Removing Super Glue

We all know that Super Glue is one of the strongest and fastest bonding adhesives on the market today. Because of its wide use, people have found that they might accidentally glue their fingers together or to another object. If this happens to you, don’t worry. Although Super Glue is incredibly strong, it still has a major weakness which is acetone.

Household products such as nail polish remover contain the chemical acetone. If you place a small amount of nail polish remover on a cotton swab or Q-tip, you can apply it directly to your skin to dissolve the bond. This process doesn’t damage the skin however it can discolor fabrics and damage laminated counter tops. Straight acetone can also burn your skin so use with caution.

If Super Glue happens to stick together body parts where acetone can’t be applied (such as lips or eyes) then follow this advice.

For skin bonded together with Super Glue soak the affected areas in warm soapy water. After a few minutes peel or roll the skin apart. If you have trouble with this try using tools such as a pencil or a spatula. After this remove the cured Super Glue with warm soapy water. This may take several applications.

If you accidentally stick your lips together apply a large amount of warm water while wetting your lips with saliva from the inside of your mouth. After a few minutes try to peel or roll your lips apart (do NOT pull). Super Glue solidifies when it touches saliva (or moisture) and could actually stick to the inside of your mouth. Within 1-2 days the saliva should break down the glue. Avoid swallowing the glue after detachment.

Eyelids are a bit trickier. If you do happen to stick your eyelids together wash it with warm water and then apply a gauze patch. In 1-4 days the eyelid will open on its own without further action. To this day there hasn’t been a documented case of adhesive to the eye that has caused permanent damage so try not to worry. Do not try and force your eyes open.

Getting Super Glue on your eyeball will cause the glue to attach to the eye protein, but only for a matter of time (several hours). Weeping and double vision may occur until the adhesive has dissolved. Washing with a warm 3% sodium bicarbonate solution may help in speeding up the removal of the adhesive.

The Use of Glass in Architecture

Acclaimed architect Bruno Taut said, “If we want our culture to rise to a higher level, we are obligated for better or for worse, to change our  architecture . And this only becomes possible if we take away the closed character from the rooms in which we live. We can only do that by introducing glass  architecture , which lets in the light of the sun, the moon, and the stars”.

A New Architectural Era

Built in Hyde Park, London to house the Great Exhibition in 1851 the Crystal Palace is commonly considered as a significant turning point in architectural history. This magnificent structure built from steel and glass paved the way for further exploration of glass as an architectural element. The glass sail of the new Milan trade fair and Louvre pyramid are other stunning example of the use of glass as a structural as well as a design element. Other examples of glass  architecture  include the London Bridge, Agbar and Federazija Towers as well as the Tokyo International Forum.

While the use of glass in construction was previously quite limited to grand designs and office buildings it is starting to become a core structural and design element in many homes. Glass facilitates natural light and opens up rooms allowing smaller spaces to look bigger as well as facilitating a natural indoor/outdoor flow which often enhances the tranquillity as well as the value of your home. Glass is also relatively inexpensive and fully recyclable, an important consideration in the current era of heightened environmental consciousness. Glass use in construction has increased dramatically due to the rapid changes in glass production and technology. Previously glass was thought to be quite a fragile building material and many steered away from it because of this. Modern glass, however, is not only spectacular to look through but it is safer, stronger and energy efficient.

Glass in the home

In the past glass was mainly utilized for windows to allow some air and light in to rooms. Today glass is utilized in the construction of several elements of exterior and interior  architecture . Exterior glass  architecture  includes facades, display windows’ skylights, skywalks, entrances, revolving doors, canopies, winter gardens and conservatories. All of which allow homes to be bathed in natural sunlight with gorgeous outdoor views. Interior glass  architecture  can be used for staircases, elevated walkways and even as traditional walls. There are some houses in which all of the walls are actually glass. Such high quantities of glass previously compromised other aspects such as the heating and cooling requirements. Often glass  architecture  would incur high heating costs in winter and cooling costs in summer. Fortunately such great progress has been made in the glass industry that we now have access a variety of different kinds of glass each with fantastic benefits. One such example is glass with spectrally-selective qualities, which allows light to stream into the house without being harmful or degenerative to occupants and their belongings.

Caring for your Glass

To keep your glass looking great and streak free you will need to ensure that it is cleaned often. Try a few different cleaning solutions before you decide which one to use, options vary from store bought to home made solutions. Many use products such as ammonia, vinegar, borax, alcohol or Epsom salts to clean glass. An important point to remember is that when using your own solutions never combine an acid and an alkaline, for example vinegar and ammonia, as they neutralise on another. After washing use a dry cotton towel rather than paper towels or newspaper as they tend to disintegrate and leave deposits on your glass. For a great shine a dry blackboard eraser can be used.

To keep frost from accumulating on exterior windows during the winter, add two cups of antifreeze or rubbing alcohol to each gallon of wash water. For deposits of paint, resin or glue wet the surface and then scrape them off using a razor blade scraper. Take care to scrape in one direction only in order to avoid scratching the surface.

Another option, and a fantastic one at that, is the breakthrough technology that has brought us self-cleaning glass. An ultra-thin coating is applied to the glass during the manufacturing process; this coating has two highly beneficial effects on the glass. First organic residue on the glass broken down by the ultraviolet wavelengths in sunlight then when it rains the dirt is washed off. As the coating is hydrophilic when rain hits the glass, it doesn’t form droplets and in turn eradicates streaking. Rain water flows down the glass in a sheet and washes the dirt away. If you don’t have time to wait for the rain a simple garden hose will be just as effective.

