#041 - CONSTELLATIONS: ARIES

This month we are under the sign of Aries, the first sign in the zodiac. It represents those born between March 21st and April 19th.

Aries is a bundle of energy and dynamism and like to see themselves as leaders. The symbol of Aries is the Ram, impulsive and short-tempered. The element associated with Aries is Fire, burning desire to be the winner.

The strength of the Aries is in their initiative, courage and determination. They are fearless and their dynamism and competitive spirit add considerably to any of their actions.

Poor Mr D. Tail, a moody Ram is about to introduce itself in a devastating way.

#040 - LUX (lx)


Lux is an unit of measurement of the light intensity. It is also called illuminance which is the amount of luminous flux per unit area. Wikipedia may be of some help for you if you need further explanation.

However, just to give you an idea of what is like, 1 lux is equal to the illumination of a surface one metre away from a single candle. Some further examples is shown in Mr D Tail's post; the light levels are 200 lux in a bright living room, instead outdoor is about 100,000 lux in a direct sunlight. 

Pretty astonishing this comparison, inevitably it makes you reflect.

#039 - COMMUTING


Trains get millions of people to work every morning. But before that, these millions of people have to fight to each another to get inside the trains.

If you are one of these millions of people remember that commuting is a lifestyle choice, you have to enjoy the challenges and opportunities it brings.

How wonderful would be for one day give up and go to the opposite platform for a journey to the unknown. Mr D. Tail just actually did that, the perfect day off.

#038 - CONSTELLATIONS: PISCES

This month we are under the sign of Pisces, the twelfth sign in the zodiac and it is also the final sign in the zodiacal cycle. It represents those born between February 19th and March 20th.

Pisces are selfless, devoted, spiritually oriented and happy in their imaginative world. Pisces like adventure, new situation and social events.

Pisces’s primary goal is to help others, in particular those with severe problems who desperately need help. In fact they are compassionate, charitable and easily feeling another's pain. Making others feel good in turn makes them feel good, this feeling sensibility wins people over.

On the negative side they are oversensitive, indecisive, self-pitying and sometime lazy.

Pisces is represented by a pair of Fish, a symbol that prompts others to suggest that they are fluid and easy-going. Two fishes represent their duality, their yin and yang sensibility. They alternate between reality and non-reality.

Of course the Element associated with Pisces is Water.

#037 - 3D PRINTING IN CONSTRUCTION

3D Printing is an additive manufacturing process to make three-dimensional objects from a digital CAD (Computer Aided Design) file previously created with a 3D modeling program or with the use of a 3D scanner. The device used in this process is called 3D printer, a kind of robot that create objects by adding a multitude of horizontal layers on top of each other.

More Info: http://3dprinting.com/what-is-3d-printing/

A variety of materials can be used. Companies are now able to print silicone, latex, ceramic, clay, and a metals. 3D printing brings the ability to print anything you wish, from small objects like a jewellery to big things like houses.

Though this technology is extraordinary, it is also disruptive. The 3D printers’ prices are becoming increasingly affordable and surely everybody one day will own one. Knowing the humankind’s behaviours the risk would be a huge waste of energy to create useless objects that will end up to sit in landfill if not lost and forgot in the environment. This is just one of the numerous reason why the use of 3D printing technology should be regulated now before is too late.

3D printing in the construction sector is less worrying as it is already regulated. Still, there is a threat. The risk that people one day will desire to build ego feeding structures to please themselves and their ambitions without even thinking about the visual impact on surrounding environment. A debate should be opened or, like Mr D. Tail, one day on our way back from work, we will find a Smurfs’s home next to ours.

#036 - TRADITIONAL TOWN CENTRE’S FRONTSHOPS

This post wants to denounce the heavy presence of multinational companies in the historical centres of British towns.

Mr D. Tail’s feeling is that these towns lost their soul, their identity, the impression is that they all look the same. On the contrary they should emphasized their glorious and vibrant past highlighting their architecture. 

These town centres should be given back to local independent businesses, craftsmen and artists while multinational companies can be easily accommodated inside big modern shopping centre.

#035 - BLUE

Blue is the colour of the sky and sea, of nostalgia, devotion and contemplation.

Blue is the helper and the rescuer, it is the giver and not the taker. As superheroes, often illustrated with blue costumes.

The darker the colour blue, the more authority it has. It is not a coincidence that it is widely used by Police departments around the world.

Blue is a colour that pursues peace and tranquillity and reveals an inner security and confidence. This is why MDT is comfortably seating on a sunbed certain to score any basket he likes with its special balls.

This is colour relates to trust, honesty, fidelity and loyalty, this is the reason why this colour is used by banks, insurance companies where trust and reliability are important factors. Also Hi-tech and computer technology businesses can benefit for this colour (see MDT balls).

#034 - CONSTELLATIONS: AQUARIUS

This month we are under the sign of Aquarius, the eleventh sign in the zodiac that represents those born between January 20th and February 18th.

Aquarius is benevolent and strongly interested in making the world a better place. He is visionary and progressive mind and like show the world his remarkable thoughts and new ideas.

Yet, Aquarius is intolerant and unpredictable with those who disagree and his general approach is often impersonal and at times cold.

However, thanks to his mix of genius/madness, those born under this sign may have the ability to present ideas that will revolutionize the world.

Aquarius is symbolized by the Water Bearer this is way Mr D. Tail is pictured in pouring water with a amphora.

