Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Please note that all times are shown in the time zone of the conference. The current conference time is: 28th Nov 2021, 12:32:52pm PST

Session Overview
Date: Saturday, 10/Apr/2021
8:00am - 9:30amH: Paper Session_C5: Ecovillages, Urban Infill and Corner Lot Housing
Panel Moderator: Laura Holden Hollengreen

Can Danish Ecovillages Demonstrate a Path to Reduce Domestic Energy Use?

Teresa Fotini Moroseos1, Toke Haunstrup Christensen2

1University of Washington, Seattle, United States of America; 2Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark

Household energy use significantly contributes to global carbon emissions. Despite the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions, domestic energy consumption in Denmark is decreasing at a slow rate. This study explores why top-down policies aimed to reduce domestic energy consumption are producing marginal results. We also contrast this approach with Danish Ecovillages, which our findings suggest use much less energy than conventional housing. We also explore how social norms of energy saving emerge within Danish Ecovillages, and how this might represent a pathway to reduced domestic energy consumption.

This study presents findings from field observations and interviews conducted between September and December 2017 of seven Danish Ecovillages. Observations of social practices and architectural design are discussed. Detailed, self-reported household energy data were also collected from three Ecovillages and compared to a baseline of similar Danish homes. Our findings show a significant reduction in heating and plug load consumption in the Ecovillages. When compared with a typical Danish household, the three Ecovillages used 24% to 73% less energy.

This paper finds that the emergence of social norms that promote energy saving everyday practices can partly explain the observed reduction in energy consumption. This paper explores how Danish Ecovillages overcome hurdles faced in mainstream society for developing social norms that reduce energy use, mainly through strengthening social relationships between norm beneficiaries and designing the built environment to align with community values.

The Checkerboard Charleston House; A Model for Passive Urban Infill Housing

Craig Griffen

Thomas Jefferson University, United States of America

Large sections of US cities still contain an abundance of vacant land leftover from the flight to the suburbs. The fringes of this land are slowly being developed with larger scale versions of the row houses they replace. But the way we live now is much different than when those row houses were built over 100 years ago. Instead or rebuilding new homes that (like their predecessors) suffered from a lack of sunlight, fresh air, open space; should we consider how to rebuild the city with passive houses that are brighter, healthier and more energy efficient? The Checkerboard Charleston House (CCH) is the latest version of a research /design project that studies how urban homes can be designed to allow more sunlight for heating and daylighting, cross breezes for ventilation, natural shading, PV power and a highly insulated envelope. Starting with the proven urban row house pattern, but sliding and flipping alternating houses back to face a new interior lane, a checkerboard pattern is created. Now, instead of a small “postage stamp” sized back yard, each home gains a larger south facing side yard with access to light, air and green space for almost all rooms. This pattern is similar to the classic Charleston House typology, with its galleries and access to a side yard, so served as framework for the new design. The galleries provide natural shading for large glass doors and windows along the south façade to promote passive heating, cooling, daylight. The slope of the gable roof is set at the angle of the equinox sun to maximize PV power production throughout the year. The 400 square feet of panel space provides more than enough to power from medium efficiency panels to supply the recommended 7 kW system. Passive House principles are utilized with prefabricated modular construction to maximize energy efficiency while minimizing costs. Energy and daylighting models using Sefaira software are being tested to compare a standard row house to the CC House model.

Being dependent on the sun, the orientation of the homes is critical. An optimum site would contain plenty of open land, a majority of north-south oriented streets and block widths that are within a range that allows for the pattern to fit. Detroit was used as the test case because of its abundance of vacant land (over 16%) that meets these criteria extremely well. One expectation was that the larger side yard would greatly reduce neighborhood density, but when compared to the existing lot sizes, the CCH models have slightly more dwelling acres per acre; and they are much denser than the new suburban style homes being built in the city. These initial studies indicate the CCH warrants further study as a potential strategy to sustainably rebuild our cities.

