Life Edited

Design a jewel box of an ultra-low-footprint apartment in 420sf (~39 m2). $70,000 prize pool

Design a jewel box of an ultra-low-footprint apartment in 420sf (~39 m2).

Background

What if we could save money, radically reduce our environmental impact, and have a freer, less complicated life?

Treehugger founder Graham Hill has part of the answer: we need to have less stuff and live in smaller spaces, like the 420sf (~39 m2) apartment in New York City he will renovate in 2011. 

With some design and technology magic, even small space can allow for almost anything - so we’re asking you to redesign a small space thinking about these core ideas: 

  • transforming space - use one space for work, play, sleep, guests
  • digitize everything - photos, books, music
  • from ownership to access - think car-sharing instead of owning, pay-per-view instead of downloading, smart space-sharing and subletting
  • only the essentials - cut down on extraneous stuff, leaving only what’s really necessary

Task Definition

Create a design based on Graham Hill’s 420 sf (~39 m2) apartment.

The design needs to support the life of a real person in the apartment - someone who works, eats, lives, and entertains.  We’re looking for apartment designs that allow for:

  • a sit-down dinner for 12
  • a comfortable lounging option for 8 people
  • space for 2 guests with some visual and ideally auditory privacy
  • a home office
  • a work area with space for a rolling tool chest
  • a hideable kitchen

You must use one or more of the Resource Furniture Space Saver designs to combine some of the functions, but the rest is up to you. For additional requirements, please see Mandatory Requirements section.

As the room function is changed, it should not feel like you are sleeping in your office or eating in your bedroom.  At the same time, it should be easy and quick enough to change the room function that one would actually do it. This is the space we’ll be renovating. And here are some ideas we’ve compiled to get you thinking about how others have created more from less. 

When a design is found that meets all of Graham’s criteria (he needs to love it, since he’ll be living in the space and paying for it) an additional contract will be awarded to use the design or elements of the design in his apartment renovation. 

 

Keep in mind that feedback and conversation can help you improve your ideas. Therefore we encourage you to post and update your entry at any time up until the submission deadline. In return, you’ll receive feedback from Graham, your peers, and our jurors. 

 

JUDGING CRITERIA

Both jury and community are asked to consider the following three criteria when evaluating the designs:

Requirements - does the design meet the requirements (after all, Graham will be living in it and promoting the ideas so we really want him to be happy)?

Replicability - can the design be replicated in similar spaces with a reasonable budget? Will this design get people to consider living in this type of space, from an economic perspective?

Aesthetics - will the design look good in 25 years? Will it make us want to leave large and love little?  

 

Awards

We’re awarding up to $70,000 in cash, products, and contracts for the best ideas. The best ideas will also be featured on Treehugger, Core77 and Architizer.

 

The submission process depends on thoughtful feedback to help designers improve their submissions. We’ll also reward the best feedback with over 50 prizes.

 

Jury Award

  • $10,000 in cash
  • Contract award of up to $10,000 to consult on the renovation project
  • One week stay at the renovated apartment in NYC
  • The revolution unfolds: a Strida folding bike
  • Get together with family and friends: Cisco ?mi Telepresence system and Cisco Valet router for 2 locations plus one year of service*
  • Collaborate at work: Cisco Webex annual subscription

Community Prizes

First Place

  • $5,000 in cash
  • The Thinbike designed by Graham Hill and Schindelhauer
  • One week stay at the renovated apartment in NYC
  • Get together with family and friends: Cisco ?mi Telepresence system and Cisco Valet router for 2 locations plus one year of service*
  • Collaborate at work: Cisco Webex annual subscription

Second Place

  • $3,000 in cash
  • Two day stay at the renovated apartment in NYC
  • Get together with family and friends: Cisco ?mi Telepresence system and Cisco Valet router for 2 locations plus one year of service*
  • Collaborate at work: Cisco Webex annual subscription

Third Place

  • $2,000 in cash
  • Two day stay at the renovated apartment in NYC
  • Get together with family and friends: Cisco ?mi Telepresence system and Cisco Valet router for 2 locations plus one year of service*
  • Collaborate at work: Cisco Webex annual subscription

Fourth Place

  • $1,000 in cash
  • Two day stay at the renovated apartment in NYC
  • Get together with family and friends: Cisco ?mi Telepresence system and Cisco Valet router for 2 locations plus one year of service*
  • Collaborate at work: Cisco Webex annual subscription

Fifth Place

  • $750 in cash

Sixth Place

  • $750 in cash

Seventh Place

  • $500 in cash

Best Feedback to Designers

* available to winners in the North America and European Union. Winners in other regions will have the option to exchange the ?mi system for other Cisco products. European Union winners may be invited to join the ?mi beta testing program.

 

Target Group

  • Graham Hill
  • and everybody else that's looking to save money, radically reduce his/her environmental impact, and have a freer, less complicated, happier life

Mandatory requirements

Apartment Functions:

You must use one or more of the Resource Furniture Space Saver designs to combine some of the functions, but the rest is up to you.

Kitchen - The kitchen should have an induction cook-top, a combination microwave/oven, a small fridge (could be a drawer fridge), a dishwasher, an espresso machine, a juicer, a smart system for storing non-perishable food, and a soda water maker. The kitchen should be hide-able.

Bath - The apartment needs to have a toilet, a sink, a shower, and perhaps a steam room. The setup should look great, be space efficient, conserve water and energy, and have low embodied energy. Must have audio privacy.

Bed - The apartment should have at least a queen size bed, ideally raised off the floor.

Storage - Significant storage is needed for clothing, tools, sports equipment, food etc. (perhaps 300 or 400 cubic feet?)

Home Office - The office is built around a Mac 31” monitor and a 17” Macbook Pro.

Recycling and Reuse - There needs to be a convenient space/system for composting as well as a recycling and reuse "center" (stuff that will be given to friends or donated to charity).

Work Area - There should be a space to store a rolling tool cabinet and an area to do minor in-home repairs, bike maintenance, etc.

Entertainment & Telepresence - There should be Amina in-wall speakers to be used for entertainment and Cisco ?mi Telepresence. The 31” monitor will also be used in the entertainment and Telepresence center.

 

Materials and Other Considerations:

Flooring - The floor should look great, feel great, wear well, have low embodied energy, be easy to clean, and be maintainable by a Roomba.

Materials - When selecting materials, consider lifecycle and health concerns such as offgassing. Push for low embodied energy materials wherever possible.

Light, Sound - The apartment should be able to be made dark enough to not see one’s outstretched hand. Surfaces should absorb sound.

Shoes - This will be a shoeless apartment, therefore shoes need to be organized or stored near the entrance. A place to sit to take off/put on shoes might make sense as well.

Robot Servants - Low, hidden area where Roomba and Scooba cleaning robots might be stored away to charge.

Bike Storage - It would be nice to be able to hang the Strida in a closet and to slide the Schindelhauer ThinBike into a slot somewhere such that it is out of sight.

Plants - Plants should only require tending to once a month.

 

Nice to have:

Home automation - House systems might be controllable via mobile phone and internet, with simple on and off controls for all appliances.

Steam Room - It would be nice to have a few luxury items in the apartment such as a steam room. How do you optimize a steam room (less volume?), so it’s as eco-friendly as possible?

Lockable Storage - A portion of storage should be lockable such that some of it can be easily secured when the apartment is sublet.

Wall surface/area - There should be a way (magnets?) to display inspirational photos, images etc.

 

Assumptions and things already considered:

Air quality - The air will meet or surpass PlaNYC and the American Lung Association "Healthy House" certification.

Resource Usage - The space will use 70% less energy than a typical apartment, saving money and increasing peace of mind. Heating, cooling, and water usage is 20% of a similarly sized NYC apt. The apartment will be super-insulated, use high efficiency appliances and technologies such as a heat recovery ventilator to achieve this.

Lighting - It is anticipated that we will incorporate directional LED lighting into the ceiling so that none or very little additional lighting is needed anywhere.

Windows - It is assumed that we will replace the windows with super energy efficient pan and tilt models. Shading can be programmed using a Mechoshade Home System.

 

For additional information regarding the official rules, click here.

 

Download material

Click on the following links to download working material and additional information related to the project.

Comments

Show older comments (117)

WOW!!! This is gonna be the greatest contest of the season!!! AMAZING!!! We'll see the best ideas from everyone!!! Good luck jovotans!!! :)

Great contest with many restrictions. I wonder whether anyone finds a better solution for this than Gary Chang's Domestic Transformer in Hongkong! But let´s try it!

Yea, trehugger has reported about it... surely a great source for inspiration! http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/01/domestic-transformer.php

...maybe it would be a good idea to provide european jovotans with a CAD basis in a metrical system in addition to the US-measure system. It´s easier to work first with the metrical system although it has to be transformed later on.

I agree with you. But this morning I found out that using the metric system ist possible at "sketch up". Unfortunately I am not able to tell you how. I started to work with that program just today.

AutoCad and Rhino supports SketchUp files and allows you to work in metrical system.

We also uploaded some new drawings today, just have a look at them!

