Monday, September 11, 2006


Design Problem

Pollution, toxic waste, global warming, resource and ozone depletion, and deforestation due to humanity have over time strained the earth of its natural elements. Sustainable architecture is needed more now than ever before in history. For years humans have cut down vital forest and replaced them with energy consuming buildings and a serious square footage of asphalt that reflects the sun’s heat and aids in higher temperatures. “Buildings have a significant impact on the environment, accounting for one-sixth of the world’s freshwater withdrawals, one-quarter of its wood harvest, and two fifths of its material and energy flows”


I would like to propose a project that would take architecture to the next level. The building would be a sustainable architecture museum and a hotel with the concept of the four elements; earth, wind, water, and fire. The museum would enlighten the public on the importance of taking care of the environment. It would make the link between ancient building technologies, mainly the Mississippian Native American Culture, and today’s green building methods and the future direction we are heading towards. The museum will also have a research department which would continue to study the evolving techniques of sustainable architecture along with the current and future environment conditions. The hotel accommodations would educate the guest on how the methods taught in the museum can be implemented it their everyday life. The hotel would serve as practical application. Both the hotel and the museum will employ energy efficient technologies by taking advantage of the renewable resources such as solar heat, wind, and recyclable water. I believe every society’s basic existence is base on the four elements. The Mississippian Village was certainly no exception. They used the earth to build mounds and houses. They caught food in the river and also used the river as their main source of transportation. They had a cooking pit where fire was used to cook the food. They took the direction of the wind into consideration when organizing their site.

Building Program

The buildings will be type IV, heavy timber, construction. The museum will fall under the type A-4 occupancy category while the hotel will fall under the R-1 occupancy category according to the 2000 International Building Code.
Hotel September 12, 2006
Cartersville, Georgia Preliminary Space Program

Room No. Size Notes/ Comments
Lobby 1 600 s.f.
Check In/ Reception Desk 1 300 s.f.
Four Administration Offices 1 900 s.f.
Kitchen 1 300 s.f.
Dining Area 1 400 s.f.
Gym Area 1 350 s.f.
Conference Room 1 600 s.f.
Toilet Room 6 860 s.f. Three women’s’ and three
men’s’ toilet rooms
Janitor’s Closet/ Storage 1 225 s.f.
Mechanical Room 1 144 s.f.
Electrical Room 1 144 s.f.
Hotel Rooms 100 40,000s.f. One hundred rooms
averaging 400 s.f. each
Pool Area 1 1000 s.f.
Total Projected Area: 45,823 s.f.
Museum September 12, 2006
Cartersville, Georgia Preliminary Space Program
Room No. Size Notes/ Comments
Lobby 1 600 s.f.
Reception Desk/ Tickets 1 300 s.f.
Conference Room 1 600 s.f.
Toilet Rooms 6 860 s.f. Three women’s’ and three
men’s’ toilet rooms
Administration Offices 1 900 s.f.
Exhibition Area 1 6,000 s.f.
Store 1 400 s.f.
Theater 1 1200 s.f.
Mechanical 1 144 s.f.
Electrical 1 144 s.f.
Janitor’s Closet/ Storage 1 225 s.f.
Research Department
Office 3
Break Room 1
Lab 3
Library 1
Administration 1
Fax, Copy Room 1
Storage 1
Conference Room 1
Total Projected Area: 11,373 s.f.

Site Description

I have chosen a historical site that has a strong significance in the Native American Culture because I wanted to connect the present to the past and show how earth conservation and preservation can still be implemented over time. The Etowah Indian Mounds State Park is located in Cartersville, Georgia. The site is 54 acres and includes seven mounds; borrow pits, portions of the original village, and a plaza along with a museum concentrating on Native American Heritage. The mound builders began arriving at the site as early as 950 A.D. They were known for their advanced agricultural techniques, forms of lineal government, religion, and commerce. I find their simple yet sophisticated lifestyle to be very enlightening. With handmade tools and little imported goods, the culture managed to sustain their way of life and thrive using only the earth’s natural resources yet at the same time not polluting or harming the surrounding environment .

Research Question/ Statement

How can ancient and modern technology be combined to enhance and nurture the environment back to health in which we live today? In my research I would hope to cover several important factors which would lead to my better understanding and application of this project. Since my focus is on sustainability and the major concern of how global warming affects us, I constituted a list of questions which will aid in the beginning of my research.

Research Questions
˛ By definition what is sustainable architecture?
˛ How can the concept of sustainable architecture aid in the fight against global warming?
˛ What are the techniques Native Americans use to build their dwellings?
˛ Is the ideology behind the Native Americans building design considered to be sustainable architecture by today’s standards?
˛ What are today’s current sustainable technology trends and where will they take us in the future?
˛ How does global warming effect society today?
˛ How has global warming changed over the history of time?
˛ What factors contributes mostly to global warming and how can they be slowed down or stopped?
˛ How can the concept of sustainable architecture aid in the fight against global warming?

