RECONSIDERING MODULARITY Carlos Endriga BArch 09 Degree Project online: www.cendriga-risd-dp.blogspot.com
Reconsidering Modularity is an inquiry into the processes of modular design and its implications and use in Architecture today. In reconsidering modularity and its relationship to universality and standardization, the thesis asks how a system that is universal be responsive to localized and individualized conditions.
Thesis Statement Can a universal modular system be responsive to specific and localized conditions? In architecture, modules can take on different scales and forms; from a single brick to a complete prefabricated living unit that is delivered on-site, or a complete structural unit as part of a larger high-rise. The nature in which these modular architectural systems are conceived rely on accepted industry standards of form and (human) proportions but lack the criteria to engage landscape . Responsive variation based on site specificity is the basis for reconsidering modularity. A reactive module seen as a cellular system of enclosure, envelope, and structure made responsive to the environment becomes a universally applied process that allows for dynamic variability. This thesis relies on the development of a procedural design process that taps into the computational, geomorphological and ecological fields. The process goes beyond the influence of the human scale and begins to understand that landscape as part of a system also informs us of unique interactions and movement. Understanding that landscape is integral to creating a system that is both universal in technique but localized in response is the first step in a modified process of modular design. By employing research methods in computational design and data driven analysis, the relationship between the particular and the universal is explored and methods of assembly are generated. The process allows for a system that derives its importance from its context and also reacts and adapts to evolving site conditions. Intelligent modules can allow reconfiguration, mutation and modulation in response to site. By incorporating technology, new materials, prototyping, and new fabrication techniques, this thesis aims for an efficient, waste reducing, streamlined modular production that addresses our current need for sustainability and a minimized carbon footprint. Through the use of 3D software programming and scripting, variations of studies will be generated, while environmental analysis software and datasets will be used bring in site information. Prototypes through the use of available digital fabrication methods on campus will generate iterations to help understand volumetric and spatial relationships. The proposed architectural project is demonstration of how the process of modularity can be at once universal and specific to the site. The scope of the project can range from an entire modular building or focus on specific building parts such as the skin. The program that will be developed will be one that is influenced by the chosen site and be benefited by an intelligent modular system.
PERFORMATIVE MODULAR CONSTRUCTED FROM STANDARD PREFABRICATED ALUMINUM TUBING, PIANO WIRE, AND PLASTIC TUBING. MULTIPLE MODULES CAN BE ATTACHED TO CREATE A LARGER DEVICE. ALL MOVING PARTS ARE SYNCRONIZED BY A CENTRAL ROTATING CAMSHAFT THAT CAN BE POWERED BY WIND, SOLAR, OR BE MOTORIZED. THE DEVICE IS DESIGNED TO MOVE ACROSS THE LANDSCAPE IN REACTION TO NATURAL SITE CONDITIONS OR PHENOMENA. THE DEVICE MARKS THE LANDSCAPE AND LEAVES AN ARTIFACT SPECIFIC TO THE SITE.
THE DEVICE IS ALLOWED TO BE INFLUENCED BY A NATURAL PHENOMENA OR OTHER QUALITATIVE PARAMETER SPECIFIC TO A SITE. A DIRECT RELATIONSHIP IS CREATED BETWEEN SITE AND MODULE THROUGH A REACTIVE INFLUENCE. THE GENERATION OF A SITE SPECIFIC ARTIFACT IS AN ACT OF TRANSLATION OF A QUALITATIVE PARAMETER INTO QUANTITATIVE DATA THAT CAN BE MANUPILATED IN A DIGITAL PROCESS.
SCRIBING THE LANDSCAPE
DP Probe Two weeks into the seminar course, an abstract study of the conceptual thesis idea was presented to a panel of faculty members. The analysis I was interested in was an inquiry into a different kind of data gathering tool. An emphasis on ‘site specificity’ was considered and asked: How could qualitative conditions be translated into quantitative data? The ‘tool’ itself would be affected by natural phenomena unique to a given site, such as wind patterns, quality of light, etc. In concept, the abstract tool would be reacting to and be powered by wind, thus creating a unique relationship with the site. Based on Theo Jansen’s kinetic sculptures, the ‘tool’ would leave traces of its path on the ground, leaving an artifact and an imprint unique to the site. This imprint is the basis for qualitative conditions that could inform a set of quantitative parameters.