Self-cleaning glass is making the lives of homeowners far easier and is giving home owners absolutely no reason to hesitate to use of glass in the construction of their homes. What could be better than bright, open rooms with excellent outdoor views facilitated by huge sheets of glass, without having to spend your days cleaning them?

Modern day architectural trends have elevated the way we think about the use of glass in our own homes. It is no longer simply a material for windows and the occasional sliding door; it is a design component in its own right.

With each passing day glass becomes a more important element in  architecture  not only in grand public structures but also in the lives and homes of families across the world. The beauty of glass lies in its simplicity, it enables us to be enveloped by nature while living comfortably in doors.

Flat Roof Repair Tips

If you’re looking for flat roof repair information, you’ve come to the right place. The procedure varies with the type of roofing system, but here are the steps for the most common type where I live.

It is called “modified bitumen” (pronounced buy-TOO-men) and consists of a tough mat embedded in a special asphalt formula that includes elastic additives. That allows the material to expand and contract with temperature changes. The surface is covered with ceramic granules to provide solar protection.

Modified bitumen or “modified” as it is usually called, is especially popular on small residential jobs. That’s because it doesn’t require a hot asphalt kettle along with the inherent safety hazards and obnoxious fumes.

Modified can be installed several different ways, but one of the most common methods is with a propane torch. That is also the technique responsible for most of the leak problems with this system when the seams are not heated properly. If you overheat the material, too much asphalt flows away from the seam. Not enough heat results in cold seams that are not completely bonded. Either case creates seams that are vulnerable to water intrusion. If the roof ponds water and the roofer didn’t install a protective mid-ply, leaks are nearly inevitable.

Fortunately, this is a fairly simple flat roof repair. You will need these materials:

Flashing cement. Be sure to get the MB (modified bitumen) variety, as the standard type is not 100% compatible.

Membrane. Either 4″ or 6″ is fine, but be sure to get fiberglass rather than cotton, as it lasts a lot longer.

Granules. For a small repair, you might find enough loose ones on the roof or in the gutter to reuse.

Start by CAREFULLY probing the seams with a small pen knife, looking for voids. Ideally, the seams should have about ½” of asphalt bleed-out. Any areas that don’t are suspect.

The seams need to be both clean and dry to get a good flat roof repair. Spread a thin layer of flashing cement directly over the problem area, slightly wider than your membrane. Test the bond you are making by “tapping” the cement with your trowel. If it comes up, leaving bare patches of modified, the surface is still too wet or too dirty.

Next, keeping the membrane taunt, set it in the thin bed of flashing cement. Work it in with your trowel until the membrane is embedded tightly.

Then spread another layer of flashing cement over the membrane. Again, you don’t need a lot. Just enough to cover the scrim is sufficient.

To complete your flat roof repair, broadcast granules into the fresh cement. That will dress up the repair and protect it from the sun.

Children’s Rugs Brighten Up Any Bedroom

Children’s rugs have evolved since I was a child. Back then all you could get was a standard square, round, ellipse or rectangular shaped rug maybe with some bright colours in basic patterns. How things have changed!

Nowadays you can have practically any design on rugs and they come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and prices. Patterns can including animals, nature and cartoon characters. If your child has a favourite TV programme like ‘Postman Pat’ for example, you can bet that there will be a rug somewhere with the image of Postman Pat weaved into it. They even come with football logos on for the football fanatic child. Generally they will be made from wool, cotton or synthetic materials and will be soft to touch but durable and lasting.

There are many uniquely-shaped rugs on the market which are ideal for creative kids. They can come in unusual shapes such as cars, animals or cartoon character shapes. Some rugs even come with a puzzle design on them which will keep your child occupied for hours.

Some parents like to use their children’s rugs for outdoor use. Having picnics and gatherings in the garden are all the more fun will a bright colour rug to protect you from the bugs! Your child can do a number of fun activities whilst in the comfort of sitting on his or her cosy rug. Some rugs are made specially for the outside and are durable and waterproof.

Children’s rugs are the perfect accessory to any child’s room and because of the huge variety of rugs you will easily be able to find one to suit your needs, in fact you will be spoilt for choice.

You can use a rug to create a ‘rug area’ in a child’s room, playroom or garage. An area rug will also absorb sounds and noises despite whatever flooring is below the rug which is a bonus.

Good quality children’s rugs are durable and resistant against stains and spills. If made from wool you can simply clean them with soap and water or even put them in the washing machine making them very easy to maintain. Also some rugs are made from materials which are fire resistant.

We all know how kids seem to be growing up a lot faster these days and are always changing their interests. The great thing about children’s rugs is that some of them are economical enough to change with their changing interests. And remember if your child is young you might want to find one that is slip resistant.

So if you are looking into ways to brighten up a child’s room or add a touch of style to a play area, buy children’s rugs to brighten up the appearance of a room instantly!

Norman Architecture

Norman Architecture, named so due to its roots in Normandy, arose in the Middle Ages. It began in the early 11th century and ended by the 12th century, following the Saxon architectural movement and preceding the Gothic movement. Norman architecture is a form of the prevailing Romanesque Architecture that was propagated by the Normans (or Vikings) who conquered England. Its development gave rise to large and impenetrable cathedrals, fortresses, castles, and fortifications.

The archetypal monastery building arose during this movement, with its squat buildings that were either rectangular or circular. For instance, the renowned abbey Mont-Saint-Michel was built in the Norman era. In fact, the majority of Norman Architecture is religious structures, from village churches to royal cathedrals. A hallmark of Norman churches is their cross-like shape, deriving from the Roman basilica pattern. These churches also had bell towers, or campaniles, which were built nearby the main church buildings.

