Conference Agenda

Session Overview
Date: Wednesday, 07/Apr/2021
1:00pm - 2:45pmWorkshop_W1: Phd Doctoral + Graduate Student Research

Aletheia Ida, University of Arizona, Co-Moderator

Alexandra Staub, Pennsylvania State University, Co-Moderator

Saif Haq, Texas Tech University, Respondent

Hazem Rashed-Ali, University of Texas at San Antonio, Respondent


Bangladeshi Immigrant Muslim Women’s Memories of Past Homes and Their Ways of Knowing Spaces: New York City Case Study

Mania Tahsina Taher

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, United States of America

My research project examines complex identities of Muslim immigrant women from Bangladesh with special attention to the social and spatial dimensions of human displacement and the reconstruction of memories in domestic landscapes. This research takes a humanistic approach to the relationship between the built environment and human experience, focusing on everyday placemaking in New York City, U.S.A., as a framework for place-based examinations of diaspora and gender identities.

The women at the center of this research immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh at different periods for the sake of study, work, and family life. Their current way of perceiving and creating places significantly reflects on their past place memories from Bangladesh. This research explores how the participant women’s diasporic memories of past homes in Bangladesh serve as mnemonic devices that record and transmit their place memories at their resettled homes in New York. This research also explores their everyday placemaking inside their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its effect on their wellbeing. Among the research methods I use are in-depth interviews, participant observation, concept mapping, and photo-elicitation in order to extract the participant’s narratives about their everyday use of home spaces. In this process, this study focuses on what one remembers from their previous spaces while relying on the spatial elements that store these memories. In this research, I also seek to examine the social, cultural, and geographical barriers these women face in gaining access to resources to maintain their everyday wellbeing, and how they create agency in spatial and material ways in order to overcome these constrictions. The major objective of this research is to gain insight into the lived experiences of the Bangladeshi immigrant women inside their resettled home spaces in New York City.

After the Whitney: Temporality and Identity in the Space of the Museum

Lauren McQuistion

University of Virginia School of Architecture, United States of America

Since its formalization as a museum in New York City in 1930, the Whitney Museum of American Art’s mission has been dedicated to the institutionalization of works by living, American artists. While the Whitney’s prioritization of “the contemporary” and the concerns of national and individual identity have acted as guiding principles, these mutable concepts have evolved significantly over the course of the 20th century. The Whitney’s unconventional approach to its mission and practices has frequently found the museum both at the center of controversy and overshadowed by peer institutions. Subsequently, this has caused the Whitney to be overlooked as a critical contributor to the emergence of the contemporary art museum as a significant institutional typology in the last 100 years. In addition, the perception of the Whitney as an outsider institution has at times shielded the museum from accountability for its role in the formation of the dominant narrative of American Art history, one based in gendered and racialized exclusivity. This crisis of instability has manifested itself most visibly through the relationship between the Whitney and its architecture. While it is common for museums to expand their architectural footprints, the Whitney has gone so far as to relocate multiple times, abandoning significant architecture, and leaving fragments of its spatialized history across Manhattan. This research will explore the questions raised by the Whitney’s repeated spatial reconfigurations and will draw connections between the various spatial incarnations of the Whitney and the changing ethos of contemporality and Americanness in the 20th and 21st centuries asking: how has the Whitney been a place and space of “the contemporary” in its nearly 100 year history? and what role has the Whitney’s architectural presence played in representing the shifting socio-political ideologies bounding perceptions of national identity?

This dissertation will be structured around the key moments of change in the Whitney’s history, tracing the evolving trajectory of the contemporary and “Americaness” through the spaces of the museum. Institutional documents, architectural representations, records related to key exhibitionary events, and the Whitney’s architecture itself will be considered among the primary materials of interpretation in this research. By entering an analysis of the Whitney through the museum’s various spatial modalities in conjunction with the museum’s own historically constructed practices, this work will situate the Whitney within larger frameworks of knowledge regarding the museum’s symbolic and practical functions. This research depends on the specificity of the Whitney within its urban context of New York City while also acknowledging the museum’s role in the larger art world within which it operates. The Whitney’s architecture has rarely been a subject of its own institutional introspection or explicitly tied to an intentionality of its practices supporting or hindering the institutional mission to exhibit the works of living, American artists. More broadly, it is rare for spatial interpretation to be prioritized in the context of museum scholarship, and as such, grounding this dissertation within the constructed environment of this institution represents the contribution of new knowledge to the fields of museology and architectural history/theory.

Integration of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Building Energy Modeling (BEM): Methods for BIM-Based Energy Performance Simulations

Mahsa Farid Mohajer

UMASS Amherst, United States of America

Building Information Modeling (BIM) provides a data-rich digital representation of the building with integrated data necessary for all stakeholders involved in the project. Building Energy Modeling (BEM) is a powerful and beneficial process that captures buildings’ energy and environmental performances, using computer modeling and simulation techniques. A novel approach to simulate and analyze the energy performance of buildings, named BIM-based BEM, has emerged in recent years, aiming to lessen human intervention and subjective decisions incorporated in the conventional analysis process.

BIM-based BEM includes integrated, interoperable, and separated workflows. Integration implies the same application environment for both BIM and BEM models. Interoperability allows BIM and BEM to communicate and exchange data, using a common data structure. In separation, there is no direct path of communication between BIM and BEM, requiring building geometry to be re-modeled in BEM. Literature reveals that there is a lot of energy analysis tools, working with different calculation engines and graphical user interfaces. However, none of the existing literature compared simulated energy data of various analysis tools against the actual energy consumption of existing buildings. This is an essential step for improving BIM-based BEM, aiming to reduce the time and labor intensity of the simulation and analysis processes.

In this study, research methodologies include data collection (i.e., construction documents, specifications, and energy data), weather-normalization of the energy data, architectural and analysis modeling, simulations, and comparative analysis of the results. Several existing buildings, all located at the [university campus removed for the blind peer review], were adopted as case studies. The buildings were selected from various categories, including laboratory, library, administrative, and recreational buildings, aiming to expand the study over a variety of building typologies.

For the purpose of whole-building energy analysis, seven BEM tools, including three categories of BIM-integrated (GBS, Sefaira), BIM-interoperable (IDA ICE and IES VE), and BIM-separated (DesingBuilder and eQUEST) software programs will be investigated. The selected BEM tools will be evaluated to determine their capabilities of defining simulations’ inputs and outputs and their applicability throughout a building’s lifecycle (i.e., design, construction, and operation/maintenance). Simulations’ results will be used to develop a guideline in the selection of BEM tools, considering the specific purpose of the simulations throughout a building life cycle. Three different data sharing file formats (IFC, gbXML, and DXF) will be tested and evaluated. These information sharing mechanisms will be applied to all the simulations to determine the best data exchange method and to suggest what is missing for streamlined interoperability. Simulations results will be then compared against the actual energy consumption data, investigating the accuracy of the BEM tools in predicting energy data.

The ARCC Doctoral Student Workshop will provide helpful feedback on how to further develop this research study, and how to develop guidelines for researchers and professionals interested in implementing BIM-based BEM.

2:45pm - 3:00pmBreak

Take a Tour or Visit an Exhibit

3:00pm - 3:30pmConference Welcome

Nancy Pollock-Ellwand, Dean, CAPLA, University of Arizona

Robert Miller, Director, School of Architecture, University of Arizona

Chris Jarrett, ARCC President, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Beth Weinstein and Clare Robinson, Conference co-Chairs

3:30pm - 5:00pmOpening Plenary: PERFORMATIVE ENVIRONMENTS

Beth Weinstein and Susannah Dickinson, University of Arizona, Co-Moderators

Billie Faircloth, KieranTimberlake, Panelist

Jon McKenzie, Cornell University, Panelist

Nicolas de Monchaux, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Panelist

5:00pm - 6:00pmLounge

BYOB (bring your own beverage)


Date: Thursday, 08/Apr/2021
8:00am - 9:30amKeynote: Eyal Weizman_CLOUD STUDIES
Session Chair: Beth Weinstein
Session Chair: Laura Holden Hollengreen

Eyal Weizman is Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures and founding director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. In 2010, Weizman founded the research agency Forensic Architecture, documented in FORENSIS (Sternberg, 2014) and Forensic Architecture: Violence at the Threshold of Detectability (Zone/MIT, 2017). 

Tear gas is used to disperse bodies gathering in democratic protest, white phosphorus and chlorine gas are used to spread terror in cities, herbicide is sprayed from airplanes to destroy fields and displace those whose livelihood depends on them, arson is used to eradicate forests for industrial plantations. Mobilized by state and corporate powers, toxic clouds colonize the air we breathe across different scales and durations, from urban squares to continents and from incidents to epochal latencies.

Studying such contemporary clouds necessitate a different approach to the analysis of kinetic encounters where “every contact leaves a trace”. Clouds are the epitome of transformations and their dynamics are elusive, governed by nonlinear and multi-causal logics. This is a problem that originated throughout the history of painting, when clouds were moving faster than the painter’s brush could capture them. and sometimes needed to be conceived rather than described.

Indeed, today’s toxic fog breeds lethal doubt and cloud shifts once more from the physical to the epistemological. When naysayers operate across the spectrum to deny the facts of climate change just as they do of chemical strikes, those inhabiting the clouds must find new ways of resistance.

9:30am - 9:45amBreak

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

Thematic Paper Session Tracks > C: Cultural  / O: Organizational / T: Technological

9:45am - 11:15amA: Paper Session_C1: Meaning, Memory and Place
Panel Moderator: Rima Ajlouni

Sacrality, Space + Self: Critical Explorations of Meaning, Relationship + Resonance in Islamic Architecture

Nooshin Esmaeili1, Dr. Brian R. Sinclair2

1School of Architecture, Planning + Landscape, University of Calgary, Alberta; 2School of Architecture, Planning + Landscape, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, + sinclairstudio inc., Alberta, Canada

Architecture is not only about creating spaces but more importantly addresses the quality of place and users' experience. With certain intentions, the architect deploys form and choreographs the movement through space, harnessing various elements collectively to tell a story. However, the message is conveyed to the users successfully only when the senses are simultaneously addressed, and a relationship is created between the individual and the environment. This results in blending one’s internal space with the experience of the world beyond, identified as “quality” (Zumthor 2006) or “life-enhancing” (Pallasmaa 2012) architecture. In this paper, the authors are particularly curious about the spiritual experience of Islamic architecture. Their research acknowledges the distinction between spirituality and religiosity, underscoring that transcendental qualities in space can be grasped by all people regardless of beliefs. The goal is not to say that all spaces are equal and that all buildings should provide an enhanced spiritual experience, but to examine those that have the requisite qualities so that designers can seek a better understanding of the concept of ‘quality’ space. To do so, this research serves to identify key criteria necessary in the exploration of spirituality as well as uncovering the importance of meaning, relationship, and resonance, more specifically, in Islamic architecture -- together creating a transcendental encounter. Architecture is more than seeing. Transformative places can be felt with the heart and spaces can be experienced without sight. Sacred spaces in Islamic architecture are often intended to detach us from our materialistic lifestyle and unite us with our genuine internal state. Transcendental spaces aim to lift us into a realm beyond our logical mind (perceptual) to the inner space of the soul or the numinous place (Otto 1970). This special feeling or spark is universal and not solely limited to sacred architecture. The present paper explores a developed set of criteria by the authors and their importance in delivering a transcendental architecture. For the second part of this research, which lies beyond the scope of this paper, the research examines the application of the developed criteria in various high profile case studies for understanding the art of orchestrating architectural features and elements in delivering the notion of “flow” and “unity” in Islamic architecture through the lens of Sufism. This research interrogates the status-quo through a literature review and considers several well-known case studies known for their transformative qualities and a heightened sense of place. The research, in a larger sense, evokes logical argumentation to develop a conceptual framework including initial design parameters/guidelines, targeted to begin the journey of developing a conceptual framework including initial design parameters/guidelines, targeted to designers and architects aspiring to elevate their design potency and spatial mastery to reach transcendental and performative ends. The authors seek a balance between provocation/speculation and rigor/discipline along with the identification of connections between several vital elements – sacrality, self, space, and wellbeing. In this paper, the authors conclude that many of the illuminations and recommendations revealed through this research find applicability in religious and spiritual traditions beyond the confines of Islam.

Qal'at Sim'an, A New Venue of Power in Late Antique Syria

Laura Holden Hollengreen

University of Arizona, United States of America

One way in which architecture “performs” is by providing a site for socio-cultural mediation among peoples with diverse needs. A pertinent premodern example, from a disintegrating empire, is the fifth-century Monastery of Qal’at Sim’an in Syria. At this site, Simeon the Elder, a stylite saint, practiced his asceticism atop a tall column for almost 40 years. Afterwards, a martyrium was built around his column in order to commemorate him; an adjacent monastery housed pilgrims who visited the church, as well as those who ministered to them. This paper will explore the initial, private ascetic performance of Simeon’s body; then the column as architectural prop for his practice, creating an elevated site visible to others; and finally the monumental architecture intended to graft Simeon’s individual fame into the power exercised by the Eastern Orthodox Church as an institution.

Simeon’s church provided a permanent focal point for the circulation of local peoples and distant travelers. It forged a perfect memorial to the holy dead and is regarded as one of the most significant works of late Roman architecture. Indeed, its elegant composition foreshadowed the integration of formal types at Hagia Sophia and the construction was so fine that scholars have assumed imperial patronage. Together, the site, the column, and the building design crystallized socio-political and religious change. They performed culturally for Simeon and later church officials by making visible the dynamic opportunities when long-standing institutions and social hierarchies break down and new people emerge to formulate new methods for achieving peace and prosperity. Dispensing exhortations and miracles, Simeon wielded considerable authority from atop his column and, later, after death, from his church, eclipsing that of local pagan gods and magistrates alike.

Bangladeshi Immigrant Muslim Women’s Memories from Past-lived Homes: Their Ways of Knowing Spaces

Mania Tahsina Taher

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, United States of America

This research inquires about the construction of spatial memories for Bangladeshi Muslim immigrant women living in the U.S. cities and analyzes their physical and sensorial ways of reconstructing the memories of past-lived spaces. The three participant women in this research immigrated to the United States at different times for study, work, and raising a family. This research reflects on how these memories serve as mnemonic devices that record and transmit their experiences inside their previous homes. The objective of this research is two-fold: first, to gain insight into the lived experiences of these immigrant women inside their homes; second, to assess the efficacy of the research methods used here to receive reflections on their occupied built environments. Interview and photo-elicitation are the two research methods adopted here to extract their narratives about everyday spaces. In this process, this study focuses on what one remembers in space, and how one remembers relying on these spatial elements that store these memories. This research framework testifies to the role of data collection techniques in qualitative research for analyzing the relationship of people’s placemaking and their spatial recall of past-lived places.