Intricate Compatibility: Study of a Hillside Lot in Tokyo

Christopher Jarrett

University of North Carolina at Charlotte, United States of America

In 2018, architect Akihisa Hirata in collaboration with structural engineers Masato Araya and Atsuhiro Sao of Oak Structural Design Office introduced a novel, stepping galvanized steel frame system for the construction of three intertwining living units on three different levels on a small, corner lot in Minami-Otsuka, Tokyo. In this dynamic spatial eco-system (1), consisting of three overlapping and staggered offset apartments, the building opens up to the outside world as a kind of public performance. The rotating slope of the corner site creates a system of forces that rise and revolve. This is made evident by the alternation of interior and exterior spaces of construction and vegetation in relatively stable equilibrium, what Hirata calls ‘karamari-shiro’ or intricate compatibility. Galvanized steel columns emerge from the ground and folding landscape while the building bends and folds to accommodate pallets of roof sod. Daylight filters through sky apertures and volumetric voids in three directions. At night, plant lighting illuminates the underside of galvanized corrugated metal sheathing, fusing the vegetal with the industrial in surprisingly novel ways.

The project presented in this paper is part of a body of ongoing design research that investigates environmental architectures and eco-spatial system thinking. The idea of using vegetation, permeability, light and air as a form of connection between private space and public performance has been previously explored by Hirata for art merchant Taka Ishii in Toshima-ku. Despite the increased focus on sustainable design globally, and the certification systems that undergird them, there is need for further study of the performative relationships between site, building and landscape in the city. Through a series of diagrams, details and photographs, this paper presents field research of a topologically complex hillside site that introduces new forms of dwelling and inhabitation (2). With increasing need for affordable, livable, and humane urban housing, the intent of this research is to uncover the principles, strategies and methods employed in an effort to re-establish novel solutions for addressing the growing need for healthy, open, light-weight and transformative urban housing. Results from this study suggest that integrated eco-system design and the complex overlap between construction and vegetation remain an untapped source for social and environmental innovation.

(1) British botanist Arthur Tansley defined “eco-system” to mean a particular category of physical systems, consisting of organisms and inorganic components in a relatively stable equilibrium, open and of various sizes and kinds (1922).

(2) Building the Slope: Hillside Houses 1920-1960; Dominique Roulillard conducted a study of the design principles and techniques used by architects to build houses on hillsides in California.

8:00am - 9:30amH: Paper Session_C6: Representation, Perception and Pathfinding
Panel Moderator: Mike Christenson

Synoptic Optics: Computational Representation at the Synoptic Scale

Stephen Mueller

Texas Tech University, United States of America

Synoptic optics is a design research initiative that seeks to construct armatures for enhancing and augmenting the observation of airborne particulate to enable a more immediate, public, and actionable understanding of the impact of dust at urban and territorial scales. The project includes two parallel and complementary objectives: the design of novel computational mapping strategies to assist spatial practitioners in detecting and evaluating the geography of airborne dust, and the design of novel representational strategies to sensitize urban populations to shifting atmospheric conditions with impacts on public health. Using open-source geospatial data, a geomorphologic model of the borderland is developed and dissected through a custom algorithmic circular sectioning technique. A panoramic horizon map compiles the concentric sections, yielding a synoptic view of the expanded territory as seen in deep section from a single observation point in all directions. The concentric horizons calibrate the entangled geomorphological properties of landform and atmosphere. Spherical projection techniques sample and remap the sky dome, extrapolating the impacts of wind data to articulate the likely trajectories of particulate from nearby point sources.

Selective Attention and the Built Environment: Visual Perception of 2D Spatial Representations

Jennifer A E Shields

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, United States of America

All modes of two-dimensional spatial representation are abstracted and framed views of three-dimensional embodied space and therefore subject to interpretation. Because architects use various modes of graphic representation in their design process and as tools to promote their designs to others, it is valuable to understand how people perceive an architectural space in different modes. The objective of a recent study was to compare how participants visually perceive photographs and drawings of the same architectural view, determining selective attention through eye tracking data. We hypothesized that there are differences between the features attracting attention in a photo versus a drawing, and differences in the attention of viewers with architectural training, suggesting that different modes of representation could be employed to draw attention to specific features of a design. This paper provides a brief background on visual perception and describes the methodology and outcomes of a recently completed study, which confirmed our hypotheses. Architecture students and Preschool students were shown either a photograph or a perspectival line drawing of Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute for 30 seconds. While they looked at the image, eye movement data was collected. In addition to comparing how participants looked at photos and drawings of the same space, we evaluated an existing tool called saliency mapping, which claims to identify the visually dominant features of an image algorithmically. Our overarching research question we continue to pursue asks: Are there modes of representation for which visual perception closely correlates with that of an embodied architectural experience?

