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Tall Building Form Generation by Parametric Design Process

Tall Building Form Generation by Parametric Design Process

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CTBUH 2004 Seoul Conference 1
Tall Building Form Generation by Parametric Design Process
Sang Min Park, Mahjoub Elnimeiri, David C. Sharpe, Robert J. Krawczyk 
Ph.D. Candidate, College of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology
Professor, College of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology
Associate Professor, College of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology
Assistance Professor, College of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology
Historically, the development of the tall building has been dependent on technological advancements. Asthe continuous advancements of technology impacted tall building design and planning, the architectural profession also changed to keep up with the rapid technological progress. One of the recent remarkabletechnologies is the use of the computer to analyze complex structural systems and its ability to produceconstruction documents. However, digital tools to assist in architectural design to generate innovative tall building forms have not progressed at a comparable rate. This paper will discuss the generative concepts of atall building forms and an innovative design process using digital tools that are based on a parametric designapproach. The paper will discuss a series of transformations based on architectural as well as geometrical properties that can be used to define tall building forms and the development of a process to generaterepresentations needed for visualization and study model making. The intention of the paper is to inspirecontinued interest in new concepts of tall building forms and to investigate a design process that integratesarchitecture with digital methods.
: Tall building form, Design process, Digital tool
The symbolic value of a tall building is very powerful in a urban landscape. To architects and the public, the form of a tall building is primary concern,and the attitude is critical toward the outcome of thedesign. The approach to designing evolutionary tall buildings is an open subject of professional debate,and the role of the architect in designing them is veryimportant, particularly from the point of view of formgeneration. Recently, a few architects have presented building forms that exhibit a more complex geometry.With the introduction of digital tools, generativedesign possibilities can be more fully explored withthese geometries.In the development of tall buildings, the overall building form should be one of the major elementsthat impacts building aesthetics and behavior.However, architecturally, structurally and aesthetically,it is a complex task to develop an optimal form for tall buildings due to the interrelations of large numbers of components. The attempt to combine more than onemajor function in a building or complex presents thedesigner with several problems. Each function hasdifferent planning considerations for optimum andhabitable space. Due to the inter-related functionalrequirements within a building, one change can affectmany other factors that must be considered whendeveloping a project.The use of digital tools in the schematic design phase of tall building design is still quite limited. Thecomputer-aided design includes using a computer notonly for visualization, analysis, and evaluation, butalso for the generation of designs or, more accurately,for the rapid generation of computable designrepresentations describing conceptual designalternatives. Potential design alternatives aregenerated and evaluated in order to obtain the most promising solution.The advantage of parametric design in this researchis to plan and synthesize the overall requirements andrelationships of many design elements into one form(see Figure 1). This process allows the designer toinvestigate variety of possible solutions quickly.This research is concerned with tall building formsgenerated by digital tools based on the architecturaland structural criteria. It explores potential generativeforms, and also suggests an innovative design processusing digital methods. The following objectives have been identified for this:
Contact Author: Sang Min Park, Ph.D. CandidateCollege of ArchitectureIllinois Institute of Technology3360 S. StateChicago, IL 60616 USATel: 312-567-3264e-mail: parksan@iit.edu
2 CTBUH 2004 Sang Min Park 
Define the relationships between design criteria andoverall tall building form
Explore the various geometries and transformationsfor tall building form
Suggest an innovative digitally based design processfor tall building design
Suggest generative forms and concepts of tall building that meet the design criteria
Develop an architectural design methodology usingdigital tools
Fig.1. Design Elements of Tall Building Form
Proposed Design Process
The design of a tall building involves professionalsfrom several disciplines, starting from the conceptualdesign to final design documents. The entire process israther complex in that it requires experts fromdifferent disciplines. In the schematic design phase,architects and engineers create a set of alternative possible tall building forms. The output of conceptualdesign can lead to design concepts that can be used asa basis for embodiment and detail design. Althoughschematic design phase only occupies fifteen percentof the total design fee, this stage is more importantthan the other stages because about eighty percent of the resources required to build a structure arecommitted by decisions made during the conceptualdesign stage. This early phase of design is the mostcrucial part of the entire process.Potential design alternatives are generated andevaluated in order to obtain the most promisingsolution. Ordinarily, several alternative solutions are proposed to the client for consideration or approval.However, the selection is complex to arrive at the bestalternatives since tall building forms include a largenumber of disciplines that sometimes conflict withdesign requirements. Once the proposed scheme has been accepted the building design is progresses intothe design development stage.
Fig.2. Proposed Design Process and Tools
In parametric design, it is the elements of a particular design that are declared, not its shape. Byassigning different values to the parameters, differentconfigurations can be created. The proposed design process in this paper is based on parametric input (seeFigure 2). Parametric design consists of a set of variables and a series of relations to define a form.The overall form can be manipulated by alteringspecific parameters that are able to automaticallyadjust building data such as total gross area, total building height, total number of floors, and aspectratio.
Fig.3. Design Parameters
Parameters are expressed as numeric andgeometrical relationships. To design with thesesrelationships requires the establishment of a series of  parametric principles. Development of tall buildingscould be determined by design factors; these factorshave several parameters such as user needs, functionalrequirements and structural demands (see Figure 3).
CTBUH 2004 Sang Min Park 3
These design parameters are dependent upon planningconsiderations. Items related to planningconsiderations are building functions, core planning,lease spans, and floor-to-floor height. Theseconsiderations are interdependent with each other andthey affect the overall building design. In this research,all of these considerations are the design parameters toachieve an appropriate solution.Before selecting a building geometry, it is necessaryto set the appropriate spatial requirements. These areasmust include base and top floor areas and appropriatecore areas with proper lease span by function. Thecore area is determined by total number of elevatorsand elevator zoning. The number of elevators can becalculated by given gross area of each function anddesign guidelines. The base and top floor areacalculation worksheet consists of these complexrelationships (see Figure 4). By using the worksheet,appropriate core area, proper base and top area, andnumber of floors each function will be set quickly before form generation. This process establishes thearchitectural requirements for the project.
Geometry and Transformation
Geometry plays a critical roll in the generation of  building form and structure. Geometry in theschematic design helps to explore design ideas. This paper explores potential geometries and new conceptsof vertical transformation to create an overall spatialform using non-conventional concepts. A geometricshape has own architectural and structuralcharacteristics. Tall building forms can be designed based on geometric shape. The explored geometries inthis paper are focused on symmetry. One polygon’scorner can be another polygon’s center. Thesecombinations generate many symmetrical formsusable for tall building form as shown in the geometrytable (see Figure 5). Same side distances and same bay corner columns characterize these symmetrygeometries.Conventional building form along its height can bedescribed as prismatic, tapered, and setback. This paper presents non-conventional verticaltransformations such as setback, section morph, twist,and curvilinear. This investigation covers thedevelopment of a series of starting and ending floor  plate shapes for a set of floors. Figure 6 shows thecombinations of starting and ending geometries.According to each combination, different number of control point will be decided to create a form.Throughout this process, numerous new concepts of tall building form can be explored. Digital proceduresare developed to transform starting floor plate shapeto the ending shape. Operations such as rotation,scaling, and morphing are demonstrated for a varietyof basic shapes. Embedded in the generative processare architectural and structural criteria that limit theresulting form.
Fig 4. Base and Top Area Calculation Worksheet

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