Where have I been?

Lately I have been focusing on understanding the project site. And have further more begun to develop the building massing. I conducted a Site Inventory to understand the existing conditions. I have produced a proposed building layout on the site. The parking garage roof will function as an urban gathering space, the building is oriented to challenge the surrounding existing architecture. I am also trying to orient the building to pull visual interest towards UC's campus, this communicates the business development and research relationship that exists between the new building tenants and UC. I feel there is a need to challenge the surrounding architecture because a nanotechnology facility is an up and coming modern business. By challenging the surrounding architecture I am hoping to communicate "things are changing" and new contemporary organizations are being realized. The surrounding architecture has more of a historical vernacular, where business entrances are placed rectangular flush with the sidewalk. I am hoping to address the night life of the area, and the business/urban relationship, by providing ample public outdoor urban spaces. During the day the spaces can be used to enjoy warm weather and eat lunch. During the night the spaces can be transformed to public performance spaces, and places to display art work. I do have some notion of making the area above the parking garage a sculpture garden. It seems business are creating their image to state they are connected to culture, often this is achieved by putting art on display.


Energy Modeling

After last week's progress of investigating environmental comfort issues, I began to explore how energy/comfort modeling can be done. And what effective energy use and thermal comfort methodologies can be exploited, as I go through the architectural design process, that generate quantifiable results.The need to have the ability to make energy based decisions at a conceptual phase was causing confusion in my mind. Part of the confusion steamed from many software packages being available with no clear and direct notion of how they can aid me. Through much research I have realized that energy performance, whole building simulation, and environmental comfort are the defining types of data I need to measure throughout my project. After reading this paper things become much clearer in my head. The way I see it now; I will use Green Building Studio as a tool during systematic design. Green Building Studio provides whole building simulation. This will allow me to make earlier decisions about the thermal efficiency, water use, and energy use reduction of my building. Using information obtained from Green Building Studio, I will use Ecotect to make detailed design decisions about the building shell, orientation, shading devices, and daylighting.Ecotect uses a visual interface for explaining data.This makes it a good design tool, but not the best precise data generation tool. Green Building Studio has the capacity to export to the DOE-2 file format.This is the file format used by EQuest. I will use EQuest to aid in the more detailed design of the building systems, and provide numerical feed back of the energy efficiency of the building shell. Lastly I will use IES as a tool to measure the total building performance. IES also has the capacity to aid in the design of items such as natural ventilation, where the other software packages do not. It also seems that Green Building Studio, IES, and Equest all compute zone loads differently. Sense IES seems to be more detailed that is what i will use as my feedback for detailed building system calculations, particularly for climate and airflow variables.


Thermal Comfort/Energy Efficency

Lately I have been interested in investigating the thermal comfort of the building occupants. Environmental comfort plays a pivotal role in my senior project. This is because established comfort parameters dictates how the building systems will be designed. Unfortunately thermal comfort and energy consumption can be diametrically opposed.For instance air can easily be heated through the use of a mechanical fuel powered plant.And fresh air is most easily distributed by electric fans. However, by making informed architectural design decisions the dependence on building systems, to achieve thermal comfort, can be reduced. So my notion is to design the architecture of the building in a fashion that reduces dependency on building systems, then design the building system to be of low energy use and high performance. In order to achieve my goals of high comfort and low energy consumption I have taken two steps. FIrst off I have set my project up to make use of Autodesk's Green Building Studio. This will allow dynamic cross analysis of thermal comfort and energy consumption.And will further more allow me to understand the economic and carbon impacts of my decisions. Secondly I have begun to research thermal comfort issues specific to the local climate, and have identified strategies to achieve 100% occupant comfort. The beginning of my research can be found here. Architecturally the most influential items I will look at further will be shading devices, and the use of low mass materials for passive solar heat gain.Using low mass materials will also provide the potential opportunity to do passive night cooling.




I have been thinking about patterns lately in two germaneness of architecture. The first is the contemporary application of pattern making in architectural design. The convenience of advanced software programs has resulted in the reemergence of expressing patterns in architectural concepts. It is common to see complex geometric patterns that were generated from a 3d modeling program that utilizes parametric algorithms. To be honest the results are unique, and function as amazing eye candy. However, I would also argue that majority of these results will not become timeless architecture. Much of my belief stems from believing that these parametric patterns will only result in a "once upon a time" style. I say this because timeless architecture requires the application of craft in the design process. So if patterns are generated for the purpose of generating architectura, without an appropriate sense of craft, nothing more then something cool to look at is being achieved. So what is craft then? In architectural design, and in my personal opinion, craft is the ability to deliver a building that is uniquely tailored to the building program at hand. Every design detail relates to a function, a feature, or a theory that is strengthening the ethos of the project. Hense forth generating unique patterns, for the sole rationale of being visually appealing, does not meet my definition of craft. Applying a uniform pattering aesthetic, regardless of how it relates to the building program, is just a unique pattern. Both the return to the focus of,and the modern reinterpretation of, how patterns can be used in architectural design are highly interesting to me.But for the time being I am not going to get into my thoughts about that.

With all that said, I do believe that parametric patterns can benefit my project. In nanotechnology patterns can easily be found, and the above image demonstrates my claim. I have been contemplating lately how the application of the above mentioned technologies, can be inline with current styles and still be a high level of craft. I think it is a positive notion to investigate the interpretation of molecular patterns into architecture, for a nanotechnology building. Doing so will connect the architecture to the activities taking place inside the building. Creating what I like to refer to a as a clear language. I define a clear language as the connectivity of function and form.Or in other words the cohesion between the kinetics of people existing in a building, and the static state that buildings exist in.