Modular Coordination And Systems Of Proportions
Standardization and Systems of Proportion
Efforts to reduce waste and avoid non matching systems in the building industry have resulted in a number of propositions regarding modular coordination and systems of proportions. The idea of modular coordination offers a guideline where in different building elements such as windows and walls, or different materials such as wood and brick, can be manufactured in coordination with each other. The assembly of these elements and materials would be streamlined and avoids having to modify them onsite. Modern machinery that mass produce parts of buildings often dictate the limits in dimensions and sizes of parts, but the idea was to have a standardized system of proportions that would allow for a more efficient way to assemble them together as a whole. The idea of having standard sizes brings into discussion the ‘freedom’ of a designer to be creative and original. The argument was that standardization would result in works that were at best banal and undifferentiated. The designer, only having to pick and choose from a catalogue of standard sizes and materials would inevitably have a design lacking expression, and would end up looking like any other. This results in the “weakening of the individualist element of our environment.” The argument for standardization is that the artist can be more expressive if his freedom of expression is more dependable, in that the relations and outcome are clear and known. A ‘proper’ type of standardization is proposed, stating that a distinction can be made between standardization of the end product and standardization of the means.
R.M. Schindler’s ‘reference frame in space’ is another system of proportions based in a cubical dimension of 48”. The aim was to simplify the development of plans and facilitate construction easily. The 48” dimension can be subdivided and fractioned accordingly, giving the designer a wider range of dimensions since the number 48 is the seventh highly composite number. Multiple combinations of its divisions can easily adapt to different proportional systems, including musical proportions.
In 1936, Albert Farwell Bemis suggested a standard base dimension of 4” for all building elements, suggesting that dimensions of all house parts can be manufactured in multiples of the base dimension. Limiting the number of sizes allows for clarification. Obviously there are some limitations to this scheme due to impractical sizes that would result such as column sizes for a large scale project since there were no provisions for sub-dividing the dimension.
In discussing standardization previously, examples of systems that have been proposed can show different approaches that all aim to simplify and reduce costs in manufacture and construction, among other things. Some other ‘requirements’ of modular coordination include non conflict with present industrial processes, and aesthetic neutrality to allow freedom of design. It should also take into account the properties and limitations of the materials themselves, which means the system should flexible. Le Corbusier’s ‘Modulor’ uses a proportional approach similar the Fibonacci series that is additive and uses a constant ratio (Golden Ratio) instead of a fixed dimension. In this way pieces can interlock regardless of size, and would always remain in proportion with each other. The additive values are very limited due to the logic of the series, meaning that choices for building products manufactured in these dimensions will be extremely limited.
Ezra Ehrenkrantz proposed the three dimensional number pattern in 1956, taking three related number systems, the Fibonacci series, Tripling, and Doubling, in a three dimensional grid. By providing a wide array of combinations of related dimensions, the availability of choice becomes useful for manufacturers and designers. Choices for nominal dimensions of product sizes can be achieved with this system while maintaining modular coordination between different manufacturers of building elements.
How Can A Module Be Defined? In reference to this thesis, the definition of a module is warranted to target a specific system of measure and proportion, to provide a basis whereby an inquiry as to its variants can be tested. Konrad Wachsmann defined a module as “the abstract fundamental unit of measurement which, by means of multiplication, subtraction or division, numerically determines the geometrical system of a given modular order.” Two dimensional modules can be differentiated in the horizontal and vertical planes, with each having different modular units. However, a three dimensional unit with consistent three dimensional measurements constitutes an ideal case where it is possible to advance in any direction in relation to any other part. Albert Farwell Bemis used a cube as the basis for his modular system, the properties of cubes forms part of his studies in the rationalization of the housing industry. Theoretically, the basis for the cubical module is its potentiality of volume, symmetry and surface. Bemis sites these potentialities to be optimal for standardization and interchangeability of similar parts.
