Can you hear me now? This is the second article on the topic of the Marshall fire inspired by Richard Feynman’s statement (after the Challenger disaster): “For a successful technology reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.” Communication is the heart and soul of any successful disaster response—especially fire. Disaster […]
The Marshall Fire “For a successful technology reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.” The early after-action reporting following the catastrophic 2021 Marshall Fire forcibly brought to mind this quote from Richard Feynman’s testimony after the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster. With all the 21st century technology supposedly available to […]
When you have been impacted by a disaster of any kind you are frightened, scared, often very angry and the last thing you need is to fill out forms and answer numerous questions from strangers clamoring to HELP you. So why is it that the majority of our disaster assistance and recovery programs at all […]
Occam’s razor states that one should not increase (beyond reason) the number of entities required to explain anything. All things being equal, the simplest solution is often the best one. The principle is attributed to 14th-century English theologian William of Ockham and frequently applied in philosophy and science to eliminate the unlikely and narrow the […]
Context: eXergy In thermodynamics, exergy is defined as the maximum useful work that can be extracted from a system as it reversibly comes into equilibrium with its environment. Contemplating the built environment, one could define a term “eXergy” as the maximum comfort that can be extracted from an intelligent building as it reaches the optimal […]
Nearly every building used by humans was made possible by the risk industry. At the pinnacle of the risk industry sits the reinsurance industry, the companies that insure and cover the risks of every insurance company in the world. Every company that works in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and builds structures needs Errors and Omissions and General Liability (EO/GL) and other specialized insurance policies to operate. So when the major reinsurers post warnings about performance problems, it would behoove the industry to pay attention.
Common Sensors CrossTalk Inside MetaHome, we use many sensors, and with many new communications networks emerging (LTE, 5G, etc.) as potential connectivity routes, that number expands exponentially. Sensor data in IoT is a wonderful thing, but what happens when that data, intended to feed a zone quality target, becomes corrupted? Sensor functionality cannot always be […]
Smart cities of the future will require very different homes and architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) technology from that being used by builders today. How will our current stock meet that need? To find out, we are taking a 1450 sq ft condominium unit in Boulder, Colorado, and are transforming it into a smart MetaHome. […]
SponsorshipProduct TestingApproved Supplier Project MetaHome™ offers several opportunities for collaboration: sponsorship, product testing, approved supplier, or … you propose it! What is Project MetaHome? Project MetaHome™1 seeks to harness the most modern technology to create a home that is a joy to live in, is resilient to natural hazards, and uses 95% less energy than a […]
To all my friends, city staff, colleagues on the energy municipalization effort at the City Boulder It might be a good time to lay out some issues from my point of view or IMHO regarding steps forward either with or without Xcel or any partner. My focus is that of a risk assessment engineer skilled […]
Ideas for the pursuit of excellence are game-changers that push an organization to the next level. Organizations operating in any industry can benefit from expanding their focus from quality assurance—institutionalizing incremental improvements in degrees of excellence—to the overarching pursuit of comprehensive excellence. One way to support excellence is to ensure that the architecture/engineering/construction (AEC) infrastructure […]
Many years ago (in 1932, to be exact) FDR made a comment in a speech in Portland, Oregon, about a major issue of the day: electrical service and who would provide it, public utilities or private companies. “My answer has been, as it is tonight, to point out these plain principles,” Roosevelt told the crowd. […]
The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) has been closed since the beginning of this year (2012) because of premature degradation of new steam generator tubes installed in 2010 and 2011. The two pressurized water reactors (PWRs) at SONGS provide about 2,200 megawatts of electricity, about 20% of Southern California’s usage. I’ve been reading about […]
We are attracted to beautiful things and repelled by ugly things—the words “beautiful” and “ugly” are in fact often defined in terms of the human response to the things so described. Fear of ugliness may not be rational, but it is always real and it always changes behavior. I was aware of this in a […]
Pete’s an avid science fiction fan. He wrote this “Future History” mock Forbes interview with the CEO of the fictitious Advanced Application Technology Group (AATG) at the turn of the 21st century, thinking that by 2026 rule-based cyber information modeling technologies would surely be a reality.
“If you are lost, going in the wrong direction, you had better go real slowly,because you have to come all the way back again to get where you should be.”UnknownThis is not a scientific article, just some musings about the way Pete looks at things, both physically and metaphorically. Life, as well as design, especially human-centric design, means just that: […]