Research Rationale

I wish to use several precedents which have conducted research on the sustainability concern and today’s architecture. John Farmer has performed an investigation of how architecture has evolved from earlier primitive buildings to today’s modernism. In his book, Green Shift, he looks at how over time the attitudes about architecture have evolved and thus affecting the earth’s fragile resources. Malcolm Wells also states a viable argument for going green in his book Gentle Architecture. Through out the course of his life and after winning several awards, he comes to the conclusion that the beautiful architecture which society appraises is only killing the land which is keeping us, humans, alive. He explores different techniques and theories for building structures that have the smallest amount of impact on the earth. In the end he is sold on the concept of building underground.

Anticipated Findings and Design Contribution

During the course of my research, I anticipate that I will find that the concept of building in a form that doesn’t harm the environment has always been the same between the two cultures, Native American and today’s green architecture. But the material method has changed through out time. This concept was not referred to as sustainable architecture during the ancient times either. It was just accepted as the only way to construct structures. I believe that these findings could help the current research industry today. Along with looking for new creative and innovative ways we can rely on the previous existing cultures for answers. Either way, the findings and application will help to cure some of the global environmental concerns plaguing us today.

Research Methodology

In the course of my research I intend to gather informative reading material that will help answer some of my previous questions and conduct interviews. I will use the collection of material listed in my bibliography as a starting point for research. I also plan to visit several libraries including Emory, Georgia Tech, and Georgia State and research under the following broad headings; global warming, sustainable architecture methodology, and Native American Culture building techniques. I plan to visit several Indian Mound Parks in order to better understand the scope of the project. I have already visited the Etowah Indian Mounds site in which I’m in the process of conducting detailed research on it. My overall objective is to see the link between Native American building techniques and today’s sustainability concerns. I want to incorporate ancient methodology with today’s technology and create a new ideology of building. I am trying to prove that global warming and the current environmental issues affect and harm the earth. Sustainable architecture is one way to conserve. In the end this knowledge will help lead to a healthier tomorrow.


Farmer, John. Green Shift Towards a Green Sensibility in Architecture.
Linacre House, Jordan Hill. Oxford. 1996
Gauzin-Müller, Dominque. Sustainable Architecture and Urbanism.
Birkhauser Basel. 2002.
King, Adam. Etowah: The Political History of a Chiefdom Capital. The
University of Alabama Press. Tuscaloosa & London. 2003.
Pitts, Adrian. Planning and Design Strategies for Sustainability and Profit.
Architectural Press. Armsterdam. 2004.
Melet, Ed. Sustainable Architecture Towards a Diverse Built Environment.
NAI Publishers. Rotterdam. 1999.
Mendler, Sandra & William, Odell. The HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design. John
Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York. 2000.
Shelton, Stacey. “Going Green Reaches New Heights.” Atlanta Journal Constitution.
C3. Sunday August 27, 2006.
Wells, Malcom. . Gentle Architecture. McGraw-Hill Book Company. New York. 1981.

Fall Schedule for Final Year Design Project

Due Dates Final Year Design Milestones to be achieved, Fall 2006

September 12, 2006 Final Design Proposal due not later than 4:00 pm

September 18, 2006 1st Mandatory Pinup, Progress and Prospects (Site and Native American Culture)

September 19-24, 2006 Concentrate research on Precedents Study

September 22, 2006 Submission of the 1st signed written Progress Report of each thesis advisee by Thesis Advisory Committees to the Architectural Program office

September 25- Oct. 1 Concentrate research on current sustainable techniques

October 9-15, 2006 Concentrate research on Native American building techniques

October 16-22, 2006 Concentrate research on Native American building techniques

October 23, 2006 2nd Mandatory Pinup, Progress and Prospects (Focus on comparing the two techniques)

October 27, 2006 Submission of the 2nd signed written Progress Report of each thesis advisee by Thesis Advisory Committees to the Architectural Program office

October 30-Nov. 5, 2006 Site Development

November 6- 12, 2006 Site Development

November 13- 19, 2006 Building program and building form development

November 22-26, 2006 Holiday

November 27, 2006 2nd Mandatory Pinup, Progress and Prospects (Focus on site development and building program implementation)

December 1, 2006 Submission of the 3rd signed written Progress Report of each thesis advisee by Thesis Advisory Committees to the Architectural Program office

December 2- 10, 2006 Prepare presentation

December 11, 2006 Final Arch 5015 Design Juries

December 12, 2006 Final Arch 5015 Design Juries

December 13, 2006 Final Arch 5015 Design Juries

December 15, 2006 Submission of Final Grade Recommendations to the Architecture Program with a written and signed report by each member of the Design Advisory Committee on each advisee’s design progress, problems and prospects to continue into Arch 5999


Blogger Johnny Reb said...

Interesting blog. Keep up the good work.


Johnny Reb
Cass County

2:47 PM  

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