The quintessential medieval castles are also a distinctly Norman innovation. They arose not only in England but also in Scotland, Ireland, Normandy, and even Italy. In Italy, however, Norman features were combined with Byzantine and Arabic styles, which made for less gloominess.

Norman Architecture is actually an outgrowth of Romanesque Architecture, which began in Lombardy, Italy. Romanesque derives much of its architecture from classic Roman styles, such as arches, vaults, columns, and arcades. It greatly utilized the rounded arch, a Roman invention. It also used a great variety of vault styles. The prevailing type was the barrel vault, a curved vault used widely in cloisters.

The building materials used in Norman Architecture mainly included stones, so as to give the buildings greater stability. These stones were uncut because there were no real architectural jobs, such as mason jobs, in the Norman era. Therefore, buildings were made up of large, irregularly shaped stones that contributed to their bulky look.

Norman roofs were vaulted, like their Roman predecessors. Vaults allowed for more balanced weight distribution across the roof. Norman buildings’ adornment was minimal, though some architects used their chisels to carve a series of arches into walls. These were not actual arches, but carvings giving a trompe de l’oeil effect. Moreover, some architects carved moldings onto stone surfaces. A minority of architects even became so adroit with their chisel that they sculpted animals onto reliefs over doorways, or tympanums. Arches and columns were also minimally decorated elements. As the Norman movement reached its peak in the 12th century, however, it gave rise to more ornamentation. This ornamentation gradually culminated in the first stained glass windows in the 12th century, directly before the Gothic Architecture took hold.

Norman Architecture is additionally distinguished by very small windows. Before the Gothic movement, architects avoided installing large windows because it increased the chances of building collapse. Therefore, people who resided in Norman buildings were in extremely dim surroundings, using candles as their only source of light. It wasn’t until the Gothic period that architects safely installed huge windows to let in an enormous quantity of light, giving cathedrals their celestial quality.

Yet, Romanesque and Norman Architecture also blazed new trails by installing much taller buildings, such as castles and cathedrals, which were the largest structures in Europe at that point. These buildings were usually square and inhabited by guards who worked as night watchmen, scanning the surrounding landscape for intruders.

With these taller buildings came much denser walls to give the needed support to these great heights. Inside these buildings, there were also large columns that bolstered structural support. These walls would become much thinner with the advent of flying buttresses, which arose in the Gothic movement.

One of England’s first pieces of Norman Architecture was London’s Westminster Abbey. Though this structure is now largely Gothic, it began as a Norman construction. Many Gothic structures, in fact, began as Norman buildings that were later elaborated on by Gothic architects. Many central towers (keeps) on castle and cathedral grounds were also Norman. These square, dense-walled structures were used as dungeons as well as defense fortresses. The Tower of London (also called the White Tower), which served as the royal dungeon, is another penultimate example of Norman Architecture. Like all Romanesque buildings, it was tall in its day, reaching about 90 feet high. It also contained extremely thick walls, spanning about 15 feet wide, to support that height. It is, like many Romanesque buildings, a fortress-like building.

While Gothic Architecture produced extremely tall, magnificent structures, these structures were essentially continuations of Norman Architecture. Gothic Architecture utilized pointed arches rather than Norman rounded arches, along with ribbed vaults that were combinations of Norman barrel vaults. Therefore, Gothic Architecture as we know it may not have taken place without its grounding in Norman Architecture.

Today, most people immediately associate Norman and Romanesque architectural styles with the fairy-tale medieval period. Architects have learned that these castles and cathedrals were not so much royal residences as densely armed fortifications. In truth, most Norman structures have been the sites of much bloodshed and suffering. The “Dark Ages,” by which the Middle Ages was alternately known, may have been due in part to the dimness of Norman buildings, as a result of their extremely small windows.

Today’s architects are not rebuilding Norman Architecture, except for historical reproduction purposes. Church builders, moreover, take more inspiration from the Gothic period than any other architectural period. However, most architects certainly regard the Norman movement as an architectural watershed. Norman Architecture realized unsurpassed heights and first renewed the magnificence of classical styles. Though taking place in a dark period, it manifested the collective desire to reawaken human greatness, as people perceived it in classical architecture. Part of Norman Architecture’s legacy was to have passed on this desire in large measure to the succeeding Renaissance era.

How to Sow Tomato Seeds

The following sowing and transplanting methods are available to the amateur gardener who wants to grow tomatoes outside without the use of a greenhouse.

Tomato seeds can be sowed directly into a seed bed. However, this is by far the riskiest method in temperate climates. It is only suitable for those areas which have a last frost date in MARCH. In all other areas, the soil is unlikely to be warm enough at a time which will allow the tomato plant to develop and fruit. The soil temperature must be at least 15C (60F) at the time of sowing and during germination. It is possible to utilize a cloche or cold frame. This will warm the soil prior to planting and protect the plants in their early stages.

Using a trowel, dig a shallow drill 2.5cm deep (1in) deep in the prepared bed. Place two seeds every nine inches in the drill and cover the seeds to a depth of 2.5cm (1in). Water well if the conditions are at all dry.

The seedlings should emerge in about 10 days. When they are 5cm (2in) tall, thin to one plant every 45 to 60cm (18 to24in).

Sowing tomato seeds indoors is one of the commonest methods and produces good results. Sow each seed (two if you have a surplus) in a 7.5cm (3in) pot, lightly covering them with potting compost. Ensure the compost is moist but not waterlogged. Place them in a warm (up to 27C or 80F) draught free place – the seedlings should emerge in 7 to 10 days time.