Konrad Wachmann’s studies adds that the determination of a basic module in a truly universal system calls for a number of investigations in different areas. The universal module should develop from the relationships of these modular categories: Material module Performance module Geometry module Handling module Structural module Element module Joint module Component module Tolerance module Installation module Fixture module Planning module These categories are explained in his text and lead to his “Package House” project with Walter Gropius.
mod - ule –noun 1. a separable component, frequently one that is interchangeable with others, for assembly into units of differing size, complexity, or function. 2. a standard or unit for measuring. 3. a selected unit of measure, ranging in size from a few inches to several feet, used as a basis for the planning and standardization of building materials. Origin: 1555–65; < class=”ital-inline”>modulus; mod - u - lar –adjective 1. of or pertaining to a module or a modulus. 2. composed of standardized units or sections for easy construction or flexible arrangement: a modular home; a modular sofa. 3. Mathematics. (of a lattice) having the property that for any two elements with one less than the other, the union of the smaller element with the intersection of the larger element and any third element of the lattice is equal to the intersection of the larger element with the union of the smaller element and the third element. 4. Computers. composed of software or hardware modules that can be altered or replaced without affecting the remainder of the system. Origin: 1790–1800; < class=”ital-inline”>modulāris. modulation mod•u•la•tion n. The functional and morphological fluctuation of cells in response to changing environmental conditions. The variation of a property in an electromagnetic wave or signal, such as amplitude, frequency, or phase.
R.M. Schindler’s ‘reference planes in space’ leans more towards the creation of volumetric space rather than the specification of dimensioned elements per se. An example of its use can be seen in his 1928 Wolfe House. Volumes are subdivided in increasing complexity depending on program, but proportionally the grids are in harmony in both plan and section.
Modules and Scale The question of modularity and modular coordination so far reveals a common desire to develop a system of measure that would simplify the design and construction of buildings in an effort to reduce costs and reduce waste. It was also recognizable at that time that industrial processes and methods of manufacturing were advancing and that no common standards existed in the building trade. The question returns to the argument of standardization and its limiting factor in the freedom of design. It could be said that the basis of architectural design are rooted in proportions of differing scales, as demonstrated throughout history. An architectural order guides the designer through the variants of the process, allowing his concept to be revealed on his own terms. In the book, The Evolving House, Bemis says, “Houses will not be built of modules, but the module must be a practical unit for the specific design of structural parts.” Modularity itself should not limit the ability for expression of a conceptual design, unless it is the intent of the designer to do so. This brings us to the question of scale. The dimensioning systems so far are based on the human scale, where proportions are based on the human body. Le Corbusier’s Modulor are based on anthropometric measurements, as well as Schindler’s system that considers the basic measurements of human height, room height, and door height. Also, building elements that conform to a basic modular dimension were considered to be easily handled and maneuvered by humans. Since the basic axiom of a modular system is its ability to increase dimensions proportionally, can the system be used on a larger scale such as the scale of a site? If the design of a building uses the scale of the site as the regulating factor, what parameters of the modular system need to be modified?
The Building Block Through the centuries brick has been used as a building block, its dimensions influenced by the need to be small enough and light enough to be handled with one hand by the bricklayer. In ancient times the dimensions corresponded to a ratio of 4:2:1 and has not changed much. In the US the standard sizes come in 8”x4”x2 1/4” but can also come in other sizes. In terms of scale, the brick as a module was small enough and versatile enough to form cylinders, arcs, and curves. This was possible only because of the mortar that allowed for variations in the distances between each brick. Without mortar, the modular characteristics of the brick would only allow it to be aggregated vertically and horizontally in each direction. When the building block began to shift from the brick to the room, the scale How could a module be dimensioned to allow for variation? In reference to the previous readings, a module can be varied within the rules of the numbering and proportional systems in use. The modules remain in proportion as each instance of the module is varied in scale.
Governing Logic A modular system that is scaled anthropometrically has dimensions based on human proportions. The human scale is the basic parametric input in its dimensional logic and thus the system builds upon a certain set of rules governing it. We see this in furniture design, fixtures, doors, windows, etc. Building materials can also dimensioned based on handling and maneuverability by humans such as wood and glass products. Similarly, prefabricated modules in the scale of a room or living unit takes into account the logistics of transportation and delivery to the site. The parameters governing their logical dimensions are based on limitations set by roadway and transport regulations. What other governing logic can be used as parameters in modular dimensions? Do these parameters always have to result in a static and fixed outcome? If parameters were based on localized conditions and desires, we can begin to vary some aspects of its base logic. A process where parameters can be varied in the design of a modular system can result in a more sensitive response to a localized condition. Again, standardization of the means is different from standardization of the end.