Cost in Space: A Value-Based Approach to Architectural Pathfinding

Jacklynn Niemiec, Steven Lilley

Drexel University, United States of America

Spatial costs that may affect pathfinding within an interior environment include variables and stimuli such as destination, ease, distance, light, sound, or even a natural tendency to move to the right. (Boettger 2014) These elements, and others, along with formal cues, can contribute to the navigation of an indoor environment. Several tools currently exist to simulate the path of travel for egress—using plans or occupancy loads in a building. These tools often generate the shortest path of travel. Methods for altering or influencing the shortest path are less prevalent, yet their potential is important to consider.

This paper presents an approach for associating architectural value within a building model and using it to influence pathfinding. The method presented uses A* pathfinding as a baseline grid and recalculates travel paths per the local or global influence of architectural value. (Hart, Nilsson, and Raphael 1968) This project's results are explored in a case study, and speculation of its application within the design process and everyday use of space is considered.

8:00am - 9:30amH: Paper Session_T10: Urban Environments, Evaluation and Assessment
Panel Moderator: Kyounghee Kim

User-Driven Evaluation Of Emergent Patterns Of Space Use In Vertically Integrated Urban Environments

Srilalitha Gopalakrishnan1, Daniel Wong1, Ajaykumar Manivannan1, Roland Bouffanais2, Thomas Schroepfer1

1Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Singapore; 2University of Ottawa

High-density liveable future cities can be understood as multi-scale complex systems that require new integrated planning and design strategies. The city serves as a superstructure in which the built environment and its users interact continually and mutually shape each other over time. In high-density urban environments, integrated mixed-use buildings are increasingly taking the form of vertical extensions of the urban spaces on the ground, where circulation, land uses, open spaces, ecological networks, and human activities are distributed both laterally and vertically in a dynamic relationship. Therefore, vertically integrated mixed-use buildings can be understood as networks with multiple spatial programs, diverse land use, and multi-occupancy, with shared public and common spaces and circulation paths set in a complex three-dimensional relationship.

As complex adaptive systems, based on an ‘organic analogy’, cities are also a product of an evolutionary process and exhibit emergent patterns and orders within the realm of seemingly unpredictable, chaotic, and surprising behaviour, which can be studied and modelled. Complex system studies can thus be extended to these large inter-connected multi-occupancy vertically integrated buildings to systematically determine and evaluate the underlying patterns of spatial and social networks that unfold as space and users interact. The emergent patterns of movement and space use can inform the future design of vertically integrated urban space and its aesthetic, social, cultural, and economic performances.

This paper argues that studying high-density vertically integrated buildings using user-generated data can contribute to a better understanding of the socio-spatial qualities of the built environment. The advent of affordable and efficient technologies like low-energy Bluetooth (BLE) devices combined with smartphone sensors allow for the tracking and localization of building users within complex multi-level integrated spatial configurations. An analysis of the resulting data illustrates how users interact spatially with each other and the built environment they occupy. Correlating space use patterns and spatial connectivity of buildings with their resulting emergent properties can inform how users form networks of mobility and temporal communities.

This paper presents the results of a post-occupancy case study of a vertically integrated mixed-use building in Singapore. Real-world data is analysed to produce evidence of how (1) integrated public and common spaces in the building are used, (2) how they influence user behaviour and movement patterns, and (3) how they impact social interactions and user activities over time. The study uses empirical and digital methods to track and record user movement patterns, activities, and space use at significant public and common open spaces in the building. The combination of data collected with the help of sensors, visual observation surveys, and spatial maps are analysed to identify mobility patterns that generate temporal communities and establish correlations between mobility patterns, co-presence networks, and spatial distribution in public and common open spaces.

The outcome illustrates the potential of the methodology to evaluate performance of the many of the building's important spaces that can inform future urban and architectural design strategies of vertically integrated mixed-use buildings to better serve their communities and individual users.