Immediately this happens, move the plants to a light position (a light windowsill is ideal), but out of direct sunlight to avoid burning the leaves. Where more than one seed has been sown per pot, thin out the least healthy seedling as soon as they are large enough to handle. When the roots start to come through the base of the pot (about 4 weeks after sowing), transfer the plants to larger 12.5cm (5in) pots. The plants will be large enough to transplant outside about 7 weeks after sowing the seed.

Sowing tomato seeds outdoors in pots is similar to sowing the seed indoors in pots with the exception that the pots are stored outside whilst the seed germinates. The advantage over indoor sowing is that space is not a limiting factor to the amount of plants to be raised.

Timing and position of the plants are the key factors to success. Keep the pots in the warmest part of the garden (against a house wall is ideal) to hasten germination and subsequent growth. The use of cloches will assist greatly in retaining heat. Timing is the most difficult aspect of this method – keeping the plants under cloches and or against a house wall will raise the temperature and permit earlier growing, but it is not an exact science. The basic rules of no frost and a minimum soil temperature of 15C (60F) must be achieved.

One combination which can work well is to sow the seeds inside (where they do not have to be in a light position) and the transfer them outside when the seedlings emerge.

Just before transplanting the tomato plants to their final position drive a strong stake into the ground 5cm (2in) from the planting position. The stake should be at least 30cm (1ft) deep in the ground and 1.2m (4ft) above ground level – the further into the ground the better the support.

Where tomato seedlings have been started in pots, they should be transplanted into their final positions when they are about 15cm (6in) high. Two to three weeks prior to this, the plants should be hardened off.

For each plant, dig a hole (45cm / 18in apart) in the bed to the same depth as the pot and water if conditions are at all dry. Ease the plant out of the pot, keeping the root ball undisturbed as far as possible. Place it in the hole and fill around the plant with soil. The soil should be a little higher than it was in the pot.

Loosely tie the plant’s stem to the support stake using soft garden twine – allow some slack for future growth.

Cleaning – Oriental Rug Cleaning

Oriental rugs strictly speaking are made of wool and hand made through a painstaking process of hand weaving that is made to produce colorful, intricate and highly stylized designs. These can be hung or be strewn on the floor for utility and/or ornamentation.

When one thinks of oriental rugs people envision carpet like materials that are thicker in weave, and evoke Asian and Middle Eastern patterns. Oriental rug owners however envision highly priced ornaments that are expensive to clean but even more expensive to maintain. This is because the fabrics used are usually thick, natural, and soft, which means too little maintenance will not cut it but too much can ruin the weave and totally destroy the rug.

As the popular saying goes “prevention is better than a cure”, in like manner keeping an Oriental rug clean starts by preventing dirt from getting into contact with the rug. If an oriental rug is strewn in the floor, then shoes and slippers should be left outdoors. A useful tip is to leave Oriental rugs in a highly visible location but in a place that does not receive too much traffic so as to prevent wear and tear.

Oriental Rug Cleaning should be done sparingly or only when really needed, professional cleaning is also recommended for very expensive oriental rugs. But the trick is knowing when an OR needs cleaning. A very useful tip to remember is that oriental rugs normally have some degree of dust and loose fibers on it, however if the rug is lifted and a light nudge on the backside create a dust cloud, or the bottom portion already abounds with dusts then cleaning is already needed.

As with all expensive things, professional care and cleaning is preferred but personal care should still be done regularly. Here are some useful tips on how to personally clean oriental rugs:

Regular vacuuming should be done on both sides of the rug, since in most cases dust build up subsides and settles to the floor itself. Agitating the rug with a vacuum and brush accessory should be done in moderation, with care and in regular strokes per quadrant. Regular vacuuming is the cleaning solution of choice if an OR is hanged on a wall.

Spills should be cleaned off as soon as possible to prevent staining and odor from seeping in the weave. The longer the stain or spill is left in the rug the harder the stain is to remove and/or the odor to dissipate. A very useful tip on Oriental rug cleaning is to run the affected area with cool water, taking special care to wet and treat with shampoo or detergent only the affected area. Any solution applied should be rinsed off as instructed since leaving a solution for a longer period of time can discolor the weave. After rinsing it is very important to spot dry the area affected with a towel, then keep the wool suspended in a well ventilated area until moisture is totally removed from the rug.

If an oriental rug is to be kept in storage the rug should be rolled not folded, then wrapped with clean and dry materials made of clothe and kept in a dry container with a few moth crystals. Using plastic materials and/or airtight containers is a definite no-no because plastic materials can trap moisture which can cause mildew and the rug needs a bit of circulating air. Lastly, remember OR cleaning need not be expensive if it is kept and maintained properly.

Facts About Architecture

 Architecture  is all about the construction and design of buildings and other physical structures. It is often considered as a blend of art, science and imagination. In fact,  architecture  is also related to money and investments. Any piece of  Architecture  has a value beyond the quantitative materialistic point of view of the economics. But value added design refers to the measurable economic benefit gained due to a design.

Well,  Architecture  is considered to be the practice of designing buildings and other physical structures. It is often considered a form of art and science due to the massive amount of technical knowledge required to implement a design that has been created from nothing.

A wider definition often includes the design of the total built environment, from the macro level of how a building integrates with its surrounding landscape (see town planning, urban design, and landscape  architecture ) to the micro level of architectural or construction details and, sometimes, furniture. Wider still,  architecture  is the activity of designing any kind of system.

During the Renaissance period the emerging knowledge in scientific fields and the rise of new materials and technology,  architecture  and engineering began to separate, and the architect began to lose ground on some technical aspects of building design. Vernacular  architecture  became increasingly ornamental.