Good to have some more information! But it hurts a bid to find out that there are so many differences when you compare the drawings. I estimate that the latest dwg-based drawings are more exactly. What about this funny pipe system. Everywhere there are tubes for water, heating, gas, air. The more I watch the plans the more installation pipes I find. Hope we can ignore them. Can we?

hey baseline, no, unfortunately you cannot ignore them: The vent, waste and domestic hot and cold water risers cannot be relocated. They already offset and replaced the hot and cold risers and that was really a one time deal.

The cast iron radiators can be eliminated if another source of heat is provided.

The heating hot water risers should be able to be offset 6” or so but we feel that the design should not hinge on offsetting these just in case it proves too expensive or difficult.

Under-floor radiant is an option but floor level with the hall needs to be kept in mind. If the finish floor level needs to be raised this needs to be detailed/coordinated with the hall floor height which is about the same level as the apartment’s floor height. Also if radiant floor system requires holes in the joists we will need to review design with a structural engineer as this is an old building and wood joists are often already overstressed in these situations.

@baseline. you can always design around them for instance putting small walls around them turning then into room dividers...

@brain4two...Sketchup files are in Imperial and Metric system at the same time by default. Just change the units from "architectural" to "decimal" in the options menu and you are ready to go!! ( the same if using Revit; but if you are using Autocad, 3D studio, etc, then is more complicated)

that does not work in Sketchup. I tried to change it, but it stays in imperial.

Hey vegter, do you have the german version of Sketchup? Go to: Fenster > Modellinformationen > Einheiten > dort Dezimal einstellen.

i am exited to be part of it

Great contest! Can we have some information about the area where the apartment is located? What about the neighborhood? Quiet? Crowded? It´s close to what? I can see in the pictures a church and some stores... I find this info relevant because I belive that the interiors should be consequent with the enviroment. I don´t want to design an isolation pod.

Hey Apaezv, it's a beeaaauuutiful area and especially the street is just gorgeous. It's located in Soho, which is a pretty "trendy" area, and it's not far from the lower part of the Broadway which is a bit touristic, but it's still far enough to not have the tourists linger in front of your door. In fact, Sullivan is a pretty calm street, with a couple of vintage boutiques, some restaurants and coffee shops. I'm having coffee there all the time ;) And once Keanu Reeves was walking by. So: young, hip, beautiful people all over the place. Comparable to Prenzlauer Berg, if you're familiar with Berlin. Did that help? I'll try to stop raving now ;)

Ok... now I'm the one who can't stop raving... I want to live there! Really helpful. Thank you very much.

Have a look at Google Street View here

There are pictures and plans of the apartment hidden away on Flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/grahamhill/sets/72157624661757582/show/

Thanks

Theodore
over 7 years ago

hi everybody,

i use Cinema 4D. The CAD files do not work on Cinema 4D. So i open the plan picture with photoshop to make a working path. And then i export this working path to Adobe illustrator (the file must end with ai).

After that, i import the working path to Cinema 4D. And then i use my working path as a child of Extrude NURBS to have a 3D view.

Perhaps there are also people who use Cinema 4D. I hope these short description could help

Thank you Theographix, very helpful. As to the question on how to open the files: the sketch up file can be opened with Google Sketchup, whereas the DWG files are working with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop or Indesign.

theographix, thanks, helpful! any chance you could share the files you made with us and we can post on the site for use by others?

Theodore
over 7 years ago

yes of course,

Theodore
over 7 years ago

I´ ve try to send the files to the contest guide but there is no way to send the data as Email attachment.

Hey Theographix, maybe you can upload it to dropbox and share it with me? I could post it on our blog then...

Theodore
over 7 years ago

I will

3 questions: 1. You mention 90 - 120 cubicmeter as requirement for storage space. Whole appt is around 107 cubicmeter. Is it 90-120 cubicfeet you were needing for storage space?

  1. Is there a new Floor Assembly possible, or has the old one to be kept?

  2. Also Heating system, are there new plans for or is it part of design scheme?

hey thirdbase,

  1. sorry for the confusion, it must be 9-12 cubicmeter, there was a 0 too much! I updated the briefing.

  2. you can pull up the floorboards if you want - but of course you can't make a floor-through into the downstairs apt ;)

  3. You have to include a heating system. Heating is steam heat - in NY, most buildings are, and it's central in the building. It also might be nice to have a way to control it via electronic valves.

Hope this helps.

ok thanx ... i asked myself if its possible to build a floor heating system beneath a mastic asphalt. That would include ca. 5cm new floor assembly. :( but i guess thats not really possible.

thirdbase, that sounds a little expensive... anyway, you can always experiment a little and see what the community's and jury's feedback looks like!

Since this is being designed for a specific person, could we have a thought or two about his aesthetics? Colors, modernity, antique, etc? It's hard to design something for a specific person's taste when you've never met that person, and it may yield inspiration to the designers to have even a general idea what styles are/aren't desired. Thanks!

Also, I am curious about the CAD drawings. Is this a requirement to use, or can I sketch free-hand?

hey schoolaintsobad,

I asked graham what he liked - here you go with his reply: + I prefer modern, timeless design. + Minimal ornament. + Few if any knickknacks or clutter. + I like stuff hidden away. + I'm ok with materials with texture and patina. + Love white walls.

Later on, he will provide a link to stuff he likes, but for the meantime this is a great start to get an idea of his taste.

As to your 2nd question: Sketches free-hand are a great start, though you should try to work towards more finished drawings afterwards.

Good luck!

Another question: What does he spend the most amount of time doing in his apartment? For example, I spend the most amount of time at my office space. (Others may spend a lot of time entertaining or using a den/living room to watch TV, or they might spend a lot of time in the kitchen.) To know how the space will be used is important.

Does the kitchen literally have to be hide-able (i.e., it disappears), or can it simply be hidden (behind a wall, for example). This will make a lot of difference regarding how the utilities are designed and installed.

good question to get the focus of the room

And here we go again with Graham's answer: + He works a decent workweek from home so: that's probably what he does most in the apartment. + he doesn't have a tv but does watch some stuff online via netflix, itunes, youtube, comedy central etc. + he definitely likes having dinners for a bunch of people (despite not being much of a cook)

Re: your 2nd question - I'd be very curious to see how you'd make this kitchen disappear ;), but it's ok to just hide it.

Looking forward to your submission!

thanks so much for your help on getting this info! my mind is spinning...

(you've never seen a kitchen disappear?!)

I´ve come to this hipotetical distribution (by myself) of time:

The apartment could be...

...79% of the time an apartment for a single man or a couple. 290 days per year. ...11% of the time with guests staying. 40 days per year. 3 days per month. ...7% of the time a place for lounge reunions for friends. 24 per yer. twice a month. .... and 3% of the time a dining place for 12 friends or relatives. 12 days per year or once a month.

Would be nice to have Graham´s feedback on this assumption.

Saludos!!!

Back with Graham's feedback, he's a bit more social than your assumption ;) + 5 days guests + 18 nights for dinners.

OK!!! Thank you.

So...in the end it will be at least 70% of the time a Single guy or a couple apartment and home office. Also I am considering that a Dining night will be a whole day(24hrs), same with the guests and lounge reunions.

Alright!!

I really like architecture but I don't have background of it neither AUTO CAD software. It seems a very challenging contest to follow. Is anybody have suggestions how to start this? I am thinking about submit some sketches as starter...

Submit some sketches! A floorplan and maybe a 3D interior drawing or two should get your point across just fine. Or maybe you can find someone who knows the software to collaborate with.

Hi Legalcrash, for those who doesn't work with AutoCad, it's easier to learn working with sketchup, in case you choose AutoCad I can give you some help.

Is there a budget to stick to?

hey discginge, there is no exact budget to stick to, but yes, it's meant to be reasonable such that it can be replicable for the "average new yorker". To quote Graham: "We don't want to get too concrete about it. Their time is better spent on ideas than worrying about an exact budget." So just go for it!

sweet can't wait to get my sketch pad out

Yay, I'm back with some more inspiration directly from Graham. Have a look at this slideshow to find out more about what he likes aesthetically: http://www.flickr.com/photos/grahamhill/sets/72157625181196437/show/

Thanks nsonne!

Update: I uploaded the floorplan and the elevations document as PNG so everyone should be able to open it!

Ist der Flug mit drin?

hey squalidsketch, unfortunately the flight is not included. However, New York is always worth a visit - and the flights are usually the cheapest thing of the whole trip ;)

This is a great contest! I'm really glad to finally see a architecture competition here in Jovoto :)

If I'm going to participate in this contest – I'm going to form a family-team with my mum.

Watch out! :D

So don't let us hang in there - we're still waiting for family force patrick ;)

check the blogpost for inspirational stuff, a shortlist on the most important mandatory requirements and some help on how to open the files: http://www.jovoto.com/blog/2010/11/inspiration-and-a-little-support-for-lifeedited/

I am looking at the floor plan and there are total 4 radiators. Can the location of, and numbers of radator be changed? Or, should it stay the same.

hey bcgg23232, the vent, waste and domestic hot and cold water risers cannot be relocated. The cast iron radiators can be eliminated if another source of heat is provided. So - yes, you can move or eliminate the radiators, but the riser pipes that provide the heat into the radiators can't be moved... The apartment needs to have heat, so if it isn't the radiator it should be radiant in-floor heat, electric etc.

nsonne,

I am very curious about those pipes. They inside the apartments; maybe for temperature reasons....is it possible to propuse a new route inside the apartment.

