenities are located and identifying populations without access to them. “Most municipalities probably know where the gaps are already, but it helps to see it starkly on a map like that. When you overlay health data, you’d almost certainty see that’s where the worst impacts are.” Changing behaviour With the pandemic, as indoor activities were restricted, an important part of the population, of all ages, went outdoors to practice their daily life activities: to exercise, to socialise or just to pass the time. Crowded public transport was not a good option, instead rates of walking and cycling soared. “What COVID has taught us is that there is a willingness to change behaviour, but also what we can accomplish when behaviour does change,” says Rasmus Duong-Grunnet, director at Gehl, a Copenhagen-based design and analysis firm. “At a very fundamental level, we should look at how we can use this momentum.” Copenhagen’s world-beating levels of cycling are just a behaviour that has developed over time, he points out. Creating health through mobility Mobility is one key aspect for change. Active travel, by walking and cycling, is a bullet for health creation. Taking space from cars is still controversial and meets with fierce opposition from local traders. But traditional schemes must change, because walking and cycling “makes people more active but it can also have a whole heap of mindset benefits as part of the working day and by getting people outside,” says Katherine Bright, director of transportation planning at WSP in the UK. “It helps to improve air quality and helps to take cars and congestion out of the city, which makes the streets a much nicer place and more enticing.” At MKThink we are constantly thinking and experimenting with how space impacts us. We test and measure, looking for traditional and non-traditional approaches to ensure healthy environments. We love new challenges, so let us know what you're working on. At the very least we can give you a few new ideas to think about! To read more: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/cities-covid-create-positive-legacy-174617671.html

More

Businesses of the future: Sharing assets

The BBC released an article that shares how businesses are starting to share and saving more money than ever before. How? Well this is something that already happened before in industries that require expensive equipment, like construction. Some kits were shared from company to company to save costs. “But what we are talking about here - platforms dedicated to sharing assets between firms - is different. Such services promise to use equipment and assets that would otherwise be lying idle”. Nowadays ‘the sharing of assets’ between companies is becoming mainstream. "It was illegal when we started," says entrepreneur Lieke van Kerkhoven. She's referring to PharmaSwap, a service which allows Dutch pharmacists to sell medications to one another just as the medicine is about to expire. "European law forbids the selling of medication except when you have a wholesale permit, and pharmacists don't have a wholesale permit," she explains. "But the Dutch health inspectors were sort of allowing it. They saw that if a medicine goes past a certain date it would just be destroyed." Sharing platforms are slowly taking off, the main reason for that is that there is complexity regarding legal and insurance issues. Also, for some companies assets are seen as a competitive advantage so it is harder to get them to share with their competitors. But the interesting part is that even in the same company we can see that same dynamic, problems with the asset sharing between departments of large organisations due to budget conflicts. Even though we see this a lot, there is already industries that incentivize inside a same company the ‘sharing economy’ principle: "Trust is a major issue," says Ms Van Kerkhoven who co-founded FLOOW2, which set up the PharmaSwap platform and several others. The fashion retailer created an internal marketplace to share store items such as display furniture, encouraging sharing between their stores in France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. If one store needed a particular item they could look to see if a nearby store had it before purchasing a new one”. Adopting sharing practices can help firms, industries, companies to be more flexible. Now, more than ever, with a pandemic and turbulent times, this could be a useful trait. Flexe, for example, in Seattle, covered with a surging demand for its service, which is to offer warehouse space, during the pandemic. Its platform matches clients with excess space with businesses that are looking to expand and need extra room for storage and distribution. “A wide variety of retailers, including giants like Walmart, use the platform to increase their available warehouse space when needed”. This flexibility can allow retailers to expand into areas of high-demand, closer to where their customers live, reducing fixed costs and reducing delivery times. This shift to sharing can also be beneficial for the environment, since the maximisation of the use of an asset can have the net impact of reducing carbon emissions. "With the rebuilding of the economy right now, circuit sustainability or circularity, can be a very important part of that," Ms Van Kerkhoven explains, "we can use this crisis to rebuild something that is better and more future proof. To me the main issue would be mindset," she explains, "the rest is practical and can be overcome." MKThink is working on the future of work space as well. Should any individual work happen at an office any more? Or should it only be used for “pop-up” group events where collaboration is required? Should teams even have permanent offices any more? Or central vs satellite offices? What’s the balance between employee satisfaction and productivity/creativity? Can it be measured? These and more are all the questions that MKThink’s team is tackling using a combination of interviews, sensor-based observation, modeling and more. The new world is being explored now. Are you experimenting your way to the future? If not, contact us to help you get started!. To read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-58543976 #optimization #assets #industries

More

Return to Work - or Not?

