Category: Engineering

Time’s path dependency

30 October, 2017 (09:00) | Cities, Engineering, England, Infrastructure, Patton, roads, Romans, Theory, Water | No comments

   By: David A. Smith     Patton prepared himself [to command Third Army in France] by reading The Norman Conquest to determine what roads William the Conqueror had utilized centuries earlier during his campaigns in Normandy and Brittany.    If an army marches on its stomach, a mechanized army rolls on its roads   […]

The risk of complicated structures

2 September, 2008 (10:30) | Architecture, Configuration, Construction, Engineering, Humor, Maintenance |

A while back, I posted in Dreamers versus Plumbers about the comprehensive failure of the climate-control system at Harvard’s Otto Hall.  The building is being demolished only seventeen years after its completion, because the ultra-sophisticated humidity-management system was too space-age for its own good.    “Missed it by that much.”   As I wrote in […]

Dreamers versus plumbers

15 August, 2008 (08:24) | Architecture, Configuration, Engineering, Humor, Maintenance |

“Imagine, one day we’ll write blog posts on devices like this” “What’s a blog, honey?”   Long ago (1977), when I was just beginning to learn the business, our company was doing a repositioning and workout of a troubled affordable property in North Cambridge (as it happened, less than half a mile from my grotty […]