26 episodes

From This Old House, Clearstory is a window that sheds light on the surprising stories behind our homes. Host Kevin O'Connor digs into the systems, structures and materials in our homes from unexpected angles. Will future skyscrapers be built out of wood? Why is the American Chestnut heralded as “the perfect tree”? Did the Romans have a better recipe for concrete than what we use today? How will we build on Mars? You’ll hear from industry leaders, historians, and builders. Clearstory – your home in a new light.

Clearstory This Old House

    • Leisure
    • 4.8 • 687 Ratings

From This Old House, Clearstory is a window that sheds light on the surprising stories behind our homes. Host Kevin O'Connor digs into the systems, structures and materials in our homes from unexpected angles. Will future skyscrapers be built out of wood? Why is the American Chestnut heralded as “the perfect tree”? Did the Romans have a better recipe for concrete than what we use today? How will we build on Mars? You’ll hear from industry leaders, historians, and builders. Clearstory – your home in a new light.

    The Post-Pandemic Home

    The Post-Pandemic Home

    The pandemic has changed our lives and our world... but will it change our homes? Host Kevin O'Connor speaks with author and professor of architecture Sara Carr, journalist and bioethicist Elizabeth Yuko, and assistant professor of architecture Cyrus Penarroyo about how our history with pandemics has influenced the way we build our homes, and how Covid-19 could shape the future of our homes and communities.
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    • 37 min
    The (Second) Rise of Concrete

    The (Second) Rise of Concrete

    How did a massive, devastating fire lead to the rebirth of one of our oldest building materials: concrete? Host Kevin O'Connor speaks with author and journalist Vince Beiser and assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering Admir Masic about concrete in the ancient world, how it came into our modern world, and the mystery of why it wasn’t used for a thousand years.
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    • 37 min
    Our Perpetual House Guests

    Our Perpetual House Guests

    When we think of pests, we may think of the obvious: ants, mice, spiders, cockroaches. But what about the life we can’t see? And what about the ones that are actually helping us out? Host Kevin O'Connor speaks with ecologist, author, and professor Rob Dunn about the visible -- and invisible -- creatures we live within our homes and how there’s no amount of cleaning that can keep some of them out.
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    • 31 min
    Life On Mars?

    Life On Mars?

    Could humans travel to Mars within the decade? Some tech giants are planning on it. And the plan isn’t just to get there -- it’s to live there. What would our Martian homes look like? How would we construct them? And should we even go to the Red Planet? Host Kevin O’Connor speaks with journalist and author Stephen Petranek, astrophysicist Michelle Thaller, planetary geologist Jacob Bleacher and architect Xavier De Kestelier about the future of human life on Mars.
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    • 39 min
    The Perfect Tree?

    The Perfect Tree?

    There was a time when the American Chestnut was a plentiful resource for the wood that built our homes. In the early 1900s it was found in house framing, windows, trim furniture, and more. At 100 feet tall and up to 10 feet wide, it towered over the eastern forests. But then it disappeared. And now there's a movement to bring it back. Host Kevin O’Connor gets the story from author Susan Freinkel, who shares the historic importance of the Redwood of the East. We learn about the cutting-edge technology that scientist Bill Powell is using to bring it back from extinction. We also talk to Rex Mann, who grew up in Appalachia with the American Chestnut and researcher Sara Fitzsimmons who is overseeing an orchard of new growth trees.
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    • 39 min
    Healthy Homes

    Healthy Homes

    As building technologies have improved and new building materials have found their way into construction sites, our homes have certainly become healthier than before... right? Host Kevin O'Connor speaks with professors Jonsara Ruth and Alison Mears, co-founders of the Healthy Materials Lab, a design research lab at Parsons School of Design, about the history of toxic building materials, what we use today that could be harmful to our health, and how we can create healthier built environments.
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    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
687 Ratings

687 Ratings

The Insuder ,

The one and only!

Only podcast (+ Ask) I’ve ever really listened to. Hope more is on the way! Great program!

alandewitt ,

Feeds my craftsman brain

Clearstory podcasts present and develop the details I seek to feed my deeper understanding of building materials, techniques and advancements. As a craftsman, I feel “full” after listening to a Clearstory podcast episode or two. And I incorporate things learned here into my projects.

windandskymidwest ,

Love this show!

Love the great details and historical context.

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