The problem of how a post-pandemic workplace functions is one we are addressing with many of our client partners. It is a complex problem, spanning issues of physical place, technology, policy, and human behavior. Many organizations consider their employee base a constant when developing future-of-work solutions. Discussions revolve around manager preference for in-person work vs. staff preference for remote work, how large of a technology stipend should we give remote workers, how should we reconfigure our office space to support collaborative activity. But what if staff donʻt plan on returning - in person or remotely? A recent global survey by McKinsey and Co. identified a trend that is changing the calculus for return-to-work decision making. Attrition is increasing across industries, and isn't showing any signs of slowing down. Of particular note, the option to work remotely is fueling a significant percentage of "relocations" - people taking jobs in different cities from where they currently live: For the full study results please visit https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/great-attrition-or-great-attraction-the-choice-is-yours We can use this information to help reshape our solutions to focus on staff retention and acquisition. By redefining the problem we are developing solutions that will build a stable, productive, and resilient workforces. MKThink works at the intersection of people, place and environment. As we encounter unanticipated externalities we re-think these relationships. Let us work with you to examine your possible futures and how you can play an active role in shaping it. To find out more, contact us. #assetoptimization #healthyplaces

More

Creating healthy learning environments with active design

BDC Network shared some interesting ideas in a recent article about learning environments. How to create a healthy learning environment with active design? If you follow the active design philosophy, student’s wellbeing and health are a key priority in the environment's design. Active learning spaces develop a child's mind and body by creating a setting where they learn to make healthy choices and establish good habits that last. “Active design can be incorporated into any facility or campus with a few simple steps”. But how to apply this concept and enhance student life? Let’s review Apply any of the following ideas for a simple but effective way to enhance student life: Connect people and places Design should always focus on creating spaces for collaboration and provide opportunities to share ideas, knowledge, culture or school pride. “For students at e3 Civic High, whose school is located within two floors of San Diego’s nine-story public library, the floors are connected by a wood grand staircase that serves as an amphitheater and social hub. This prominent feature provides an interior wayfinding landmark that inspires physical activity and social connection”. Design as a guide Design features should be present everywhere because they can inform people how to use and navigate spaces. Even if design is combined with nature, experts from BDC Network affirm that the average American spends 93% of time indoors, but humans need to keep connection with nature. “At Palomar College in North San Diego County, a landscaped courtyard at the center of the building is surrounded by open walkways instead of interior lobbies and corridors. These outdoor social spaces not only encourage interaction and student engagement, but suggest vertical circulation through iconic glass enclosed stairs instead of elevators in this biophilia-inspired environment”. Mindfulness One key element that must be considered is to provide an opportunity for students to develop awareness and connection with surroundings, to have a mindful and vivid moment. In order to to so, holistic settings could provide value to students by giving them enough space to balance academic and student life with emotional wellbeing. “Colleges and Universities are seeking to help students balance their lives to achieve academic success, specifically coping with stress and sleep deprivation. At California State University, Northridge, the Oasis Wellness Center features a labyrinth that encourages exploration and provides the opportunity to disconnect and reconnect”. At MKThink we are also looking at how learning environments can adapt to our evolving needs over time and how those spaces are designed considering factors such as wellbeing and safety. To read more about: https://www.bdcnetwork.com/blog/how-create-healthy-learning-environments-active-design #learning #environments #studying #learningoptimization