9:45am - 11:15amA: Paper Session_T1: Facade Performance, Research Methods and Models
Panel Moderator: Terri Boake

A Time Efficient Design Method For A Kinetic Façade Using A Regression Model

Ok-Kyun Im, Kyounghee Kim

UNC Charlotte, United States of America

The extensive use of glass is common in office towers due to its benefits from daylighting, view-outs, and contemporary aesthetics in urban settings. The building sector is among the largest consumers of energy and non-renewable resources. With current climate emergency and advances in technology around architecture, kinetic facade systems that are adaptable to environments and control microclimates is generating considerable interest. Finding an optimal operation of kinetic facades during early design process will improve energy consumption and occupant comfort. The purpose of this study therefore is to develop a time efficient design methodology that helps determine the optimum operation of kinetic facades. For this study, a kinetic shading system with circular units that rotates clockwise or counterclockwise depending on the sun’s movement was developed. Solar radiation data simulated in Diva (a daylighting and energy simulation tool) was used to investigate varying degrees of regression models as a time efficient tool to find optimal operations of kinetic facades. The results of the study shows that the developed regression model shows different predictive results depending on time and season which is closely related to the altitude of the sun. When the sun's altitude is high, solar radiation can be blocked well by the kinetic system, so the amount of blocked solar radiation according to the rotation angle increases, which leads to the accuracy of the regression model. On the other hand, when the sun's altitude is low or the amount of solar radiation is relatively low compared to other times, the accuracy of the regression model is reduced because the difference in performance according to the rotational angle is not large. Incorporating a regression model during kinetic façade design process could make the design process more time efficient without undergoing repetitive simulation process. It is also expected to further help multi-functionalities of kinetic facades with improved energy efficiency and occupant comfort.

Facade Performance Study of a Historically Significant Brutalist Building: Thermal and Moisture Analysis

Suncica Milosevic1, Ajla Aksamija2

1University of Massachusetts Amherst, United States of America; 2University of Massachusetts Amherst, United States of America

Preservation of historically significant buildings is essential to sustaining cultural heritage and history, but current preservation processes for such structures do not require stringent energy performance criteria. As a result, little research has been done on quantifiable methods for sustainable historic preservation, while striving to maintain the building’s original design integrity. This paper presents a case study on facade performance for Spomen Dom (translating to “Remembrance Home”), a Brutalist civic building located in Montenegro, once part of the former Yugoslavia. This research was conducted to determine and analyze the building’s original design features, to assess the building’s current physical state and to investigate thermal/moisture performance of the building skin. The purpose was to evaluate building’s current performance compared to original design intent, and to propose renovation strategies that would improve the building’s performance, while striving to maintain the integrity of original design of the exterior enclosure. Though a single case study, methodology presented here can be widely applied to analyze performance and encourage sustainable retrofitting of historically significant buildings.

Building Enclosure and its Outdoor Thermal Behaviour: Insitu Measurement Efficacy

Patricia Njideka Kio, Ahmed Kamal Ali

Texas A&M University, United States of America

Combining two systems; living walls and double envelopes for building’s enclosures are introduced to achieve energy conservation benefits and provide aesthetics in urban areas. Many studies tackled the effects of double walls on reducing energy and heat gain on buildings, but very few measured the effects of these enclosures on the urban microclimate. This paper demonstrates a methodological workflow for assessing the thermal performance of a novel living wall. Measurements were carried out at 16:00 hours for 31 days in August during Summer 2019 and at 14:00 hours for 44 days during Summer 2020. Meteorological conditions measured by a weather station in the same surrounding microclimate for August 2019 were considered as a reference for the thermal performance in the microclimate analysis. In 2020, irradiance was measured at surfaces in situ for microclimate analysis and their sky view factors were obtained to standardize exposure to the sun. Irradiance at surfaces showed differences in thermal performance and effectiveness of the geometry of modular living wall units/modules. Maximum irradiance of 595.3 W/m2 occurred at the metal door. Average temperatures of the flat surface of the modules and flat metal door show that cooling effect improved from 4.6 ºC in 2019 to 8.4 ºC in 2020. Results of paired T-tests between both metal surfaces provided evidence of the effectiveness of module geometry on its irradiance. Thermal values were found to likely increase after applying sky view factor for similar conditions of sunlight at facades. This comparative analysis of the experimental results on a living/double wall and surfaces demonstrates the thermal behavior of a novel modular living/double wall and its potential to mitigate urban heat island in the surrounding microclimate.

9:45am - 11:15amA: Paper Session_T2: Public Health and Well-Being
Panel Moderator: Saif Haq

Built and Social Environment Impact on Covid-19 Transmission

Ming Hu, Jennifer Roberts

University of Maryland, United States of America

The goal of this research was to investigate the multifaceted interrelationships between the built and social environments and the impact of this relationship on population-level health in the context of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). More specific, this study assessed the relationship between several social determinants of health, including housing quality, living condition, travel pattern, race/ethnicity, household income, and COVID-19 outcomes in Washington, D.C (DC). Using built environment and social environment data extracted from DC energy benchmarking database and the American Community Survey database, more than 130,000 housing units were analyzed against COVID-19 case counts, death counts, mortality rate, age adjusted incidence rate and fatality rate data for DC wards. The results demonstrated that housing quality, living condition, race and occupation were strongly correlated with COVID death count.

Intentional and Unintentional Performance: Analyzing the Validity and Agency of Ancient Environmental Design on Contemporary Architecture Advancement

Sandra Maria Bernal Cordova1, Joaquin Murrieta-Saldivar2, Ivan Eladio Gaxiola Camacho1

1The University of Arizona, United States of America; 2Watershed Management Group, United States of America

Globally adverse environmental conditions, such as land degradation, lack and pollution of fresh water, and extreme temperature levels (United Nations, 2017), represent the rationale for incorporating cross-scalar and interdisciplinary knowledge, looking forward to achieving a more adaptive urban environment. Thus, in face of climate crisis due to global dilapidation of natural resources, we aim to emphasize the need to abandon arbitrary design approaches and consider the innovative concept of a resilient architecture object, a dynamic system that depends on-, and adapts to need, demand, and availability of natural resources to develop the artificial environment.

This research involves the analysis of photographic material focused on intentional and unintentional spatial elements considered as agents modifying the interaction of humans with the built environment. The goal is to reach a critical identification and re-interpretation of elements of sustainable lifestyle in vernacular architecture from ancient cultures, contemporary architecture, and a case study in Tucson Arizona. Considering the “building as a dynamic system” concept, using the Food-Energy-Water (FEW) nexus perspective (Saundry &Ruddell, 2020) and a chronological evaluation of architectural work, trackable architectural research paths will be suggested.

Building on the work of Donella Meadows, this research will set the stage for dialogic information exchange regarding the triple bottom line - emphasizing the eco-economic decoupling. The sections are: 1.- Contextual information on the FEW nexus, and on environmental design of ancient and contemporary architecture, 2.-Results of a participant observation (methodology) and a comparative analysis aided by ancient and contemporary case studies, and 3.- Demonstrating how a local case study embraces the identification of research paths towards a more environmentally conscious architecture.

The set of images selected for depicting international and local case studies will back up the interpretation that architecture can operate through a respectful buffer zone between economic pressures and respect to the environment. Measurable aspects of performative spaces will be addressed using benchmarking information from energy certification systems, such as the USGBC’s LEED.

Far from a nostalgic design standpoint or a disapproval of technological development, by re-focusing on ancient vernacular architecture practice, this study calls for considering the possibilities of an adequate recoupling of buildings with food production, water use, and energy efficiency to improve their environmental performance, this is, examining the validity and agency of ancient environmental design elements for a more sustainable practice of contemporary architecture.


Saundry, P., & Ruddell, B. L. (2020). The Food-Energy-Water Nexus. Springer International Publishing AG.

United Nations, C. to C. D. (2017). The Global Land Outlook.

Salutogenesis + Design: Pursuing an Architecture of Wellness in an Age of Illness

Brian Sinclair

University of Calgary + sinclairstudio inc., Canada

Over the last century, our planet has become far more urbanized, with cities growing and evolving at unprecedented levels. Undeniably we find society struggling with the many crises that have arrived in recent decades. The complexity of the world, and the incomprehensible scale of some of its problems, calls for new means of understanding and operating. Incremental shifts & minor adjustments, in many ways, prove inadequate to respond to unprecedented challenges. Today’s ethos demands dramatic measures, including critically those factors influencing and impacting the health of civilization and the planet it calls home. Salutogenesis presents a method of acting + advancing, in many realms including architecture, whereby people are understood in their fullness. Taking into consideration a plethora of facets affecting our wellbeing, a salutogenic approach shifts the emphasis towards health promotion and away from disease management. Architecture’s roles in equations of health & wellness prove both profound and rich in potential.

Over recent years, and considering current crises, the architectural profession has been increasingly charged with generating building designs that promote individual wellness + public health. The definitions of health are many and diverse. That said, we are coming to understand with far greater clarity the tremendous correlations between health and the environment. Evidence linking the design of buildings and cities to positive health outcomes is significant. Studies in architecture, environmental psychology, social geography and other fields point to positive implications of well-considered and well-designed environments, including access to light, provision of clean air, incorporation of nature, reduced toxicity of materials, provision of social space, and many other design dimensions. Improved natural light can influence productivity. Views of nature can accelerate healing. Avoidance of harmful chemicals can reduce childhood illness. In many ways, the environmental design professions are now grasping design’s potential with respect to heightened health outcomes.

Medical sociologist Aaron Antonovsky (1923-1994) postulated, in his 1979 book ‘Health, Stress and Coping’ that a person’s ability to manage and thrive in life’s journey was related, in part, to the quality of their environments. Psychologists refer to place attachment and place identity, underscoring the remarkable influence place has in our lives. Upwards of 90% of our time, in many countries, is spent indoors, making the significance of health-promoting buildings even more urgent. Likewise, urban design and city planning are poised to better cultivate health. The present research actively explores Antonovsky’s thinking, pushing hard to consider, craft and realize strategies to foster an architecture that is in synchronization with individual and community health needs and aspirations. Deploying critical analysis of the literature, case studies, studio education and logical argumentation, the current research proffers novel, bold and potent ways of linking design to wellness. Charles Jencks (2017) stressed that “Architects and doctors both are committed to creating a better future; they project plans and cures onto the horizon and seek to persuade people of their positive outcomes.” Salutogenic design presents alternative ways of seeing, knowing and acting that can place us on a path to greater health in the built environment.

9:45am - 11:15amA: Seminar_S1: Forensic Architecture and Art of Accountability in the age of Neoliberalism

Beth Weinstein and Kaitlin Murphy, University of Arizona, Co-Moderators

A special focus seminar with Eyal Weizman of Goldsmiths, University of London.

11:15am - 11:30amBreak

Take a Tour or Visit an Exhibit

11:30am - 12:15pmB: Poster Session_P1
Panel Moderator: Jonathan Yorke Bean

The Design and Fabrication of Façade Panel Systems with Additive Manufacturing

Tanner Theisen, Niloufar Emami

Lousiana State University, United States of America

The purpose of this study is to explore the possibilities of additive digital fabrication techniques for customized repetitive manufacturing (CRM) as they apply to the design and fabrication of molds for precast concrete panels. These digital fabrication methods are distributed enough that they are accessible, and the elements produced through these methods can have geometrical freedom compared to those produced through traditional methods.

Volumetric concrete panels are the focal point of this study. These panels have been advancing in their design, but the general fabrication methods in practice have not been catching up with this advancement. Producing concrete panels by employing traditional mold making methods restricts the geometric possibilities of their design, while it also limits the involvement of a designer in prototyping and fabricating panels. This study proposes 3D printing molds as an alternative fabrication method for creating precast building elements.

After completing a review of precast paneling systems in over forty case studies, the design and fabrication techniques employed in each project were interrogated. Next, two case studies, namely Le Vérone Tower and The Perot Museum of Nature and Science were studied in depth. The issues of controlled variability by using 3D printed molds were tested through pushing the design aesthetics of these projects. Stereolithography (SLA) resin printing was the key process employed for recreating these panels. Considering both the available and upcoming large scale 3D printers in the industry, the results demonstrate 3D printing molds as a viable fabrication method for creating CRM parts for building construction.

Other Ways to Pay for the Public Life?

Brett Louis Snyder, N. Claire Napawan

University of California Davis, United States of America

Kresge College at the University of California Santa Cruz, originally designed in 1971 by Turnbull Associates and Charles W Moore Associates (MLTW), is well known both for its “stage set” like architecture as well as its use of environmental graphics. These graphics were designed to foster a sense of democracy and public participation. As part of a renovation and expansion led by Studio Gang Architects, we (the authors) contributed an updated wayfinding system that builds on the idea of participation while broadening it to include inhabitants’ relationship with the built and natural environment. While the original design centered on an inward facing street, the renewal connects outwards acting as a lens to the environment. The graphic strategy includes integrating graphics into materials (using bird-safe etched glass), highlighting the complex topography of the site (through large scale maps), and includes an augmented reality component allowing visitors added ways of connecting to the site (as well as the ability to see the current and original site overlaid).

Augmented reality will allow users to access various social and ecological components of the College, from being able to see more about the multi-species that are native to this environment as well as to access historical information about the original MLTW buildings. By actively creating linkages between past and present, built and natural, this wayfinding system aims to highlight the way we actively participate in shaping our environment.

Development of Window Apertures to Improve Natural Ventilation in Educational Buildings

Yun Kyu Yi, Manal Anis, Keunhyuk Jang

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States of America

The recent global pandemic has left bare the flaws in our infrastructure as much as in buildings. With schools re-opening, concerns for the safety and health of children have come to the forefront, as has the glaring inadequacies in air circulation in school buildings. Current practice of designing small openable window areas in educational buildings, allowing windows to open only 4-6 inches for children’s safety, along with the use of old radiators and window-mounted air-conditioning units, have rendered classrooms devoid of adequate supply of fresh air. Absence of the ASHRAE recommended 6 air changes/per hour (ACH) in many poorly funded classrooms can potentially lead to serious consequence. The Epidemic Task Force for ASHRAE has proposed some guidelines for the reopening of schools, stressing adequate supply of outside fresh air according to ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2019.

This research aims to investigate design strategies to improve air circulation through careful interventions in conventional apertures in classrooms. With clever design, airflow through existing window apertures can be augmented to maximize natural ventilation that can reduce risk of contamination by insufficient fresh air. The research aims to create a framework of design strategies that would enable an increased ventilation in a space under different wind conditions.

The learning objectives of the study are to investigate the current aperture design, understand the different conditions impacting indoor air movement through apertures, propose alternative systems based on various wind conditions, and finally test the systems through CFD analysis to validate their robustness.