Standardization, Rationalization and Modularization Standardization refers to an act of conformity to an authorized or agreed upon system of measure. It can bring together an otherwise unrelated system or process to be compatible with each other. Manufacturing and fabrication methods benefits from standardization to streamline their processes and reduce waste. Mass production of consumer products and building materials are possible due to standardization in their respective industries. Rationalization is a logical approach to a given problem, in the process eliminating unwanted or unneeded elements to achieve efficiency. In this sense, we can say that standardization and modularity are solutions based on the rationalization of a given process. Modularity removes inconsistency and therefore introduces a way to create a logical framework to achieve a desired outcome. Modularity depends on standardization in order to work efficiently. A unit of measure based on a standard informs the design of the base module. This way the module, as designed, can be scaled proportionally without losing conformity to the standard.
Three Dimensional Number System In 1956 Ezra Ehrenkrantz proposed a three dimensional numbering system based on the Fibonacci sequence coordinated with the doubling and tripling of the numbers in a three dimensional table. What resulted is a more flexible numerical system of dimensions due to the number of ‘choices’ available for use. Each dimension is logically referenced to each other which makes scaling possible in a number of ways.
Data Visualization If we take the three dimensional number system described previously, the numbers can be input into a 3D drawing tool to get a visualization of their relationships. This initial probe examines ways to take numerical data and translate them into visual representations using a scripting language. The first step was to recreate the table by employing mathematical functions in an array. Three arrays were created based on the three ‘plates’. To represent objects in three dimensional space, x,y,z coordinates were taken from each of the three plates, creating twenty five planes in space. Simple forms were generated with dimensions based on the same three coordinate numbers to show their relationships in space.
Evolving Modular Techniques In investigating modular systems in terms of systems of proportion, the scale of rationalization centers on human interactions and movement. The extent of modular parameters takes the living unit as a basic module although dimensions may vary based on locally informed decisions of the designer. We have seen in Habitat 67 that structural considerations, connectivity, and methods of aggregation can also influence the basic module, although within the framework of the human scale. What if we extend these influences beyond that of the human scale and begin to understand that landscape as part of a system also informs us of unique interactions and movement? Understanding that landscape is integral to creating a system that is both universal in technique but localized in response is the first step in a modified process of modular design.
geomorphology The scientific study of the formation, alteration, and configuration of landforms and their relationship with underlying structures. Morphology noun Synonyms: anatomy, architecture, arrangement, build, complex, configuration, conformation, construction, design, fabric, fabrication, format, formation, frame, framework, interrelation, make, morphology, network, order, organization, skeleton, system, texture
Landforms And Movement In geological terms, what we refer to as landscapes are expressions of a larger process in the shaping of landforms. We know that the earthâ€™s surface is a dynamic and complex result of the interactions between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and the earthâ€™s surface. The diversity of terrains found on earth influences the patterns of human occupation, use, and the built environment. Landforms are defined as natural terrain units that, where developed under similar conditions of climate, weathering, erosion, and mass wasting, will exhibit a predictable range of physical and visual characteristics. This means that distinctions can be made between terrain types so that we can describe unique topography, composition, or structure. These shaping process works over long periods of time before most landforms show significant change, although some of these processes, some influenced by man, can significantly influence the landscape at a much faster rate. If we begin to think of landscapes as dynamic elements in terms of time and motion, measurable and quantifiable data can be extracted. Performative aspects of a site can be used as parameters in a rationalized design process.
CASE STUDY: HABITAT 67
RECONSIDERING MODULARITY Degree Project Carlos Endriga BArch 09
Moshe Safdie’s use of a repeated modular system to create Habitat 67 can be examined in terms of its dimensioning logic, aggregation logic, materiality, his attitude towards site, and his position regarding social issues and urban communities.
Habitat 67 came from Safdie’s thesis project at McGill University called “A Three Dimensional Modular Building System.” His motivation to design housing came from a social standpoint recognizing that what was being done in terms of housing for families were flawed. He rejected the idea of high rise apartment buildings where kids played in thirteenth floor balconies, dark hallways, no communal space, and a general dissatisfaction of the families that lived there. Safdie also rejected the idea of suburbia and low density development. He felt that it was wasteful of land, lacked privacy, and strained the highway system.