After all when the new plumbing fixtures will be installed.. those pipes and maybe the whole building piping system willhave to be closed....for maybe 24hrs.

So, depending of the local building code and the apartment management regulation, if we are installing new fixtures...we can insall new piping routes.

However...on a second thought. To relocate the Hot and cold water will have a low cost...but any change in the route of the waste water and ventilation pipes will have a very high cost.

So, It doesn´t matter if we get any permit to make any change in teh pipe system...in the end it would be expensive...and not worthy. i´ll change my design to fit the existing pipes inside the apartment.

Dear Jovotoans, as jvanboxtel mention we are throwing our next session on the Live Edited. Fancy coming? Wednesday 17th November in Open Design City, Berlin. We are inviting people from different fields so that we can have a fun session with broad insight and awesome concepts. Then jovotoans can take the concepts and develop them further to post them here. If you wanna know more about how we will do it just write to me and i'll send you some more details. This time we do not have so many places, so send us a message if you want to take part!

Pedro

And have a look at the outcome of this apparently really inspiring session: http://vimeo.com/17168330

What about ADA requirements? Must they be met? In NYC you have to abide by them in apartment buildings

I asked Graham - he doesn't think ada applies in this case.

Not to harp on this but... Ive never known an apartment renovation to not require it. Perhaps a code consultant or expediter should be called in? or you can just hire me as your architect and drop the contest. kidding kidding.

Well, there is no elevator shaft shown neither in the pictures nor the autocad files.

So if the building needs to comply with ADA...to add an elevator will be the first step. However if anyone can design a "ADA ready" apartment will be a good idea. Maybe I will post and ADA version of mine.

In my experience there comes a time when the job of the building/interiors deigner cannot fix all the needs of wheelchairs/strollers/stretchers...we need better "all-terrain" designs for these devices also.

Mmmmm....I am curious...ADA does not includes bicycles...am I right?

Guys, don't hold yourself up with that please - as usual, this contest is about ideas and inspiration and not about a already finalized design - if necessary, the winning design will be tweaked so it meets ADA requirements. If you want to follow Yair's suggestion to submit an "ADA ready" version of your design as well, that's great but it is not mandatory to provide that. Thanks!

very cool! my idea r:evolution is all about sliding walls. but thinking how to move large slabs of glass safely and easily is the challenge.

Theodore
over 7 years ago

Hi everybody,

just find this very simply method to export sketchup data for Cinema4D. http://www.c4dcafe.com/ipb/index.php?/topic/51157-easy-sketchup-to-cinema4d-conversion/ It works.

good luck to all

Can you explain more in depth, the window's that will be replaced with the pan and tilt models. Can you upload the specifications of the windows and/or the supplier?

I agree, the spec of the new windows will be very useful. please submit it if possible.

hey guys, we're planning on using bieber windows - they make beautiful wood frame windows, euro style with heavy rugged frames. Have a look here.

Sweet! those look like good double glazed windows!...thanks Nathalie!

i'm looking at the .dwg plans+sections here. there are some abbreviations i dont understand [wj?] but from what i gather the floor+ceiling are all wood.

somewhere here it says the wood here are overly stressed as is. and with the many people talking about sliding "walls",is it safe to safe the railing supports they use are all anchored in the brick walls and only there?

hey tomasowa, the abbreviation [wj] means "wall joist". Moreover, above it are tongue + groove boards and below it is gypsum.

at time i will start the project.it´s a great contest,because this is the future of cities.small rooms with a lot of functions in there.i have seen a great project in our university from an japanese architect.i try to find it and than i will post the link...

good luck for everyone

Update: Got some more detailed diagrams in PDF format, check the briefing ("Life Edited diagrams")!

Guys, we've been discussing the exposed bricks-issue back and forth and finally came to the conclusion that: For energy efficiency, it makes a big difference to insulate on the front and back walls. So this is a given. On the side walls however, exposed bricks are OK (that brick should be air-sealed, that is the color of exposed brick may be difficult to achieve without a glossy sealer.)

Sorry for the temporary indecisiveness... Keep up the great work everybody!

thermal mass is a great energy equalizer - enclosing in glass could capture heat or cold as needed - even for exterior walls - any restriction is just silly and counterproductive

Nsonne, What exactly do you mean by air sealed? Coated with a sealant to stop any airflow through holes in the brick? If so, an other option would be to re-point any necessary air leaks.

Ideally, thermal mass should be exposed to direct sun in winter and shaded in summer. This does not appear to be an option here (with the existing brickwork) as the construction drawing provided indicates a timber stud wall on the party wall to the adjacent flat (north of the Sulivan Street windows). Exposing the party wall to the adjacent building (oposite the door as you enter) will act as a heat sink.

This will be advantageous in summer as it will be shaded and could be used to damp the effects of heat sources like electronics. However, it will suck heat in winter. Assuming the room on the other side of it is a heated apartment, this issue is reduced.

Also of information: to achieve a U-Value or 0.1 (I think that is about R60 for the USA) we will need to provide 8 inches (200mm) of expanded foam insulation or about double that in natural fibre insulation. That is the insulation standard generally considered "super insulated" (in the UK at least). Nsonne, is this inline with what Yourself and Graham where thinking?

I disagree. With expanded foam insulation and other fiber based insulation material...there is no exponential or linear improvement in acoustical and /or thermal insulation beyond 4" thickness. That is why there is no insulation deck on the market thicker that 5 1/2" or 6"...... 4" of thermal mass of these materials is more than enough.

You won´t get the double of insulation by increasing from 4" to 8". The increment will be about a 15-20% of the insulation factor and you will have doubled your investment in insulation material....Also the outer face of the insulation won´t be in contact with the enviroment...we have the brick walls for that!!!

In walk in freezers that my company built we use 4" expanded foam with aluminum panels and you cannot get more insulated than that. It is the same for our Canada units and Florida. And we get a pretty good energy performance.

My previous disagreement was with Alex...not with Nsonne.

However....Nsonne, i think we need the insulation in the north sidewall for acoustical insulation...we don´t know how much noise the neighbor will make....or stand from Graham.

Hi Yair,

I agree the improvement in insulation is not linear. The depths I gave may be a little on the conservative side. However, here is an example of 300mm insulation between masonry leafs used on the BedZed sustainable housing development England.

http://www.bioregional.com/files/media/image/Gallery/bedzed_insulationthickness.jpg

Their U-values are around 0.1

The off-the -shelf products are often not more than 4" (100mm) thick, however it is common practice to simply use more than one panel/batt thick when more insulation is needed. In the image of BedZed, two 6" (150mm) as used together.

What did you mean by the insulation not being in contact with the environment?

I guess they are walking in systems similar to Sun Frost units? Are they off-grid units? What U-values do you get?

One option with the north wall might be to put a couple of inches of insulate on it and then use brick slips to give you a little exposed mass that will get direct sunlight. Although limited.

Alex

Alex,

  1. What I mean is that the brick wall will be the one in contact with the environment. According to the plans provided we have a brick layer of 8" thick. and then our insulation proposal. Once the brick layer is sealed; we will get an important thermal mass for insulation.

  2. No, not quite similar to Sun frost units. More like a typical freezer but used a walk in freezer.

  3. U-value ( I suppose is Thermal transmittance) lower than 0.25 (m2 per °C)

regards.

Y.

Thanks for your response.

Re 3. Yes, that the ones. U values are W/m²K. In the UK around 0.2 U-value is the required minimum for building insulation.

Hey, i just found this contest and it sounds like a lot of fun. How does this work? Do I just post my progress online for people to comment on?

Exactly! Go ahead, post the first drafts of your idea and benefit from the community's advice to optimize it!

I have a question about this challenge...

The project requires room for a sit-down dinner for 12. However, according to some of Graham's posts, he is ok with only a small refrigerator in the kitchen. From this comes the dilemma...

I assume that preparing for the party of 12 will require a good deal of refrigeration & food prep (Unless they will be ordering in). What is more important in this challenge? Is it the amount of hidden energy-efficient food storage/prep options, or the concept of a basic-needs kitchen in a studio apartment?

Thanks!

New York City commands the best fresh food from all over the world - they are available within walking distance of most neighborhoods - as are all manner of delis with superb prepared foods of every ethnicity - there is really no need for long term storage - it is one of the great assets of the city - specialty butchers and fishmongers abound as do bakeries and fresh fruits and vegetables - and most deliver.

good point! i'd assume that somehow i'll work out the cooking for party of 12 with a small or mid size fridge. thx gh

HW CW Risers are in different places on different drawings. the existing plan has them north of the waste line, the cad plan has them to the side of it. Please advise?