Exploring Changes in Needs for Students Housing after the Pandemic

Jinoh Park

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, United States of America

This study explores the direction of new student housing design as students’ lifestyle changes caused by COVID-19. This study confirmed the possibility of conducting research on a new student housing development direction by reviewing a set of literature: industry trends, evidence-based design, and Post-Occupancy Evaluation on student housing.

Based on the phenomenological perspective with the combination of lived experience and POE methodologies, this research questions what changes in students’ needs for housing are after the coronavirus outbreak. This study collected data by recording the life before and after the pandemic with multiple materials according to the POE format. The collected data was analyzed by following discussion and semi-constructed interviews together. Through the analysis, this research identified changes in students’ needs and issues compared with the student housing trend 2020.

As a result, this study illustrates a set of changes in needs for students housing during the COVID-19. According to the findings, research participants need more 1) flexibility in layout, 2) private space and amenities, 3) solutions for noise issues, and 4) better delivery access. Even though it is difficult to generalize according to the limited number of study participants, the quality of this study was supplemented through multiple materials, peer-reviewed analysis, and additional interviews and discussions. Consequently, this study can be referred to when universities develop new on-campus housing or when private developers plan off-campus housing. In addition, it is reference material for student housing design projects in the architectural design studio, followed by pre-design research and evidence-based design.

Public Policies For Sustainable Social Housing In Northwest Mexico

Dania Lizeth Castro, Jose Manuel Ochoa

Maestria en Arquitectura, Universidad de Sonora

In Mexico, sustainable housing policies are proposed as an alternative to improve the quality of life of the vulnerable population and at the same time, correct the housing deficit that exists in this country due, in part, to the lack of efficient regulations for the management of the growth of cities. It is expected that by 2030, Mexico will have approximately 50 million homes and to meet their needs, it will be necessary to build almost 11 million new homes between 2011 and 2030.

However, the country's sustainable housing policies have not been a significant factor in the change towards sustainability. In contrast, they are closer to a rhetorical discourse, which remains in the passive design and use of certain technologies without considering the needs, aspirations, and conditions of accessibility for all economic strata. On the contrary, other authors point out that the programs have little time for implementation; therefore, there are no precise evaluable results, making their analysis difficult when trying to determine the strengths and weaknesses.

This research aims to compare sustainable housing programs such as "Hipoteca Verde", "Esta es tu casa" and "Sisevive-Ecocasa" implemented in the city of Hermosillo, Sonora, in order to identify the quantifiable and non-quantifiable benefits to users. In addition to analyzing the tools and parameters that make them up. During the analysis of the programs, we found that "Sisevive-Ecocasa" is based on the programs "Hipoteca Verde" and "Esta es tu casa". However, unlike these, "Sisevive-Ecocasa" addresses the construction's energy efficiency based on the house's global performance, setting standards for the total energy demand, according to the prototype and the bioclimatic zone; this approach implements monitoring, reporting, and verification system for each house.

Performative Nomadicism and the No-Place

Jessica Rachel Hanzelkova

University of Waterloo, Canada

As fears of COVID-19 rose in early 2020 calls for self-isolation shifted life into the domestic realm and streets of cities around the world emptied of people. This migration into the home continues to invert the function of ‘public’ space intrapandemic, redefining them through either eerie vacancy or movement between. This project examines the no-place which counters Marc Augé’s non-place as a space of detached transience, instead locating this transience within the person encountering space. It is a distinctly nomadic theory which builds off of the work of Gilles Deleuze and Rosi Braidotti, noting an embodied sense of detachment either to place or to community as a mode of subjectivity. This subjectivity grounds the no-place perspective in a revised posthuman subject, one who is us as we contemporaneously occupy and perform as part of a diaspora, as bystanders, or as passing strangers. Employing performance art as a methodology, this project is assembled as a series of images situated within the pandemic-city. A set of eight movements carry a masked performer between streets, shops, alleyways, and parks where she lingers. Forms of transience are not only performed by the city intrapandemic, but also realized by her inhabitation of these spaces which assemble disparate fragments of her childhood memory and identity as a multiracial woman and the child of immigrants. Blips of Chinatown bookmark this exploration of the no-place, and here this detached transience becomes a place for the radical transformation of the individual within larger narratives of anonymity, identification, and inhabitation.

11:30am - 12:15pmB: Poster Session_P2
Panel Moderator: Valerian Miranda

Site Net Zero Contemporegional Architecture – The Barn Haus in Utah

Jörg Rügemer

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.

Margarita Ibarra Platt, Maria Guadalupe Alpuche Cruz

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

Rachel Dickey

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

Tazrin Islam, Ute Poerschke, Yasmine Abbas

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

Fernando Arvayo-Ballesteros, Óscar Preciado-Pérez

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.

11:30am - 12:15pmB: Workshop_W2: NSF Grant Success Information Session
Panel Moderator: Rahman Azari

Lawrence Bank, Research Faculty, Georgia Institute of Technology

A presentation by Larry Bank of Georgia Tech describing the process for securing an NSF grant, from communications with NSF Program Directors to qualifications, impact and proposal submission. Q&A session to folow. 

11:30am - 12:15pmB: Workshop_W3: Publishing with Routledge Press
Panel Moderator: Philip Plowright

Fran Ford, Senior Editor and Publisher (Architecture), Routledge Press, London

A presentation by Routledge Press describing the process for publishing a book, from proposal submission to editorial assessment, peer review, contracts, timelines and manuscript delivery. Q&A session to follow. 

12:15pm - 12:30pmBreak

Grab and Go Lunch from your very own Refrigerator!

12:30pm - 1:30pmARCC Annual Business Meeting

Presentation of ARCC Mission, Organization, Budget, Programs and Opportunities

1:30pm - 1:45pmBreak

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

1:45pm - 3:15pmC: Paper Session_C2: Bio-Design, Linguistics and Social Change
Panel Moderator: Laura Holden Hollengreen

Towards a Post-Anthropocene Bio-Design Practice

Assia Stefanova

Newcastle University, United Kingdom

The paper seeks to identify two different epistemological approaches within bio-design that have emerged as a result of historical and scientific influences, which are differentiated by methodological, linguistic, and ethical factors. The paper examines how such differences impact the design process and a framework for eco-centric design thinking is proposed.

Biological processes and living organisms have entered the fields of architecture and design, offering new solutions to ecological problems. In employing other species within the built environment, ethical implications for working with living organisms arise. The attitudes and methods adopted within the field of bio-design can be traced back to our historical relationship with nature. Humanity’s views on nature and the environment were radically redefined during the Enlightenment, adopting a mechanistic framework, depriving nature of its agency through a virulent rejection of mysticism, animism, and the Earth Mother image. These views were strengthened by the Industrial Revolution and later, 20th century practices enabled mass production and gluttonous use of finite natural resources. Within design, these mechanistic principles have been applied in the field of bio-technology that is at the service of humanity, being integrated into the built environment in a similar way to inanimate matter. At the other end of the spectrum lies a non-anthropocentric bio-design practice that is based upon pre-Enlightenment thinking and the shift in rhetoric brought about by research into animal sentience, symbiosis and Gaia theory, which highlights human participation in complex interspecies networks. This ecological discourse postulates new modes of thinking within the field of design, placing humanity within a multitude of interdependent relationships, highlighting the need for human responsibility towards living organisms in the built environment and bringing forth a different set of ethical considerations within bio-design practice.

Utterances and Similes: An Exploration of Participation and Linguistics in Architecture

Noémie Despland-Lichtert, Brendan Sullivan Shea

Texas Tech University, Lubbock, United States of America

In 1955, philosopher and linguist John Langshaw Austin coined the concept of "performative utterance", a form of speech that both includes a call for action and a transformation of reality. This type of short sentence is both describing reality and, simultaneously, changing it through the power of speech. Another figure of speech, comparing two different things by explicitly highlighting their similarities, is known as the simile. This paper explores how the concept of performative utterance and simile can be applied to architecture, to comprehend interactive, participatory, and durational “performative spaces”. The paper asks: how a space can intrinsically call for its own transformation? How can an environment explicitly respond and transform itself through interaction and participation? What is the meaning of a simile in architecture? What is the role of Architecture Curating? In this paper, we investigate performative projects—those calling for action and triggering their own transformation through users' participation—by examining a series of interactive, transformative, and durational spaces and curatorial projects. Ultimately, we argue that the ephemeral and interactive nature of performative spaces serves to transfer agency from architects and curators to audiences, including new spectators and users, inclusive participants, and activators, therefore creating an expanded cultural dialogue and critical discourse for the discipline of architecture.

New Reality. New Architecture.

Salah Imam1, Brian Sinclair2

1School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, University of Calgary + McFarlane Biggar architects inc., Canada; 2School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, University of Calgary + sinclairstudio inc., Canada

The last few decades can be characterized, socially and physically, by rapid shifts and intense impacts. Climate changes year after year, as does advanced technology and human behaviour. Environmental catastrophes and infectious outbreaks—such as global warming and COVID-19—force the re-forming of entire cities and regions, imposing high human and economic costs. The built environment cannot keep up with these deviations—rather it simply, in best case scenarios, endeavour to limit damages. Through our ongoing research into flexible architecture, particularly in residential projects, the most common perceptions have expensive and negative connotations. For many industry professionals, flexible design has been branded as costly, difficult to deploy, and demanding state-of-the-art gadgetry. Such views have been driven, in part, by technical attempts to future proof buildings through the application of specific parameters such as movable partitions or pursuing over-engineering.

Why then, after more than a century of attempts to design for flexibility, the issue is still marginalized to the profession at large? Through synthesizing of the existing literature, it became obvious that design approaches have focused primarily on physical flexibility. This overly narrow approach leaves the user and the environment out of the equation, leading to inevitable failure of the built-environment’s capacity to respond to social or environmental changes. The present research argues that achieving flexible buildings demands a more balanced and integrated approach, namely the pursuit and realization of Agile Architecture. A re-conceptualization is needed that goes beyond matters of durability to more nuanced views of buildings as socialized products constantly in the making and always responding to a milieu of change.

The authors’ initial impressions reveal limited studies about architecture that responds to change, expressed in generalized texts and case studies. Through comprehensive review, it is apparent that the subject of change in architecture is not only linguistically disjointed but offers little critical reflection on what had been proposed and/or built. In responding to that realization, the present research contextualizes the gap by underlining the industry mindset (via a survey to illuminate contextual barriers against formulating/implementing such an innovative approach) and studying current residential design practices (via seminal cases of projects strategically drawn from global cities, illustrating progressive concepts within the design, legislative and/or financial ethos). The paper positions Agile Architecture in the context of environmental, social and economic sustainability, then delineates progress along a multifaceted journey that aspires to dramatically reconsider the way we design buildings.

In many respects, this research is about the future, about changing conservative design thinking where ideas are at best variations of the status quo. The unprecedented consequences of COVID-19 and climate change, mark what the authors see as the beginning of the end of traditional architecture design. Incongruously, almost every traditional AEC organization, while trying to figure out its place in this changing world, is stubbornly trying to build a bulwark to protect old models that can’t possibly survive the sea of change under way. Thus, from the authors’ perspective, if change is the new problem; Agility is the new solution.

1:45pm - 3:15pmC: Paper Session_O1: Performative Health, Biophilism and Well-Being
Panel Moderator: Susannah Dickinson

Situating Access and Breaking Boundaries: Holistic Responsivity as a Provocation

Bushra Hashim, Brian Robert Sinclair

School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, University of Calgary, Canada

Contemporary society, including architecture, urbanism, and city planning, stands at a vital juncture. Calls for heightened equity amidst growing diversity offer an unprecedented opportunity to reconsider design thinking. A part of this equation pertains to the ways that users address and operate within the built environment moving past mobility, to include people with intellectual disabilities (ID). Intellectual disabilities have been understood historically with the manifestation of intellectual ableism within the built environment. Current design research and practice under-represent intellectual disabilities, affirming the need for innovating architectural solutions that encourage inclusion and participation. The present paper argues that design equity and spatial engagement needs to be addressed in broader ways to cover crucial cognition encounters and sensorial experiences of these (and all) users. Holistic Responsivity is thus a term coined by the authors to convey the notion that designers shoulder serious responsibility for creating built environments that are responsive across the wide-ranging abilities of users. It is proposed as a provocation of the status quo, an expansion in the catchment in critique of current universal design’s one-size-fits-all approach to accessibility. Informed by neuroarchitecture, agile architecture, and cybernetics [NAAC], Holistic Responsivity provides a conceptual framework that can be applied to design processes. This research is consolidated through case studies, primary data collection via three survey methods, and action-based research. Collected data will, downstream, be qualitatively analyzed through content, narrative, and discourse analysis to understand the experiences of people with cognitive disabilities and perceived barriers in the built environment, and how disability is perceived within architectural practice and education. Through logical argumentation, this methodology unites primary and secondary research towards experiential equity, finally proposing new design guidelines that are more responsive, resilient, and responsible. Ultimately, the goal is to support and enhance the user's agency, the performance of the environment, and the optimization of experience. The design of our everyday spaces and places need to ensure all users are more abled, not less disabled.

Performative Views in Architecture: Preference, Composition, and Occupant’s wellbeing.

Ihab Elzeyadi

University of Oregon, United States of America

A substantial portion of the world population spends a minimum of 40 hours weekly in indoor office environments and almost 90% of their time indoors. A fact that placed a significant importance to outdoor views in work environments as a mean for occupants to maintain connections to nature and the outdoors. Previous studies have attributed a positive correlation between the presence of nature components in outdoor views and occupant’s satisfaction, physiological benefits, mental health, shorter postoperative hospital stays, lower medication dosages, better mood, lower job stress, and reduced churn rates. Despite the favorability of this evidence, the composition of view attributes and components that lead to these positive effects have not been adequately investigated yet. Most previous studies concentrated on the comparisons of views of nature verses urban views preferences, yet failed to acknowledge the complex dimension of view parameters and the percentages of elements of nature within a view, such as percentage of sky area, ground cover, trees and shrubs. Similarly, the type, quality, and composition of urban views have not been adequately investigated. Moreover, most previous studies failed to develop a view metric to both quantify and evaluate different views or a scale to predict their impact separately or collectively on occupant’s wellbeing.

This study attempts to answer an important yet unsearched question related to the performative aspects of views and their composition. It also attempts to quantify view preference by developing a metric for view performance and testing its impacts on occupant’s wellbeing. The study employed a cross-sectional sorting task survey design to assess view quality outside offices. Data was collected from 125 office participants-- who were given 12 images that contain different views compositions--accessible from their offices, which vary from the extreme views of nature to extreme urban views. View compositions varied in content and magnitude, including nature components, architectural styles, dynamic elements, and view depth. Participants were asked to rank the different views using a Q-sorting task procedure. In addition, daylighting levels and quality inside the different offices were measured and analyzed to evaluate the interaction between lighting and views on occupants’ satisfaction and comfort levels.

