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Building Performance Modeling in Non-Simplified Architectural Design; Max C. Doelling, Farshad Nasrollahi.

Building Performance Modeling in Non-Simplified Architectural Design; Max C. Doelling, Farshad Nasrollahi.

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Published by Max C D
Peer-reviewed conference paper; eCAADe 2012, Czech Technical University, Prague.
Peer-reviewed conference paper; eCAADe 2012, Czech Technical University, Prague.

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Published by: Max C D on Sep 15, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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CAAD curriculum -
Volume 1 -
eCAADe 30
Digital, parametric model-based design workowsoer many opportunities to integrate perormancesimulation into the architectural design process, butas a relatively novel practice, no proven set o de-sign methods or cognitive ramework has yet beenestablished. Many traditional simulation classesconsider simplied design parameters and produceresults that stream towards clear perormance indi-cators. While entirely appropriate, and possibly evenreects a large aspect o the built environment’s or-mal reality, an increasing tendency exists to strivetowards orms that are not intended as mere aes-thetic experiments but to enrich the lives o inhabit-ants through enhanced comort. In this context, ourongoing seminar “Parametric Design” investigatesthe integration o multiple building perormancesimulation techniques into the early stages o archi-tectural design. Master o Architecture students withminimal or no knowledge o building perormancesimulation are tasked with expressing a unction-ally diverse spatial programme, using daylightingand thermal assessment tools as continuous designdecision benchmarks. One o three sites (Berlin: Ger-many, Hashtgerd: Iran, Ft. Lauderdale: Florida, USA)has to be chosen, yielding designs specic to the lo-cal climate but related through their shared designbrie. Basic lectures on sustainable building andsimulation principles are given, while workshops
Building Perormance Modeling in NonSimplifedArchitectural Design
Procedural and cognitive challenges in education
 Max Doelling 
 , Farshad Nasrollahi
Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
The building technology class “Parametric Design” simultaneously teachesthermal and daylight performance simulation to novice users, usually Master of 
 Architecture students. Own buildings are created, analysed and geometrically modied 
during the design process, resulting in structures that are energetically pre-optimized. It 
is shown that energy demand and daylight utilization can be signicantly improved while
taking into account formal considerations. Departing from a design process model that  gives preference to either engineering or design thinking, multi-modal decision-making isdiagnosed to be mediated by hybrid or multivalent representations, necessitating a shift 
in how inter-domain design knowledge ows might be understood. Opposed to purelylinear or iterative process assumptions, a uent state model of interconnected domains of 
analytic inquiry is proposed.
Sustainable design; daylight simulation; thermal simulation; architectural education; design epistemology.
eCAADe 30
 - Volume 1 - CAAD curriculum
introduce students to the interlinked usage o DIVA(Jakubiec and Reinhart, 2011), a daylight simulationplugin or Rhinoceros3d, DesignBuilder, an interaceor the simulation engine EnergyPlus, Rhinoceros3d,a NURBS modeler, and Grasshopper3d, a parametricgeometry tool.
Various dierent models o building perormancesimulation classes are described in the literature, asare approaches that deal with integrating simula-tion into the architectural design process in general. The ollowing selection is not intended as a com-prehensive classication o previous studies, butinstead serves to position our own endeavor withinthis developing eld.Many simulation classes cater to architecturestudents and contain a design component, theanalysis o which can then also be related to tool useconsiderations (Palme, 2011). Alternatively, uncon-strained architectural design activity is requentlynot part o a class (Strand, Liesen and Witte, 2004;Madsen and Osterhaus, 2005). Epistemologicalworkow considerations are discussed rom variousangles, usually contrasting engineering and designworking methods, or attempt to establish interme-diate ground (Batty and Swann, 1997; Hetheringtonet al., 2011; Venancio et al., 2011). Most case studiesacknowledge the importance o early-stage archi-tectural energy optimization through design, yetour review indicates that it is the norm or only onesimulation domain to be detailedly taught per class,unlike in our own, which introduces both daylightand thermal simulations in an integrated manner.In this paper, we touch on tool use implications, butassume the chosen sotware applications to be reli-ably useable in the design process due to advancedinteraces, precise results display and their use o thevalidated simulation engines EnergyPlus and Radi-ance. In essence, we attempt to understand possiblemodes o simulation-assisted cross-domain deci-sion-making by architectural designers perormedrom the very rst creation steps to the end o theschematic design phase, since in this time rameundamental, difcult to reverse choices aectingorm and energy use are made (Brown and DeKay,2001). No normative workow recommendationswill be stated; instead, analyzing various processrepresentations in conjunction with describing deci-sion chains will lead us to an alternative integrateddesign process model.