Looking at the photos posted on flicker (see above), the heating pipes on the street side are in the very corners of the room. The height of the ceilings vs. windows in the SketchUp drawing may be a little off too. I suspect the moral of the story might be in the need to insulate those walls, and thus hide those pipes, wherever they may truly be. Cheers! -joshua ... p.s. Looking at the "just for permits" drawing makes a little envious. That is uber minimal. :) Back to the drawing..um.. window. Take care!

Looking at the diagrams again. I can see that I was confused about just which room the corner photos were taken in. I had them mixed up. In the plan, the space between the radiators on the street side contains a wall, at present.. :) Sorry for any added confusion...

hey vulariter, you're right, the hot water and cold water risers were relocated as the old ones was corroded and leaking. The DWG files reflect the current location. hope this helps? sorry for the confusion..

Graham or N.Sonne,

How much detail is wanted for this project?

I have submitted the idea "Joinery Cube". Currently it is "General Arrangement Drawings", showing the layouts in plan, a few perspectives, and some notes on the images specifying some furniture, fitting, materials, etc.

Is that about the level of detail you want or are you looking to see more than that? Eg: can specify the exact fridge, show the plumbing runs, etc. However, this may well be more information than you want.

Cheers,

Alex

i think you've done a great job and don't need further detailing. key is simply making it easy for people to understand, that's all! nice work!!

hye, im Moroccan student at Utsunomiya University-JAPAN, 27years. am i eligible to take part of this competition ???? Best regards

Hey Siko, of course you're eligible! Go ahead, we look forward to seeing your submission!

I have a bit of an odd request...

Could you please tell us if Graham Hill is right-handed or left-handed? The answer would help tremendously in brainstorming of our ideas. THANKS!!!
:-)

left-handed actually! although am quite ambi.

sweet! i was hoping so! this is all importan stuff! :)

Theodore
over 7 years ago

Hi nsonne, hi ghill,

can we place the bathroom and the kitchen in a different place?

Thanks :-)

not sure if i get what you mean...they certainly can be in different places in the apartment!

You get it.

Thanks

Even with the rerouting of the plumbing? The pipes serve as good constraints in this competition. The more constraints, the more fun it is! :)

Oh yes :-)

Constriants are a good challenge for creativity.

I see the storms that began with the location of the brain in bathrooms and kitchens. Some doubts have already been solved... :-))

All,

I was surprised to see a lack of existing 3D Warehouse drawings for Resource Furniture.

So, I don't know if it will be of help to anyone, but I created a basic Google SketchUp 3D Warehouse drawing of Resource Furniture's Nuovoliola 10. This first version only features the couch function. I'll probably work on the bed function later, as it's the simpler of the two. The dimensions match those described in the pdf, where dimensions were specified.

http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=7b77bd16629b38323042b2c755354639

http://www.resourcefurniture.com/space-savers/queen-space-saving-beds/nuovoliola10

http://www.resourcefurniture.com/sites/default/files/product/322/nuoviola_specs_and_dimensions_15737.pdf

Let me know if you have any suggestions for it or if you have a revision of it to share back with me. LOL

-joshua

Cool Joshua :-)

Hey, Team...

I just spent some time making an exact model of the most common of American shipping pallets: the Grocery Manufacturers' Association (GMA) 48 x 40 pallet.

SketchUp file:

http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=e60ef5f5be5edc6b3042b2c755354639&prevstart=0

render:

http://assets0.jovoto.com/idea_attachments/401314/pallet02_bigger.png

Here are the specs:

http://www.summerfordpallet.com/images/pallet.png

My designs currently use upcycled pallets/skids.

http://www.jovoto.com/contests/life-edited/ideas/9845

It seemed prudent to share with others. Let's make something not yet imaginable out of these things! They are sometimes hard to dismantle, without breaking some slats. Some people have even built houses out of 'em.

http://staticimg.openbuildings.com/building1853/media/media_44333.jpg

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/la/at-austin/look-shipping-pallet-house-austin-060707

Cheers! -joshua

All,

I'm obsessed with finding uses for these pallets. I'm working on useful ways to easily section them without removing the nails. Check it out! I came up with many more while the video was encoding and such...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uwdf7Yo_kNU

Please let me know what you think.

-joshua

Oh.. Be sure to click 720p video for a more enjoyable experience. :)

That is fantastic!

I don't believe any models exist. And I think it would be helpful to the company if they existed as then they could be more easily integrated into people's designs.

please let rbarth@resourcefurniture.com and challie@resourcefurniture.com know about this. and you might even pitch them on modeling up some or all of their pieces for a fee!

good stuff! gh

I took your suggestion, and emailed them. It seems that model exist in other formats. We're discussing format converters.

Thanks for the kind words and awesome ideas! I'll post here, if anything magically shows up in the 3D warehouse. :-)

-joshua

All,

There is a variety of programs to tackle this challenge. However, it has become clear that a majority of people use SketchUp.

I would like to offer some links to help with questions that users may have. First, SketchUcation is an excellent resource.

http://www.sketchucation.com

It is a website that highlights 'all things SketchUp' and has tens of thousands of members on their forum. They have plug-ins, instructional tutorials, and much more. The link directly to the forum is here:

http://forums.sketchucation.com

The people are nice and the information is very helpful.

Also, I highly recommend looking at Google's official SketchUp blog. Aidan and his team do a great job covering the latest in SketchUp-related topics.

http://sketchupdate.blogspot.com

Thanks-

-alexanderSIMPLE

I recommend also www.formfonts.com....it is not free but they have good quality in their models and seamless textures.

Saludos, Y.

thnx mr. simple and thnx to iLINES for pointing us towards http://www.suplugins.com/

here are two useful links for beautiful textures. They can easily import, colorize and scale: + http://stilgar.bplaced.de/ + http://www.3dxo.com/de/page/46.htm?sid=ac0985470c326f2d8f2901f1330e8d87

It's great to see we have so many experts participating. Thanks a lot for your help, guys!

designspray looks like another cool way to manifest your ideas. kickstarter is really amazing though. monies crowdsourced towards realizing your ideas are not investments or loans but gifts. i.e. nothing to pay back, but some token rewards. any cool apple accessory seems destined for success. http://mashable.com/2010/11/19/tiktok-lunatik-kickstarter/

One of the major judging criteria is "will the design look good in 25 years..." Graham's taste is antiseptic modern, which was in vogue 50 years ago; then went out of favor for post-modern, and is now back - what will be 25 years from now? who knows - what with virtual reality and 3D TV/internet technology exploding, maybe you could change style at will - like a mood ring - but it should not matter - the most important thing is the quality of the living experience int the designed space -with the decorating secondary.

EARTHARCHITECT, I agree!!

Fashion, trends and styles come and go very often. Quality stays. And in the green bulding industry...buildings should last; AND if a building should last then it should be worth to keep it and maintain.

Saludos,

Y.

I think that what's said with "will the design look good in 25 years" is in line with the whole idea of the contest - the design itself has to be some kind of sustainable! That is, you shouldn't hunt short-living trends Graham/people would get sick of after one year - just ask yourself if your design is something people would still want to live in 25 years from now - with not more than minor changes. So, YES it is about quality, as well as aesthetics that don't just base on contemporary trends.

And that is exactly what I think. Decorating is secondary in the literal sense - that means it's also very important. What will be 25 years is hard to tell but I hope we will still be sensitive and humane. The world will not be a plastic box, we will respect the environment and the technological madness does not get lost aesthetic awareness. We human create this world in many areas we produce things, buildings, etc. and that has a vizual aspect = aesthetic, whether we like it or not. So let us do it consciously and not talk at last that it is not important.

Yes!!

And may I add that if something is beautiful (aesthetic) then we will always try to keep it for a long time.

Y.

Will the air intake for the HRV-system need be through a window? Or would it be possible to go through the wall? What changes are we allowed to make on the exterior, if any?

Best Regards, Finn.

I would count on few changes to the facade. The lightwell side (west) may have more options. I should think we can have something poke through the wall there (no need for window).

being new to jovoto, i have this dilemma...

if i have two ideas that are only slightly different, is it better to submit them as separate entries or as an "evolution" of one idea? is there a consensus on this? thanks-

hey alexandersimple, if your 2nd idea is only slightly different, that is bases on the same approach and can be seen as the evolution of your 1st idea, then it's better to submit them as one entry. If you have detailed questions on how to do that just contact me via private message!

Do i have to upload my images while im working on them? Besides the obvious valuable feedback, what is the purpose of showing the ideas before the deadline? thanks.

Exactly because of the valuable feedback - let the other's have a look at your idea before you finalize it, get their opinion, let them help you improve your idea!

Will the new windows match those already in the building? By that, I mean, will they be brown outside? Will they be white inside? Perhaps wood inside? Vinyl (sadly)? Thanks -joshua

I'm also wondering what plans Graham has for insulating the ceiling. Given a bare floor to ceiling height of 9'2, does he intend to insulate the floor of the apartment above him (put insulation between existing floor joists) or does he wish to run another layer below the existing ceiling? (I'm not speaking about the false ceiling, as I can see it is worthless.)

I would suggest insulating between the existing floor joists, so that any plans for a raised floor can meet code. If 8 feet is the minimum ceiling height (as it should be), then a raised floor of no more than 1 foot 2 inches seems possible (including any flooring or other subflooring).