So, we can see that a relatively elaborate and intricate architectural design can enhance or increase the overall value of any building or property. Careful and clever  architecture  can do miracles to lure a potent customer and thereby increase your organization’s profit.

How to Build a Brick Wall at Home

Firstly I removed all the rubble from the collapsed wall and cleared the site.

Dig a foot deep trench always using a length of string as a straight edge.

Neatly position the string in a line where you want the front of the bricks to line up.

Next tie the string around a brick and lay it down at the exact place that you need to lay your first brick

Neatly stretch the string until the line is straight then weigh down the furthest end of the string with a normal size brick.

Neatly and accurately dig out the foundation.

You now have a trench with a very straight front, and you’re now ready to really start the work.

Mix up concrete using this formula.

3 parts sand, to 2 parts gravel to 1 part cement.

Really mix these items well together in a cement mixer.

Now it is all mixed, add water and create your concrete, with a good consistency.

Fill the trench with your newly made concrete.

Ensure it is just below ground level.

Smooth it out and lay a length of wood or if you have it, timber on the top and level it accurately with a spirit level.

Now you will find you have a truly level surface you can remove the length pf wood/timber and leave the concrete for a day to harden.

This is the base of your brick wall.

The rest of your bricks will sit on this and the concrete will share the weight of the brickwork.

Within twenty four hours you can start to lay the remaining bricks.

Mix up cement but this time without any gravel.

Three parts sand to one part cement is ideal.

Once again place your line of string at the front edge of the wall.

Take your first trowel full of mortar and smooth it over the concrete bed leaving between 1/2 inch ad 3/4 inch of mortar to lay the bricks on.

Make a bed of mortar for about ten bricks.

Lay the first brick on the cement.

Always use the spirit level to get it 100% flat.

Gently tap the brick with the handle of the trowel to firm it into place.

Cover one end of the next brick with mortar and place it next to the first one, pushing gently so that the mortar sticks them together.

Next move the length of string up to the front edge of the very first brick and gently put a weight on it to hold it firmly in.

Go to the far end of the wall and lay a brick there with the same 1/2 inch of mortar under it.

Position the string on the edge of this brick and gently weigh it down.

You now have a nice straight edge to work with.

Now you’re ready to lay your bricks.

Simple yet effective.

Remember if you need to find a suitable builder, always ask for their credentials and even testimonials, prior to employing them.

The internet is an ideal place to find decent builders, but be careful. Ask questions, ask for proof of their abilities.

It’s you they’re working for!

Enterprise Architecture

Historically, little thought has been given to creating or maintaining strategic architectures for business enterprises. As the competitive landscape continues to put pressure on organizations to be more efficient, the process of implementing unified Enterprise Architecture will become an essential part of any business. This paper covers the definition of Enterprise Architecture, provides a description of how it should be utilized to tightly couple business processes and goals to information systems, and how to create an architecture that is able to be supported.

Enterprise Architecture:

Enterprise Architecture is a tool that aids businesses by allowing managers to see and think about smaller functions within the whole of the business. A common phrase used to describe an Enterprise Architecture is a set of “living documents” that are short, simple, and easy to understand. Enterprise Architecture is a relationship between processes and goals that allow businesses to organize, assess, and implement changes based on a set of “blueprints.” These blueprints vary based on what is needed. For example, a company setting up an Enterprise Architecture could have three, four, or five different sets of blueprints for various reasons, such as one for product assessment, one for consumer reports, and so on. Not only is Enterprise Architecture a set of blueprints, it is the actual work behind those plans. Implementation is required for the architecture to be built and maintained, as all the plans and actions must be integrated so that proper managers can view needed material in its relationship to other factors.

After building upon the blueprints and integrating all the processes and goals, the proper questions may be asked. These questions are what bring about change that may improve and maintain a business.

An Architecture Cycle:

When establishing an Enterprise Architecture, all aspects need to be incorporated into one place. It is this assimilation that allows managers to begin questioning. Often, this process is a cycle with four phases. First, an architect receives input about new strategies, goals, and processes that may not be performing properly. Next, the architect must look at any further implications and connect those to the received input. Third, the architect makes alterations based on the input and wider implications. Lastly, the process starts all over again. Overall, this cycle gives the architect the opportunity to assess all areas of the business, including some that may have been overlooked, and make changes that will best suit the organization.

Organizing Business Processes and Informational Systems:

Once organized, an architect will assess the alignment of business processes to informational systems. Simply put, an architect translates the information that is transferring from process to applications and vice versa. The architect determines if the results are in-line with goals, and so on. Proper organization allows the architect to translate and even determine where translation is needed.

Creating an Enterprise Architecture:

Enterprise Architectures are not developed in a day, and in order to set up an Enterprise Architecture, an organization needs to establish a series of steps.

The specifics of the individual Enterprise Architecture will differ among businesses. However, listed below are six general steps for creating an Enterprise Architecture:

1. Assess Current State & Agree on Deficiency:

To create an Enterprise Architecture, it takes one or more persons to determine the need for such an architecture. The Enterprise Architect, usually the one who suggests the architecture and ultimately builds it, assesses the different variables that demonstrate a need for change.

2. Select a Framework, Platform and Methodology:

The selected framework should fit the individual needs of the business, the goals and desired results of the organization, as well as a course of action that suits both the architect and managers.

3. Select Tools:

Keeping track of the integration of the processes and documentations may require the utilization of various tools. Appropriate tools will store all the information in a repository that will allow managers to access the needed materials.