What Safdie set out to solve was a way to create a new form of housing that was high density but re-created the relationship between house and village. From the very beginning Safdie wanted to create a ‘system’ that could be applied to any site (he would later design other Habitats in other locations based on this system). Safdie also points out that the organization was three dimensional, never strictly horizontal or vertical and had a continuous urban structure. His basis for creating his design was the use of repetitive living modules. He felt that by arranging the modules in different ways he could create different typologies of housing that ranged from a one bedroom unit to a multi story three bedroom unit, all with an outdoor garden. The modules were stacked so that each housing unit would be “an entity in itself, recognizable in space.”
Modular Dimensions A module was considered to be the size of single dwelling unit, or a one bedroom house. This was determined to be six hundred square feet. The dimensions of the modules were the result of compromises in weight, structural integrity, and connectivity. A dimensioning grid was first established to be at 3.5 feet, based on the services shaft that needed to be accommodated. The shaft was to be placed outside the module, which affected the stacking method of the modules to overlap one grid length. A stair was to be accommodated as well, so the width was decided to be at five grid spaces, or 17.5 ft. The length needed to be at least twice the width for reasons of positioning them above another in balance. This came after establishing that a rectangular form offered the ability to vary house types better than a cubical form. At eleven grid spaces this was set at 38.5 ft. The height was set at 10.5 ft. The placement and sizes of the windows followed multiples of the 3.5 ft grid , allowing for variability.
The aggregation of the modules produced different configurations of house types.
Precast concrete segments and their releationships
Materiality After considering and rejecting various plastics and fiberglass solutions due to cost and unpredictability, sheet metal was also considered but proved too heavy and costly. Reinforced concrete was chosen, five inches thick and prefabricated in a â€˜factoryâ€™ onsite. Each completed module was load bearing and weighed 70 tons each. A custom derrick was used to lift the modules into place.
Connectivity and Structure Habitat 67 is a three dimensional space structure in which all the parts of the building participate as load-carrying members. The units are connected to each other by posttensioning, using high-tension rods, cables, and welding, resulting in a continuous structure. Not only the units but the pedestrian streets and elevator cores carry loads. Safdie. For Everyone A Garden.
Response to Site Habitat 67 is sited on an extended peninsula on MacKay Pier, as part of the overall master plan for the Expo. Islands were built in the St. Lawrence river as part of that master plan to contain most of the exhibits. Habitat was to be a housing exhibit, connected with the rest of the exhibit infrastructure of pedestrian circulation and transportation, as well as be related to the rest of the Expo buildings and the city itself. Habitat sits on MacKay Pier that is part of the mainland. Habitatâ€™s form was largely dictated by the relationship of houses and gardens, sunlight, and the desire to express the identity of the individual house within the group. By being located on the tip of the peninsula, the project had 360 degree views and open to sunlight. There are no adjacent structures and a relatively flat topography. Safdieâ€™s system as he envisioned it was intended to be applicable to any given site, and this site worked well for his intentions of identity within a group. He was able to make used of sunlight and views afforded by the site, while vehicular and pedestrian circulation was designed in conjunction with the master plan.
Use of scale Safdie made use of the human scale to get the modules proportioned to width and height. Although the length of the module came from a decision not based on scale but based on structural integrity and balance. This is important in that it illustrates that different input parameters can be used in the design of the module. Furthermore, the modules were not limited to transportation regulations since fabrication was done onsite and a crane was used to position the modules in place. Identity and Individuality Safdie maintains that each housing unit is unique and identifiable from within the group. This works in a spatial capacity only, where tenants feel that their house is different only from the inside. The views they enjoy can be said to be different from others, as well as having one of many layouts. The arrangement and composition of the modules makes this possible from an inside perspective but from the outside this differentiation works inversely. The repeating modules and composition actually make it harder to identify a specific unit.
