Upcycling in Architecture
"Finding aesthetic and economic merit in the combinations,
defects, and recombinations of upcycling is
as important as the actual reuse itself."
Aaron Betsky discusses the new book
Upcycling: Reuse and Repurposing as a Design Principle in Architecture by Daniel Stockhammer.
Plan It
Taking the Extra Step Against Moisture?

Here at ATS, we’ve begun our Fall program of live all-day seminars. Like in the Spring, we’re delivering these courses online through webcast. As the moderator, I watch these courses attentively as if I was the student. The one commonality for most of the recent courses is how to avoid the perils of moisture.

I sit in my 1922 Craftsman bungalow during these webcasts, and I think about the contractor who saved this house from demolition. I look at the lessons I’m learning, and I realize that the builder could’ve done more.

In 2012, the Underwood house was that house in this historic neighborhood of Raleigh, NC. It was an eye-sore which hosted numerous renters who could care less about its history. After the owner died, the Underwood estate put the house on the market, and most local flippers and curious neighbors thought it should be bulldozed due to its poor shape. But one guy, Eric, took a chance and turned it around.

Eric took meticulous steps to meet the guidelines to maintain the house’s preservation status. He kept the front façade and footprint, the original windows, the heart pine wood floors, and the tiny clawfoot tub (people were much smaller back then). He turned the bottom floor walk-out and the attic into beautiful spaces. We fell in love.

Now, after almost eight years of living in this historic home, we see the extra steps we wish Eric had taken to prevent moisture problems…steps described in the courses that I help moderate. Adding a concrete mix-in or coating to prevent slab moisture. Priming and painting the cut ends of wood. Product selection for durability, door thresholds, and even countertops (marble is beautiful but porous). 

Eric doesn’t know about these issues and the cost to remedy them. If he knew that we’d have these issues after moving in, would he have spent the money to take the extra steps?
Did You Know
The Damaging Effects of Water
The #1 concern of building owners.
(The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors)
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