#033 - HE WILL HE WILL NOT


Nick Clegg announces working group to make empty buildings available to charities, community groups, artists and entrepreneurs.

Would you like to join Mr D. Tail and guess if he will or he will not?

Of course Mr D. Tail is pleased about the proposal and he hope soon to take advantage of it.

#032 - U-VALUE

The U-value is a measure of heat loss in a building element such as a wall, floor or roof. The higher the U-value the worse the thermal performance of the building envelope is. According to Passive House Design standards all elements of the external envelope of the building should combine to provide a U-value of not more than 0.15 W/(m2K).

In order to calculate the U-value we should know the build-up materials of the building element, their conductivity properties and thickness.

For instance, a 200mm brick wall have high conductivity and facilitate the passage of heat/cold, on the contrary a 100mm insulation panel, usually installed within the cavity of the external walls, has low conductivity and slowly release the heat/cold .

This is why a contemporary insulated house is more energy efficient of a Victorian house. Mr D. Tail is definitely feeling more comfortable in a well-insulated house with a low U-value building envelop.

#031 - SPOT THE DIFFERENCE


Please help Mr D. Tail to spot the differences within a Passive House and Passive Solar House.

Passive House and Passive Solar House are design standards for energy use in all building type. The design process it helps to reduce the buildings ecological footprint which is sometime we should be worry about:

“In 2012, direct buildings emissions (mainly from the use of gas for heating) accounted for 37% of UK greenhouse gas emissions (91 MtCO2). Buildings also were responsible for 67% of electricity consumption and related (i.e. indirect) emissions.” From www.theccc.org.uk

The Passive House relay on energy conservation through super-insulation, the heat losses of the building are reduced so much that it hardly needs any heating at all. However it involves the use of mechanical and electrical devices.

The Passive Solar House instead relay to the sum. It distributes solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer, this system virtually does not involve the use of mechanical and electrical devices.

Both design standards are effective. The Passive Solar House design is performing better in sunnier climates white the Passive House design is performing better on colder climate.

The systems in reality are not perfect and without problem but they are a huge step forward the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Useful links:

Passive Solar House Design
http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/passive-solar-home-design

Passive House
http://www.passivhaus.org.uk/standard.jsp?id=122

PS:
Please note how beautiful is RayShelf

#030 - CONSTELLATIONS: CAPRICORN


This month we are under the sign of Capricorn, the tenth sign in the zodiac that represents those born between December 22nd and January 19th.

Capricorns are independent, responsible and self-disciplined. They are well organized and want to be the best in what they do. They are extremely dedicated to their goals and always want to climb the corporate ladder. 

It is not a coincidence that the Goat symbolized the zodiac sign of Capricorn. Goats love to climb to the top of the mountain in the same way Capricorns want to get to the top of their chosen field. 

As a respectable Capricorn would do, Mr D. Tail is working hard and he is determined to succeed in climbing up to the top of the mountain where a friend is waiting for him.

#027 - CLIMBING UP TO THE UNKNOWN


Changes in the natural world are occurring faster than ever. Our actions undoubtedly have an immense impact on the environments, we are the only ones responsible for interrupting a carefully balanced ecosystem lasted for hundreds of thousands of year. All lands are effected from these changes even the wild mountains where the time is supposed to stand still.

Do not be surprised if one day, like Mr. D. Tail, after an hard sweaty climb up to the peak of the mountain you will discover that you could easily reach the pick by car via a smooth and safe road perhaps built to reach a resort.

#026 - CONSTELLATIONS: SAGITTARIUS


This month we are under the sign of Sagittarius, the ninth sign in the Zodiac that represents those born between November 22nd and December 21st.

Sagittarius is one of the most respectable sign. The strength of this sign is the wide-open nature, capacity of listening, interest in philosophy and religion, generosity and peculiarity of seeking the truth. It is widely known that Sagittarius is represented by an archer.

It is not a surprise to see Mr D. Tail with a bow and an arrow aiming to his favourite target.

#024 - ENGINEERS' CONSTRAINTS



In an emphasized and amusing scene, Mr D. Tail is highlighting how different is the design approach between an architect and a structural engineer.

The architect is proudly displaying his masterwork to his client, who is delighted. The project is now ready for the structural adjustments but unfortunately the outcome is discomforting.

#023 - PIZZA PROFIT MARGIN


Mr D. Tail is looking forward to having a pizza. He decided to make his own pizza as the high street Pizzerias nowadays are rather quite expensive. £10 is the average price of an 12" Pizza Margarita against Mr D. Tail’s £1.48 for his 12" pizza’s ingredients.

At first glance 85% gross margin seems excessive and unfair to anyone, however all that glitters is not gold. At the end of the day what really matter is the profit margin which is much lower if not a loss.

To recap, running a pizzeria can give financial gratification but if you are not selling a lot of pizzas it will turn out to be a risky business.

#022 - LONDON SKYLINE


Recently there have been a lot of discussion, concern and complains around the London Skyline. AJ magazine launched its Skyline campaign earlier this year together with the Observer newspaper. Their main objective is to persuade the Mayor of London to do something in stopping the poorly-designed tower blocks ruining the capital’s skyline.

Here Mr D. Tail is making his point about this intricate matter.

More info below:

www.architectsjournal.co.uk/LONDONSKYLINE