1'2" is enough to stow away things the thickness of a mattress. :)

Thanks, Joshua

That makes sense. Looking at the photos, hopefully they can match the other windows in being a different color inside than outside (while still being efficient).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/grahamhill/4864427298/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/grahamhill/4863807813/in/photostream/

Update! As if there weren't enough prizes already, we added a Thinbike, designed by Graham Hill and Schindelhauer for the first Community Winner. So.... good luck, guys!

six stools in a cube! very useful, thank you. now to make the 3D model of it... :)

quick question...

"a combination microwave/oven" is what exactly? is it a two-in-one unit? or is it a stacked microwave & oven combination? i'm not sure how to model this, someone please specify! thanks!

I hope Graham wants to have a two/three-in-one unit. In Germany there are microwaves with convection oven and even grill.

hey iLINES, do you know what brand? would it be a Siemens? Bosch? Miele? something else?

thanks in advance

I sugest in my project a compact oven with integrated microwave. It's more like a microwave appliance with 10 cooking functions. I think the brand is not so important, although [ I've attached that to my layout ] as long as the quality, function + design(the look) is good. What do you think?

I have been doing some research and here are a few brands I found: Sanyo EM-Z2100GS, Sharp R959SLM 900W

...AEG MCD2660EM

These are microwaves with grill function.

Here is one that claims to do it all. LG SolarDOM

I did some research on that LG solardom too...BUT beware...it is an Energy Sucker...2700w when using the light roasting mode.

I recommend you guys check www.metaefficient.com and search for "efficient kitchen" article...I did and i used their recomendations for some design ideas in my LifeEdited Idea.

Saludos amigos!!

Y.

sa-weet! thanks, boys & girls..

I've found a really cool all-in-one bathroom. I will use the Vertebrae vertical bathroom system in one if my ideas - but feel free to use it, too: http://designodyssey.co.uk/product.php

Cool! But this solutions mostly take as much space or even more than "standard products"

In case you need a render motor for sketchup...Try this renderer is a beta but is what i am using so far:

http://renderin.com/

Saludos, Y.

hi, does anyone know whether the deadline for submission is on 17th of january or 10th as it was previously announced?

thanx

Yes, I do ;) The submission deadline is January 17th, the rating deadline January 24th!

in my idea, i would like to raise the floor of my entry hall by 12". the entry door to the apartment would thus also have to be raised by 12". is this allowed? or is this too much of a hassle to get approved for construction? thanks-

Hi alexander,

Actually you can get the permit to change the door size and shape...but i should recommend to you to explore the possibility of having a step right after the door.

I saw your idea (A Solution for Everything). I think a little hall/foyer with the building corridor finished floor level and then one or two steps into the new 12" height will be nice. Or maybe a ramp.

Design, explore...Good luck!!

Buen trabajo!!

Yair.

thanks Yair,

i think i'm looking for an answer from Nathalie or Graham on this one, still..

theoretically, it's possible, but it could alter the structural integrity of the building. so i need to know if i can have a design like that. thanks!

OK!! You can send them a direct message and maybe then share their response.

Saludos,

Y.

hey alexandersimple and yair, I checked back with Graham and his answer is as follows: Co-opapproval is required for changes to the corridor. Co-ops typically want to keep a consistent hallway look. However, there is no code reason why we could not do it.

thanks for the thorough response, Nathalie. i appreciate it. :)

...also a Co-opapproval is a great way to meet you neighbors!!! (for good and for bad)

Y.

Hi! I need to know if we can submit an idea as a group, and how?! i can't find specifications...

best regards.

hey barbara82, of course you can submit ideas as a group and we encourage everybody to do so. There are just some things you have to keep in mind as to fair rating and how to state that you work as a group - you'll find the answers here: http://support.jovoto.com/kb/ideas/collaboration

is there any way to fix the encoding process - some entries get held up for days - it is very unfair in a time constraint competition - helpful comments cannot be made and acted upon and evaluations are skewed. - it is also very annoying and discouraging to work very hard on a drawing and finally get it up for all to praise and it does not happen for days.

We apologize, we're aware of this issue and working hard to fix that issue. It should not taker longer than a couple of hours though - if it's still encoding after more than 24h please upload it again and remove the encoding one. By the way, PNG is usually working best...

Also...try JPG below 1900x1080 w/72dpi resolution...after all there is no computer screen with bigger resolution than that (and also the webpage and the browser wont let you use the full screen, not that you need it) . Files like these should no t be bigger than 1.5mb.

:-)

Saludos, Y.

...I had problems too. I´ve noticed that it´s better to interupt and erase an upload if it can´t be seen after a while. Best is, to upload a new picture, set it at the very end and sve it. Open it again and push it to the right position in a next step! Just my experience...

brain4two - it worked!! thank you - your name says it all

...I've noticed that when I upload a new picture ther's no info on the dashbord that it's updated or not even on the description under the submitted idea. Why is that?

hey magcc, sorry for that, we did have some problems with the dashboard last week but now it should work again.

Ok. Next time - still working on the life edited contest :-)) - I'll try to take brain4two's advice as well.

hello there, I have a question: Can I move the entrance door in my project?

Hi leoando,

In my opinio...That could be a high cost ($) job. Maybe you should use the door position as a challenge.

Y.

i don't think it's feasible to move a door in an apartment setting. i've had experience with "deleting" a door, which is what happens when a person buys two apartments and combines them. deleting was always fine, but shifting a door in a 60+ year old building seems like it would not be allowed.

but of course, that was just... 'IMHO'

I think you can move the door if there is a great reason.

hey leoando, yair and alexandersimple are right, it's rather not possible - it's hard to move a door in an old building, moreover it's going to be expensive and we try to keep the costs reasonable... so please try to avoid moving the door...

Alex,

What is IMHO?

imho = in my humble opinion

really great ideas in this contest... wow!

Hey bert. Yes, a new Dutch movie. But whats the connection with this contest? :)

It´s totally filmed in a loft.

Hey:)

Could Graham please define what he means by JEWEL BOX? Since each of us could make its own interpretation of this phrase it would help to clarify is it jewel box considered as a luxurius loft provided with products such as jacuzzi, home cinema, etc... ?

This question is very important in order to determine do we need one sink for both usage kitchen/toilet, to make shower/sauna in same cabin, to use same monitor for entertainment and work and things like that..... minimal footprint and furniture flexibility doesn't necessary define an appartment as JEWEL BOX but could be defined as smart planned appartment more modest than luxurious.

Looking forward for an answer....

Thanks

Alex

Hello Aleksa,

Maybe that´s what Graham wants to see..."our version of a jewel box", "plenty of ideas of what could be a jewel box to anyone. Don´t you think? :)

Saludos, Y.

Hey Alex,

We don't know if it helps, but there are some answers about the sink, monitor, etc. in the Mandatory Requirements on lifeedited.treehugger.com/learn.html.

And this is personal, but we love the diversity of interpretations. : )

Cheers,

RS

thanks:) i hope it will help

I meant jewelbox in terms of something small but of high quality. Something well thought out, customized to the person living there, thoughtful. A huge mcmansion may have lots of space but there is often little thought put into the details...it feels like a big, empty symbol. A small, well thought out space with high quality materials, detailing and thoughtful design could feel like a special little jewelbox...hope that helps. gh

Thank you for the response. I just saw some responces on blog about few issues so altogether it helped me to understand it better.

Alex

Wow!...never thought of Mcmansions that way...I always that they were merely a bad design of the abundance concept.

Thanks Graham! :)

Y.

Hello everyone...

Don´t you feel like this contest is more about our way life than Graham´s way? Like a subtle/friendly invitation to "edit" our way of life!!

is it just me and my paranoid brain...or do you feel the same?

Y.

Hello

Thanks for response. Well yes it is sort of like that , but let's say for myself I cant imagine using same water sink for toilet and kitchen but let's asume Graham would like that? We are doing this competition for him not for some hypotetical person.

Yair, agree!

One of the questions, "Will this design get people to consider living in this type of space?" is basically (already) answered on our individual levels.

Competition can be closed. : )

Well, and design is never truly objective ... is it?

RS

Human beings adapt to the spaces they are in, not the other way around - our job is to create the finest space we can in the context given - and likes the mandatory requirements are irrelevant to that - in face anything mandatory stifles deign - for example Graham hates books and clutter and smooth surfaces - yet to design well in small specs books and clutter an hand carved details are essential tools to make small spaces livable - what else do you think of when you say jewel box -

Graham apparently has no children, and he has the wonderful energy of youth to solve all problems by fiat - but when your 5 year old grandchild spends a whole day making you a little doll house out of wood you will proudly display that and love the clutter.

Aleksa,

That is exactly what I mean. In your case there are some ideas from you as a designer that fit with Graham´s need or desires....but I t doesn´t with yours.

Let me share you something, I am moving and i am looking for a place to rent...I was looking for something around the 800sqft...but now after designing in LifeEdited I see 600sqft like a lot of space for me, even with a girlfriend or a roomate!!