AN ECOLOGICAL SITE STUDY: Narragansett Bay, RI
RECONSIDERING MODULARITY Degree Project Carlos Endriga BArch 09
An Ecological Site Study: Narragansett Bay In what ways can site data be used to influence the module? This basic study is an exercise that attempts to reconcile numeric data into visual forms. In analyzing Narragansett Bay in terms of ecological and environmental changes over time, data can be extracted from various scientific studies. Changes in the amounts of nutrients (nitrogen, carbon, phosphorous) that enter the bay affect wildlife and the bay ecosystem in general. Changes in temperature, precipitation, and wind speed over time contribute to a changing Narragansett Bay ecosystem. With the added temporal component, time and movement can also inform a rationalized process. As an example, quantifiable data that represent environmental changes can be used as scale parameters. Scale is just one example of how data can directly affect the module. This is not to say that it reacts to the data, in other words, the module is not reacting to the site but rather it uses the data in a direct one to one relationship. The criteria for the data types in this study involve trends. Data that changes over time. The data does not represent conditions of the site at any given moment, it represents the trend of an aspect of the site that is incrementally changing over a number of years.
Data Sources: Science for Ecosystem Based Management. Narragansett Bay in the 21st Century. RIGIS. http://www.rigis.com
A trend analysis of estuarine and marine wetlands in Narragansett Bay and their 500foot upland buffer to identify coastal wetland and buffer zone trends including losses, gains and changes in classification in the Rhode Island portion of the Narragansett Bay Estuary from 1930 -1990
These charts show just some of the time based data collected from various climate and environmental studies for Narragansett Bay. These charts are related in terms of the same time 40 year period.
ANNUAL MEAN TEMPERATURES 14 11.9
12 10 10
This graph plots an increase in annual mean temperatures
PRECIPITATION 160 140 140 120
100 80 60 40 20 0 1960
This graph plots an increase in precipitation over a 40 year period
Collected Trend Data: Annual Mean Temperatures Wind Speed Precipitation Nitrogen Influx
WIND SPEED 20 17.4
14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 1964
This graph plots a decrease in wind speed over a 40 year period
NITROGEN INFLUX 6000
This graph plots an increase in nitrogen influx into the bay over a 40 year period
The data is arranged in a three dimensional grid, each column representing four data types for a given year. The intent is to achieve relationships in the different data sets. This three dimensional grid is related by year. The rows represent the graph data, and the column represents a given year. In what ways can this data be applied in a manner that can influence design parameters?
Conclusions: Trend data used as actual dimensions of a module have little relevance unless the data relates to a scale characteristic. Even so, data that may relate to scale needs to be further analyzed in terms of incremental values. In other words, by how much does the data change? What is the rate of change? Example: Indoor comfort levels: If the data represents an increasing trend in temperatures by .5 degrees per year, can the thickness or porosity of a modular wall system adjust over time to maintain comfort levels? How does the thickness of a wall, related to its ability to dissipate heat be measured and engineered to respond to the rate of increasing temperatures? A visual scripting tool is used to visualize the data. Beginning with an arbitrary rectangular base module: Using two sets of data to represent x and y coordinates, a set of points are generated that become control points to draw a curve. The curve is divided into five segments, and a module is generated at each segment by using the remaining two sets of data as height and width attributes of the rectangle.
AN INDUSTRIAL SITE STUDY: CHEVRON REFINERY, RICHMOND CA
RECONSIDERING MODULARITY Degree Project Carlos Endriga BArch 09
An Industrial Site Study: Chevron Refinery, Richmond CA A survey of an industrial site offers different conditions in terms of temporal measurable data such as air quality fluctuations, hazardous waste accumulation, or expansion of the facility into neighboring residential areas. Coupled with the fact that this refinery sits within a fault rupture hazard zone, this site can also be measured in terms of geological tectonic shifts over time. This study investigates the performative aspects of this site that can be translated into quantitative parameters. If the landscape itself physically moves over time, how can a modular system retreat or advance physically as a form of response to this condition? How can a system of aggregation be designed that allows for the addition or subtraction of modules? Can a universally designed Data Sources: modular system deform in order to adapt to existing and Bay Area Air Quality Management District future edge conditions? At a basic level, this study attempts to visually depict relationships between changing physical boundaries and the modular system that attempts to populate it. Abstract representations of physical edges come from trend data gathered in this study. Ways in which an edge condition or boundaries of a site can change over time: As a result of tectonic movement, fault hazard zones are updated and expanded. As a result of rising water levels, sites in coastal areas are retreating, and zoning regulations are changed. Hazardous waste areas in an Industrial Zone are either being expanded or reduced and can affect zoning regulations around the area.
