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Posted - 20 December 2002 10:48

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I have only recently become acquainted with PATH.
Conceptually this program seems to be for the good.
What I am curious about, is that if we can accept and
believe (as a constant, so to speak) that emerging
technologies will allow us to build better housing
(more energy efficient, recyclable, economical, more
durable and more affordable, etc.), then shouldn't
there be much more focus on design? I'm not talking
necessarily about nuts and bolts (although ease of
construction should be implicit to any design idea).
I am talking about the affective result of the house
on an individual's life. What will make a house
actually enhance a life on an experiencial level,
through quality space, good light, good orientation,
good interaction with the site, etc.? The products we
are seeing built, for the large part, really show
little if any innovation in new and better forms.
Instead, we are still seeing the same designs we have
seen for the last twenty years, at least. What will
be the legacy of these structures (inherently dated)
to those of future generations? Have we really
invested in the visual environment?

Technology in the housing industry, is way ahead of
the forms that are created with these technologies.
Why is it that no one seems to pay attention to the
way something looks and feels or how it may be
experienced? Or, at least, why does there seem to be
a blind contentedness and satisfaction with very ho-
hum designs? Shouldn't we exploit the built form as
we exploit new technologies? Shouldn't the concept of
green building go beyond the physical recycliblity and
economy of materials and actually invest in our visual

When are we going to quit staring at these concepts so
microscopically and start broadening our perspective
to see what the far reaching affect of a design can be
on those who may experience these structures , be it
the inhabitants or those who may observe from afar?

All of those interested in discussing this further,
please post. An open dialogue on this topic will do
everyone some good.

Troy Kennedy
QMET Architects
Austin, TX.


Posted - 21 March 1999 23:49

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There is innovative thinking out there that does need
to be brought to a technical clearing house. Instead,
people are writing this forum about an innovative idea
that worked for everyone else but them.
You see the common house builder totally ignore the
great strides forward by research organizations at HUD,
N.A.H.B., and the U.S. Forest Service. These
organizations' leaders don't want someone blaming them
if their structural insulated panels are falling apart
because of humidity and failure to follow normal good
roofing practices.
The great strides forward are the T.F.S. technology
of 20 years ago and the "OVE" or Optimum Value
Engineered framing that no one uses after about 15
The TFS framing system encouraged windows on 2'
centers and other openings at the gable ends where
heavy headers are not required. The lack of horizontal
studs invite tall narrow windows that span the floor
levels, even combining an upper window with a skylight
with bent glass. These options open the door to other
Where do you find these "leadership" organizations
publicizing that the most house per dollar in extreme
weather resistance and in utilities and upkeep is a two
story circular shape? Where do you find an optimized
value manual for any shape?
Why is there cut throat competition between stick
builders and factory house builders? I believe the two
working together can get a synergistic benefit for both
if politicians stay out of their way.
Fan costs for an average new home require $20 - $35/
month for hot and cool air blowing on top of the
heating or cooling devise cost. Proper engineering can
enhance the orphaned idea about gravity fed air
movement strong enough for air filtration without a
The previous writer is correct in claiming that
"Technology in the housing industry,
is way ahead of the forms that are created with these

Dean Youngkeit
21 North 100 East
Willard, Utah 84340-0041
(435) 734-0681


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