UrbanLCA: Developing Life Cycle Assessment System Boundary Guidelines for Comparable City Evaluations

Hala Alfalih, Tarek Rakha

Georgia Institute of Technology, United States of America

As global urbanization increases, “a projected 28% of people worldwide will be concentrated in cities with at least 1 million inhabitants” (United Nations 2018) by 2030 and this means that the environmental burdens are increasing as well. This population increase signifies the importance of assessing the performance in relation to environmental impact that cities have, both directly and indirectly. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) provides a method to quantify and assess the performance of cities in a holistic and comprehensive way which displays these impacts. Currently, the ISO standards 14044 and 14040 provide a procedure set for handling the development of LCA which can be applicable to complex systems such as cities. According to previous literature, LCA at the urban scale lacks data granularity and homogeneity. Information such as the system boundary definition (administrative, systematic, and geographical), reference flow (the number of cities which is equivalent to a city of one million inhabitants living with full prosperity in a given year), function (describes the performance characteristics of the system under study), and functional unit (a quantification of this performance for use as a reference unit) are still being researched and determined. Recent work has already provided possible methods to define the Reference Flow, Function, Functional Unit, and goals of the city and this information can now be applied to the urban Life Cycle Assessment, but the system boundaries still need to be further researched.

This paper will provide the basis for a standardized method to define the system boundary for urban-scale LCA. Since urban areas are made up of different sized neighborhoods with different levels of development, various geographical locations and multiple systematic subdimensions (energy, quality of life, information, materials, utilities and governance, transport) we can not apply the same framework to determine the system boundary for all of them. The process is threefold: First, selecting multiple different urban regions. Second, determining what the urban region includes from physical boundaries to systemic functions. Third, understanding which networks are directly and indirectly affected by the functions of a city, and hence being able to determine the physical then methodological definition of the system boundary. The results can then be compared and iterated to produce a more reliable framework for determining the system boundary. Therefore, providing more opportunities to compare assessment results from one city to another.

Urban Heat Island Phenomenon: A Review and Comparison of Assessment Methodologies

Aysem Berrin Cakmakli1, Hazem Rashed-Ali2

1Middle East Technical University, Turkey; 2University of Texas at San Antonio, United States of America

The temperature difference between densely built-up city areas and surrounding suburban and rural ones is defined as The Urban Heat Island (UHI) phenomenon. In the literature, there are two main classifications for factors influencing this phenomenon including spatial factors, e.g. features of landform surfaces and surface characteristics, and temporal ones, linked to yearly, seasonal, diurnal, and nocturnal air and surface temperatures. This paper presents an overview and critical analysis of existing literature regarding the Urban heat Island (UHI) phenomenon. The paper also addresses existing approaches for measuring the urban heat island intensity (UHII). Several methodologies for modelling UHI intensities at the building, city, and regional scales are then presented. The paper concludes with an analysis and categorization of the characteristics of the Urban Heat Island Phenomenon (UHI) across four different climate regions and addresses spatial and temporal factors used to assess the environmental and social impacts of the phenomenon on urban planning in these different climatic regions, and how some of these factors can be used as design tools to compare and evaluate different arrangements, renovations and policy making strategies.

9:30am - 9:45amBreak

Network with a cup of 'home-made' Coffee!

9:45am - 11:15amJ: Paper Session_C7: Territory, Landform and Performative Infrastructure
Panel Moderator: Jennifer A E Shields

Vision Machines of Territorial Control

Ersela Kripa

Texas Tech University College of Architecture, United States of America

The US-Mexico border in the Chihuahuan and Sonoran Deserts is inundated by dust storms, increasing in intensity and scale due to climate change. While large-scale dust events are monitored by formal networks of stationary sensors, smaller and more spontaneous dust formation evade monitoring. Dust devils—small swirling of dust due to localized hot and cold air mixing—erupt quickly and can cause health and safety hazards at the scale of the human body. Vast areas of the desert, especially near the border, are not densely populated, and spontaneous effects of small dust events impact mostly border crossers. As desertification continues to affect the geology of the region and force more humans into climate migration, tools for better visualizing and predicting small dust events gain urgent importance.

Existing dust event monitoring relies on stationary time-lapse cameras, which capture visual qualities of dust events but limit the ability to capture spatial (3D) and time-based (4D) information at a fine scale. Camera networks are often managed by governmental or environmental agencies, which rely on limited deployments at statistically-probable sites. Many local dust events evade monitoring, while those that are monitored are captured from a single viewpoint. Small dust events happen unexpectedly and are unpredictable, which calls for mobile measuring techniques.