More

How to prevent infections by understanding airborne transmission of disease

Anil Ananthaswamy published a recent article in Knowable Magazine that analyzes how pathogens or viruses spread from place to place and from person to person. The first thing to know is that understanding the dynamics of fluids is crucial to understanding the transmission of disease. Air is a fluid: bacteria and viruses are carried by fluids. Lydia Bourouiba, fluid dynamicist from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been researching for more than ten years how fluids “can help disease move from one host or reservoir to the next”. Let’s review some key insight she gave to Knowable Magazine on how the dynamic of fluids can inform public health measures and help diminish the spread of infectious diseases, especially Covid-19. How contagion works and prevention Bourouiba affirms that whenever we’re talking about respiratory disease, the person always exhales pathogen-carrying droplets into the air. In order to cause infection to other people, these droplets need to be inhaled and reach the person’s tissue in the respiratory system. The process is dynamic, not static so in order to develop more policies to prevent, surveille and mitigate the spread of the disease it is crucial to have a dynamic thinking. “For example, the fact that SARS-CoV-2–containing droplets can remain in the air for hours with the virus potentially still being viable and dispersed indoors means that healthcare workers caring for Covid-19 patients should use high-grade respirators, and they should be putting them on well before coming face-to-face with the infected individual, not just when they are within 6 feet of the patient”. Policies: Should people wear masks? Masks are an effective means of disease control. Fluids follow the path that offers the least resistance. For example, if a mask is not correctly sealed (and it’s open on the sides) “most of the fluid passes through the largest openings, not the mask’s filter material”. Encountering an obstacle does lower the exhalation cloud’s momentum, reducing its range as well, and the cloud can be overtaken by the room’s air flow. “If most of the flow passes through the mask’s filter, as happens in well-sealed masks, what comes out is a gas flow with lowered viral particle content”. Is ventilation in indoor spaces effective in preventing the spread of the droplets? Displacement ventilation can be better at ensuring that contaminants will stay in the upper part of the room, rather than in the breathing zone. “In displacement ventilation, cooler clean air is slowly injected from the floor or lower levels and exits from the ceiling or upper room levels”. Even if you cannot achieve displacement ventilation, sufficiently ventilating a room dilutes the viral matter in the air reducing the possibility of infection and/or infection with a high viral load. At MKThink we are constantly thinking and experimenting with how space impacts us. We test and measure, looking for traditional and non-traditional approaches to ensure healthy environments. We love new challenges, so let us know what you're working on. At the very least we can give you a few new ideas to think about! To read more: https://knowablemagazine.org/article/physical-world/2021/understand-airborne-transmission-disease #healthyplaces #healthyenvironment #safeenvironments #virus

More

Healthy Environments and Climate Goals

Dan Diehl from Remi Network shared an article that explains how to provide healthy environments and, at the same time, meet climate goals. With the new variants of COVID 19, such as Delta, tenants and occupants have begun to worry again. Building owners and occupants need to prioritize healthy indoor air quality, especially ventilation systems. “At the same time, the U.S. and other leading industrial countries are setting aggressive carbon-reduction goals that push building owners to cut back on energy-intensive systems such as ventilation”. This leads us to a conflictive situation because in order to improve the performance of systems that provide enough fresh air to ensure healthier indoor environments, inevitably the reduction of energy use on the path to carbon neutrality might be jeopardized. Both goals can be achieved by using ‘the right technologies’. Let’s review what this article proposes as possible solutions to make “dramatic improvements on both fronts in all commercial buildings”: Accurate measurement In order to create healthy and sustainable spaces it is very important to have an accurate measurement system of factors such as air quality. One of the solutions proposed is to “shift from a fixed, predetermined air change rate to a dynamically controlled air change rate based on conditions in the space”. In order to apply this technique, it is required to have accurate and relable air quality measurement. “That was achieved with an innovative system architecture that allows a single set of industrial quality sensors to measure the air quality in multiple lab spaces at a low life cycle cost”. Effective ventilation Effective ventilation can be achieved by controlling the amount of healthy air based on accurate measurement. “In fact, the highly flexible DCV (Demand Control of Ventilation) approach can provide the right amount of healthy air where and when needed. It allows for lower ventilation rates when the air is clean, as well as meeting science-based standards”. The parameters that can help measure healthof indoor environements can be determined by five parameters: small particles, carbon monoxide and dioxide, relative humidity, and total volatile organic gases. DCV helps maintain optimal levels for each in the most efficient, sustainable manner. “These lessons learned from critical environments can be applied to other types of buildings, including classrooms and commercial offices. In addition, the emerging consensus is to use higher ventilation rates in all buildings. This certainly means that, left unchanged or unmanaged, there is a huge potential to significantly over-ventilate — wasting money and needlessly impairing sustainability goals. The future of healthy and sustainable buildings depends on optimizing — even improving — both of these seemingly conflicting requirements”. MKThink is working with sensors in all of its projects to have good information to drive decision-making. Learn more by contacting us. Or to read more about today's article, click here: https://www.reminetwork.com/articles/provide-healthy-environments-meet-climate-goals/ #sensors #spatialintelligence #safeplaces #safeenvironments