This is an inquiry that attempts to answer and quantify a long debated hypothesis regarding the importance non-residential building occupants place on the need to be in contact with nature and the outdoors (the biophilia hypothesis) while working within a building. Results suggest that common classifications of views into two types, views of nature verses urban views, is misleading and does not realistically represent the typical content of views. Instead, a scaled dimension and metric to evaluate views based on their composition is more accurate as it offers a predictive power to measure the performative aspects of views. Of equal importance is the power of the metric to predict the impact of views on occupant’s wellbeing. Findings provide an evidence-based guideline to design a better view for occupant’s in work environments from the inside out as well as from the outside in.

Biophilic Net-Positive Architecture: Integrating Nature, Health, Wellbeing and Passive Design

Mary Guzowski

University of Minnesota, United States of America

The energy, carbon, and environmental benefits of net-positive design have received much attention, but less so the health, wellbeing, and experiential promises. Architects Pamela Mang and Bill Reed suggest that the definition of “net-positive” should be expanded to “buildings that ‘add value’ to ecological systems and generate more than they need to fulfil their own needs’ moves net-positive beyond simply a technical challenge . . . [by including] benefits to the systemic capability to generate, sustain and evolve the life of a particular place (Mang and Reed, 2014, 1)”. Could a biophilic approach to net-positive architecture provide an expanded understanding of health and wellbeing for humans, other species and the planet? Architect Stephen Kellert identified biophilic design as the “largely missing link” in sustainable design: “Without positive benefits and associated attachment to buildings and places, people rarely exercise responsibility or stewardship to keep them in existence over the long run….Low-environmental-impact and biophilic design must, therefore, work in complementary relation to achieve true and lasting sustainability (Kellert et al., 2008, 5)”. This paper discusses a seven-week graduate architecture studio that explored the potential “added value” of a biophilic approach to net-positive architecture, using the Architecture 2030 Energy Design Hierarchy and Terrapin’s 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design to address the design, programmatic, performance, and experiential dimensions of biophilic net-positive architecture (Architecture 2030, 2020; Terrapin 2014). Integrated biophilic net-positive architectural goals, strategies, performance metrics, and tools will be discussed to support human and ecological health and wellbeing.


Kellert, Stephan R., Heerwagan, Judith H., and Mador, Martin L. 2008. Biophilic Design, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Terrapin Bright Green. 2014. Terrapin’s 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design,, 4.

1:45pm - 3:15pmC: Paper Session_T3: Design Integrated CFD and Energy Performance
Panel Moderator: Adil Sharag-Eldin

A Framework for the Integration of CFD into the Early Stages of Architectural Design

Soo Jeong Jo1,2, Jim Jones1

1Virginia Tech, United States of America; 2Louisiana State University, United States of America

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) refers to computational methods to predict the movement of fluids, e.g. air, around and through objects. Due to its efficiency, CFD has been widely used since the 1970s in various fields including aerospace engineering and the automobile industry. More recently, it is being applied to architecture since airflow analysis has become an important issue while the shapes and the interior layouts of many modern buildings have become complex, making it difficult to intuitively predict airflow in and around a building. Although CFD can be helpful in predicting airflow in relation to architectural design, the users of CFD in the building industry tend to be limited to researchers or consulting engineers. It may be desirable to make CFD analysis more accessible to architectural designers throughout the whole design process. However, the current literature related to CFD implementation in architecture mostly focuses on a single domain of decision-making, such as wind load analysis, rather than the comprehensive design process. The present study aims to show how CFD can be utilized throughout the architectural design process and how the airflow simulations can interact with the dynamics of design thinking. This research will suggest an implementation framework that can be expanded to different architectural projects while supporting architectural designers to utilize CFD simulation in the early stages of design. To achieve this goal, a design project was selected and developed in the following order: pre-design, site interpretation, massing, and façade design. Airflow simulations were conducted for each design step, and the details of the simulation process were tracked using a reflective practitioner approach. Furthermore, the design decision-making processes in interaction with the CFD simulation results were observed and documented. These works ultimately will open a discussion about how CFD can be effectively used for architectural design in a broader perspective.

Integrating Parametric Design and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to Maximize Electricity Generation from Pavilion

Yun Kyu Yi, Keunhyuk Jang, Andrew Chun-An Wei, Bhujon Kang, Manal Anis

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States of America

It is common knowledge that one source of renewable energy can’t replace fossil fuel and it is necessary to adopt various renewable technologies. However, wind energy was not fully utilized. It is typically installed coastline or open rural areas and has a limited application that can be found near the urban area. The paper is developing a new design strategy to find an aerodynamic form of a pavilion that is optimized to generate on-site electricity with attached wind turbines.

Wind farms built in rural areas have the issue of energy losses and infrastructure like the cable construction expense for connecting from wind farms to cities is hard to avoid. Also, recently wind farms in open fields confronted with the waste problem. The blades are made of a pliable mix of resin and fiberglass. Decommissioned blades are also notoriously difficult and expensive to transport. They can be anywhere from 100 to 300 feet long and need to be cut up on-site before getting trucked away on specialized equipment.

For this reason, the paper is interest to investigate possible structures that can generate electricity in the urban area on a small scale. However, it is very difficult to utilize wind turbines around an urban area, because of the negative opinion on the appearance of wind turbines [4].

The paper proposes a structure that hides a wind turbine and able to generate electricity from wind. However, the most significant limitation of wind turbine applications in urban areas can be found in its complexity with surrounding site conditions. Unlike the open field, where no obstructions are nearby, it is comparatively easy to find the proper orientation of the turbine should face maximizing generating electricity. Since ground-level wind speed and directions vary by location, turbulent, low-velocity wind conditions it is difficult to design a wind turbine near an urban area. For that reason, further research must consider site-specific wind conditions that able to find better orientation, and the shape of the structure must be found.

The paper integrates advanced computational tools to find a form that maximizes electricity generation. Based on a parametric (Non-uniform rational basis spline, NURBS) modeling, the various geometries will be generated and passed to the (Computational Fluid Dynamics) to find a more site-specific wind condition for the whole year around. These performance outcomes are passed to the evaluation process where the objective functions determine whether the geometry satisfies the goal. If the objective function values don’t meet the requirements, the next population is generated based on the selection process and passed to parametric modeling to generate a new structure to evaluate the next generation’s performance. This loop continues until the goal is reached.

The outcome of the paper is demonstrating a design method that integrates different computational tools to find geometry that able to maximize site-specific wind potential to generate electricity and overcome the certain limitation of installing wind turbines close to urban areas.

Energy Performance Of Solar- Reflective Building Envelope On Retail Strip Malls - a Case Study

Roja Rastegar, Jae Chang

University of Kansas-School of Architecture & Design, United States of America


In the United States as with many other countries, building energy consumption has dramatically increased over the past decade due to population growth, increased demand for indoor environmental quality, and global climate change. One of the goals of architectural design is to provide indoor conditions where individuals can carry out their daily activities in a comfortable energy efficient environment. Space conditioning which is greatly impacted by heat transfer through the building envelope makes up a major portion of a building’s energy consumption. One method of minimizing heat transfer and reducing solar heat gain is by optimizing the building envelope thermal performance. This can be accomplished by increasing the R-value through more insulation. However, increasing insulation in existing buildings is more difficult than with new construction. Several studies have shown that surface treatments and application of solar-reflective coatings can reduce the solar absorption rate of a building envelope, which may result in the reduction of cooling load in summer.

This paper presents the findings of a study that examined the effectiveness of improving the thermal performance of existing building envelopes without adding thickness to the walls with additional insulation but instead with a thin exterior solar-reflective coating. EnergyPlus was used to simulate the thermal performance of a case study retail strip mall in four different climate zones in the United States. The simulation was performed for two building envelope conditions in each zone. The first condition was without surface treatment and the second condition was with a solar-reflective coating with a solar reflectance value of 0.6. Results showed potential energy savings between 0-10% depending on the climate zone. The hot-humid climate achieved the most energy savings while climate zone with cold winters saw no energy benefits and instead were penalized with increased heating.


Energy saving, solar reflectance, solar absorption, building envelope

3:15pm - 3:30pmBreak

Take a Tour or Visit an Exhibit

Session Chair: Courtney Crosson
Session Chair: Clare Robinson

Peggy Deamer is Professor Emerita of Yale University’s School of Architecture and principal in the firm of Deamer, Studio. She is the founding member of the Architecture Lobby, a group advocating for the value of architectural design and labor. She is the editor of Architecture and Capitalism: 1845 to the Present and author of Architecture and Labor.

This keynote talk is structured into three parts, each of which addresses three facets of political production/architectural performance: first, an analysis of how architecture is organized as a profession; second, an exploration of how architecture is organized as a discipline; and, third, an introduction to an activist organization trying to perform architecture differently.

The first section analyzes how our architectural profession in the US is organized through three aspects of our professional structure. The first of these deals with the concept of professionalism and its origins in the 19th century, its transformation in the 20th century, and current critiques of professionalism in our current socio-economic structure. The second deals with the AIA as our particular professional organization, suggesting the structural attributes that make it weak - structures both externally and self-imposed. The third looks at professional architectural organizations in other countries to see what the AIA might learn from them as well as what we, as architectural citizens, learn about the embeddedness of our profession in national hegemonies.

The second section explores how architecture is organized as a discipline, and specifically examines how our architectural education prepares us for a marginalized and unrewarding profession. It looks at three culprits of the academic construct. The first is its 19th century, Beaux-Arts approach to architectural education that emphasizes aesthetic virtuosity, individuality, and heroic programs. Its associated perspective identifies design teaching that, in the Beaux-Arts model, disengages “design” from social, economic, and political issues is the second culprit. And the final aspect focuses on the way we “perform” pedagogical instruction – a performance of intimate hierarchy.

The third section introduces an activist organization—the Architecture Lobby—and looks at the Architecture Lobby’s efforts to work-around capitalist, developer-driven forces which lead to our performing unsatisfying and unrewarding work. Amongst the issues discussed are efforts at unionization, cooperativization, and the role of architectural labor in the Green New Deal.

This analysis of the profession, exploration of the academic discipline and discussion of an activist organization will conclude with thoughts on what is really at the center of “performing” architecture.

5:00pm - 6:00pmLounge

BYOB (bring your own beverage)


Date: Friday, 09/Apr/2021
8:00am - 9:30amD: Paper Session_C3: Public Space, Parks and Performative Possibilities
Panel Moderator: Brian Sinclair

Ostenda Illuminata: A Socio-Ecological 1:1 Prototype for Networked Public Spaces

Mona El Khafif1, Andrew Mondschein1, Eric Field1, Luis Felipe Rosado Murillo2

1University of Virginia School of Architecture, United States of America; 2University of Virginia School of Data Science, United States of America

Deployments of sensor networks and control systems in public space are central to what has been called "Smart Cities." These deployments, often manifesting as technologies embedded within existing infrastructures, are championed as key drivers of more optimized and sustainable cities. However, hidden and unaccountable infrastructures can alienate citizens and undercut even the positive social goals “Smart City” projects claim to support, creating serious challenges for data protection and privacy. Grounded in a conceptual framework prioritizing meaning generation, imageability, open and responsive infrastructures, Ostenda illuminata (trans. revealed illumination) problematizes the implementation of “Internet of Things'' in urban public spaces. Sustainable, community-centered urban sensing technologies are not just a problem of technological choice and reliability but collective governance, process, and form of open sensor infrastructures and data. In this context, Ostenda illuminata is a prototype for placemaking in urban public spaces. Utilizing urban sensing to gather information about its environment, it responds in real-time patterns of illumination in situ as well as through online networks. Ostenda illuminata uses open and accessible technologies for sensing and technology-embedded architectural response elements that can be distributed variability within single or multiple public spaces. To underscore the problematic “monoculture” approach to embedded technologies currently dominant in Smart City design, Ostenda illuminata is conceptualized as a model for a legible social ecology of techno-material architectures, installations, and systems. By integrating forms, technologies, and processes within open networks that are legible and responsive to a diversity of individuals and groups, Ostenda locates a “middle ground” between infrastructural sensor fabric initiatives and bottom-up technological projects. The project identifies a critical role for designers within multi-disciplinary networks of governments, companies, and communities operating in the digital public realm and offers a model of networked public space that fosters meaning generation with openness and responsiveness for the broadest group of participants.

From String of Pearls to String of Parks: The Compelling Case of Doha, Qatar

Asmaa Saleh AL-Mohannadi1, Brian Robert Sinclair2, Raffaello Furlan1, Rashid Saad Al-Matwi2

1Qatar University; 2University of Calgary

Cities in the Arabian Gulf region have been increasingly global in perspective where the public realm and its components of streets, plazas and parks becomes dominant in the urban planning and design space, place, buildings, and landscapes. The present paper examines the changing approach to park design and place making in the Islamic City, using Doha, Qatar as an illustrative case. Since the discovery of oil and gas in the 1940’s, Doha has faced accelerating urbanization. With a spectacular transformation from a modest settlement focused on pearl fishing to a dynamic international city with outward reach and global impact, Doha’s urban fabric has developed in important directions. Over time, the city has created numerous less prominent and less tourist-oriented parks that serve local neighborhoods while together comprising an emergent and deliberate network. Such networks have manifold benefits, including heightened urban connectivity, promotion of biodiversity, provision of recreational amenity and the promotion of greater sustainability. They also contribute to a unique identify for Qatar -- landscapes that respond to local needs and physical circumstances -- helping to define and support a sense of place in a rapidly developing nation. Doha’s commitment to exploring and realizing a comprehensive and integrated green network speaks to an awakening, globally and notably in the Gulf Region, regarding the demonstrable benefits of a well-designed environment to public health and community vibrancy. The authors contend that the promise of Doha, and lessons learned along its path of progression as a greener city, offer direction to other Islamic cities facing many challenges in an ever-changing and rapidly evolving world. The present research develops a conceptual framework that considers the resonance of architecture, landscape, and urban design in city planning, and advances initial guidelines for providing park networks that proffer greater amenity, heighten environmental responsibility, and improve quality of life. It also underscores that there are common principles that can be understood in addressing enrichment through landscape, while concurrently emphasizing the imperative to respond to and celebrate the nuances of place.

Performance as Action. The Embodied Mind

Loukia Tsafoulia1,3, Severino Alfonso1,2

1Thomas Jefferson University, College of Architecture and the Built Environment,United States of America; 2Universidad Politechnica de Madrid, Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid, Spain; 3National Technical University of Athens, School of Architecture, Greece

The paper addresses the concept of performance via a historical investigation of the dynamics observed between design and science through the lenses of cybernetic theories. It proposes a transdisciplinary and historical inquiry on the human – machine – environment recursive relationships. The paper maps parallel events relating design and cybernetic works and constructs a brief historical lineage of scientific approaches to design as they were manifested within design education in the US starting prior to WWII with focus on the behavioral turn of the 1950s. The design methods movement which stemmed from the scientific and technological optimism of the postwar era, looked at the design disciplines through rational scientific foundations. During the 1970s, philosophical and phenomenological critiques to these approaches would forcefully appear. The following generations of the design methods movement and the design thinking approach would “double the vector” and see science as a specific form of design inquiry; rather than apply science to design, science could be understood as a form of design activity, reversing the more usual hierarchy between the two.