The paper will describe a method currently in development to visually capture small dust events. The project argues that the bottom-up visual recording of these elusive formations has the potential to invert the power structures of vision in the highly surveilled border region. The current prototype of a dust simulation environment captures volumetric data from dust events using a smartphone as a means to radically mobilize and crowdsource the gathering of spatial information during dust events.

The experiment attempts to photogrammetrically measure and digitally reconstruct a small dust event. The method relies on visually scanning and processing data of particulate matter capable of emitting electromagnetically radiant information. The constraints of the scanning rely on the camera’s ability to detect physical objects no smaller than 4-5 ml, or .001 inches. While dust particles are 2.5-5 microns in size, alone they are imperceptible, however, when simulated as an expulsion of dust by air pressure, the mini dust cloud is detected as a continuous object where the outer edges of the form are registered as topographically different from their context. The global particle behavior gives the cloud ability to enter within the visually observable threshold, which orients the optics of dust towards formational densities rather than molecular characteristics. Like any field observation, the measurements are affected by uncontrollable environmental inputs, which the drawing prototype attempts to accept and allow for by scanning multiple clouds in varying light, temperature, and background settings (3 scans).

In addition to specific method development tools, the paper will contextualize the development of vision machines that control territories and bodies, will discuss blind spots of surveillance regimes, and will expand upon the instrumentation of climate change and desertification as part of larger infrastructural systems designed to enable control over all ecological bodies.

Performing Air: Landforms and Ventilation

Gabriel Fries-Briggs

University of New Mexico, United States of America

Air vents and ducts trace a 20th century history of building mechanization and the standardization of interior climates. The vent and it’s corollary material systems stand in for countless episodes where building design became increasingly inseparable from mechanical determination. Understanding the ubiquity of air-conditioning requires untangling the architectural profession’s implication and cultural-reliance on these technologies. As an assemblage of entities, ventilation threads together a social-ecological-technical system.

This paper outlines an alternative formation of air in architecture, addressing built form as an unexpected assemblage of entities through a reshuffling of technological systems. It positions Dune Ducts, a recent gallery installation in Los Angeles, as an alternative methodology for designing ventilation. Dune Ducts plugged into the mechanical infrastructure of an existing building system. The newly installed ductwork replaced the existing system of diffusers, a ventilation prosthetic distributing conditioned air across the interior. This reshuffling of air’s visual and historical formations link landscape, environment, comfort, and building systems.

Sand dunes present an alternative image of air as built form. Wind-driven landscapes, assembled by aeolian processes, depict forms conditioned by air outside the traditional ‘built environment.’ In looking to geology and meteorology, the installation-as-building-fragment combines diverse ontological origins of ventilation. The inertia of systems design and the predetermination of ventilation through standards require a rewiring in light of both climate change’s effects and the spread of pathogens. This paper proposes a shift to spatial, formal, and planetary considerations as means to rethink the performance of air.

Parks as Performative Landscapes: Networked Green Infrastructure for a Flooded Desert City

Courtney Crosson

University of Arizona, United States of America

Cities regularly seek to optimize the value of each single infrastructural investment to their citizens. When city parks are viewed only as spaces for recreation, important performative landscape benefits are not optimized. Tucson, Arizona recently approved a comprehensive bond to renovate and expand the city park system over the next ten years. Given these slated investments, this research investigated how the City could provide additional value beyond the traditional neighborhood park assets listed in the bond. Tucson has the highest yearly extreme storm count across Western US Metropolitan Statistical Areas and averages $9.5 million in property losses each year from flooding where stormwater infrastructure was historically not installed. This chronic flooding occurs at peak events during the North American Monsoon season. This research framed the urban park system as a potential network of performative landscapes able to provide critical urban flood mitigation throughout the city.

Through an upper-level architecture studio, this project designed six parks slated for park bond investments that currently experience chronic flooding during monsoon season. These parks represented six dominant use typologies: large recreation, neighborhood pocket, school playground, street right-of-way, industrial conversion, and mall parking lot conversion. County Flood Control sponsored the project and provided iterative hydrological modelling throughout the semester to improve overall site and network flood mitigation design performance. The computational fluid dynamics software, Flo2D, provided the iterative performance results to the student design teams. The six design teams also completed multiple community engagement activities to understand and prioritize local needs and desires for the parks.