4. Organize, Organize,

Organize:

Whichever type of organization an architect chooses, it is important to remember that this is the most time-consuming and important step. One suggestion for a type of organization is Business Functional Domains & Sub Domains over a unified architecture. Another method for organization is to build the models of the existing system as they are improved

5. Utilize the Architecture:

Although the architecture may not be complete, the business should begin to use it. It is designed to fit the organization; therefore, the architect should make sure that the managers start to utilize its benefits as soon as possible.

6. Maintain & Build Upon the Architecture:

Once the foundation for the architecture is done, the business should maintain and build upon the architecture, and in order to do so, a methodology should be selected. A methodology will allow managers and workers to function with the same goals in mind, improving results. In addition to maintaining results, the right methodology allows a business to expand the architecture’s uses to fit the organization’s needs.

Initiating and Supporting an Enterprise Architecture:

When initiating an Enterprise Architecture, one must survey the existing environment, talk to representative users, read existing documentation, and study current systems. It is critical to seek inherent problems the enterprise has in accomplishing the tasks it needs to perform in order to be successful. This is accomplished by boiling down the potentially large amounts data gathered and abstract the findings into the conceptual diagrams. One must aggregate important policies and standards into a cohesive and broadly applicable guidance document. Applying some well-known patterns and a few of the favorite concepts will evolve working documents into drafts and eventually into the proposed architecture. Educated and armed, one is able to lobby superiors, peers, and subordinates to aid in implementing the architecture.

To support an Enterprise Architecture, certain tools are relied upon that will aid in the integration and execution of the architecture. These tools should provide the opportunity to view all diagrams, documentations, and processes. Although analyzing and designing processes are still left to be done, assembling and tracking the various relationships will be managed by using a tool.

How to Do Tyrolean Rendering

Tyrolean rendering is a finish on masonry or concrete wall surfaces. This type of decoration is done using a machine with mixed mortar. The rendering appears like a thick carpet on the wall with big beads. It also has a rustic feature. The finish is durable and has good weather properties. As in plaster work curing and ensuring correct mixes is is very important. Mortar mixes can have colored cements incorporated to make it more attractive.

The Tyrolean rendering can be done on a rough wall surface. The wall surface can also consist of a troweled backing. This is for internal finishes when doing feature walls. Rendering done on external walls should be mixed with at least ten percent of lime. The thickness for this finishes on troweled backings should be at least ten to fifteen millimeters. The Tyrolean machine to use should throw the mortar mixture evenly on the wall surfaces.

When preparing the Tyrolean mortar mix, it should be like a cement slurry. The machine has wires embedded inside that collect the mortar as they spin and splash it on the wall or ceiling surfaces. Commence by preparing the surface. Reduce any stone or concrete offsets. Trim to form a fairly smooth surface. Apply the backing coat evenly with a trowel. Use a wooden float to smooth by swing upright runs. Allow this texture to dry overnight.

Add Tyrolean mixture into the machine and whirl the wires round. As the mortar mix is applied to the wall or ceiling use a towel to remove excess mortar. On feature walls use a timber batten to mark the area to be rendered. After the surfaces are complete, remove the battens. Once the texture is dry additional paint work can be done. Alternatively colored cements can be applied to achieve desired effects. Cure the mortar with water for a week .

What Is Architecture?

Architecture is…

difficult to define, and even architects get confused when asked to come up with an unambiguous definition. If you are looking for an answer with two lines underneath, you might find it here (or not).

This is an attempt to explore the wealth of possible approaches to this seemingly simple question.

Whether your first association is: “architecture is… fancy modern building-design”, or “… the collective human heritage of built environments throughout the world” you might reconsider.

The term architecture…

with its Latin descent, architectura; means “chief builder”, and it represents both the process and the product of planning, designing and constructing buildings, according to Wikipedia.

Or, as Louis Kahn so eloquently put it: “the thoughtful making of space”.

Architecture has both a practical and an emotional side. Whether it is the simplest human shelter, or the grandest monumental cathedral, architecture reflects the human condition.

Many are those who have tried to pinpoint the definition of architecture, once and for all, but I am not convinced anyone have managed to do it yet.

The first official attempt on defining architecture was made by the Roman architect Vitruvius in the 1st century. According to Vitruvius, the combination of the three principles; durability, utility and beauty, are what ultimately define good architecture.

Durability…

or, building technology, is doubtlessly important in architecture, as is utility; and beauty is unquestionably desirable.

This definition, however, says nothing about the cultural, historical, political, or ecological implications of architecture. Perhaps these aspects weren´t as relevant back in the 1st century, but they are definitely relevant today!

ArchiCulture…

Architecture is nothing if not an expression of the culture that surrounds the building site. Through the individual and collective style of the built environment, we can extract a lot of information about the corresponding society.

History…

Seeing architecture as an expression of its culture is the reason why it is so important to preserve historical buildings. They help us interpret our predecessors, and thereby increase our understanding of ourself and our heritage.

Most of the buildings the world needs have already been built, and to a large extent we are forced to repurpose and redesign existing buildings to meet our current needs. In order to do this right, we need to fully understand the history of our buildings.

The political nature of architecture…

Is reflected in how a government takes care of its existing building environment, and how it prioritizes when it comes to future buildings. Are the new buildings extravagant and fancy, while the poor people live in sheds? Or, are public buildings kept in a modest fashion, while the politicians emphasise social housing? Ultimately it boils down to a political standpoint.

ECOtecture…

A large part of the world´s energy consumption is due to our buildings. Developing sustainable buildings can therefore make a substantial contribution to the ecological balance of the world. The architecture of the future (starting now) must take this into consideration.

