Site Net Zero Contemporegional Architecture – The Barn Haus in Utah
University of Utah, United States of America
An impactful contribution to sustainability, the Barn Haus is a 3800 ft2, research-driven high-performance site net zero target home. It shows that resilient, sustainable custom buildings can be realized at high quality within market-rate budgets, which was accomplished through application of a holistic, integrated team process that explored means of passive-to-active Haus strategies, architectural minimalism, and a focus on the Genius Loci at 4,700 ft elevation.
Overseeing Salt Lake Valley, the Barn Haus is nestled into a south-facing slope at the bottom of the Rocky Mountains, offering tremendous views and perfect solar exposure. Integration into its specific location including topography, landscape, views, daylighting and passive solar heat gain potential were used for building orientation and vigilant placement of windows. Smart cut & fill, building access and passive-to active performance defined the further development. Being located on a former horse pasture allowed for an abstract formal - spatial interpretation of Utah’s traditional barn outbuildings, creating a new Utah Contemporegional architectural style that reflects a strong sense of place. Based on traditional barn elements, the building’s architectural aesthetic carefully blends with a minimal to modern, contemporary architecture approach. Focusing on formal clarity and reduction in shape and materiality, the solution recalls the straightforward functionality of agricultural buildings.
The Barn Haus was designed to be 77% efficient over the Utah required code standard (and before the installalation of photovoltaics), with the operational energy required to be offset by its 6.4 kW photovoltaic system. It goes through an extensive POM phase until 2022.
Assessment Of Housing And Urban Context From An Aging In Place Framework And Its Impact In The Quality Of Life Of Older Adults.
Universidad de Sonora, Mexico
Demographic aging is a phenomenon more present every day in cities around the world. In the case of Mexico and most Latin American countries, this is happening at such a fast rate that it will demand action in many scenarios, like urban planning and residential offer.
With a growing population of older adults, the need to have age friendly environments (homes, neighborhoods and cities) becomes more relevant each day. This population has special needs in matters of accessibility, safety, health and mobility, which is why the place they call home needs to be an ally and support healthy aging and not become an obstacle.
In this context, this work aims to study how adequate the urban and housing context is for aging-in-place according to the perception of older adults.
By a method of observing the urban context of selected zones with a higher percentage of older adults, it is expected to determine its age-friendliness, and compare this information with the results of a survey applied to older adults living in these areas.
Some of the first findings are that more than 20% of all older adults in Hermosillo, live in a specific area of the city, showing age grouping patterns and therefore making it more important that these zones are age friendly.
Knowing what older adults consider important in their living spaces can help prioritize actions to improve future planning of cities, housing and public space design and also to improve conditions for present day older adults aging in place.
The Sound Pavilion
University of North Carolina Charlotte, United States of America
The Sound Pavilion is a prototype developed to demonstrate how sound performance can drive the conceptual agenda for a project by articulating the conditions of spatial experience through the design of architectural surface. The pavilion demonstrates the capacity of typical architectural materials to preserve and direct elements of sound from the speakers through reflection, while also reducing exterior noise through diffusion. These components provide a design opportunity to articulate space through change in sound volume and quality. The two acoustical tools that manipulate the conditions of spatial audio in the pavilion design include surface diffusion and form based reflection.
In order to demonstrate the architectural expression of acoustics with the pavilion, the design team collaborated with a musician to compose various corresponding tracks played from different channeled speakers embedded in key geometrically altering sound panels. This collaboration activates the pavilion as an architectural instrument, which generates a unique auditory experience based on the guests' proximity in and around it.
Energy Performance Evaluation in the Design Process of Façade-Integrated Green Living Walls Using Digital Simulation
Pennsylvania State university, United States of America
The study proposes a digital simulation-based workflow for assessing the energy performance of façade-integrated green walls to support the current practice of empirical knowledge-based intuitive design. The study focuses on “living walls,” which are a specific type of green walls where the plant, substrate and structural support are directly integrated with the building wall. The thermal potential of vegetation-integrated walls varies with climate type and context requiring case-by-case assessment for informed decision making.
Due to the complex biological properties of vegetation, building information modeling (BIM) or building energy performance simulation (BEPS) programs do not yet include specific assessment tools for green walls limiting the scope of the performance-based evaluation. Most studies on thermal benefits are experimental or mathematical model-based which are not suitable for architects and designers. Few studies used building simulation programs where various modeling techniques are self-developed by researchers due to the lack of dedicated simulation tools. These studies are rarely combined with digital design platforms such as BIM or 3D modeling. In this regard, within the limitations of the current simulation tools, this study adopts the ‘Green-roof’ module of the widely used simulation engine Energy-Plus based on previous studies as this plug-in includes plant properties. Then the impact of variable changes in a living wall such as plant leaf area index, substrates, moisture and façade design aspects such as ratio, placement, and orientation of the living wall in a design case.
The aim is to incorporate scientific research findings with a digital design platform using BIM and BEPS programs together.
Pilot Test of an Instrument for Vulnerability Assessment in Mexican Regulation, Case Study: Pharmaceutical Cleanroom
Universidad de Sonora, Mexico
Uncertainties arise when a norm or standard is ambiguous, unrigorous, or unwieldy. This must be resolved immediately to avoid failures in the decision-making process. This investigation is aimed to quantify in a qualitative way, the extent of vulnerability in the standard for Pharmaceutical cleanrooms in the Mexican Regulation. To achieve this, the development of an instrument to facilitate comparison between standards was proposed.
Therefore, the theoretical framework provided by risk theory and the concept of vulnerability is a good point of departure, as well as a multidisciplinary approach. According to several authors, risk can be estimated by combining three variables: exposure, hazard, and vulnerability. At this point, vulnerability is resumed as an independent variable to evaluate, by modelling an instrument, the endogenous and exogenous stressors that a norm or standard imposes on a physical system, in this case, the pharmaceutical cleanroom.
Implementing the basic content analysis method, literature review led to building a verification instrument comprising more than 500 indicators. Following a detailed analysis, the list was shortened into 32 items for a feasible and yet confident instrument. The indicators proposed were well validated by experts. Subsequent to the application of the test-standard reliability method, the indicator for the extent of enforceability achieved a Krippendorff's alpha of 0.76, and a Gwet AC2 of 0.98. Additionally, proposed indices and indicators as well as frequencies are analysed. This provides a mapping of potential sources of regulatory vulnerability that can affect a pharmaceutical cleanroom, based on interdisciplinary interpretations of this high-tech architectural space.