Overall, the six park designs provided a network of an additional 3.5 million gallons of distributed flood water storage to the city. Projects with the largest areas and highest existing flooding volumes (e.g. typologies of large recreation or mall conversion) were most effective at contributing to overall watershed flood mitigation. Smaller neighborhood interventions (e.g. typologies of neighborhood pocket and school playground) offered important, localized mitigation, but contributed minimally to alleviating wider watershed flooding issues. For example, a large park in an area of extreme flooding provided 1,335,988 gallons of annual storage with a 99% peak flow reduction for a 100-year storm. Whereas a neighborhood pocket park provided 64% peak volume reduction for a 100-year storm with 456,000 gallons of storage.

Across these six typologies, this paper concludes that early collaboration between architects and municipalities can ensure infrastructural investments are optimized to achieve multiple purposes for the greatest value to the city and benefit to the local community. Modeling and monitoring the technical performance of ‘soft’ or ‘green’ infrastructure is critical to expanding urban resilience against acute and chronic shocks. The six park designs created a network of performative landscapes able to deliver decentralized flood mitigation throughout the city. The City is moving forward with several of the larger park designs completed by this research and design project through the scheduled bond funding.

9:45am - 11:15amJ: Paper Session_O4: Mobility, Multiscalar Design and Environmental Quality
Panel Moderator: Pravin Bhiwapurkar

Climate Change and Design: Multiscalar Design Research Within the Sonoran Desert

Aletheia Ida, Susannah Dickinson

University of Arizona, United States of America

“Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities.”[1] The climate change emergency requires that we drastically re-evaluate the design of the built environment and our pedagogical methods and tools. This essay addresses the issue directly through dissemination of both the framework and outcomes from an upper-level architecture design studio course that focuses on this challenging problem. At its core, the methodological framework insists upon interscalar observation and performative analysis across natural biome dynamics, the built environment, and sociocultural conditions.

Our essay explores the interscalar context for grounded research and climate change impacts within the Sonoran Desert region of Arizona, USA and Sonora, Mexico. This robust natural biome of an extreme hot-arid climate that is coupled with sky-islands of pinyon-pine forests, canyons, and water bodies along the Gulf of California Coast is a complex natural ecosystem. Climate change dynamics and challenges are due to the primary land mass being surrounded by sea-level rise with concurrent desert and forest drought as well as severe monsoons and tropical storms.[2] Long-term drought in regional forests makes these ecosystems more susceptible to prolific forest fires.[3],[4] Temperature increase impacts the heat stress experienced by animal and human populations, affecting both natural and built ecologies in unforeseen ways.[5] Because of the challenging political context at the border of Mexico and the United States and the presence of a physical boundary, migration paths, ecological flows and humanitarian crises are further exacerbated.

To address the complexities of the societal and environmental challenges through design, the methodology integrates knowledge of climate and complexity theories with advanced digital technologies from different disciplines to provide emergent potentials for our future. Parallel modes for integrating accessible micro-sensing data collection technologies with multi-dimensional digital design methods enable expanding ecologies by allowing for new performative layers of information to intersect where previously hidden. For example, conducting real-time thermal sensing of varying soils, in conjunction with lab-based soil sample analyses, and mapping the results into a large-scale regional GIS database begin to describe zones of chemical contaminations and thermal imbalances that correlate with zones of photo-essay observations of building decay and poverty. In this sense, the emergent design process across micro- and macro- contexts of physical and cultural information culminate in design proposals that simultaneously educate and mitigate current unprecedented climate change impacts. Using the lens of both a microbiologist and of a geologist, as well as a climatologist and humanitarian, the exercises required throughout the design process force transdisciplinary territories to converge.

Measuring the Impact of Environmental Quality on Elderly Residents Cognitive Functioning – A Critical Review

Nasrin Golshany, Ihab Elzeyadi

University of Oregon, United States of America

Cognitive impairment is a critical issue among the aging population. Cognitive functioning refers to multiple mental abilities, including learning, thinking, reasoning, remembering, problem solving, decision making, and attention. In this study, cognitive functioning refers specifically to working memory as the aging population show a greater impairment in this area in comparison to other populations. Cognitive impairment for elderly occupants – that includes diseases, such as Dementia, Alzheimer, stress, and anxiety-- are growing up dramatically worldwide in recent years. World Health Organization estimates that there has been more than 50 million patients with dementia in the world in 2019 and this number is increasing every year by nearly 10 million new cases.