From the 1940s-1960s cybernetic electromechanic “perception” devices set in demystifying the human brain to the design methods movement in architecture and its mutations, the paper traces connections between traditionally disparate fields and reveals operations, tactics, and methods that situate the notions of performance and adaptation. The paper argues for a dialectical approach to the contemporary understandings of performance as it was manifested in psychologist and cybernetician Ross Ashby´s “embodied mind” concept in the 1960s. Via the construction of parallel historical lineages, the paper reflects a willingness to transcend disciplinary boundaries that is characteristic of cybernetics’ origins cutting across distinctions between design and science fields as well as those between objectivity and subjectivity, human and machine, and mind and body.

8:00am - 9:30amD: Paper Session_O2: Humanitarian Design, Public Health and Comparative Evaluation
Panel Moderator: Christina Bollo

Imaginaries of Humanitarian Design: Material Versus Social Innovation in the Emergency Shelter

Natalie Florence Severy1, Philip D. Plowright2

1ASU, United States of America; 2Lawrence Technological University

The emergency shelter is an architectural response to humanitarian crises. The metrics of success and failure of emergency shelters, which have influenced much of the research on the architecture of displacement, has focused on the potential of emergency shelters to improve quality of life for refugees. A successful product promises to liberate people and decrease human suffering, an outcome aligned with the goals of the humanitarian development sector. However, to date there is limited critique of how emergency shelters engage with the narratives and imaginaries of humanitarian design. There is a gap in the knowledge when it comes to both understanding the intentions behind the design of shelters (design knowledge ecosystem) as well as the situated outcomes once shelters have been deployed into the field (post-occupancy evaluation).

This paper addresses the first of these concerns, namely it investigates the knowledge ecosystems involved in the creation of one type of commercial emergency shelter design. In this study, we address the Better Shelter housing product as a case study. The Better Shelter is an inexpensive housing unit designed for massive deployment for refugee camps worldwide. These shelters were conceived by a private group, Better Shelter of Sweden, and distributed by the IKEA foundation to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The interest in this shelter is how it was conceived to address humanitarian crisis through a technological and material approach with designers leveraging production and delivery advances as well as the underlying ideology of IKEA. However, on deployment in the field, the shelter has had limited success and, in some locations, total failure.

The study uses a Grounded Theory approach supported by knowledge structures of feminist studies, neoliberalism, modernism, and post-colonial studies to investigate the relationship between assemblages of the UNHCR, host country governments, the IKEA foundation, and independent design teams who are a part of this phenomena which we understand as humanitarian design. With a multi-modal approach, this paper argues how the designers, who are negotiating between roles as social entrepreneurs and humanitarianism, make decisions that ultimately have influence over the success or failure of emergency shelters in disputed areas such as refugee camps. The intention of the paper is to advance the understanding of the assemblages of relationships and embedded value systems which affect decisions in the humanitarian design sector and the greater framework of the develop sector of humanitarianism.

Evidence-based Health Centre Design Recommendations for the Malawi Ministry of Health

Anthony Elia, Christopher John Harnish, Joshua Harmony

Thomas Jefferson University, United States of America

In Malawi, burgeoning demand for public health infrastructure raises significant planning, design, implementation, and resilience challenges for the Republic of Malawi Ministry of Health (MOH). As the MOH plans a new health centre prototype, it is essential to consider evidence-based performance goals addressing user-focused programming, infection control, and energy and water infrastructure in a context of limited resources, global pandemics, and climate change. Malawi’s health centers are the initial point of care for 90% of the population. By 2050 the population will nearly double from 18 to 36 million. Despite this tremendous growth, 68% of Malawians will continue to live in rural areas, far from centralized and higher levels of health infrastructure in urban contexts. Concurrently, the national demand for electricity will more than double projected supply, and water resources will become more scarce. This architectural research examines the existing MOH health centre prototype, identifies evidence-based design gaps relative to medical literature and architectural performance analysis, and makes recommendations for a new Health Centre model for the MOH and related stakeholders to consider.

In collaboration with the MOH, Department of Buildings, University of Malawi The Polytechnic and the College of Medicine we define the most pressing problems that will inform evidence-based architectural guidelines. The research methodology examines four main criteria for design assessment: user-focused programming for patients and staff, infection control, and infrastructure resilience. The research begins with a systematic literature review, followed by user interviews, and architectural evaluation of the existing MOH prototype. Analysis of recently built health centres in similar contexts highlight alternative design options. Findings inform human-resource strategic, environmentally resilient, user-focused design recommendations for health centres in Malawi and similar low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Design recommendations are shared with key stakeholders for input and are currently under evaluation and incorporation into a new health centre model for the MOH as it plans to build the next 100 centres.

Design Evaluation and Public Health: Comparing Frameworks For Increased Health

Traci Rider, Pegah Mathur, Margaret van Bakergem

College of Design, North Carolina State University, United States of America

There is increasing interest and urgency around the topic of population health. Despite the crucial impact of the built environment on human health, the built environment is effectively an overlooked strategy in healthcare system structures and policy (Lofgren, Karpf, Perman, & Higdon, 2006). While research in the public health fields often illustrates causal and correlational impacts of interventions on health outcomes, the connection between design and health is generally perceived to be more narrative. Though new frameworks such as the WELL Building Standard and Fitwel attempt to bring structure and validity to this juncture, understanding health considerations in the context of design evaluation has historically been fragmented: operations and health are different lenses for building assessment. Post-occupancy evaluations (POE) have become the evaluation standard for the built environment since its inception in the 1980s, but has never significantly considered health and are cross-sectional by nature. As such, this paper outlines the development of a new framework building on two established evaluation processes: Post-Occupancy Evaluations and Health Impact Assessments (HIA). Post-Occupancy Evaluations seek to measure how well buildings operate after design and construction; Health Impact Assessments are popular in the field of public health, addressing health behavior’s and outcomes both before and after potential or actual interventions. By merging elements of these two established frameworks, it may be possible to better understand true impacts of both the operations and the design of built environments. This paper conceptualizes a framework to establish a holistic baseline for building evaluation. The intersection between POE (design) and HIA (health) formally merges two perspectives on evaluation that have not mingled before. The majority of any cross-disciplinary work in this realm has focused on interventions. This paper overlays these two systems, outlining both the challenges and opportunities for a more holistic type of assessment and analysis for the built environment.

8:00am - 9:30amD: Paper Session_T4: Retrofit Measures, Systems and Solutions
Panel Moderator: Rahman Azari

A Retrofit Scenario Analysis of Wall Systems Materials of a Low-Rise Commercial Building

Ash Ragheb

Lawrence Technological University, United States of America

Low impact building materials have become key player towards achieving environmental sustainability in the built environment. Such materials also contribute to carbon neutral buildings, responding to AIA 2030 challenge and many other initiatives by governmental and professional institutions. Building enclosure incorporates many construction materials that contribute to overall embodied energy and environmental impact. It also affects building operational energy as a barrier between indoor and outdoor environment.

The study methodology performs an eco-balance inventory approach in calculating environmental impacts of exterior wall systems. The paper models an office building over a service life of 80 years and its implications on the environment from cradle to grave. It also quantifies and compares the total impacts of the enclosure systems of this building throughout this life span. The case study building is located in the Midwest in zone 5. The building skeleton is steel construction, columns and beams with multiple moment connections. This is the common method of construction for commercial buildings in this region. The building is a 3-story high that incorporates few sustainable features.

The study calculates the environmental impact of the building to air, water, and land. To achieve its goal, the study provides an assessment to which building enclosure component (walls, roofs) contribute the most to the total building impacts and identify the worst burden among its assembly systems. The outcome tests materials alternatives to use in the exterior wall system to minimize its impact. The paper employs a retrofit scenario analysis to evaluate replacing current high-impact materials with alternatives retrofit scenarios that have lower impacts and briefly calculate the reduction in the total building impacts against the original wall construction materials.

Cost-Effective Energy-Efficiency Retrofit Measures for Existing Buildings: Analysis for Reaching Net-Zero Energy Goals in Heating-Dominated Climate

Mohamed Hossam Mahmoud, Ajla Aksamija. PhD

University of Massachusetts Amherst, United States of America

Buildings consume 44% of the energy in the U.S. New construction buildings now have to abide by energy codes, however half of the U.S. buildings were constructed before 1980, when building energy standards where not as stringent. The annual replacement rate of existing buildings by new buildings is only around 1.0–3.0%. Meanwhile, commercial buildings account for 19% of the total energy used by buildings in the U.S. This study focuses on net-zero cost optimization of existing commercial office buildings in the U.S. The paper presents a methodology that was developed for optimizing net-zero energy commercial retrofit buildings using simulation-based optimization. The methodology was tested considering existing commercial buildings in a heating-dominated climate (Boston), where the

Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) data was used to identify characteristics of typical buildings found in this climate. The multi-parameter optimization considered various energy-efficiency retrofit design measures, including building envelope retrofit, HVAC systems as well as various sources of renewable energy. The results identify the cost-optimal design solutions for five common building shapes in three different orientations. The study is expected to be a guide during conceptual design phase for designers and builders, and to help policy managers and energy efficiency program administrators in identifying future energy-efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies to achieve net-zero energy targets.

Assessment of Deep Façade Retrofit Solutions for Housing

Ming Hu

University of Maryland, United States of America

Knowledge and research tying the environmental impact to operating energy efficiency improvement is a largely unexplored area in higher performance retrofit projects. It is a challenge to choose the façade renovation option that represents the optimal trade-offs among different performance objectives. This paper aims to test a multi-objective envelope optimization method to quantify and compare the deep retrofit façade techniques and their induced environmental impact. An integrated life cycle energy (LCE), life cycle assessment (LCA) and thermal comfort model (TCM) framework is proposed and used. Seven building façade retrofit options were studied to evaluate the operating energy saving, embodied energy increase and potential environmental impact. This project aims to better understand the pros and cons and trade-offs of different façade renovation options. The analysis results shows three findings: (a) the building construction method and the materials play equally important roles in the environmental impact; (b) the life cycle approach highlights the fact that energy saving alone is not sufficient when comparing different façade renovation technologies; and (c) for most renovation options, meeting thermal comfort requirements without mechanical cooling is more problematic than meeting them without heating. In addition, we noted that the tested integrated multi-objective optimization method can be applied to the renovation of other building systems, and the analysis results provide decision makers with the most comprehensive information.

8:00am - 9:30amD: Paper Session_T5: Thermal Perception, Boundaries and Comfort Assessment
Panel Moderator: Luis Santos

Performative Environments Of Alliesthesia: Thermal Perception In Solar Screened Offices Under Different Sky Conditions

Niyati Sudhir Naik, Ihab Elzeyadi, Virginia Cartwright

University of Oregon, United States of America

Through this work, the researchers explored occupant’s thermal perception inside thermally nonuniform, indoor environments of solar screened perimeter office spaces. They examined the potential of static-fixed and dynamic-movable solar screens with geometric patterns to influence the subjective thermal perception of comfort and pleasure inside single-occupancy office set-ups. The investigation comprised of a within-subject experimental design that exposed 15 participants under sunny and 12 others under overcast sky conditions of an east-facing, static and dynamic screened, single occupancy experimental office space set-ups during the summer months in moderate climate of ASHRAE, CZ 4C. Every participant, who was exposed for an hour, carried out office-like tasks and responded to questionnaires on the thermal perception of the indoor environment. Besides the subjective responses, the indoor environmental thermal and visual data of the set-ups were recorded during the experimental period. Subjective data on thermal perception was correlated with indoor environmental data to understand the inconsistencies between predicted and actual thermal comfort, and to identify the thermal and visual parameters influencing thermal pleasure under different sky conditions. It was found that the thermal comfort PMV model over-predicted discomfort in the solar screened building perimeter spaces. Dynamic screens under sunny sky conditions could evoke the highest magnitude of thermal pleasure when the indoor environmental parameters indicated a move from predicted discomfort to comfort. Mean radiant temperature, relative humidity, and horizontal illuminance significantly impacted thermal pleasure perception. Moving beyond the usual practice of making architecture for visual delight, through this work the researchers followed a design approach that employed architecture to offer pleasurable thermal experiences for occupant satisfaction and well-being.

Shape-Shifters: Mobile Thermal Boundaries Achieve High-performance for Variable Occupancies in Native American Homes

Malini Srivastava

University Of Minnesota, United States of America

Zero-H, a research project supported by a NSF Planning grant, integrated community focus groups to develop design concepts for affordable, high-performance single family residence design concepts for Native American communities in the Dakotas.

Per the 2010 US Census, 39.8% of Native Americans in North Dakota live below the poverty line. Poverty exacerbates the energy burden. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services (LIHEAP Case Study on Energy Burden for FY 2005), the median residential energy burden for households with income less than $10,000 was 15.9%, with 10% having energy burdens greater than 52.1% (90th percentile). To add to these problems, per the Energy Information Administration, North Dakota has the highest energy expenditure per person in the nation. Additionally, from focus group discussions, the research team learned that variable family structures that can shrink or grow rapidly in a matter of hours (range from 4-19 household occupants in the focus group), are a common phenomenon and not addressed by inadequate one-size-fits-all housing solutions. The 2013 National American Indian Housing Council report found that 40 percent of on-reservation housing in the United States is considered substandard and that nearly one-third of reservation homes are overcrowded.

The goal for the architectural team within the research group was to develop concepts of affordable high-performance housing where initial construction costs and ongoing operational costs are substantially lowered. The team used the Passive House criteria as a way to reduce operational energy costs by 80%. In addition, the architecture team developed the concept of interior, mobile, super-insulated wall systems which perform as variable internal thermal boundaries that can be adjusted to variable occupant loads, maximizing conditioned volume when there are more occupants and minimizing conditioned volume to save energy costs when there are fewer occupants. Since the mobile walls are internal boundaries that do not need the typical control layers such as moisture and vapor barriers, they can be lightweight and inexpensive. The thermal boundaries are super-insulated to meet Passive House standard in order to ensure that the body heat of occupants can be modeled as internal heat sources per the building science criteria developed by the german PassivHaus Institut’s (PHI) Dr Wolfgang Feist.

The hypothesis tested was that the Passive House design with the mobile thermal boundaries such that enclosed volume can be made proportional to the occupant load, is more efficient than the same Passive House design without mobile internal thermal boundaries. Simulation tests with WUFI energy modeling included multiple occupancy loads and volumes in design configurations with and without mobile interior thermal boundaries. The preliminary results of this research showed that the Passive House design with internal thermal boundaries which can be adjusted to occupant load performs better than the Passive House of comparable treated internal volume without internal thermal boundaries. This paper concludes with a discussion of variables that need to be tested in future research including relative R-values of internal and external thermal boundaries.