USGS California Climate Action Team Report California Energy Commission US Geological Survey San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission
Red line shows the Hayward Fault Line
Year 1968.333 1969.384 1969.753 1970.822 1971.605 1972.568 1973.466 1975.041 1976.057 1977.364 1980.458 1993.058
USGS DEFLECTION USGS AA LINE 0 0 8.4 10.2 15.5 18 24.3 28.4 34.6 39.8 48.8 61.5 126
both arrays combined (mm) 0 8.4 10.2 15.5 18 24.3 28.4 34.6 39.8 48.8 61.5 126
average creep rate (mm/yr) â€“ 8.0 7.2 6.2 5.5 5.7 5.5 5.2 5.2 5.4 5.1 5.1
Simple Regression X1: year
Y 1: creep (mm)
Beta Coefficient Table Variable:
Confidence Intervals Table Variable:
y = 4.996093532x - 9831.789156268, r2 = .998813209
100 80 60
40 20 0
A page from a long term study in fault movements along the Hayward Fault. Data comes from one of many motion and distance recording instruments embedded into the fault at 300 feet.
Screenshot of GIS data map showing a record of creeping along the fault
Table 1. Observed high sea level occurrences from three California coast tide gauge records. 99.9th and 99.99th percentile thresholds from 1933–2004 hourly observations. Crescent City 99.9th percentile = 1.529m,
Thresholds: Period (yr)
99.99th percentile = 1.744m
# > 99.9th
# > 99.99th
San Francisco Thresholds:
99.9th percentile = 1.228m, # > 99,9th
# > 99.99th
La Jolla (Scripps Pier)
Figure 4. Projected sea level rise from climate model estimates for three G emissions scenarios: A1fi (high emissions), A2 (medium-high emissions), an (low emissions). San Francisco-observed sea level, with trend of 19.3 cm/cen is shown for comparison.
99.99th percentile = 1.410m
San Francisco Observed Sea Levels From the CCAT Report 2006
99.9th percentile = 1.290m,
99.99th percentile = 1.412m
# > 99.9th
# > 99.99th
Tides on the California Coast
Tides are regular changes of ocean water levels caused by the gravitational forces moon and sun. Because of the orbital mechanics involved and the rotation of the the dominant tidal oscillations show up at 1 and 2 cycles per lunar day (24 hou minutes). The tide is the only component of sea level change that is accu predictable and has the largest magnitude, with open coast elevation chang California of up to about 10 ft (3 m). Most of the “spread” in the distribut elevations about mean sea level in Figure 2 are caused by tides.
Many other fluctuations contribute to local sea level changes. Additional factors in storm surges, large scale changes in water temperature and wind forcing, cl related fluctuations, and long-term rise in relative sea level (Flick and Cayan 1984).
Screenshots from the AirQuality Commission website showing annual levels of pollutants.
HAYWARD FAULT CREEP MEASUREMENT OVER TIME 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
94.7 100.9 103.7 113.4 130.7 124.7 128.8 131.0
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
OBSERVED HIGH SEA LEVEL OCCURENCES SFO COAST (m) 1.9 1.71 1.68 1.4 1.31 MAX AIR QUALITY MEASUREMENTS - HYDROGEN SULFITES 5 6 5 2 3 36 8 5 2
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
MAX AIR QUALITY MEASUREMENTS - SULFUR DIOXIDE 65 34 31 17 39 20 26 37 26
2000 2003 2004 2006 2007
MAX AIR QUALITY MEASUREMENTS - TEMPERATURE 2000 qualitative data Excel file of accumulated 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
34 31 32 29
The same data set in a three dimensional grid
Using a visual scripting software an abstract surface object is generated from the trend data. This object serves as the boundary in which a modular system can populate. The object is regarded as an abstract representation of the changing edges of a site over time. The form is a direct visual depiction of the trend data.