Previous studies reported that different attributes of the physical environment could affect participant’s mood and effect cognitive performance. Currently, many cognitive tests have been used to assess occupant’s response to changes in their physical environments. These cognitive tests have been frequently used in environmental psychology and gerontology studies, however, their sensitivity to measuring impacts of architectural parameters and indoor environmental quality (IEQ) is still unknown. To address this problem, this study develops content analysis of the different cognitive tests through a critical review to determine which tests are more sensitive to measure the impact of the physical environment and spatial parameters on cognitive performance. The specific question guiding this study is “what are the most sensitive cognitive tests that measures indoor environmental quality impacts on cognitive functioning?”

The review employed a systemic procedure of keyword search and cross-tabs using combinations of keywords through Cinahl, Embase, Medline, and PsychINFO and PsycARTICLES databases. In addition, a supplemental search through Google Scholar and other architectural science related journals was conducted by analyzing studies that referred to ‘cognitive performance’, ‘cognitive tests’, ‘cognitive assessment’, ‘cognitive screening’ and ‘cognitive impairment’ in the title or the abstract. This analysis allows us to qualify, compare, and rank different cognitive tests based on how closely they relate to IEQ and architectural parameters.

The analysis revealed that four tests are have been mostly used in previous studies: Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Montreal Imaging Stress Task (MIST), and Mini-Cog. These tests measure mental functions through a series of questions and/or simple cognitive tasks like tracking, simple reaction time, and numerical vigilance. In addition, there are various protocols that measure cognitive performance such as: Standardized Mini-Mental State Examination (SMMSE), Abbreviated Mental Test (AMT), Six-Item Screener (SIS), Six-Item Cognitive Impairment Test (6CIT), Clock Drawing Test (CDT), and The General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (GPCOG). Findings from this analysis provide new insights into the scope of comparative studies for investigating the effect of indoor environment qualities on cognitive performance. Results of this analysis indicate that IEQ mainly influence cognitive tests, which involve visuospatial and constructional praxis cognitive domains such as CDT, Mini-cog and GPCOG. Evidence also shows AMT, 6CIT, GPCOG and MMSE are the most relevant tests to orientation cognitive domains.

Walking the Walk. Pedestrian Mobility in Emerging Cities

Diana Maria Jimenez Aguilar

Universidad de Sonora, Mexico

ABSTRACT: Through the Sustainable Development Goals, cities are intended to be sustainable, inclusive, and resilient (UNDP 2016). In the hierarchy of urban mobility, a walkable city promotes equity and social benefit with the least impact on the environment (NACTO 2016). This paper addresses pedestrian mobility through the analysis of the street. Walkability can be a complex concept but definitions concur in referring to qualities of the environment that make walking possible and desirable (Speck 2013). The possibility of walking is not only related to mobility, it is also part of a broader discussion regarding living conditions and options for people within the city (Gehl 2014).

This case study takes place in Hermosillo, the capital city of Sonora, Mexico. Located approximately 280 km from the border with Arizona in the United States - within the Sonoran Desert. Hermosillo has a population of just over 855 000 inhabitants (INEGI 2020). It is considered by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) an emerging city with optimal characteristics to guide its growth towards a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive future. The street selected for this paper has its origins in downtown, the oldest neighborhood of the city, and extends west, towards the most recent developments. One part of the analysis is made by establishing historic stages of development of the street. Later, aiming to recognize policies in the built environment, on-site measuring was made a), by measuring walkways width in different segments to find how pedestrian spaces have evolved and b), by applying a walkability tool for an assessment of each stage. Results show a discrepancy between the discourse in development plans and the built environment among the street. This work in progress poses the question of how does a city embraces the consequences of modernization and industrialization that impact the human scale.

