Environmental Systems Lab Group Travels to Rome Building Simulation Conference
Environmental Systems Lab director and assistant professor of architecture Timur Dogan and three student researchers traveled to Rome for the 16th Building Simulation Conference, a gathering of researchers, developers, and practitioners dedicated to improving the built environment. Allison Bernett (M.Arch. '20), Patrick Kastner '22, and Daniel (Ye Chan) Park (B.Arch. '20) all work with Dogan on different aspects of simulation in architectural and design decision-making and presented papers at the conference.
Simulation is not altogether new to the field of architecture, but it is becoming an increasingly far-reaching reality — impacting early design stages, building performance projection and assessment, as well as mapping aspects of the built environment that have long been the concern of architects but fall short of consistently usable metrics and data.
"Architects think a lot about light, for example," says Dogan. "Yet data that we can use to incorporate ideas around light into the design process is not always straightforward. And so, we use basically everything that is influenced by physics to measure and project — essentially, predict — how things like lighting conditions or temperatures related to climate might affect design decisions that then have an impact on quality of life. Our work in the lab includes research and writing papers on our findings as well as the development of modeling and simulation tools for architects that will aid them in building better, more sustainable and more comfortable buildings and cities."
At the conference, Bernett presented a paper coauthored with Dogan as part of their ongoing work on a framework to guide architectural design decisions and save time and cost in the process from early stages to construction. Considerations included in the framework are energy performance, embodied carbon, and construction cost to help architects develop and refine high-performance designs. Bernett and Dogan's research received funding from the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future last spring.
Kastner, a doctoral student in systems engineering, presented a paper titled "Towards High-Resolution Annual Outdoor Thermal Comfort Mapping in Urban Design." His work demonstrates the potential for environmental comfort analyses through computational flued dynamics simulation so that improvements can be made in the design of outdoor areas where social and commercial activities take place in cities — thereby improving living conditions and well-being.
Park's paper, "Adapting the Residential Daylight Score for Arid, Hot, and Humid Climates," examines the thermal impact of direct light in residential architecture across various climates and identifies the times of the day and the year during which direct light is either thermally beneficial or harmful.
The Environmental Systems Lab currently includes seven students who work with Dogan to conduct research on an area of their interest within the purview of the lab. Current projects include Eddy, a grasshopper plug-in that integrates wind and outdoor comfort analyses with sustainable architectural design; Urbano, a new tool to promote mobility-aware urban design based on transportation modeling and access analysis for amenities and public transport; and an ongoing survey on daylighting in residential buildings.
By Edith Fikes