ABOUT DAVID HERTZ
An American Architect, inventor & educator – David Hertz is a pioneer in sustainable Architecture with 35 years of experience. His notability also expands to his innovation of recycled building materials.
He believes in expanding the conceptual limits of architecture and engages a variety of fields through design.
Cited from his website - throughout his career, David has connected the art of building with responsible stewardship of the Earth.
WHAT IS SYNDECRETE?
David Hertz invented Syndecrete as a lightweight, durable, and environmentally responsible alternative to concrete. Utilizing materials such as post-consumer carpeting and waste fly-ash from electric plants, Syndecrete has double the compressive strength of traditional concrete with only half the weight.
This allows Syndecrete to have creative uses such as signage, wall tile, decorative works, and even furniture. Furthermore, by incorporating recycled material into the mixture, it can form a stylish terrazzo that reflects the identity of the client: for example, vinyl records, CDs, and audio cassettes were saved from the landfill to be used for the Rhino Records floor.
WHAT MADE HIM INNOVATE SYNDECRETE?
His interest in green design made him use his own house as laboratory for experimental purposes. He used to incorporate many of the materials he was interested in starting from rammed earth to poured and placed concrete and of course Syndecrete.
His main motive towards developing Syndecrete was because he wasn’t really happy with many of the materials that were available to him as an architect and also because to him architecture was so much about selecting products from a catalogue that it has lost the ability for customization and craft.
Syndecrete was his innovation and customization of material. It was sustainable and something he wanted to use in his buildings.
Syndecrete is a concrete with post-consumer and industrial waste like fly ash, wood, crushed glass, and propylene carpet fibres.
There are a variety of domestic applications – tiles, sinks, countertops and slabs.
· Syndecrete is engineered for both performance and design qualities.
· Hertz’ Santa Monica based company Syndesis advertises that Syndecrete has “less than half the weight and twice the compressive strength of ordinary concrete.”
· Finishes call attention to the recycled content, and Hertz likes to push the limits on what can be mixed into concrete.
· Past installations have used broken CDs, razor blades, and even teeth.
· Syndecrete can acquire LEED credits for Materials and Resources, Innovation and Design Process, and different classes.
LET’S HAVE A LOOK AT HIS DESIGN IDEOLOGIES AND METHODS!
- David’s idea for lessening the impact of a house on the natural environment is to build a house that produces more energy than it consumes, that takes advantage of natural ventilation & lighting and that it even produces its own food and shelter. He believes that a house should give back more than it consumes.
- In order to build a house that lessens the impact on natural environment, David suggests to select a building plan that compliments the site and arrange the plan according to the orientation of the sun. He also suggests to take the prevailing breezes and wind directions into consideration and take advantage of them.
Clearly, his motive is to bring natural ventilation and natural daylighting into play.
- According to Hertz, it is important for people to understand the concept of embodied energy. A material like aluminum, for instance, requires a lot of energy in its creation. Assuming another structure material has an enormous amount of aluminum, it has a lot of encapsulated energy. Assuming, nonetheless, you repurpose aluminum that is as of now in the waste stream and reuse it, this is a major success for the climate. The equivalent goes for different materials.
Embodied energy is about the way a building is built rather than how it is used.
- Repurposing has been a big part of his projects because according to him our way of life creates a lot of waste both at the assembling level and afterward at the landfill level. By removing something from the waste stream and utilizing it in the creation of a house, one is upcycling or giving the material a higher and better use. This should be possible by using reclaimed flooring, lumber, entryways, windows, and hardware.
Repurposing is a big part of his project because it helps in reducing the embodied energy.
- David stated in an interview that he includes a solar chimney in his designs to control the temperature. He also uses thermostatically controlled skylights and windows to take advantage of natural ventilation and to control temperatures.
No wonder why his buildings compliment his ideologies!
- The architect uses wood that are FSC certified (Forest Stewardship Council) and are harvested in a sustainable way. Another step he takes to protect the environment is by paying attention to the indoor air quality by using zero VOC paints and designing the house to maximize natural ventilation.
- By utilizing repurposed and privately sourced materials houses frequently end up costing about a similar sum for every square foot as ordinary development technique. Working expenses are a lot lower as the houses produce their own energy.
All of it sounds so expensive and yet are similar to other techniques. No wonder why David Hertz is considered the pioneer of sustainable architecture!