9:45am - 11:15amJ: Paper Session_T11: Methods of Sustainability, LEED and Performative Environments
Panel Moderator: Hazem Rashed-Ali

Methodology to Incorporate the Value of Sustainability in Buildings

Sandra Guerrero, Irene Marincic

Universidad de Sonora, Mexico

ABSTRACT: The implementation of new technologies and systems applied in real estate to improve people's living conditions, represent benefits on various aspects that have a positive impact on the reduction of energy consumption, on savings on consumption expenditure, and quality impact on the improvement of the environment. The application of the norms of the new urban agenda on real estate, and the sustainability factor in buildings obliges to include in the methodologies established for the valuation of real estate new indicators that represent and add value to the property. For this reason, we present this proposal for establishing sustainability indicators that can be incorporated into the methodologies used for real estate valuation and provide parameters that benefit not only the user and owner of the property but the environment in general. Through this paper we present a real estate valuation methodology, which considers the sustainable aspects of the real state to be valued, it includes the environmental variables of energy efficiency, and the use of water and trees, in its analysis. These variables are applied as a sustainability factor that affects the final value of the real state obtained by traditional methods.

KEYWORDS: Sustainability, Real state valuation, Energy efficiency.

LEED-certified Buildings Versus Non-LEED-certified Buildings: a Deep Dive Into the Performance

Ming Hu

University of Maryland, United States of America

This study aims to understand the actual performance difference between LEED buildings and non-LEED buildings. Since 2012, the District of Columbia (DC) has amended regulations so that all buildings must report their building energy use. We have cross-referenced the most recently published data of the 2019 DC energy benchmarking database with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED project database to identify DC properties in both databases that are expected to reduce building operating energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. We compared LEED office buildings and non-LEED-certified office buildings using their reported operating source and site energy use intensity (EUI). The results show that LEED office buildings do not perform better at any of the certified levels. On the contrary, those reported LEED buildings collectively use 17% more source energy and 13% more site energy than non-LEED buildings. Among the different LEED levels, LEED Silver appears to perform slightly better than the other LEED levels. Meanwhile only around 33% of qualified LEED office buildings reported their actual energy use according to the DC regulation. The purpose of this study is not to criticize the LEED rating system; instead, we want to improve the system in order to meet DC’s carbon neutrality goal. To this extent, we conclude that the U.S. LEED rating system can benefit from learning from other green building rating systems that include reporting and verification as prerequisite requirements.

From Nano to Building Scale: A Methodology for the Design and Fabrication of Acoustical Diffuses Based on Quasi-Crystalline Atomic Structure

Rima Ajlouni

University of Utah

The discovery of quasi-crystalline atomic order in the solid-state physics has challenged decades of foundational knowledge in crystallography. The atoms in these novel quasi-crystalline structures are not arranged according to regularly spaced intervals similar to traditional crystals, instead they exhibit a long-range translational order that is not periodic. Three decades after their initial discovery, hundreds of quasicrystals have been reported; exposing a wealth of untapped potentials. Because of their unique isotropic, self-similar and hierarchical order, quasi-crystalline structures offer unique opportunities for addressing questions related to their acoustical behavior. In 2018, Ajlouni demonstrated that the quasi-periodic formations have the ability to diffuse and orchestrate the flow of sound energy; eliminating a major limitation with the repeating logic of traditional periodic diffusers. A major limitation with periodically arranged diffusers, is that they create repetitive energy loops that significantly reduce their ability to uniformly disperse sound energy. The goal of this paper is to introduce a generalized structural method for designing surfaces with quasi-periodic geometry for architectural acoustics. The paper also explores two methods for the fabrication of these surfaces using ceramic casting and vacuum forming processes. By utilizing the qualities of quasi-periodic structures, this research hopes to inspire a new wave of acoustical surface diffusers that allow designers to encode a wide range of acoustical behavioral properties without scarifying the aesthetic qualities.

11:15am - 11:30amBreak

Take a Tour or Visit an Exhibit

11:30am - 1:00pmClosing Plenary: PERFORMATIVE ENVIRONMENTS

Clare Robinson and Jonathan Bean, University of Arizona, Co-Moderators

Michelle Addington, University of Texas at Austin, Panelist

Mona El Khafif, University of Virginia, Panelist

Mae-Ling Lokko, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Panelist

Gray Read, Florida International University, Panelist

Conference Closing 

Best Paper and Poster Award Announcement


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