Thanks for sharing.

Y.

RenderSupply / Eartharchitect,

You are right about how our work as designers is so complicated (and fun). "Design is (never truly) objective" I like that!

EArch,

I don´t think Graham hates books...maybe he just don´t use them anymore because of ebooks...that happens to me right now but i cannot "get rid off" harware books yet! not that i want to!.

what else do I think of when you say jewel box???mmmm...let me share you this to answer that question. On this year xmas gift exchange I wrap my gift with a cookies used box and a nice wrapping of the office used 11x17" printed project plans. I liked the way I wrapped something valuable (a gift (the jewel)) with something recycled (the wrapping(the jewelbox))

Jewel Box= Something nice/beautiful to keep a surprise/gift. Store value with something valuable.

thanks for making that question.

Y.

This is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to see from this contest!!

"I was looking for something around the 800sqft...but now after designing in LifeEdited I see 600sqft like a lot of space for me, even with a girlfriend or a roomate!!" -Yair

I am absolutely doing this to try to get people to think about living smaller.

I don't hate books. I really like them. But I think we need a fraction of them. And that ebooks can be very convenient and lower footprint if done right. I would love to see books get a lot of use though...one that sits on your shelves for decades and is never opened is a lot different from one in the library.

HaHa!!! :-)

And I used to think this way:

"Less=Less ; More=More ; Less is good; More could be good" ...now...i understand more about Less=More.

Again...Gracias Graham!

Y.

I'm reading an Kindle book of Julie Morgenstern's "Organizing from the Inside Out".. It's great! I've organized my office cubicle the past few days with her method. There are questionnaires about what exactly the person uses/has and how many of them are present. If only we had that kind of intel about Graham.. To summarize what I mean, if Graham's apartment were a kindergarten classroom, what "activity zones" would he choose (e.g. bike and general repair, reading, etc.).. And how many of each device/supply would he need.. By his notes on here, I'm thinking one of each thing.. No multiples, unless absolutely necessary.. (multiple chairs for dinner should even be rethought). I suppose we should be able to guess, come to think of it. Her advice is to never organize a space without its user(s) around. Rather, you should only support the other person in their design.. lol. I guess this is the more difficult of all the challenges in this contest: organizing from the outside in.. lol. Then again, Graham is here with feedback .. ok.. time for work.. later! -joshua (So maybe Graham likes to use his laptop on the couch and needs a desk that somehow slides out while he sits on the couch (instead of a big fancy transformer device)..So that the lounge zone becomes the reading zone. ok ..peace!

love the approach.

i am definitely into fewer and better. everything that can nest should.

i do like an office area versus the couch.

I might add that this is the first e-book I've ever bought.. It abruptly occurred to me that an ebook would be less clutter to "Organize from the inside out".. lol

i got rid of 80% of my books (not easy) and am a big kindle user. saves a ton of space, gives you instant gratification and allows you to bring your library with you when you go walkabout.

not a useful comment... but Merry Christmas, everyone!!! :)

belated merry christmas to you, too!

Hello Everyone,

Merry Xmas!!....Here is a little contest from Designboom about small, smart and creative ktchens, hope you find it useful:

http://www.designboom.com/contest/winner.php?contest_pk=3

Also; check this commercial product...maybe for some inspiration:

http://www.ajmadison.com/b.php/Compact+Kitchens/N~36

Peace and love,

Yair.

Is It possible to install solar equipments on the building's roof, or hang small devices on the elevation?

probably not. and best to focus energy elsewhere. thx gh

...aaaand MORE feedback from Graham and Lloyd Alter to be found here.

Good feedback here. No stone left unturned at this point. Its too bad that even Graham has realized that to 'compete' one needs to create renderings, and that the best ideas can be swept away by a flood of eyecandy.

In my humble opinion:

It is shame that great ideas are not translated into a reality....and come on!!...a photorealistic render is the best-and-most-economic way to get close to a reality.

Sketchup is free and a good renderer is not really expensive....if this not an option...than some great painting skills are also great!!!

Lets bring great ideas into an eyecandy image also!!

Y.

... I agree on boath opinions. The solution might be to take some time for voting and thinking about the fundamental ...

> Lifeable > Viable > Beautiful > Sustainable

... regards

The problem with the photorealistic rendering is that often it distorts reality, and does not reflect how a space is truly occupied or experienced, so it never really gives you a sense of what a space is. See the entry by UrbanLABB and my comment for an example of an impossible space - a concept that renders well but could never be experienced in such a meaningful manner. Space is experienced with far more than the eyes.

Cushicle,

Yes, i see what you mean. Well, in my opinion you have to keep it honest. and the best wat to keep it honest in architecture is that you really have to propuose ideas worth of becoming real. Sometimes we as designer have amazing ideas that we created with our hand on paper or ina a computer...and we feel insipired to keep them even if they are not possible.

A succesful designer should be the one that foucus in the aspects that make things great when they become real (and also these are the things that helped to become more than a concept) and not the "look' it has in early concepts.

I'm totally with you both.

Y.

There has already been a lot of discussion about insulation of the walls, but one of Graham replies raises a question:

Nathalie has stated: For energy efficiency, it makes a big difference to insulate on the front and back walls. So this is a given. On the side walls however, exposed bricks are OK (that brick should be air-sealed, that is the color of exposed brick may be difficult to achieve without a glossy sealer.)

Graham replied in on of the comments to our design: "sounds like i was wrong re superinsulating the brick walls. that would cause moisture problems."

What is the current position of Jovoto/ Graham about the walls?

Thanks!

I think insulation is not a big deal...If you are going to insulate...then substract 4" on each side of the interior dimensions...and that´s it.

You won´t get a better insulation (maybe only acoustical) beyond that thickness (4").

Y.

one layer of 2x4's plus drywall = 4". a good safe number

Ok guys, here we go with the ultimate answer to that question:

The front and back walls, that is to say the walls in contact with the outdoors, should be insulated. But the distinction here is between 'insulation' and 'superinsulation'.

if there is too much insulation applied to the inside of an existing brick wall, the wall gets cold enough that it encounters moisture problems. the wall naturally picks up some water from rain, and it may also pick up some condensation from moisture in the indoor air, despite good efforts to keep that air away from the wall. because the wall is cold, the condensation potential is higher. and because the wall is colder, it also takes longer to dry. too much water in the wall can lead to freeze/thaw cycles, which turn the wall into dirt.

according to the best research we have to date, 4" of dense packed cellulose is OK for masonry walls in new york city. so we insulate, and because the apartment has very little exterior wall, this is enough to give excellent performance.

and yes, all four walls should be air sealed.

Only 5 days left to enter and modify your submissions! Good luck for the final spurt!

forget about the insulation- it is a red herring - brick walls exposed are wonderful decoration - and insulating them from the inside may not be a good idea - the biggest heat loss/gain is through air infiltration winch occurs at the windows where the brick meets the jamb and where the sash connects - and where any beams might be direct into the brick

it is almost impossible to get air through brick - and in the first warm weeks of spring, the brick acts as a heat sink because of its mass - keeping the interior cold on a hot spring day - you will have to open window to let warm air in or turn the heat on - the reverse in the fall

besides super insulation the demand for super clean air means that there will be a constant flow of air from the exterior to replace the interior air poisoned by breathing and sweating and entropy of materials - the brick might be useful in pre-tempering the air as it arrives to save energy -

and brick as subjective quality of feeling warm in the winter and cool in the summer - a quality far more important to comfort than arbitrary u values or any such engineering nonsense.- comfort is subjective with the color and texture of the surfaces far more important than ambient air temperature or any other objective value.

in any case it is very irrelevant to the quality of living in the spacial fabric demanded of these contest - we are designing the forest, not picking the figs.

After seeing some of these entries... how can Graham and Jury decide on just one? I am aware that the community awards 1 through 7 prizes... but the community isn't necessarily looking for the same thing that the jury is. Prizes are nice- but feedback from this jury would really be a gift. Is there any way we can find out what the Jury thought of their own top 5 or 10? It would help us grow as designers, and evaluate our own 'non-winner' entries.

i completely agree. i've found myself thinking about 'what would the community like' vs 'what would Graham like'.

it would be great to get diverse jury feedback. :) this is a great point.

agreed! will be really hard. fyi, we are pushing jury to comment more. and i'm sure there will be a bunch of comments later during the judging period.

@cassar: i think that the old model of one contest winner is over nowadays. I think that the chances to leverage one participant entry other than winning something in this contest are available as never before in time.

For instance: I will be interested in hiring you if you entry in jovoto is cool even if it didn´t win anything....even if you were #79 of 88 entries.

Your entry will be posted in jovoto as long as you want (or jovoto.com lasts)...now tell me...isn´t that valuable ;)

Y.

Well yes... Except maybe ill hire you! :)

Ok...we have a deal!!

LOL.

Y.

Jury of 15 persons act as consultants not as judges - that was clear right from the start.

So it´s logical to give many community-prizes to honor the "alternative designs" which are great - but not Graham´s choice.

Yes, but it would have been amazing to have from all of them some feedback earlier. Maybe next time :)

Y.

