Now showing 1 - 10 of 29
  • Publication
    Technological transformations at Boatstrand Harbour
    The late nineteenth century was a revolutionary period for harbour construction in Ireland, principally due to the efforts of one man, Bindon Blood Stoney [1828-1909] the Chief Engineer to Dublin Port [1862-98]. Although portland cement, the primary ingredient of concrete, had been developed as early as 1820 it was not until Stoney’s audacious use of large scale precast concrete blocks to build the North Wall extension and Alexandra Basin [1871-84]1 at Dublin Port that the material gained sufficient credibility to engineers to wholly supplant the use of stone in maritime engineering works.
  • Publication
    Inclusive Teaching & Learning Case Studies in Engineering, Architecture & Affiliated Disciplines
    Diversity and inclusion are core to UCD values. We seek to attract students from a wide range of social and economic backgrounds and students who reflect the true diversity of the country. And as a global university, UCD attracts international students from over 100 countries. This diversity enriches our campus, and the experience of our students. The University's strategy 2020-2024 'Rising to the Future' also recognises the importance of inclusion and diversity, in seeking to "provide an inclusive educational experience that defines international best practice and prepares our graduates to thrive in present and future societies." However, an inclusive educational experience will not be achieved by simply creating diversity in the student body. It requires that we adjust our approach in everything we do to support and encourage our students’ success. We have clearly articulated in our strategy, and further emphasised in our Education and Student Success strategy, that our goal is to "equip all our educators with the tools and resources required to embed Universal Design for Learning on an institution-wide basis".
  • Publication
    Tactile Learning: The Making of an Attitude
    (Cork University Press, 2016-02-01)
    There is an interesting case in the history of dock building along the River Liffey that is illustrative of the relevance of one’s background in shaping one’s perceptual horizon and thus the manner in which the environment is attended to and the design process is undertaken. History documents that the acclaimed Scottish engineer John Rennie (1761 -1821) was author of the three docks built eastward of the Custom House in Dublin. This trio consists of the original dock, or Revenue Dock, completed 1796 (now in-filled), as well as George’ s Dock and the Inner Basin, both built by 1824. Yet the first dock was actually designed and constructed in tandem with the Custom House by James Gandon (1743 - 1823). Though this fact is clearly recorded by Mulvany in his biographical work on Gandon, and tentatively acknowledged much later by McParland, the record of citation evidence has slowly mutated across nearly two centuries to accommodate an altered perception of the increasingly specialized roles of engineer and architect. What is clear, from Rennie’s well kept business records, is that once awarded the contract to build the two additional docks and associated warehouses by the Commissioners of Custom and Excise in 1814, Rennie was in a position to assess the condition of the original Revenue Dock in late October of 1820 in an attempt to estimate the cause for its failure . Based on this assessment , three sides of this original dock in addition to its entrance channel were to be largely rebuilt, following Rennie’s untimely death in 1821, by resident engineer John Aird (1760 - 1832) under the supervision of Thomas Telford (1757 - 1834) by 1822. Presumably the subsequent rebuilding of substantial portions of the Revenue Dock are responsible for the muddied record of authorship. Regardless, there remains substantial documentation that attests to both Gandon’s role in the design of this first dock, as well as the significant differences between Rennie’s and Gandon ’s approach to the design of these structures.
  • Publication
    Evolutionary design using grammatical evolution and shape grammars : designing a shelter
    A new evolutionary design tool is presented, which uses shape grammars and a grammar-based form of evolutionary computation, grammatical evolution (GE). Shape grammars allow the user to specify possible forms, and GE allows forms to be iteratively selected, recombined and mutated: this is shown to be a powerful combination of techniques. The potential of GE and shape grammars for evolutionary design is examined by attempting to design a single-person shelter to be evaluated by collaborators from the University College Dublin School of Architecture, Landscape, and Engineering. The team was able to successfully generate conceptual shelter designs based on scrutiny from the collaborators. A number of avenues for future work are highlighted arising from the case study.
  • Publication
    Haste: The Forgotten Virtue
    There are cities, which despite a multiplicity of intervention, have very precise and definitive readings as urban forms, achieving a level of harmony. Sometimes because of the preponderance of period architecture or definitive sense of scale such as in the case of Paris, or the resonance of the topographic in the city's structure as in Edinburgh, or even something as simple as organizational layout manifested in Chicago. In contrast much of the urban fabric of Dublin, until very recent years, stands in defiance of any strategy that is decisively intellectual, continuous or legible. Despite attempts at authoritative planning in its history, the fabric, even along the historic Georgian corridors, is incomplete and contingent on local circumstance. This uneven fragmentation exists to such a degree that the image of the city is at best ambiguous, dense with unequal layers of alterations. Legibility finds no foothold here, but transience and unpredictability have particular relevance and establish a peculiar and unexpected alliance with a harmony of a different kind, one which implicates memory. For within this unequal and ambiguous terrain there lie a profusion of moments where fractions of historic fabric are appropriated into later work, or left abandoned, which are evocative rather than didactic of the historic life of the city. These intersections of past and present, which coincide in fleeting and inexplicable ways, induce a form of imaginative engagement that keeps the city past, present and future fluidly entwined.