Thermal Preference and Comfort Assessment: Historic Buildings in Hot and Humid Climates

Ezgi Bay1, Antonio Martinez-Molina2

1Illinois Institute of Technology, United States of America; 2University of Texas at San Antonio, United States of America

Research on Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) in historic buildings has increased exponentially in recent years. Religious structures are a critical asset to the heritage building stock and a significant field of study due to the particular occupancy patterns and the impact of indoor microclimate on the occupants’ thermal comfort satisfaction. Based on recent research literature, this paper compares a quantitative and qualitative study performed to assess the thermal comfort conditions using occupants’ surveys, results of a calibrated energy simulation model, and Predicted Mean Vote (PMV) and Percentage of Dissatisfied (PD) calculations. The study was carried out in a UNESCO world heritage site over a 5-month period. Gathering over 221 questionnaires and data from a 12-data logger network logging air temperature and relative humidity values every 15 minutes, the indoor conditions of an 18th century church in San Antonio were monitored. The PMV and Predicted Percentage of Dissatisfied (PPD) were then calculated using Povl Ole Fanger’s method. Using the software IES-VE, the energy simulation model results and the PMV and PD values are compared with real occupants’ subjective opinions. The results show a difference among the three calculation methods, particularly during the summer months when the indoor-outdoor thermal leap is larger. Additionally, the comparison reveals that the thermal comfort predictions using computational energy models are more accurate than utilizing Fanger’s method. The findings will inform architects, engineers, and researchers in their efforts to promote more efficient and healthy historic spaces and to run POEs of existing religious buildings.

9:30am - 9:45amBreak

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

9:45am - 11:15amE: Paper Session_C4: Representation, Improvisation, and Visualization
Panel Moderator: Philip Plowright

Online Bricollage: Toward an Architecture of Scavenged Means, Improvisational Methods and Decentralized Processes

Scott G Shall

Lawrence Technological University, United States of America

Architects, as performers, generally require a script. To produce well-formed work, they, like engineers, planners and most other design professionals, demand a carefully choreographed process and a predictable palette of means and materials that are both specifiable and consistent. Driven, in part, by the historic attachment of these professions to patronage-based supports, this need for premeditated choreography creates a bias toward concerns that are easily measured and goals that are either largely internal to the field or easily quantifiable. It also leads to an innate inability to accommodate idiosyncratic or unexpected means without inflating time, cost and effort.

Unfortunately, this demand for a script is at odds with the promise held by tools currently available to the field – a state of affairs that will only become more pronounced as the technologies supporting these tools continue to evolve. Already, the processing capacity available to the architect permits a much stronger embrace of idiosyncratic materials and complex means than can be deployed when operating within the field’s accepted patterns of engagement, as defined by tradition, legislation, and professional training. The sophistication of modeling programs routinely deployed in the design of new work similarly permits the engagement of much vaster, and more complicated, concerns. And the immediacy of widely-available global communication tools, supplemented by the increased capacity of emerging scanning and modeling toolsets, allows for the architect to bring together contributors from around the world to engage thoughtfully in localized concerns, regardless of any given contributor’s physical geography.

The paper that follows will demonstrate that, by embracing the full promise of these technologies and tools, the architect will become able to embrace more improvisational forms of practice. The paper will further articulate how this more improvisational performance will permit the professional to build stronger, more authentic dialogues with communities currently quite distant from the architect’s practice - communities that are built illegally, using scavenged materials and the improvised tactics of the bricoleur. To illustrate the potential application of the points raised, the paper will conclude with a short study of a series of improvisational design performances deployed as a part of a multi-year project in South Africa, wherein the author worked with a small team of students, designers and faculty to collaboratively design and construct, using scavenged materials, localized means and remote technologies, schools, clinics and other much-needed community assets. Completed on a budget of less than $2000, these modest projects illustrate the value of an architecture borne of improvisation, and built by contemporary technology.

The Medium isn't the Message Anymore: When the Renderings were too Good to be True

Aaron Brakke

University of Illinois, United States of America

Access to advanced computation has permitted architects to create renderings that are very accurate and realistic, yet the representations produced by architects and urban planners continue to carry inherent distortion. Research that investigates the agency of representation in architecture, recognizes the increased performative nature of presentation drawings and the “undeniable charm of slick, smooth translucent and reflective surfaces” they awake in their audience. With their ability to fabricate space, computer generated images “further problematize the relationship between the image and the thing” in a world where “collective imagery is a major field of ideological struggle” ( Altürk, 2008). Similarly, thinking of the urban as a symbol of a dominant set of urban relations, Swati Chattopadhyay recognizes that “only certain people and institutions have the language, resources and authority to make themselves and their ideas manifest in public” (2012). Grounded in this acknowledgement, Tran O’Leary use a case study of landscape architecture in a racialized setting to illustrate how “the authority of design elite” can be decentered (Tran O’Leary, Zewde, Mankoff, & Rosner, 2019). Hsueh, et al. have argued that space is rendered into a commodified version of itself and argue that digital architectural representations encourage us to mimic the forms of occupation proposed in the renders, while limiting our ability to think of the potential social impacts of architecture (Hsueh, Chu Hoi Shan, & McGrath, 2016). This paper will discuss how politicians and developers (mis)communicated planned social housing projects in Colombia, how messages masked intent and how citizens have responded to the actual content that has been delivered. Framed by the politics of futuring, it is a pressing concern in times that urge us to decolonize futures and imagination (Miraftab, 2017; Nederveen Pieterse & Parekh, 1995) in order to be able to bring alternative just futures into existence.

On Conflicting Priorities Within Digital Models Of Urban Form

Mike Christenson

University of Minnesota, United States of America

As part of the larger project of architectural epistemology, this work seeks to develop a method for digitally modeling urban form emphasizing conflicting priorities, deviations, and shifts as characteristic. In particular, this work examines how representations can exist as registers of difference. The skyway system in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota is examined as a test case.

9:45am - 11:15amE: Paper Session_T6: Energy, Evaluation and Material Production
Panel Moderator: Ming Hu

Impacts of Buildings’ Energy Data Adjustment on CBECS-Benchmarking Evaluations

Mahsa Farid Mohajer, Ajla Aksamija

UMASS Amherst, United States of America

To evaluate buildings’ energy performance, one predominant approach is by benchmarking their annual energy usage against the representative baseline peers. In this study, six buildings from various categories, all located at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, were used as case study buildings. The principal building activities included education, food service, health services (outpatient), lodging, office, and public assembly. To benchmark energy data of the case study buildings against CBECS baselines, first, monthly energy data (i.e., steam and electricity) of the case study buildings from 2016 to 2018 was collected. The raw energy data was then adjusted, using weather-normalization and/or three-year average, depending on the applicability of each method. The adjusted energy data was used to calculate case study buildings’ energy usage intensities (EUIs), which resulted in three potential EUIs for each case study building (i.e., weather-normalized, average, and/or adjusted EUIs). The case study buildings’ EUIs were then used for CBCES benchmarking evaluation. It was found that the raw energy data adjustment methods had a significant impact on benchmarking results. For instance, for the health services case study building, deviation of the weather-normalized EUI from the base EUI was -18%, while the average-EUI deviation was 11%, indicating a significant energy performance difference. Additionally, for the lodging and public assembly building typologies, the adjusted-EUI deviations were, respectively, 13% and -5%. Whereas, the average-EUI deviations were 54% and 8%. Moreover, separate energy intensity benchmarkings (i.e., electricity vs. gas intensities) determined that for the case study buildings with positive EUI-deviation, a specific type of energy (electricity vs. gas) results in a more significant increase in EUI. This is specifically helpful in prioritizing potential future retrofitting considerations, with the objective to identify the most strategic and effective energy-efficiency measures.

Push And Pull Of Policy: Qualified Allocation Plans And The Design Of Subsidized Dwellings

Christina Bollo

Univ. of Illinois, United States of America

This archival research project inventories the organizational performance of state-level housing agencies in dictating the dwelling-design decisions of affordable housing architects. The design regulations for Low Income Housing Tax Credit financed apartments are not uniform across the country; each state agency allocates the credits to projects through policies set in Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs), which are crafted through local stakeholder and political input. This is the first quantitative research project investigating the design direction from QAPs for tax credit financed housing in the US. The data for this study are the 50 QAPs and 20 Design and Construction Standards published most recently. The method is a conceptual content analysis of the design directives, and an inventory of the guidance found in the policy instruments. Results show that more than half of the states provide direction at the scale of the dwelling including guidance on minimum, maximum, and target dwellings sizes and bathroom ratios. Slightly less than half the states include guidance at the room scale and unit layout, including minimum dimensions for bedrooms and living rooms; proportional direction on kitchen and dining room arrangements; and both quantitative and qualitative direction on furnishings. This inventory provides a foundation for future qualitative studies in this research area.

Kawneer's "Machines for Selling" Modernism in the Postwar United States

Tait Johnson

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States of America

A “Machine for Selling” prototype was developed by Kawneer, a manufacturer of architectural storefronts, shortly after World War II. Not a machine in the traditional sense, this was instead a comprehensive store system designed to spur interest in renovation by merchants and appeal to shoppers in the postwar period. Significantly, Kawneer envisioned mass-renovation of storefronts using the prototype by designing entire blocks at a time. The downtown of Niles, Michigan, as Kawneer's hometown, in effect served as a test site.

Storefronts were covered in aluminum cladding and remodeled with storefront systems over many decades, showcasing the company's evolving product lines as they were deployed on independent, merchant-owned stores. By the late twentieth century, this resulted in a unified, brown, corrugated aesthetic stretching across blocks of the downtown district. This paper examines the history of Kawneer and shows how its use of a commercial district as a marketing landscape was a function of translating the company’s ideas into modernity and prosperity - two terms resonant with postwar capitalism and a rapidly expanding economy.

Kawneer organized a formal design department immediately after World War II as part of its overall corporate structure. The company, founded by architect Francis Plym in 1906 to initially manufacture storefront window systems, expanded to embrace aluminum and glass as principal design elements. Working closely with architects like Ketchum, Gina & Sharp, and advised by Mies Van Der Rohe and William Lescaze, Kawneer's ambitions broadened from storefronts to the renovation of entire districts. Niles' downtown served as a feedback loop for the company's ideas, wherein not only did the company try new products, but it also deployed marketing concepts locally before expanding nationally.

Niles became a marketing landscape for Kawneer in which terms such as "modern" and "prosperity" were used, which were also found in marketing messages by other manufacturers eager to focus a buyer's attention on a potential bright, shining future after the ravages of World War II. Drawing from the archives of Kawneer in comparison with other aluminum manufacturers such as Reynolds, this paper suggests the need for increased scrutiny on the impact of manufacturers like Kawneer on the development of modern architecture. Twentieth-century manufacturers deeply affected the built environment, not only by associating themselves with famous architects who could amplify their impact, but also through attempts to organize the commercial landscape itself as a marketing landscape.

9:45am - 11:15amE: Paper Session_T7: Daylighting, Empirical Predictions and Environmental Factors
Panel Moderator: Ihab Elzeyadi

From Perception to Design: Daylight Glare Mitigation in Architectural Spaces

Tasbeeh Alaqtum1, Altaf Engineer1, Colby Moeller2

1University of Arizona; 2AIA, LEED AP

Daylight glare is one of the most intricate and dynamic phenomena to work with when designing architectural spaces. It has been researched across diverse fields including ophthalmology, photometry, architecture, environmental sciences, materials engineering, etc. Finding a comprehensive approach that interconnects these disciplines to inform real-world architectural practice, however, has proven elusive. Glare is defined as the excessive amount of light or high luminance ratios as perceived by the eye according to the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES 2018). Quantifying excessive light or luminance ratios, however, is challenging due to the eye’s adaptability and constantly changing outdoor illumination. Daylight discomfort glare can be assessed using different methods addressed in previous research studies such as: luminance contrast ratio, daylight glare probability (DGP), vertical eye illuminance, etc. In this study, we synthesize findings through systematic literature review from ophthalmology and photometry to understand the structure of the eye and glare occurrence to assist architects and researchers conducting glare simulations. We analyze glare in an indoor space by performing various daylighting computer simulations and demonstrate how to mitigate it via different design strategies. A computer model of the space is created in Rhino and simulated in DIVA to obtain horizontal illumination data, and DGP metrics. In this study, we use a mixed methodological approach which includes selecting an existing library space and analyzing it via: (1) in-person field visits and collecting horizontal illumination data using a luminance meter, (2) performing two-level baseline simulations: [a] horizontal illuminance at 30” above finish floor level, and [b] a DGP analysis, (3) validating computer-simulated horizontal illuminations with corresponding field-measured data discussed in step 1, (5) assessing and evaluating the baseline and its glare conditions (6) proposing glare-mitigation strategies based on published studies, and (7) presenting an improved design case simulation which incorporates glare control and mitigation with daylighting strategies.

Model Calibration for Circadian Daylighting in ALFA: Developing Empirical Circadian Predictions in Physical Scaled Model

Sara Sahebghalam, Adil Sharag-Eldin

Kent State University, United States of America

Daylight as an important element of sustainability, has a strong impact on human health and well-being. Many studies showed that with access to natural light in the space, the occupants’ mood and performance are improved. This is related to human responses to multi-spectral characteristics of daylight and referred as non-visual effects. These effects play an important role in adjustment of the circadian system, sleep quality and alertness levels. This study utilizes a computational tool called Adaptive Lighting for Alertness (ALFA), a plug-in for rhinoceros that can calculate both visual and non-visual effects within a 3D model to predict circadian potential of daylight. To reduce prediction errors, a physical scaled model was built and tested under overcast sky to calibrate simulation model for real conditions. The quantitative Daylight Factor (DF) results of the physical model dataset for a point-in-time measurement are presented in depth and compared with results of 3D model simulation. The conclusions substantially indicate that the ALFA simulation software predicts the levels of daylight in line with outcome of on-site measurement in physical model with 98.89 percent correlation. The prediction result of the software is slightly marginal under-predicts the levels of daylight with 1.0536 calibration coefficient due to some material mismatch in real-world on-site simulation conditions and software simulation settings.

Additionally, this paper examines if physical models can be used for daylight circadian potential predictions while in design stage. For this purpose, the concept of linear regression was adopted to predict the non-visual to visual effects ratio by using the basic information of field measurement such as daylight factor. The simulation results verified that the average absolute relative error is less than %3, which is acceptable in real-world application. In future studies, validation on other parameters can be performed, such as other sky conditions, various window configuration and orientation, to add this consideration in daylighting pre-design evaluation.

