Blog & News

News items about Macdonald Architecture & Technology and about Angus W. Macdonald.

Chief Architect presents at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2019

Sustainability, the New Form giver

Nov. 8, 2019

Chief Architect addresses American Institute of Architects

Angus Macdonald spoke at Architecture Exchange East 2019 hosted by the AIA in Richmond, VA. on 8 Nov. 2019.   His talk is titled Sustainability the New Form Giver. This talk is a discussion of how the design requirements of 3 main sustainability factors can influence building appearance:

  1. Making building construction sustainable through material choice and building design

  2. Designing disaster resistant structures for safety and survival during extreme events: hurricanes, floods, storm surge, wildfire, and earthquakes

  3. Architectural forms for integration of energy conservation and renewable power generation: passive solar, passive geothermal, active …

Solar Chalet

earth bermed off grid house 2016

Dec. 30, 2018

Macdonald Architects designed a passive solar mountainside off grid home in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains.  The home is constructed of prefabricated Ferrocement.  It is 2 1/2 stories high, with a solar clerestory, and ground floor greenhouse front, the length of the home. 

Chief Architect presents at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2018

Designing for Earthquake, Flood & Hurricane Resistance

Nov. 8, 2018

Angus Macdonald spoke at Architecture Exchange East 2018 hosted by the AIA in Richmond, VA. His talk was titled Designing for Earthquake Flood & Hurricane Resistance. Slides of recent hurricane damage in FL and the Caribbean show that structural failure of buildings begins with the fasteners connecting structural elements and along intersections where materials change. He presented an analysis of how the over-stressing of fasteners and the material around them can occur with the lateral forces of wind and storm surge. He suggested the use of galvanized steel reinforced Ferrocement as a seamless unibody solution to structural failure during …

India Ferrocement Society

Keynote speaker 2017

June 15, 2017

Macdonald was the keynote speaker at the 4th India Ferrocement Society Conference in Kerala India 2017. He also received the Society's Award for Innovation in Ferrocement.

His talk outlined the importance of the use of Ferrocement as an alternate to solid reinforced masonry and concrete, the standard construction type in most of the world. The environmental and life safety advantages of Ferrocement have now become more important in light of climate change and global warming, and of increased storm, flood, and wildfire frequency and severity.

St. Patrick Eastern Orthodox Church

energy conservative church & school using Ferrocement

Dec. 1, 2014


Macdonald Architects applied passive geothermal foundation design in this prefabricated Ferrocement church and school building. The project began in 2012 with a design to remodel an existing wood framed farmers' market into a parish church in Opal VA. Just as construction was nearly complete, the building was burnt down by arson.  A new church was designed for the same site using fire resistant galvanized steel reinforced Ferrocement.