  • Publication
    Technical Intuition: The Role Of Reason And Intuition In The Design Process
    (European Association for Architectural Education, 2004-05)
    There was some discussion, formal and otherwise, at the recent EAAE conference regarding the relationship between the teaching of technology and the traditional design studio. Some very positive experiences were related but there was some hesitation voiced regarding the influence and role of design studios in developing a student’s attitude toward technology as well. Now it is an interesting thing to hear this hesitation voiced from the other side as it were. Speaking from the vantage point of the design studio, there is often a similar hesitation on the part of design instructors as to the role that technology should or does play within the territory of design. Yet design instructors are not opposed to material and technological sophistication being exhibited in their students work. Quite the contrary. Despite the reputation we may have among technology staff the vast majority of us desire the fullest realization of a design project possible.
  • Publication
    Adding value to timber components through consideration of demolition and disassembly
    Consideration of the life cycle of timber products within the traditional construction sector in Ireland has been extremely limited to date. Consequently, the majority of timber recovered following demolition is incinerated for energy, contributing to global warming. Analysis of the current Irish housing stock has shown that it contains high volumes of quality timber components in good condition and of significant capital value. In making relatively minor adjustments to design, construction and demolition practices, opportunities exist to enable disassembly and reuse which would add timber components and completed constructions.
  • Publication
    Augmented Maritime Histories: Text, Point, Line
    The coastline of Ireland has been embellished through the accretion of piers, jetties, quays and breakwaters to facilitate the ever-­-evolving nature of the shipping and fishing industries in the past millennium. These structures represent a significant infrastructural system that has shaped local and national Irish culture for centuries. While Ireland’s major ports have been carefully documented and researched, much of this infrastructure, though once intrinsic to the economic wealth and welfare of local communities, has fallen into disrepair as the industries that once generated their development have been centralized to the major ports. With damage from the seas ever increasing, it has become critical to document these minor harbour structures to describe and elaborate the entwined nature of their development with the communities they had once served.
  • Publication
    Design for deconstruction and reuse: An Irish suburban semi-detached dwelling
    (School of Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy, University College Dublin, 2022-04-01) ;
    Residential buildings in Ireland have long been constructed of load-bearing masonry with structural timber use limited to intermediate floor joists and roof structures. The growing phenomenon of timber platform framing in Ireland in the last 30 years has increased the share of this construction type to a current 27% of residential new builds primarily using prefabricated wall and floor panels. Despite this surge of interest in timber construction, recovered timber in Ireland is typically downcycling into wood chip-based products or for energy. Given Ireland’s limited structural-grade timber stock, the ever-increasing share of timber use in residential construction will eventually put considerable pressure on timber supplies. The aim of this study was to evaluate a typical Irish semidetached house design, prefabricated by Cygnum Timber Frame, to identify the potential for reuse of primary material components in the current design and improve the recovery rate in a new design modified on the principles of Designing for Adaptability (DfA), to extend the service life of the building, and Designing for Disassembly and Reuse (DfDR) to maximise recapture and reuse potential.
  • Publication
    The Evolution of the Iron Truss in the Work of John Rennie
    (The Construction History Society of America, 2015-06-07)
    Dublin's nineteenth-century Tobacco Store built by John Rennie(1761-1821) is considered significant due to its cast-and wrought-iron roof trusses. Though by no means the first to experiment with iron, Rennie had been a firm believer in the superiority of this material over timber in warehouse construction and used it extensively throughout his portfolio. Less acknowledged is that a similar, yet more advanced truss was used in the New West Stores (demolished 1988), also built as part of the Dublin Docks ensemble by Rennie. That this achievement was overlooked was a result of the roof structure being replaced with a less adventurous timber roof following its collapse in afire in 1833, ten years after its completion.Archival evidence suggests that the original cast-and wrought-iron truss designed by Rennie for the New West Stores mirrored that of the earlier Tobacco Store in profile consisting of queen-post truss, surmounted by a lantern structure and a smaller kingpost truss. However, this later truss far exceeded the earlier structure in span, being 52 foot 6 inches in comparison to the 38 foot 9 inch span of the Tobacco Store. As studies in the evolution of iron truss technology have suggested that the span of early trusses were limited to 40 feet, which was not exceeded until after the 1830swhen such inventions as the Polonceau truss and various arched truss technologies were introduced, this early truss by Rennie was a significant achievement in the 1820s. In addition to its span, it is probable that this truss also represented an evolution in Rennie's connection details. Prior to his work in Dublin Rennie had favoured connections made with slotted assemblies, using wedges and cotter pins to tighten and hold pieces together, which were of-ten dependent on the structure's own self weight to provide stability –a strategy employed in the London Tobacco Dock, the West India Dock sheds and even the Southwark Bridge. The truss work in the Dublin Tobacco Store mirrored this tendency, until the connections were re-worked during a recent renovation. Evidence from Rennie's resident engineer John Aird (1760-1832) and later work by his sons at the Royal William Victualing Yard, suggest that the connections used in the New West Stores truss may have represented an evolution in this thinking, with the introduction of bolted connections to the assembly.