A Pilot Study on the Contextual and Environmental Factors Influencing Window Shading Preference

Anupam Satumane, Siobhan Rockcastle

Baker Lighting Lab, University of Oregon, United States of America

The use of window shading devices can affect building energy use, supplemental lighting demands and occupant well-being related to performance, alertness, and satisfaction. Past studies that have explored the impact of window shading devices on building and occupant performance have been done primarily in the context of office buildings. With the aim of expanding this research to healthcare, hospitality, and educational spaces; this study investigates the influence of program type and sky condition on window shading preferences for a number of shading types. This paper introduces an online survey that recorded participant preferences for eight window shading conditions in the context of six spaces with varying program types. The selected program types represent spaces commonly found in education, hospitality, and healthcare with two levels of privacy; ‘high privacy’, with a typical maximum occupancy of two people and ‘low privacy,’ with furniture designed to accommodate a group of people. A questionnaire was circulated on social media platforms to recruit anonymous participants, who were given a brief description of the program types and then exposed to eight images of that space with varying window treatment conditions. Participants were asked to assign a preference rank to each of the eight window shading conditions for each of the six program types included in our study. This was done to determine whether building occupants prefer ‘closed’ window shading conditions in ‘high privacy’ and ‘open’ shading conditions in ‘low privacy’ spaces. As hypothesized, ‘half closed’ window shading settings were preferred for program types with ‘low privacy’ requirement and ‘full closed’ window shading conditions were preferred for spaces with ‘high privacy’ requirement. The results from this study showed that contextual factors such as program type and environmental factors such as sky condition impact a participant’s preference for window shading types and the degree of preferred occlusion.

9:45am - 11:15amE: Workshop_W4: Developing an Architectural Research Agenda
Panel Moderator: Adil Sharag-Eldin

Katy Janda, University College London, Panelist

Julia Robinson, University of Minnesota, Panelist

Panelists will present ideas, methods and organizational strategies for developing a well-defined architectural research agenda.

Julia Robinson: Architecture is a Cultural Medium:: Application in Research

Professor Robinson’s talk will briefly introduce the research agenda she has pursued in her career and discuss what it means for architecture to be a cultural medium. Subsequently she will present three research projects and her research methodologies, first a 15-year study of the difference between institution and home,  second, the 8-year project on Dutch housing that resulted in her book, and finally, very briefly her recent work on preventing youth incarceration. She will conclude with preliminary ideas about how her work embodies a cultural approach.

Kathryn Janda: Beyond Technology: Re-Designing Sustainability Research and Social Engagement

This presentation discusses existing challenges and new opportunities for energy demand research in the built environment.  I argue that energy use is embedded in a social context, so technical potential (aka better buildings) is not enough.  We need social and organizational engagement as well, which I call “social potential.” From a research perspective, sustainability can only be achieved by continual co-production of learning between experts and non-experts, which requires inductive reasoning, open-ended questions and action research methods.

11:15am - 11:30amBreak

Take a Tour or Visit an Exhibit

11:30am - 12:15pmF: Poster Session_P3
Panel Moderator: Jonathan Yorke Bean

Methodology For The Valuation of Sustainability in Real Estate.

Sandra Guerrero1, Irene Marincic2

1Universidad de Sonora, Mexico; 2Doctorado en Humanidades

"Methodology for the valuation of sustainability in real Estate"

Sandra Luz Guerrero Martínez/Dra. Irene Marincic Lovriha

Key words: Real Estate. Valuation, Environmental Protection, Sustainability


The implementation of new technologies and systems applied in real estate to improve people's living conditions also represent benefits on various aspects that have a positive impact on the reduction of energy consumption, savings on consumption expenditure and the impact on quality and improvement of the environment. The issue of sustainability and the application of the rules of the new urban agenda on real estate, makes it necessary to include in the methodologies established for the valuation of real estate these indicators that represent an added value on the property, for this reason a proposal is presented for establish sustainability indicators that can be incorporated into the methodologies used and, in turn, present us with parameters that benefit both the user of the real estate and the environment in general.

The objective of this topic is to present a proposal for the real estate valuation methodology, which considers the sustainable aspects of the asset to be valued, and includes the following environmental variables in this analysis: energy efficiency; use efficiency of water and arborization, these variables are analyzed and the following data is proposed as expected results: Cost - benefit of the investment; reduction of CO2 emissions; reduction of heat gain in spaces and finally applied as a sustainability factor that affects the final value of the real estate, obtained by traditional methods.

Spatial Improvisation Exercises for Architects

Gray Read

Florida International University, United States of America

Part of the preparation for dramatic acting is a series of improvisation exercises that help actors hone their skills. Might architects engage in parallel exercises that explore the performantive potential of built elements? In classes at Florida International University School of Architecture I developed a series of exercises that invite young architects to consider built spaces as what Bruno Latour calls “non-human” actors:

  • In large classes, student teams do a short exercise, analyzing our school of architecture building to find places of dramatic potential, which they interpret in 10-second scenes and draw in storyboard, plan and section.
  • In design studio students in pairs constructed a third actor to participate with them in a performance that addressed one of architecture’s fundamental social qualities.
  • In a weeklong workshop in Genoa, Italy students made short videos that combined scenes with drawings to explore the inherent drama of fundamental elements of architecture – door, wall, steps.

All of these exercises investigate interactions between built spaces and people, who, in their movements, interpret these spaces for their own purposes in the course of daily life.

Informal Health Access in Liminal Space

Ulysses Vance

Temple University, United States of America

According to the COVID-19 Hospitalization Tracking, provided in the Analysis of HHS data by the University of Minnesota Hospitalization Tracking Project, the most extreme urban and rural hospitals reported overcrowded ICU beds upwards of 75% capacity in 2020. With the continued surge in medical care and, in particular, the long-term intubation of patients, space for procedures comes at a premium. Concurrently, per the American Hospital Association, the expense per capita in the hospital is approximately $4500 per patient, and considering that in these conditions, patients are primarily confined to a bed in a shared environment, the cost for recovery in these spaces is over-extended past the cost typically associated with particular types of care.

The investigation into utilizing liminal spaces in Medical Facilities to support care involves determining whether ambulatory care support in corridor space can relieve the strain of overcrowding inpatient areas. By definition, liminal space is inactive or underutilized space. However, in hospitals and medical facilities, they incorporate everything from support spaces to patient wards. In determining the feasibility of transitioning support for ambulatory patient care from egress paths to into temporary patient service zones, the work of this research interrogates lighting techniques, screening techniques, and material identification to subtly inform persons in these conditions as to places in use and bring attention to changing needs for maintaining safe distances from others. The resolute inquiries consider the behavioral, biological, and bodily requirements for patient recovery guided by intentionally maintaining medical integrity's physical closeness.

Human-Robot Interactive Synergy (HRIS)

Mona Hashemi, Ebrahim Poustinchi

Kent State University, United States of America

Human-Robot Interactive Synergy (HRIS)



Using industrial robots in projects other than fabrication and mass production has attracted wide range of attention among architects and designers. These machines have become a means for creative study in design and architecture, and there has been a lot of research in this field in academia and practice. From the book Robot House (Testa, 2017) by Peter Testa containing projects to use robots for representing artistic outcomes to the creative robotic studio of Bot & Dolly, the researchers have tried to propose nonconventional use of the robots in design disciplines. However, these developments are still in their initial steps and need more exploration by researchers in different design-related categories.

HRIS is a project-based research that aims at taking a deeper look into the robotics opportunities in creative design through a drawing experiment and creating a platform where human and robot can work together interactively. It enables real-time interaction with the robot arm through human inputs and a custom-made end effector. This experiment shows how interactive collaboration has progressed and what the restrictions and possibilities of the robot are considering the design criteria. This project gives this opportunity to recognize different aspects of this interactive process. Using the idea of bridging the physical and digital gap, this project-based research is an investigation on using robot as a collaborative and creative design tool.


In this project, the human-robot collaboration interface is designed based on a hand-drawn input by the human user. The image recognition process through the implemented camera, the data processing in the computer and the robot feedback are the processes through which this real-time interaction becomes possible. The Scorpion (Elashry & Glynn, 2014) Plugin in Grasshopper provides the necessary tools for controlling the Universal robots and acts as the bridge between Grasshopper, a visual programming language that runs within the Rhinoceros 3D application, and the physical robot. Understanding how the raw data can be transmitted to the computer through vision and sensor feedback, how it can be processed, and finally sent back to the robot are the critical parts of this experiment.


This research demonstrates how the robot can actively respond to human movement in real-time and how this feedback can be systemized and programmed in a third machine to follow a particular procedure. This platform exemplifies a hybrid collaboration in which the communication between human and robot enhances the robotic capabilities and the computational control into the process. Questioning the potentials of using robot in creative design, HRIS provides the opportunity for users to interact with robot and participate in a production workflow without having expertise or background in the robot-related software.

Keywords: robotics, design, human-robot interaction, user interface, human-machine interaction


Elashry, K. and Glynn, R., 2014. An approach to automated construction using adaptive programing. In Robotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art and Design 2014 (pp. 51-66). Springer, Cham

Testa, P. 2017. “Imaging,” in Robot House, edited by P. Testa, New York, NY: Thames & Hudson Inc., 155-219.

Classification of Natural Plant Physiology, Behavior, and Morphology to Inform an Adaptive Architecture

Anahita Modrek1, Aletheia Ida2

1University of Arizona, United States of America; 2University of Arizona, United States of America

In the context of the 21st century, which identifies anthropocentricism as a dominant reason for environmental impacts, a consensus is emerging for thinking critically about adaptation and developing necessary actions in response to emerging socio-ecological realities. Continuous processes of urbanization are constantly impacting natural environments, which are deeply interrelated with the aggravation of cumulative environmental, economic, and social problems. This combination results in a profound ecosystem crisis, including climate change, at the epicenter of which are cities and, inevitably, architecture. The natural and urban environments are undergoing a systemic change driven primarily by the evolving processes in culture, science, industry, and commerce. As a result, the architecture discipline seeks to overcome its own preconceptions and adapt to these enhanced understandings of ecological relationships. Therefore, early research in this work focuses on developing a classification of the meanings of responsiveness, as a mode of adaptation, at different scales.

There is a growing cultural fascination with new knowledge of nature’s science and of natural forms, both living and non-living. Design based on the integration of nature’s science and architecture seems a practical and environmentally friendly strategy for designers in this era. As architecture allows us to create environments in which we can flourish, there is no better place than the natural world for inspiration. Therefore, different plant systems are investigated through a comparative and woven framework of intersecting regional challenges. The materials and the natural systems of adaptation that emerge through identification of prevalent regional opportunities impacting multiple aspects of a society could provide implications for local design and construction methods.

The adaptation system of these plants is established through three main characteristics: physiological, behavioral, and morphological. Each of these characteristics are a function of dynamic systems as expressed by visible and non-visible change. In this research different features of pine conifer, wheat, and ice plants that can fold and unfold are studied and classified in behavioral groups based on changes in their physical characteristics at different scales in response to humidity. Other examples include mangrove plants that physiologically filter water-borne pollutants, and desert cacti that develop specific morphologies (such as ridges, bristles, and spines) and shallow root systems to adapt to harsh climate conditions.

The evaluation of these natural systems for commonalities and differences through methodical and rigorous comparison of their flows and compositions reveals that adaptive systems have a strong relationship with context. Similar systems in varying contexts have different performance characteristics and different ways of responding because of the complex set of parameters within the context of evolutionary design. These adaptative systems in nature respond to a complex challenge, showing inherent traits that allow for adaptation to climate change, indicating that both material selection and design strategies need to be based on the specific ecological realities of a given context.

Key words: adaptation, ecology, natural systems, materials, responsive architecture

Building a Morphology in the Historical Data of Urban Things

Brian Thomas Rex, Mahmoud Sadek, Autumn Schlomer

South Dakota State University, United States of America

As a formally trained urban designer, encountering Geographic Information System (GIS) and its derivative graphic images have been a siren call. There is something absolutely real about it. GIS is the technology of our time that makes you think that Borges’ fantastical concept of a full scale (realistic) map of a place just might be possible. There is always something contemporary that makes us think we can prove Borges wrong. In GIS, rather than thinking we’d need to unfold it to it full extents, we are caught in a cycle of wishing that we could just get that last dataset. There is always one more constellation of datasets that may reprove the contemporeinity of the medium. Reality would come to life if only we could get a sense of what each household makes relative to its property value—or some such corporate-consumer fantasy. It seems so contemporary and “new”.

What GIS makes is alluringly, factual, real-time, and databased. The shapes and surfaces it generates are the calculated presence of clickable geocoded data whose values are available in a guided process of interactive query that divines graphical images of a range of surfaces neatly adjacent to each other. The bounds of the surfaces are not really borders; they are the linear inflection points between two types, values, chronologies, or qualities of category. They are not the spatial border between two places, just its mean.

An urban designer is intrinsically tied to the geometry of land and the shape of the spaces generated by its parcelization according to a variety of bona fide and fiat factors; GIS presents an interesting dilemma. GIS is graphical just as we are. It is mapped onto a terrestrial model. Yet, in its engine, it is not essentially geometric. It is geographic—location by its mean and its center. Geometry and geography are functionally different but their datatypes in GIS are seemingly the same. It doesn’t take much to be confused but we’d offer this: The geometric projections of urban design require a database defined and measured by a clear sense of its borders and boundaries not its centers and gradients.

A comparative study of Brookings, SD and New Ulm, MN is where we discovered some necessary translations and practices of GIS graphics to urban design geometries. In this presentation we review how we aggregated varied datasets and built a discernible practice in how translate the graphical representations of GIS into the geometries from which we build. This practice of connecting thick datasets to carefully delineated graphical traces make a physical yet phenomenal narrative of urban things. It presents space in the city as both formal and motive. It juxtaposes and conventionalizes new combinatory shapes of time, value, and volume.

11:30am - 12:15pmF: Poster Session_P4
Panel Moderator: Valerian Miranda

Phoenix performs!

Elena Rocchi

ASU, United States of America

How can spatial performances of the urban sprawl be augmented? In turning absent, a city becomes receptive to any change of meaning -- an "Espace Propre" as the effect of what it is imagined, an event. If, on the one hand, the increased reliance on cars' transportation turns the city's built form invisible, on the other hand, the ritual of driving enacts cultural performances of its environment as generative dérives reinterpreting that sense of absence.
A multiple-case design research paper examines contemporary research on building performance in the Phoenician urban system, intertwining media, and architecture to break disciplinary boundaries and challenge conventional representation modes. The purpose is to test how to grasp what is "perceived but not apperceived" (Leibnitz) in architectural education. It uses a methodological approach that involves an in-depth exploration of a city's perceptions using videos as data collection. The procedure is sequential. Two instrumental bounded case studies follow each other: the outcome of looking at a part of a historical movie informs the selection of the second case study — a design studio. The first case study — the prelude to more extensive research — is the content of the first fourteen minutes of Psycho (1960) as Hitchcock's Phoenix image. An exploratory case study was conducted in 2015 before a research question was identified, done following film analysis in terms of mise en scene to investigate a place. The second one is the analysis of a six-year studio's design phases. It involves extensive data collection, including a combination of film analysis and students' observation of situations using movie clips, the method used to look critically at the environment. The research purpose is to develop a more in-depth understanding of how movies shape how cities are seen by observing ways the interaction between students and films infers design narrative. Considering the issue across the studio's processes and outcomes not only extends across the intuition the Hitchcock movie but provides a test of a theory. It informs how architectural students can actively perceive a continually changing environment and capture moving images of the city to inform preliminary projects using transmediation introducing programs as situations.