Some Questions I Am Left With:

A. How can digital parametric patterns be used and still achieve craft?

B. How dominating should the pattern be on the building envelope and massing?

C. Layering of patterns can provide a pleasant visual conversation, how can this add to the project ethos?
1. How can this aid functional aspects?
2. How can this aid sustainable and performance aspects?
3. How can I utilize layered patterns to provoke a statement that contributes to a clear language?

D. Are parametric patterns even a method I want fo employ?
1. If so what is my justification?
2. If not why?

E. How much should the patterning control?
1. The building massing?
2. The building facade?
3. Interior spacial arrangements?
4. Site design and land planning?

F. What are strategic methods for pattern generation and conceptualizing?
Image References:







Week Two of Being Consumed

Received newsletter two from professor Inglet this week. This week's news letter seemed to focus more on the functional aspects of the class oppose to the project context. He made mention of the CS curriculum. Looking at the collaborator table category it seems my selection of software, and the applications they will be used for, are spot on for the senior project. So I do not think my process of organizing digital information needs to be considered much further. However, he does pose the definition of programming as being "effort to maximize the amount of information about a project so that the figural concepts generated can optimally respond to those criteria". So this poses an internal question, what is the most efficient route to produce informative data about a project? There always seems to be a trade off when the organizational methodology for generating information is at it's best, it seems to be restrictive. Yet when information finding is completely unorganized it can not have no focus. I had always planned on doing a mixed method of free form (sketching,physical molding) and analytic (digital modeling, calculations) procedures during initial form finding and programming. It seems this is how the maximum amount of information can be generated. It is worth reminding myself that the methodologies that are used can heavily influence how the mind looks at a design problem. For instance if I take an analytic approch when building a study model it can restrict the research information I am hoping to obtain. Or if if forget the purpose of my sketching inapplicable information could be generated.


So it Begins!

Well I finally received the email I had been looking for, and at the same time dreading. The email I am speaking of is the outline for our senior project. I have been looking forward to this project for four years now. I only dread it because it hallmarks what I will be thinking about for the next ten months. Farewell to summer for I can not help but become consumed with this project.

Here is the initial news letter professor Inglert provided:

Some aspects that are of interest to begin with is the building type and the site conditions. The building type is a multitenant commercial facility, with the prime occupant being a nanotechnology company.The general program is a five story mid-rise building. With a like mix of mercantile, offices ,and the nanotechnology facility. The site is located adjacent to the University of Cincinnati. Furthermore the project site experiences some extreme elevation changes. Here is a link to google maps.

Some initial questions I am asking myself are the following:

A. How can nanotechnology take on architectural expressive forms? And why is this justified?

B. How can the site be designed to make relationships to the surrounding area and UC?

C. How can the grade changes in elevation be utilized for functional and aesthetic purposes?

To begin tackling these questions I have created three areas I will begin working on.

Typology Research

Site Analysis



Geting Prepared!

Well here it is a few months away until I undertake my Architectural Engineering senior project. I began preparing so that I be well organized to undertake the task of providing the total design of a building.One item I have attended to is the creation of a wiki,AET_Senior Project. The wiki will be where I keep a digital archive of my work and progress.And this blog will function as a kind of journal I keep throughout my project. Using both the wiki and blog I will be able to keep myself organized and have the ability to reference conclusions I made at an earlier point in time. The type of building and use program has yet to be published from my studio professor. In the mean time I have been identifying what software I will use and for what purpose during the three quarter duration. I have found this to be a vital step so that I will have my tools established, and will not be wasting valuable design time researching how to best accomplish a task. The following is a list identifying the software I will be using, and it's anticipated application to my project.


AutoCAD-Site design, spacial studies, form finding, schematic/concept design of building systems.

Rhino+Grasshopper-Form finding and massing generation, parametric programming of building form.

SkecthUP-Geospatial,massing, sun/shadow studies,form finding, and site design.


Strand7-Schematic structural analysis of building envelope.

Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis- Detailed analysis of structural framing and members.


EcoTect-Schematic environmental design (building envelope, daylighitng, etc..)

Green Building Studio-Schematic energy analysis, determination of preliminary building systems.

EQuest-Deatailed energy analysis, determination building systems and building envelope design.

Therm- Detailed analysis of glazing systems.

IES-Detailed energy and environmental analysis


Revit Architecture-Schematic design of architecture and structure,detailed design of architecture, technical drawings of architecture.

Revit MEP-Detailed and schematic design of building systems, technical drawings of building systems.

Revit Structure-Detailed design of structural elements, technical drawings of building structure.

AutoDesk Inventor- Detailed design of mechanical componentes to be used as families in Revit suites.


BSD Speclink-E and Linkman-E- Organization/generation of design criteria and specifications.Will link Revit components to specifications. Much thanks to BSD for giving me a complimentary license to use for this project.

Bluebeam-PDF generation, markups, drawing notes.


Excel-Organization and presentation of detailed calculations.

CAPS-Exhaust fan calculations.

Duct calculator- Sizing of duct work.


3ds MAX-High quality presentation of renderings and animations.

Photoshop-Post production presentation rendering work, concept renderings.