An arbitrary base module is drawn, and is aggregated to populate the boundary object. The resulting deformation or modulation of the module is shown below
The study raises questions regarding the relevance of using trend data directly to show current and future edge conditions of a site. In the case of rising sea levels and changing fault hazard zones, this raw data needs to be reinterpreted in terms of their rates of change in order to have relevance. Example scenario: If a coastline retreats at a rate of six inches every 10 years, can a modular system allow the addition or subtraction of modules, or the deformation of the system as a means to respond? The collected data also needs to be questioned as to wether or not is has relevance in an architectural sense. How does data of changing levels of pollutants in the air be used as a design criteria of a modular system? A more focused study based on a single criteria needs to be done and be given an architectural scale.
Theory / Background
Prefab / Precedents / Case Studies
Landscape / Ecology / Geology
Technics and civilization / Lewis Mumford. New York: Harcourt Brace, c1963.
The prefabricated home / Colin Davies. Imprint London : Reaktion, c2005.
Sculpture in the Expanded Field / Rosalind Krauss. October, Vol. 8. (Spring 1979) pp. 30–44.
Basic writings : from Being and time (1927) to The task of thinking (1964) / Martin Heidegger Imprint New York : Harper & Row, c1977.
Home Delivery: fabricating the modern dwelling / Barry Bergdoll and Peter Christensen. Imprint New York: Museum of Modern Art, c2008.
Augmented landscapes / Smout Allen. Imprint New York : Princeton Architectural Press, c2007.
On growth and form / D’Arcy Thompson. Imprint Cambridge : University Press, c1961.
Refabricating architecture: how manufacturing methodologies are poised to transform building construction / Stephen Kieran, James Timberlake. Imprint New York : McGraw-Hill, c2004.
The evolving house / Albert Farwell Bemis Cambridge, Mass. : Technology Press, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, [c1933-36] The prefabrication of houses: a study by the Albert Farwell Bemis Foundations / Burnham Kelly. Imprint Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, 1951. The Modular Number Pattern: Flexibility Through Standardization / Ehrenkrantz, Ezra D (London : Alec Tiranti Ltd, 1956). The turning point of building : structure and design / Konrad Wachsmann ; [translated by Thomas E. Burton]. Imprint New York : Reinhold Pub. Corp., 1961.
Physical geography / Michael P. McIntyre, H. Peter Eilers, John W. Mairs. Imprint New York : Wiley, c1991. Terrain analysis / Douglas S. Way. Imprint Stroudsburg, Pa. : Dowden, Hutchinson & Ross, 1978.
Loblolly House : elements of a new architecture / Stephen Kieran, James Timberlake. Imprint New York : Princeton Architectural Press, c2008.
Science for ecosystem-based management / Alan Desbonnet, Barry A. Costa-Pierce. Imprint New York ; London : Springer, c2008.
Prefab prototypes : site-specific design for offsite construction / Mark Anderson and Peter Anderson. Imprint New York : Princeton Architectural Press, c2007.
Computing / Technology / Processes
For everyone a garden / Moshe Safdie ; edited by Judith Wolin. Imprint Cambridge : M.I.T. Press, c1974. Beyond Habitat / Moshe Safdie ; edited by John Kettle. Imprint Cambridge, Mass. : M.I.T. Press, c1970. Kenzo Tange : 1946-1969, architecture and urban design / edited by Udo Kultermann. Imprint New York : Praeger Publishers, c1970.
Aesthetic computing / edited by Paul Fishwick. Imprint Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c2006. Processing : a programming handbook for visual designers and artists / Casey Reas, Ben Fry. Imprint Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c2007. “Introduction: Versioning” / SHoP. Architectural Design, v. 72 n. 5 (September – October, 2002), 54-59 “Preface” / Michael Speaks. Architectural Design, v. 72 n. 5 (September – October, 2002), 4-6 “Versioning: Dissolving Identities ‘Nothing is as Persistent as Change’ / Ingerborg Rocker. Architectural Design, v. 72 n. 5 (September – October, 2002). “Versioning: Connubial Reciprocities of Surface and Space / Office dA. Architectural Design, v. 72 n. 5 (September – October, 2002).
Running Reference List
Informal / Cecil Balmond, with Jannuzzi Smith ; [edited by Christian Brensing]. Imprint Munich ; New York : Prestel, c2002.