 The ollowing sections introduce the curriculum em-ployed by us, present two class results rom summer2011 and relate them to the challenge o integratingbuilding simulation into early-stage architecturaldesign. The guiding research questions are:1. Are simulation activities easily eective in de-creasing a design’s primary energy demand i they are to be positively correlated with mak-ing desired ormal decisions, in a process thatacknowledges unctional and geometric com-plexity?2. How are design decisions made in a multi-rep-resentational domain that includes parametricperormance models?3. What consequences might the results and themodes o their making have or architecturaleducation and design theory?
 The seminar investigates design-simulation processinteraction by posing a “real-world” problem. Thereare no rules concerning the building shape, albeitwe ask students to consider the task realistic in thesense o a limited budget and apparent constructa-bility o the 804 m
community center. Spaces area mix o ofces, seminar rooms and a small audito-rium. By having students design in dierent climatezones, they experience how buildings that share thesame design brie are morphologically inuencedby adapting to the local climate.
 The course assignments are modeled ater the hier-
CAAD curriculum -
Volume 1 -
eCAADe 30
archy traditionally ound in design studios, with en-ergy optimization primarily to be achieved througharchitectural instead o technological means. Hence,ormal and perormance decisions are closely re-lated (Nasrollahi, 2009). Our ollowing process narra-tive is a temporally linear approximation o groups’design thinking at various advancing stages, as in-terpreted by the authors based on tutoring, resultsdata evaluation and representation analysis.
Heuristic and initial simulation phase
Assignment 01 asked students to start design work and to especially consider early stage perormancerules o thumb, requiring them to document key de-sign concepts relating to the intended environmen-tal perormance in principle sketches that shouldrelate to the local climate. Group 01 chose Ft. Lau-derdale as the project site; group 02, chose Hashtg-erd, Iran. The climates o both sites are very dierent:Florida’s low latitude, low elevation and proximity tothe Gul o Mexico lend it year-long high tempera-tures, mostly uncomortable in summer due to highrelative humidity, while Hashtgerd’s more northernlatitude, higher elevation and greater distance romthe ocean yield a continental climate with bothsummer and winter discomort extremes. The goalo perormance design strategies was to minimizethe primary energy demand o heating, cooling andlighting equipment required to achieve thermal andvisual comort.In the initial phase, a massing approach (gure1) and response to site conditions was dened, withmost groups departing rom and modiying the ba-sic principles thus discovered throughout the class.Design rules o thumb were recommended to beollowed rom various publications (e.g. Brown andDeKay, 2001) and Climate Consultant, a climate anal-ysis package. The very earliest design stage, articu-lated by sketches (gure 2) and arrays o incompletemodels, eatured too little inormation to enablesimulations that require dened geometries. Only atits end was a base layout established, on which rstanalyses were perormed. This marked the transitionrom purely heuristic to partially evidence-basedmodes o thinking.Assignment 02a dealt with running climate-baseddaylight simulations (Reinhart, Mardaljevic and Rog-ers, 2006) and a seasonal cumulative solar irradiationanalysis, achieved with DIVA. The reason or consid-ering insolation images and daylighting rst was ourintention to have students visually experience solargains, with the hope that they would tweak theirassumptions on solar geometry and arrive at an im-proved building layout beore constructing thermalsimulation models.Group 01 correctly identied horizontal as wellas east and west acing suraces as major receiverso insolation (gure 3). This was in part caused bythe massing strategy chosen due to wind patternsand spatial organization considerations, which werealso related to assumed daylighting benets tested
Figure 2Design Development Sketches(Plans roughly oriented north),USA.Figure 3Summer / Winter Irradia-tion Images (South to let o rame), USA.Figure 1Natural Ventilation and Mass-ing Sketch, Florida Design.

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