Welcome back to the rant! (This is an extended, multi-month rant, in case you were wondering.)Last month I introduced the “Change Toolkit,” a hierarchy of interventions with Mindset at the top (most effective type of intervention), followed by Processes, then Tools; Technologies (the perennial favorite) resides at the bottom – i.e., it is the least effective change lever in our toolkit for creating higher-performing homes. Homes with simple shapes are less expensive and perform betterIronically, simple building geometry has significant other benefits, not least of which is economy: simpler homes are less costly to build. Simpler homes also are much easier (and less expensive) to effectively insulate, air seal, and heat, and represent reduced likelihood of durability challenges such as moisture intrusion.Some of our most successful designers and builders of high-performance homes – unsurprisingly – embody these principles of simplicity and economy in their projects. The photos below show examples from South Mountain Company, ZETA Communities, and architect Steve Baczek. A design rantThis month’s installment in the rant is all about design. If you’re an architect, this is probably stuff you know, but that may not get your attention very often (or you’re diverted from it by those pesky clients).If you’re a building science geek, this is right up your alley – warm up your vocal chords for a great big Yeah! If you’re a builder, you may be ambivalent about it. We’ll see. RELATED ARTICLES High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 1High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 3High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 4High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 5 However, appeal more readily emanates from careful proportioning and quality materials, paired with simple, efficient building geometry. I highly recommend The Old Way of Seeing, by Jonathan Hale, in which he makes a compelling and scholarly case for this philosophy. Characteristics of traditional homesFirst I’d like to draw your attention to several types of what I’ll call “traditional homes,” shown in the image collage.These homes share some important characteristics. They are made:To fit the need (and no more)To be as comfortable as possible given available materials, ingenuity, and skillFrom materials at handUsing efficient geometriesWith low surface-to-volume ratiosThese are all excellent guidelines for the creation of high-performance and net-zero energy homes. Taste, of course, is personal, and some may find these designs too simple. And yet there is a market for these homes, all of which are speculative projects. In our quest for high performance we should not lose sight of the fact that “simple” doesn’t mean “ugly” or “boring,” and it’s an enormously powerful design strategy with multiple performance dividends.The appeal of a home, for some, may rely on elaborate ornamentation, but for many others rests in a sense of comfort and welcoming or spare elegance, either of which may be successfully executed in a simple building volume. Characteristics of traditional homesEven so, much of the U.S. landscape is populated by homes that are absent these principles, such as those pictured below. While I fully understand that “curb appeal” is a dominant driver in home design, I believe that production homes in particular fall prey to design clichés, too often relying on surface ornamentation and geometric complexity in their quest for appeal. RELATED ARTICLE High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 1
2. He is an Olympian Pacquiao is usually given the de facto home court advantage, be it in Las Vegas or Dallas. This time, however, the Pacman will walk inside Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium facing a hometown hero.Horn was born in Brisbane on Feb. 4, 1988 and has resided in his birthplace ever since.Come Battle of Brisbane, it’s safe to say that there will be more than 50,000 people in support of their boxing son.ADVERTISEMENT Both fighters are family men, and both also have lovable dogs.Quite some time ago, Pacquiao’s pooch Pacman reached headlines when it dogged the Filipino icon during his runs. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Horn was called “gay” constantly during his growing up years.The verbal abuse held so much magnitude that the young Horn almost thought of suicide.“I got called ‘gay’ a lot. Words like that shouldn’t hurt me, but I was a kid. It cuts deep, especially when it’s every day. You don’t know how to stop it,” Horn told Sydney Morning Herald.“Day by day, it takes a bit of you. I know the lows you can feel. I’ve had those feelings, like suicidal thoughts. I can remember some days that I felt that because of the bullying.”6. Like Pacquiao, Horn also has a canine companion What ‘missteps’? Beneath his enigmatic identity is a man who battled demons en route to becoming a professor of the beautiful sport.Despite owning WBO and IBF’s secondary titles, Horn is still considered an unknown in comparison to the icons Pacquaio has faced.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSo to shine a little bit more of the spotlight on Horn, here are seven tidbits about the Aussie.1. Horn is Brisbane’s own son Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Juggling life as a schoolteacher and as a professional boxer can take a toll, and Horn does that looking for flushes, full houses, and pairs.As per Ring Magazine, Horn’s concept of a vice is playing poker. And that’s only his vice.Horn hasn’t forgotten his nerdy side as he regularly, according to The Australian, plays Monopoly every Saturday.He also likes to play a role-playing board game called Settlers of Catan. Horn, too, has a dog and it’s name is Lexie who, according to The Australian, likes to hang by Horn’s legs whenever the Aussie fighter watches television.7. Horn’s vice is poker Growing up, Horn wasn’t the fighter Australians now adore.He was the one wearing the glasses and playing board games and with such silence, Horn became a target of bullying.According to a story from The Australian, Horn was the victim of a lopsided beating when 30 bullies ganged up on him after school.Horn stood up against a bully, and what he got was a physical beatdown that changed his life.This harrowing experience led Horn to take up boxing and he’s then used that bullying episode every time he steps inside the squared circle.5. He got called ‘gay’ growing up LATEST STORIES Ross wins Best Player award; Rhodes top import Horn’s pathway to professional boxing was his short, but memorable, run in the 2012 London Olympics.The Aussie had three fights in the London Games, taking dominating wins against Gilbert Choombe of Zambia, 19-5, and Abderazzak Houya of Tunisia, 17-11.Horn, however, fell to Ukrainian Denys Berinchyk, 21-13, in the quarterfinals.ADVERTISEMENT Horn holds a Bachelor of Education degree to teach secondary school from Griffith University and he’s also worked at a child care center.4. A victim of bullying Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Boxer Jeff Horn of Australia poses for a photo following a press conference with Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines in Brisbane, Wednesday, June 28, 2017. Pacquiao, is putting his WBO belt on the line Sunday, July 2, against the 29-year-old Horn. (AP Photo/John Pye)Australian pugilist Jeff Horn does not have the same notoriety as Manny Pacquiao’s previous opponents.Horn, whose “The Hornet” nickname gives him some semblance of flare, actually isn’t a typical run of the mill boxer.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera View comments Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend 3. He’s a teacher Horn has built an impressive boxing resume going undefeated, 16-0-1, and strapping himself with the WBO and IBF Inter-Continental welterweight titles.He’s also the no.2 welterweight under WBO and on July 2 has a chance to become the World champion as he battles Pacquiao (59-6-2).Outside of his expanding boxing career, though, Horn rolls up his sleeves and tightens his tie for his job as a high school teacher.