Yes, I agree. Jury feedback could be better.

What are the dimensions for the flat? I see the 39m2, but what about the length and width?

there is everything you need in the brief of the contest: .dwg plans, the sketchup model, pics etc good luck

Yes, check the DWG and SKP files....actually the apartment is ~7.30m long x ~5.30m wide.

Y.

It´s size is close to a hotel suite. :)

Is the deadline as stated above (Jan.17 for submissions, Jan.24 for feedback) correct? In the original printed briefing it had stated Jan. 10 submissions, and Jan. 20th for feedback. Any Information would be greatly appreciated!

Hey Guy_Nikolic, as stated above in the comments, we changed the deadline a few weeks back - so it's Jan 17th for submissions, Jan 24th for ratings. It should be corrected everywhere now. Looking forward to your submission!

I searched for this answer but cannot find it: Is the idea of this site that you in the end of the submission period- you end up with 50 slides because it shows all the updates you did? if you can only edit your slides 24hrs after submission, how will someone know which slide is most current?

hey cassar, you can point out which slides are the current ones easily: just add an intermediary slide, with one arrow to the right saying "old" and one to the left saying "new" - then put your slides into the correct order, and everyone will recognize which slides are updated and which are old. Have a look at other creatives' ideas, there are a lot that are working with this trick already...

In the "rating only" period, is it possible to refresh or to update projects already submitted, i.e. projects that have been already submitted before 17 january 2011? Thank you for your attention, best regards, Michelangelo

Hey Michelangelo! No in the Rating Period you can only Vote for the submitted ideas. So when you want to Change something you have to do this before the ending auf the submission period. All the Best

thanks a lot Ruven...

with only twelve hours to go, i wish everyone the best in their ideas. it's an awesome journey!!! :)

With your creative flow we think you will add another idea, no? : )

Good luck everyone!

i have no more room, i already used up my five ideas, haha.... :-(

I wonder if my encoding in progress will ever resolve.. :(... lol .. I had a design epiphany all too late..lol..

much thanks to the webapp gods.. lol

Hey, friends!

I'm starting a new project for fun and for the world to see. We've worked on 420 sq ft. Let's push the envelope even further and design a 200 sq. ft home!

Check out the new project @ http://vulariter.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/project-200-constraints/

Cheers! -joshua

When I was rich, I had a vacation home of 168 square feet - it had two bedrooms, an office, a kitchen, a bathroom,a back porch lots of storage and seated 12 for dinner - and could accommodate 4 overnight guests besides my wife and myself- it was the 30 foot Freedom sailing yacht "Little Bluff"

Boats are a great study in small space efficiency. I live on a 40' Trimaran 6 months out of the year and a 460sq. ft. studio space the other half unless we're camping somewhere in a tent. It's a delightfully freeing lifestyle. I do occasionally work. : )

MY RATINGS DO NOT SEEM TO STICK , WHEN I RETURN TO A SITE THEY ARE GONE, SOMETIMES, OR Not... Am I missing something?

Do you use NoScript or any ad-blocking plug-ins? Have you tried an alternative browser (e.g. firefox, chrome, opera)?

iPad...that is the problem.

I experienced that same problem...try moving to a laptop PC or Mac it doesnt matter.

Y.

In that case.. same here..(no idea). :) sorry

TIP: Jovoto web site aparently uses Ruby scripts and Javascript...and they are not really compatible with mobile devices specially not from apple.

be cautious of submissions with raised floors...remember this apartment has a low ceiling hight...it can be done, just be cautious

Agreed. I'd say about 1'2" is as high as can be done. That leaves 8' floor to ceiling in the raised area. (although I think the SketchUp drawing is 1/2" off of the drawings)..

WOW!!! +300 ideas...that is a lot for 39 sq. meters!!!

I don't know what is Graham going to do with all this abundance of ideas...mos of them are great!

For me...I have to say:

Thanks Graham/Jovoto/Mutopo/The Jury and everyone involded for letting me share my ideas and comments with amazing designers that love to share their awesome ideas and useful thoughts as well.

Buena suerte a todos!!

Yair.

Hey Yair, I guess Graham doesn't know either how he's going to manage that! A big THANK YOU from us to you all, we're amazed by all the submissions and especially your enthusiasm and engagement, now let's roll up our sleeves for the last week and rate, rate, rate... - and you, Yair, please send me your shipping address so I can start sending out the Karma gifts :)

it's truly incredible! i am very thankful for everyone's hard work and i hope we get an amazing, influential apartment out of it and that every designer things more deeply about small space design and spreads the gospel...

thanks so much for your effort!

@Nathalie, I sent you a mail already. Sorry for the delay :)

@Graham, thanks so much for this contest. Next one due to...? ;)

A lot of people spent a lot of time on this, so a facebook post and/or community wide email would be great to encourage people to vote. Good luck to the poor souls who have to sort thru it all and actually pick one. not easy with soo many great ideas.

We will def do a facebook post!

Yesterday before the submission was over I uploaded the presentation video. But due to "encoding in process' I didn't manage to move it to the beginning of my project. Please inform is it possible to move it to the second place in the range of pictures? I understand that I can't do any actions since submission is over, maybe you have such an option?

As far as I can see it is sitting in the 2nd place already?

Guys, yesterday there were some submissions coming in at the 11th hour that got stuck in the upload because of the heavy user traffic around that time. Yes, they actually had 3 months to upload their ideas ;), but in the end they were on time and just got kicked out of the system. Therefore, I will upload their ideas within the next couple of hours, so don't be surprised that there are even more submissions coming in. And now: good luck for the final spurt - rate, rate rate!

If my ratings are not counted because I use the wrong computer, then others are not also - this calls into question the ENTIRE RATING SYSTEM - only those who know how to manipulate around computer glitches are getting their ratings to count - this explains why the highest computer proficiency of flash with little substance gets consistently good ratings and high substance little flash gets lower ratings. - IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THE RATINGS ARE BEING MANIPULATED?

YES!

This explains some very ordinary winners in the advertising and logo contests but since that is not my field, and where flash is the substance, I chalked my last place finishes up to just having fun...

but this Life Edited contest is my field; and I entered with every expectation of getting close to the top prize; and spent an inordinate amount of time on it because the whole purpose is dear to my endeavor to save our planet through architectural redesign. - so I also spent a lot of time analyzing each entry and trying to help the wonderful talent and guide them to the essence of architecture, which is actually living in the spaces rather than looking at the flash.

I received consistently good comments for my entries and my comments with many people sending private messages to please review their entry - yet my grades were consistently poor given I am one of the most experienced and competent architects in the world. Competency in architecture takes time because many years pass before the artists design is realized and then you cant change it so it is a very long learning curve.

I also noticed in reviewing the latest entries that virtually every one was similar - bath and kitchen on the west wall and then fill the rest of the space with stuff - as if the stuff could somehow ameliorate the ugliness of the space - EXACTLY the same concept as the highest ratings - understandable, every one wants to win - so copy what the highest ratings did, and make the flash flashier - just put a better, different lipstick on the pig.

To one entry, I made the observation that if you park an expensive automobile on an ordinary street, you end up with an ordinary street with a car parked on it - no matter how elegant the car is, street does not change its character - so it is with this little apartment - to create elegant space, you must change its character, then decorate it if you wish - no lipstick is needed on the swan.

I am very upset - all our efforts are in jeopardy - Jovoto has a major problem.

First, Jovoto must fix the problem of rating input failure, so that every one is counted honestly and no manipulation is possible - this is too important a site to fail for technology (especially a German endeavor).

Then, Jovoto must decide what to do with this important high stakes contest - perhaps canceling all ratings and letting the jury decide on its own or

after fixing the problem, re-open the ratings for a week, then re-open the contest so that those entrants that followed what were possibly false ratings, could change their entries; then finish as usual.

I do not know the answers, what do the others think?.

Hey eartharchitect, don't worry, there's no major conspiracy going on ;)

We just tried it on our iPad and it's working - you need some patience, yes, you need to press a little longer and wait until it loaded - maybe just refresh the page to be sure it took your rating... I checked your ratings in the backend and you have quite a lot registered for today and yesterday though - so it seems to be working. However, if you don't want to run the risk of loosing votes, I simply recommend to use a different computer. And even if some of your ratings got lost, it still is quite a major difference between MISSING ratings and MANIPULATED ratings. I said that already - we are checking the ratings to guarantee fairness around here so you can be sure that nothing is being "manipulated".

Having said that I'm wishing everybody fun and good luck for the remaining days!

I was very careful not to accuse - manipulation can be inadvertent - if "all you have to do...." is different on different machines, the voting is flawed - I was not worried about my votes so much as the voting is flawed - it is Jovoto's job to see that their machines are competent - not the entrants. - which means cash prizes re being awarded to the wrong entries - and that is a DISASTER - Jovoto's entire premise is openness - that's what makes it so much fun and educational - YOU HAVE JUST CONFIRMED MY WORST FEARS - my desire to participate is diminished.

It seems the issue that EarthArchitect has is not with Jovoto really,but rather with what his peers deem as a good effort. I understand that.