More

Pre and post covid space optimization trends that define workplaces

The workplace market is constantly changing. The pandemic triggered some of these transformational processes but change was already happening. Lone Rooftop Building Intelligence posted a recent article that explores space utilization trends before and after the pandemic. Let’s review some of the trends: Pre Covid Trends Flexible Spaces & Co working areas. Co-working spaces and flexible areas have appeared since the early 2000s. Over time, the popularity of these spaces increased. “The idea of working alongside like-minded individuals, sharing ideas, increased productivity and cost benefits made this work environment an attractive investment for both employees and employers”. Work and Space Fusion Companies have increasingly begun to look for new office layouts that optimize the space use. For example, single work areas designed for multiple purposes. “ This idea has come to be known as work and space fusion. Benefits include the smoothing of workflows, increased collaboration and the creation of positive spillovers to other parts of a company”. Experimental Workplace Design Companies started to create spaces that look for workers' connection with the organization. Experimental Workplace Design is a space dedicated to “improved employee experiences” that looks to communicate the organization’s values and vision. “Creating an experimental workplace design can include anything from changes to layout, to reinterpreting how employees engage and communicate with each other”. Even if some of these trends will not disappear, their use is declining. After the pandemic, workplaces showed their lack of flexibility. Health, freedom, and open spaces are some of the new requirements for workplaces. Post Covid Trends: Hybrid Workplace The majority of people are working from home after the pandemic. This means that office spaces are empty. One solution is the design of hybrid workplaces. “This model is based on flexibility, adaptability and shared ownership that gives employees the freedom to make their own choices when it comes to where to work and when”. Decommissioning Square Meters Underutilized space is very common in office buildings. With the pandemic, employees have more autonomy to choose where they want to work and work from home ratios is scaling. “Enterprises need to decommission space they no longer need. Rotating employees between home and the office can hereby be a great strategy”. De-densification of Individual Work Spaces “Research by JLL has shown that for years a common trend has been assigning less and less space to individual employees”. But with a global pandemic, it is very important to reassign greater amounts of space to each individual employee. “A great way of making employees feel more comfortable, not cramped between other employees all while practicing social distancing”. One key point about the above mentioned trends is that for each one of them, to get positive outcomes it is essential to integrate data. Companies should look to create great employee experiences and “giving people the freedom to make greater choices when it comes to how they do their work”. The key part is to analyse space utilization in order to optimize buildings and workspace to the latest standards. MKThink works at the intersection of people, place and environment. As we encounter unanticipated externalities we re-think these relationships. Let us work with you to examine your possible futures and how you can play an active role in shaping it. To find out more, contact us. #assetoptimization #system #assets To read more: https://www.lonerooftop.com/blog/space-optimization-trends-pre-post-covid

More

Norge-area’s Walnut Farm: State’s first zero energy ready new home community

The Virginia Gazette released a recent article that shares information about an initiative called ‘Walnut Farms’. Walnut Farm is a concept created by Jay Epstein, president of Healthy Communities, a Williamsburg-based home builder-developer that looks to construct “state-of-the-art homes in sustainable neighborhoods”. Let’s revise some features of this residential development that looks to reduce the home’s carbon footprint: Houses are built to exceed customary homebuilding standards: “For instance, the dwellings have high “minimum efficiency reporting value” ratings, which indicate effective air filtration”. Hardware and Wiring: for new homebuyers, this recently added feature allows them to put solar panels on the roof. “Epstein guarantees a monthly power bill less than $1.50 a day, averaged over a year, for the homes with solar panels installed.” Building techniques allow better insulation and the reduction of wood use. “Framing walls with 2-by-6 studs spaced 24 inches, instead of the typical 2-by-4 studs at 16 inches”. High-efficiency windows: this feature helps to “minimize temperature loss and reflect light”. Finally, recirculating hot water pumps use less energy and save upwards of $160 per year. “The idea for Walnut Farm found a positive reception because there’s long been a focus on environmental concerns within the James City County’s Department of Community Development. As the county has been receiving input and updating its Comprehensive Plan, environmental quality and preservation has been a through line over the years, she said, and is one of the highly ranked priorities of citizens and policymakers”. Until now, 30 of the 75 planned houses are sold. Another key factor that helped the project to workout was affordability, homes range from $359,000 to $600,000. “Epstein said that he is pleased with the progress at Walnut Farm and glad that he was able to build the community near Williamsburg, where he has lived for almost 30 years”. At MKThink we are also working on community projects that look to evolve design and planning with the needs of today such as energy save and environmental impact. Learn more by contacting us. Or to read more about today's article, click here: https://www.dailypress.com/virginiagazette/va-vg-walnut-farms-0605-20210607-u76i63hvejc2hfumeeod43ctfi-story.html #community #carbonfootprint #energy

More