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Everyday Engineering - Understanding the Marvels of Daily Life
Look around you. Great masterpieces of engineering are everywhere. As soon as you get out of bed in the morning, you are putting centuries of scientific and mechanical ingenuity to use. So familiar are these structures, inventions, and services that they are all but invisible. Yet they are just as…
The Building Envelope
Episode 5 of Everyday Engineering
Now that your house is framed, it needs a building envelope that can shed rainwater and melting snow, and also keep precipitation from entering through the foundation. Learn about the five integrated layers of protection: shingles and cladding, drainage plane, insulation, vapor barrier, and drywall.
Three Structural Systems for Load Bearing
Episode 3 of Everyday Engineering
Examine one of the most important aspects of modern building codes: the design of a house for structural load carrying. Focus on two of the three major approaches to this crucial function: bearing wall construction and heavy timber frame construction. Both have been used for thousands of years.
Everyday Bridges
Episode 32 of Everyday Engineering
Find that everyday highway overpass bridges are more interesting than they appear. These ubiquitous structures deserve to be admired for their simplicity and practicality. Plunge into the principles of multi-girder spans, and learn that new construction techniques make highway bridges more efficient and elegant than ever.
Trusses: The Power of the Triangle
Trusses, the subject of this fascinating episode, are rigid frameworks composed of structural members connected at joints and arranged into networks of triangles. Learn how they work to stabilize and support a range of structural wonders, including the Brooklyn Bridge and: most famously: the Eiffel Tower.
Highway Engineering
Episode 30 of Everyday Engineering
Step into the work boots of a highway engineer, tasked with designing a freeway across hilly terrain to connect two other highways. Discover that features of a safe road that you take for granted--constant-radius curves, gentle grade, sturdy construction, and a well-drained surface--require detailed planning.
Home Energy Efficiency
Episode 18 of Everyday Engineering
Delve into the green building movement, which promotes structures that use natural resources more efficiently while reducing environmental impact. Focus on minimizing energy consumption through a well-insulated, airtight building envelope; energy-efficient windows and doors; and energy-efficient HVAC systems and appliances.
Traffic Engineering
Episode 31 of Everyday Engineering
Traffic engineers help to ensure the safe and efficient movement of vehicles and pedestrians within a road system. Focus on their approach to intersection design, examining the many factors that go into determining whether you're faced with a traffic signal, an overpass, a flyover ramp, or some other means of…
Your House as an Engineered System
Episode 2 of Everyday Engineering
In the first of four lectures on your house as a technological system, review the eight engineered subsystems that go into modern dwellings. Then discover the miracle of building codes, which ensure that every new house is safe, constructible, and reasonably economical without involving an engineer in each design.
Site Design and Storm Runoff
Episode 6 of Everyday Engineering
What happens to the precipitation that falls on your house, your lot, and your neighbors' properties? Study the problem of site design, focusing on how storm runoff is directed away from homes and returned to a natural watercourse, without causing flooding along the way.
Dam, Reservoir, and Aqueduct Design
Episode 7 of Everyday Engineering
Now consider the water that you want in your house--for drinking, cooking, and bathing. Examine the technologies that collect water from a watershed and transport it to a municipality. Explore different designs for dams, and marvel at the Catskill Aqueduct that carries fresh water to New York City.
Passive Solar and Net-Zero-Energy Homes
Episode 19 of Everyday Engineering
How much energy can you save with a properly designed house? Would you believe all of it? Trace the trend in passive solar and net-zero-energy homes that are engineered to stay comfortable year-round by exploiting sunlight in winter and shielding against it in summer, with minimal operating costs.