Architecture…

in its essence is concerned with the shaping of materials, space, and light. It operates in the interface between art and technology, urban and rural areas, functionality and aesthetics, theory and practice. It is affected by the work of architects, but it belongs to all of mankind.

“Life is rich, always changing, always challenging, and we architects have the task of transmitting into wood, concrete, glass and steel, of transforming human aspirations into habitable and meaningful space.” Arthur Erickson

How to Install Ceramic Wall Tile

In this home improvement do it yourself renovation post, we will cover in detail how to install ceramic wall tile.

The tools you will need for this DIY project are as follows:

  • Notched trowel
  • Grout mixer
  • Drill
  • Dust pan
  • Medium sized bucket
  • Measuring Tape
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Grout sponge
  • Wet tile saw
  • Ceramic tile nibblers
  • ear protectors

Ceramic tile comes in a variety of color and sizes; from 1 inch, all the way up to 18 inches. Although most people prefer using 4 inch tile on walls, the most popular size tile is 12 inches. When picking out at wall tile for a tub surround, you need to make sure that the tile is water impervious (water won’t penetrate it). Tiles that are water resistant and repel water are known as semi-vitreous and impervious ceramic tiles.

Preparing the wall for installation

Ceramic tile can be installed on a variety of materials; including drywall, water resistant drywall, plaster and cement backer board. If installing for a tub surround or as a kitchen backsplash, green water resistant drywall or cement board should be used. In this post, we will be illustrating how to install on water resistant drywall.

If using cement board for your project, remember that cement board is cut the same way as regular drywall. Score the drywall with a utility knife, bend and snap it on the line, and cut the backside paper. You must keep in mind that the cement board may come in contact with water; therefore galvanized screws should be used for mounting to wall studs (spaced roughly 6 inches apart). The seams or butt joints are finished by taping with fiberglass tape, and a light coat of thin-set mortar applied as a sealer.

Marking the wall

If you are installing ceramic tile as a tub surround, my suggestion is to work it out that the center of two tiles end up at the center of the shower control, tub spout and shower head. This will make it easier for cutting and less labor intensive. Also, it will reduce the need of using special tools for cutting holes in the ceramic tile. Keep in mind that you want the tile on either end to be somewhat similar in size.

Make a mark where you want the tile to be and mark vertical and horizontal level lines. When marking your horizontal line, ensure that you measure the tile correctly so that the tile is not sitting directly on the top sides of the tub. If the tub happens to shift or move, the tile may crack. To keep the tile off the tub, simply place a tile spacer on either end, between the tub and the tile. See the pic below for a better understanding.

Installing the ceramic tile

When installing the ceramic tile, start at the center point of the shower control and work left and right along the bottom line. Starting in the center, making sure not to cover your lines, apply a coat of pre-mixed tile adhesive to an area for about two tiles. Spread the adhesive with your notched trowel to create ridges in the adhesive. See illustration below to get a better understanding.

Also, if you prefer, you could do what is called “Back buttering” the tile. Each tile is done one at a time, spreading adhesive to the back of the tile and set in place on the wall. See below.

Press each tile in place, giving it a slight twisting motion. This movement ensures that the tile makes good contact with the adhesive.  As you work your way along the horizontal line, place tile spacers between each tile, making sure your grout lines will be consistent. Doing one tile at a time, work from one horizontal line to the next, placing spacers along the way to maintain the grout line.

When you arrive at the corner, measure the size of the tile needed and cut with your wet tile saw. The remainder of the cut tile will be installed on the opposite side of the same corner. As illustrated below.

If and when you arrive at a hole that needs to be cut, take a measurement from the installed tile to the obstruction, and transfer that mark to the ceramic tile. Once this mark is made, use your wet tile saw and make many small cuts from the edge of the tile to the mark. Snap these small pieces off with tile nibblers, and let the tile dry. At this time, the tile should be ready to install. If the edge of the tile is sharp, smooth the edge with 80 grit sandpaper.

It is also very likely that at some point, you will end your tile on mid wall. When installing ceramic tile in this fashion, you must use a ceramic tile finishing strip. These strips are to be installed level, with the adhesive holding them in place. The tile is then cut and adhered over top of the finishing strip, with the tiles factory edge touching the finishing strip.

If you cannot complete the job at one time, do not leave any adhesive sit for too long on the wall. The adhesive will be very difficult to remove and will be almost impossible to install tiles in this area. Using a flat edge putty knife, remove excess adhesive from wall.

Grouting the tile

Once the tiles have all been fully installed and the adhesive has set up (24 hrs), it will be time to grout the tiles. See below.

Depending on the width of your grout lines, you will need to choose either sanded or un-sanded grout. If the spaces between the tiles are bigger than 1/8 inch, use sanded grout (This type of grout contains sand particles that help make the grout joint stronger).

Before you grout your tile, remove all your spacers and remove all excess adhesive that may have been left behind.

Following the manufacturer’s instructions, start mixing the grout. I recommend emptying two cups of grout in the bucket and slowly add water until you get the required consistency. The consistency should be similar to peanut butter or hot oatmeal. See the pic below to get a better understanding of the grout consistency.

Note: If you’re grouting in a bathroom or kitchen area, be sure your grout includes a waterproofing agent.

Using a rubber grout float, apply the grout at a 45-degree angle to the grout lines. Pressing firmly into the grout lines, ensure the grout fills the spaces between the tile and gets all the way down to the bottom of the seams. Working in a 3′ x 3′ area, be sure you get even coverage over all the grout lines.