You do not care that some ratings are not counted? Why?

Will there be only one 'jury award'?

Yes, I'm also interested to know whether the Juries choice is what Graham is tied to building.

Also, when might we find out the winners?

And, out of interest, what is the judging process? Are all the judges meeting up for a day of looking through all 300+ entries? Will Jovoto automatically shortlist the top X for review of by the judges? Will the judges even meet... will they all just rate the ideas from their own homes via Jovoto?

Alex

There are so many good idas. Wohoooooo!!!! Good luck to everyone!

NONE OF MY HERTA RATINGS WERE REGISTERED.. I HAD TO REDO THEM ALL OR I VOTED TWICE

JOVOTO HAS A PROBLEM

this isn't relevant to LifeEdited... try the support page: http://support.jovoto.com/

My two cents about ratings- and I would love to hear how others rate ideas in contrast to how I do... I rate highest when an entry: -Is spacially wonderful (many of the entries are and i love that!) -Works with the existing plumbing locations (otherwise it's not realistic) -Has some degree of warmth to it -Is not delicate and prone to breaking, malfunctioning, or requiring a pricey custom fix when broken. -Is financially responsible. the other target aside from Graham was any person looking to save money -Introduces sustainable materials/gadgets I have never heard of

My least concern is whether the renderings are flashy or if there is a video. A good presentation, to me, is one that is clear.

What about the rest of you? what do you look for?

I actually look for good ideas...you know that picture/video/piece of furniture/detail that makes you open the image in the website.

That is the first step...then i read the comts to see if others have found what I a have and then based on my emotions i give the rating!

Sometimes; i am brought to chck he idea by what is happening in the dashboard tool, and some other times by a reply to a comment I left.

It is all about first impression and how deep that 'good idea' really is.

Y.

...and about first impressions...today i learnt that....there is always a second chance or even a third chance to make a good first impression...it is a matter of attitude and will.

Hey guys, thanks for the hint, zaarchitects - I'm sorry I had to remove your post though as we're not publicly denouncing people here - you're welcome to send me your findings via private message. I understand your concerns re: the rating, and yes it is kind of sad that some people think they can game the system to benefit from it - but as we said before and stated here as well, we are checking the ratings and making sure that unfair rating behaviour is being identified and treated as such (members are being contacted and if they don't show an improvement in their rating behaviour their ratings are being disabled). Guys, please trust us a little bit, it's not our first contest ;) Let's stick to the positive spirit we were witnessing the whole time and not let this overshadow the last days of the contest - we are taking care of it, you enjoy the remaining days!

... at least the content - with other comments - could have been left here for conversation.

best regards

Unfortunately it's not possible to delete just a part of a comment - neither could I leave the reply comment, it's only possible to remove it as a whole.

Here message without links Hi everyone! all probably know about the manipulation of ratings, but we were yesterday make an interesting investigation - checked around two hundred "anonymous" account (no avatars and ideas) and the scale of unfear game shift our expectations! And this is just the tip of the iceberg! I understand if participant can invite a few friends to vote in support of his project but when they reduce the rating of good competitive projects - this is disgusting! There are users with dozens "dislike" and only one like project. Come on! Is this about architectural competition? So what should we do? 1. We ask administration and check this accounts and disenable them from voting. And i hope members of community will support us, and will send to admins links on new suspicious electors. 2. For next competition maybe do another system of rating? For instance voting possible only for participants of competition, and everyone can see how many stars who give for who. Or voting only for jury. Or as Aleksa propouse - "scores of the submissions should be hidden till the closing of the rating period" It is not blame, and we trust to people who working on jovoto, but it is our suggestion how to make jovoto system better. 3.People - be polite. What is displeased use the most - destroying of ratings, using a few another user.

Good luck.

good for you! but how did you know what accounts to look for? how did you find 200? i ask because jovoto doesn't display who 'hates' an idea.

"but when they reduce the rating of good competitive projects - this is disgusting! " ....i think it is ironic that your rating has not been reduced. if anything, your rating has grown substantially through the rating process. where do you stand on your own issue?

first - we don't know what account to search, just check community members randomly, and we didnt FIND 200, we check around 200, and find around 20. second - our rating do not grow, science last days of submission its falling down, with number of another projects. We just don't agree with concept of minimizing ratings. We don't do that, and don't want to somebody do it.

Thank you for your attention. I know JOVOTO is keeping an eye on users ratings but please be aware that it may get too late! In our case, we were in 13th place and after 8 hours those cheaters sent us to 70th place! while we put great effort in our projects, we will be disappointed to witness something like that. I hope this will all end.

Thank you.

hoonam, first of all, it will not be too late - even when the ratings close, we are still reviewing the ratings and until we ourselves close the contest, nothing is set in stone. However, I would like to remind you all that it's a tough competition - EVERYBODY put a lot of effort into their ideas which is why we have so many amazing entries and way more than just 10 entries that deserve to be in the Top Ten... So good luck everybody!

Guys, let's discuss rating issues in a Public Discussion thread in the support center as this space is meant for questions on the briefing - I moved the comments above too so we can start our discussion based on them. Click here to get to the discussion space.Thanks!

Hi to all. I was wondering, is the jury gonna publish only the winner, or they will publish a whole list of their own rating? I am curious to see how much similarities there will be with the community rating and that of the jury. That will be another way to see how close to honest is the public vote.... more or less.

Personally I'd be quite surprised if the jury's shortlist bore too many similarities to the public leaderboard.

well that would say something, won't it? ok, not that its normal to have the exact same top ten in the exact same order, but at least it should be expected for the first 50 projects to be in both shortlists. it would be weird to have someone placed at 164th by the community and makes it as 5th by the jury, or vice versa. coz that would be a huge difference in ranking. and ok, if its for one project its fine, but if its for more.... or you know, it might not mean anything :) im just being curious and thinking too much about this :)

The rating difference between 1st and 164th is less than 1 point. And there has been a free for all in the ratings system, probably hundreds of new users merely placing a few votes to downgrade some users and upgrade others, especially at the top. I wouldn't expect the jury to be swayed too significantly by the user ratings, though several "top" entries are deserving of their score, many seem to be artificially inflated.

Hello everyone,

As a LifeEdited contestant I have to say that this is the best contest in which i have participated and the main reason for that is that NOW with communities like jovoto the results and winners can be judges, comment, or improved during the whole competition.

It is a shame that there are many rotten apples that like to manipulate the ratings on his favor. But i trust /jovot will take care of that cheating behavior.

BUT do you remeber how it was before?? It was soooooooo much worst. Right now some of us are wondering if there will be a short list or not, one winner or more.etc. But before (in the old fashion contest model) there was only 1 (or few) mighty winner(s) and nobody had the chance to compare their own project with others but the almighty (questionable) winners.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Today, the winners are not gonna be questionable. And the so-called losers have more chances to benefit from the contest than never before. And also the cheaters have more chances to be publicly exposed as never before. So, for me, jovoto.com should be rated with a 8 "solid idea, impove it to make better"

Yair.

P.S.

To all cheaters, do you know when you become a great designer?..When you have the balls to recognize when somebody else is doing a great job :)

well said, my friend. :)

Thanks for the love, yair, and you certainly hit the nail on the head with your last statement - sad to see that not everyone can give credit to all these hard working creatives that submitted amazing work to this contest!

Nevermind Nathalie.

Be responsible of improving your ideas and be responsible to share your comments and be responsible of your ratings to others ideas or comments is a requirement of every Jovotoan. This responsible behavior can take us to the next level of collborative/community design. Let's think about that!!

:-)

Y.

PS. Thank you Nathalie.

Whatever the results will be, we just want to say that we are very happy for having participated in this contest (we loved the precedure, jovoto, feedback, etc.)

Thanks to all the community, and good luck to everyone!

For all who have participated. Thanks! I had a good time.

Guys, sorry to see some bitter and partially inappropriate comments coming in - as Zerooks stated at one point, it's impossible to make everybody happy and there will always be some people that are not happy with the results - however, it would be sad to have that affecting the overall very good spirit in this contest - we witnessed good submissions turning into great ones because of the help of the community, and also many creatives that were not afraid to give credits to other creatives for their amazing work - congrats and thanks for that! So this is the final countdown now - please keep in mind that the current rankings do not reflect the final results - these will be announced on Thursday only - you'll find the link for the livestream here), and I hope to have all of you join us!

Congrats all winners

Big congrats to all the winners. that was a lot of fun and a great learning experience. Maybe Graham's next project will be a whole apartment building to explore things like carbon neutral building, collaborative consumption, urban farming, green walls and roofs, etc. etc. etc...

Hi there!

It's been quite some time since this crowdstorm, but I wanted to let you know about an opportunity similar to the Life Edited challenge.

We're running a project with adidas, Freudenberg & more where they invite architects, interior designers, foodies and innovators to design and rethink the future food experience for their employees for the year 2025. Check out the brief here and feel free to ask any questions under the brief.

p.s. If you submit your ideas before halftime feedback on the 21st of September, you could earn 1 of 2 MacBook Pros with Retina Display!

Hope to get to see some of your ideas in there!

Best, Alex