After all the grout is applied, at a 45 degree angle to the grout lines, wipe off any excess grout with a damp wet sponge and clean the sponge regularly with clear water (as seen in the pic below). When applying grout on a wall, it is a good idea to put a drop sheet down to ensure there will be no grout falling onto the floor or use a dust pan to catch the grout as it falls.

After the grout has set after about 30 minutes, repeat wiping off the tile with the sponge. This may have to be done several times before the grout is completely removed from the surface of the tile.

Finishing the job

Let the grout dry for about 24 hours, and wipe away any surface haze with a damp rag. Make sure to clean the rag continuously until the tile is free of grout haze. If your wall is in a kitchen or bathroom, use clear mildew resistant silicone caulking to seal the edges of the ceramic tile where it meets the counter or top of the tub.

Note: Also, it is a good idea to apply a grout sealer after a week or so. Doing this, will prevent any dirt or stains from getting into the grout and ruining its appearance.

We hope you have enjoyed our DIY post, and wish you Happy Renovations!

Greek Architecture

Architecture in ancient Greece was usually done with wood or mud-bricks, so their ground plans are the only evidence of their existence. Greeks established most of the most enduring themes, attitudes, and forms of western culture. Architecture is one of the Greek legacies that the western civilization has inherited, as Greece established many of the structural elements, decorative motifs, and building types still used in architecture today.

The two main styles of Greek architecture are doric and ionic. The doric style is much more disciplined and austere, whereas the ionic style is more relaxed and decorative. There was a strong emphasis in building temples for the Greek mythological gods and goddesses. But, there were also well known public buildings like the Parthenon.

Building materials used were limestone and some native stones. Highly expensive marble was used mainly for sculptural decoration found in grand buildings of the classical period. The roofs of their buildings were made up of timber beams covered with overlapping terracotta or occasionally marble tiles.

The structure of ancient Greek architecture consists of a basic cube or rectangle, flanked by colonnades, and a long sequence of columns. Building will have a pronao or a portico that open up to a large open court peristyle. Greeks used very little of the principles of the masonary arch, individual blocks bound together by mortar. The front end of the roof has flat triangular shaped structure, the pediment which is usually filled with scultural decoration.

Temples are the best known form of Greek architecture. The altar of the temple was usually found in the sacred fane, an enclosure, in front of the temple. The inner building of the temple, cella, served mainly as the storage room. The other common public builds of the Greek architecture are gymnasiums, the palaestra, and theatres.

In ancient Greece, architects were hardly treated as valuable master craftsmen, unlike today where the architects are closely associated with the work they produce. And moreover, architecture was not seen as an art form, as it is in modern times.

Floor Tile Laying – Continual Speed Floor Tile Laying

If you follow the steps to floor tiling which I have mentioned in previous articles on the topic of floor tile laying, you will find that I have explained the process in a detailed manner regarding all aspects. However, as a summary to these articles, I will explain in brief the process with which you can speed up the whole operation of laying floor tiles. Instead of following the steps which I gave to laying a single floor tile at a time, which if followed would actually seem to take forever, I will give you an idea into laying several tiles all at once, which is the actually correct way to lay floor tiles to prevent your mortar mix from drying out before it becomes useless and solidifies.

First of all, scoop out a sufficient enough amount of mixed floor tile mortar to say, cover an area of approximately three 12″ inch ceramic floor tiles in a straight line, for example. Spread this out gently and evenly with the flat edge of your notched   trowel , remembering not to cover your chalk lines or any important pencil marks. This is known as keying-in, which ensures that your subfloor is completely covered with mortar, and there is a good bond forming between the two.

Once you have it keyed-in to an approximate mortar bed depth of between 1/2″ to 3/4″ inch the length of three tiles, you then take either of the short or long cut-out edges of your 3/8″ by 1/4″ inch notched  trowel , depending on your preference of spreading or access to the area, and set to the edge of the mortar bed. Holding the  trowel  at an approximate 45 degree angle, scrape the  trowel  through the mortar for the full length of the bed in straight lines, constantly maintaining downward pressure. At the end of each scrape, tilt and wipe the excess mortar from the  trowel  leaving a mound at the end for later use.

You should now have an area of mortar large enough for three floor tiles, which resembles something similar to a farmer’s ploughed field. Take one tile; butt the edge gently next to an adjacent floor tile keeping the same alignment, and drop the tile down gently. With downward pressure using your fingertips, pull the tile away slightly from the adjacent floor tile to create a gap for grout spacing, and gently push and twist the tile firmly into the mortar bed.

Insert your 3/16″ or 1/4″ inch tile grout spacers between all neighboring edges with two spacers to an edge, and then gently push the tile tight towards the edges which should clamp your grout spacers in place. Make sure that your alignment and level is correct, double-check the existing tile alignment so that it hasn’t moved, then continue these steps with the laying of the second and third tiles.

When all three floor tiles are laid into place surrounded by grout spacers on all edges which meet, check the alignment, double-check the alignment, and then go back to check the alignment on tiles laid previously. That I can’t stress more than enough. Take a tile spacer and run it down the length of the grout lines removing any excess mortar as you go, and be sure to wipe off any spots of mortar from the tile surfaces and edges in the process, and then check the alignment once again.

That is basically all there is to it. So once you master laying one tile, build yourself to two, then three, or four tile sections. Whichever you feel confident and comfortable with, and to speed up the whole process of laying floor tiles. If you ever find that you run short of tile spacers though down the line, just remove spacers from tiles that you are sure may be partially dried and fixed into the mortar bed, and that won’t be disturb by your following section of tiles to be laid.