Cities or Urbanization? Urbanism as Object | City as Process: Pedagogical Permutations + Provocations of the In-Between

Brian R. Sinclair, Alberto de Salvatierra

School of Architecture, Planning + Landscape - University of Calgary, Canada

The “city”—as a construct—has loomed large in our lexicon, both within design fields and in public discourse. Urbanization, as a phenomenon intensified over recent centuries, has seen cities amplify and the hinterland shrink. The research, pedagogical in focus, is situated at the nexus of the debate: Is the city a discrete object or has its boundaries been eroded by far reaching and broad scale urbanization? A senior graduate level required course within an accredited Master of Architecture program, ARCH 675: Urban Systems focused on the contemporary city with an eye to fostering discourse/debate on the legitimacy of the circumscribed city in a traditional sense versus possibilities of unbounded urbanization as an emergent phenomenon. Urban Systems recasts questions of the city in light of shifting landscapes and dramatic forces: on one hand long-standing developments such as global migration and the movement of capital, while on the other more recent emergencies including climate change, economic downturns and health crises. Overarching explorations of the city and urbanization was an acceptance of complexity and development of students’ world & self views via three inter-connected assignments: journal, urban manifesto & videographic essay. The paper concludes with critical observations on the learning model and suggestions for addressing urbanism in the curriculum. Architecture students across the planet are immersed in a milieu of upheaval and uncertainty, compelled to rethink their world in light of a deadly pandemic, social unrest, climate change, propaganda wars and widespread turbulence -- while concurrently called upon to take a stance.

Development and Construction of The Field of Dreams EcoCommunity

Jörg Rügemer

University of Utah, United States of America

Field of Dreams EcoCommunity (FOD) is a collaborative effort between the author as researcher and architect and the client, a non-profit organization offering services related to affordable housing constrcution. In this function as a homebuilder, the client also acts as its own general contractor, which set the stage for the development of FOD.

FOD is the re-imagination of the affordable housing typology in the Southwestern States of the US and consists of twenty, 1,500 square feet units in ten twin-home buildings, newly constructed on an abandoned baseball field in Kearns, Utah. As one of the development guidelines, underlying principles of how we live and the types of spaces we need to accommodate these desires were re-examined, challenging the contemporary notion that quantity of space supersedes spatial quality and design clarity, with the goal to provide high quality housing within an optimized, moderate footprint sensitive to both inhabitants and local environment. To achieve these goals, FOD is the synthesis of both modern technology and vernacular principles, utilizing what is immediately available onsite as its primary energy source in form of passive winter solar heat gain; it supplements only what cannot be generated onsite to meet modern standards of comfort through technological means. Traditional ideas of orientation, passive energy design, thermal massing and daylighting are key elementsin the outward expression of the buildings. This strategy creates energy-efficient houses with a high resilience factor, thus making the survival in extreme climate conditions possible without external energy sources and without increased capital investment.

Native Plant Roofs for Biodiversity

Meghan Blackson

Kent State University, United States of America

Designers and botanists across the world are making vegetated roofs more ecologically productive and biologically diverse. One way to increase biodiversity is through selecting and planting local and regional native plant species. Although many native plants have been shown to establish on green roofs, it is important to know what native plant communities can succeed within different types of green roofs. To answer this question, this study focuses on the native plant establishment across three roof types: a conventional semi-extensive green roof, traditional meadow roof, and blue-green roof with reservoir. Presented here is the plant survival data four years post establishment. We comment on the influence of substrate, weed colonization and flowering for pollinators. This information is helpful to architects and researchers alike, who both hope to better understand how to design for greater ecological productivity and biodiversity.

Post-revolutionary discourse reflected through architecture in Hermosillo, Sonora (1920-1950.)

Anabel Leyva1, Juan Luis Loredo2

1University of Sonora, Mexico; 2University of Sonora, Mexico

The governments emanating from the Mexican Revolution sought to represent the social ideals and achievements obtained through this conflict via their architectural and aesthetic speech developed in the decades after the end of this armed struggle in the city of Hermosillo, Sonora.

the hypothesis mentioned above is the starting point of this research.

To validate this conjecture, the following objectives were established: to know the way in which revolutionary ideas were represented in the institutional architecture in Mexico; understand how the ideals of the Mexican Revolution influenced the architectural development of the government in the decades after the struggle in Hermosillo, Sonora; explore which were the main architectural representations made by the state administrations of that time in the state capital.

The methodology used is qualitative, inductive and with a narrative design supported by official documents, catalog, photograph, field research and interviews with experts on historical, social and architectural affairs of the city at that time.

Currently this research is in the process of development, however, it is possible to identify some partial but inconclusive results. What we can anticipate is that in the city of Hermosillo, the examples of institutional architecture of the post-revolutionary period had a late manifestation. A possibility to support this claim revolves around the attempts to imitate the architectural trends used in Mexico City and its surrounding area.

Therefore, examples of institutional buildings can be found, in Hermosillo, of great similarity to representative buildings of the aesthetic speech manifested by the post-revolutionary governments.

11:30am - 12:15pmF: Workshop_W5: Initiative to Develop Dedicated NSF Funding for the Discipline of Architecture
Panel Moderator: Hazem Rashed-Ali

Lawrence Bank, Georgia Institute of Technology

Hazem Rashed-Ali, ARCC Past-President, University of Texas at San Antonio

Chris Jarrett, ARCC President, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Introduction to an ARCC initiative to secure dedicated NSF funding for faculty in the discipline of architecture, including identifying community need and basic science questions. Q&A session to follow. 

11:30am - 12:15pmF: Workshop_W6: Publishing with Taylor & Francis
Panel Moderator: Alexandra Staub

Krystal Racaniello, Architecture Editor, Taylor & Francis, New York

A presentation by Taylor & Francis describing the process for publishing a book, from proposal submission to editorial assessment, peer review, contracts, timelines and manuscript delivery. Q&A session to follow. 

12:15pm - 12:30pmBreak

Grab and Go Lunch from your very own Refrigerator!

12:30pm - 1:30pmARCC Annual Awards Program

Recognition of ARCC's 2021 Awards Program Recipients

1:30pm - 1:45pmBreak

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

1:45pm - 3:15pmG: Paper Session_O3: Community Participation and Decision-Making Practices
Panel Moderator: Traci Rider

Expanding Youth Opportunity Studio: Design Research Engaging Community Participants

Julia Robinson, Alysha Price

University of Minnesota, United States of America

ABSTRACT: A successful research-based design studio that includes community engagement is dependent upon pedagogy that serves both student and community participants. This case evolved from 2019 to 2020 based on lessons learned by the research team of students, faculty, community members and contributing critics. The 2019 Preventing Youth Incarceration studio addressed the needs of at-risk youth, including those in detention. The research-based studio explored adolescent development, mental illness, addiction, and trauma, addressing the county request for a spectrum of treatment facilities that are not institutional and meet the new concern for trauma-informed care (Olafson et al, 2014). Work with community members began in fall 2019, when the studio focused on North Minneapolis, a neighborhood of origin for many adjudicated young people, and affiliated with UROC, the university research center. A community consultant selected nine community members to work on the project, who received a stipend to cover their time and expenses. They served on reviews alongside design and incarceration professionals. In fall 2020, the studio continued, but due to COVID-19, held meetings online, rather than at the research center. The paper addresses the challenges of developing a design pedagoyt that supports student learning while engaging community participants. It focuses on selection of participants, scheduling reviews, maintaining participation throughout the semester, and the challenges of working with community participants in in person versus online.

Queering Arts-Based Development

Laura Katherine Walker1, Michael David Styczynski1,2

1Other Work, Michigan; 2Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, MI

Emergent modes of arts-based development and occupation of public spaces in rustbelt cities are creating communities of creative capital, collective care, and social justice activism. Arts-based development and queer theory both contest social norms and explore the power struggles against heteronormative constructions of identity. “Queerscapes” deploy queer theory to reimagine human and non-human performances and interactions with space and one another. Queer theory and arts-based approaches to spatial occupation redistribute power and ownership to ultimately disrupt and transform social conventions.

Arts-based development is communalized through shared tactical and cooperative appropriation and stewardship of undervalued land by marginalized communities. As such, queer theory offers a conceptual framework to understand the nuance and complexity of alternative reclamation of sites defined by urban austerity. This paper highlights the creative strategies that arts-based communities use to reimagine normative conceptions of urbanism. We introduce a framework to understand queering and queerscapes in land-use development and examine the ways in which abandoned or privately owned sites have been queered for dwelling, learning, and performances by different communities aligned by shared values.

Creative collectives have cooperated to form interdependent, decentralized networks, allowing new types of architectural and urban forms to emerge as responsive environments. This study engaged specific organizations over a two-year period, and it evaluates how they employ queer theory to reframe normative spatial conditions and rituals. This research demonstrates how spatial aspects of queerscapes are a mechanism for the agency and liberation for oppressed identities. The intention is to serve as a guide for empowering marginalized communities through social and creative infrastructure.

The New Stewards: How Non-Architects Shape Public Understanding and Decision-Making of the Built Environment

Irene Hwang

University of Michigan, United States of America

With the rise of the internet, social media, and streaming content, the amount of information regarding architectural thinking and making is more commonplace and accessible than ever before. As resources dwindle and populations grow, pressures of overcrowding and climate change demand that as a society, we make more-informed, well-considered decisions about our shared, built environment. This paper describes the difficulty of meeting that demand, positing that architects’ and architecture’s capacity to steward better outcomes is limited because non-architects have more power to shape society’s concerns and priorities for the built environment than do architects. This paper charts how the protagonists of traditional and new media have become the genuine shapers of public opinion, thereby shifting oversight and responsibility of the built environment from architects to non-architects.

1:45pm - 3:15pmG: Paper Session_T8: Matter, Materials and Manufacturing
Panel Moderator: Fauzia Sadiq Garcia

Non-Rigid Formwork System for Sustainable Concrete Construction

Giovanni Loreto1, Arash Soleimani1, Lauren Stewart2

1Kennesaw State University, United States of America; 2Georgia Institute of Technology, United States of America

The last hundred years in civil engineering have been widely dominated by the use of concrete and cementitious materials. Concrete use has become so prevalent that it is now the second most consumed commodity after water. Although cementitious materials have a low embodied energy (of approximately 0.90 MJ/kg), they are used in vast quantities. In 2019, world production of cement amounted to approximately 2.8 billion tons, with production and use accounting for almost 8-9% of total global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The technology has improved, providing stronger and more durable concrete; however, the construction techniques have not advanced at the same rate. Despite continuous and constant innovations, the traditional use of rigid, flat formwork panels has defined reinforced concrete members as a uniform cross-section, prismatic structural elements in both design codes and construction methods. These resultant shapes have become practically an inevitable conclusion for concrete constructions.

This research presents experimental results on the use of a non-rigid formwork system that has been developed by looking at different parameters, including mold materials, mold configurations, and construction methods. The analysis of a potential flexible formwork is tested, and results are compared to that of rigid formwork. In addition, an optimized high-performance concrete mixture developed to take full advantage of the new formwork system and address problems related to reinforcement and construction methods is also presented.

The results show that using such technology enhances material reduction and design optimization compared to traditional concrete mold systems while improving sustainability, performances, and adaptation to various architectural forms. By challenging the paradigm of rigid formwork, this paper introduces a technology that impacts the embodied energy and the carbon emission associated with new concrete constructions by possibly saving up to 30% in concrete volume compared to an equivalent strength prismatic member. In addition, the provision of an inexpensive, extremely lightweight, and globally available formwork material in place of wood will help address the need for housing in building economies that rely on reinforced concrete construction but lack in access to wood construction materials. Thus this research presents results that offer exciting opportunities for engineers and architects to move towards a more sustainable construction industry.

Plasticized Design: Fusing Plastic Chemistry and Architectural Design to address Health Impacts

Joiana Hooks

University of Minnesota, United States of America

Globally, 8.3 billion metric tonnes of virgin plastic was produced between 1950-2015, according to Our World in Data research.

With some utilization spans as low as 12 minutes, reports show 90% of productions were discarded within less than a year; only 9% recycled. Subsequently, 4.9 billion metric tonnes of discarded materials now occupy landfills and dumps.

Production and disposal methods cause noxious chemical contamination, and don’t utilize plastic’s compositional structure, considering most remain 400-1,200 years, says an ACS Perspective by Chamas et al. This underutilization encourages exponential virgin production cycles; thus, disposal and contamination. Closing this “loop” with primary or secondary recycling methods pose equally threatening implications, as both require significant energy, fossil fuels, and water in addition to reinstituting noxious chemicals.

Thermoplastics, types 1-6, are the most abundant plastic subset and therefore prioritized for safe mitigation. Due to thermal degradation factors and susceptibility to contamination, thermoplastics suffer compositional weakening with repetitive thermal and mechanical processing, making cyclical reprocessing difficult.

For instance, primary recycling requires ancillary resources for heat and chemical washing to ensure pure feedstock is remanufactured into similar or original product types; i.e., bottle to bottle.

Additionally, Secondary recycling remanufactures cleansed feedstock into new items that, unfortunately, become unrecyclable with each “re-cycle” through decreased purity from use, product proximity, trace substances or plastic additives.

Architecturally, plastics are ubiquitous, quickly becoming a preferred building/design material. Even construction uses plastics extensively. From cladding to flooring or reinforcement chairs to insulation; common plastics of these industries include polyvinyl chloride, polycarbonate, expanded polystyrene, polypropylene, polyethylene, acrylic, etc.

Architects specify plastic products generally addressing aesthetic, durability, and performance factors. However, information necessary to comprehensively consider environmental and human health contributors, such as plastics’ compositional unyielding, sensitivity to heat and contamination, or CO2 emissions, are not readily accessible to architects, nor intrinsic in specification writing processes.

In fact, in building sectors, plastics are integral in meeting various Net Zero and carbon neutral challenges. Challenges seeking to dispel the very factors plastics contribute to.

This research proposes a reference specification framework that discloses embodied environmental and human health implications of plastics to architects, engineers and specifiers. Enabling conscious decisions beyond cost, aesthetics, or product warranty. Rather, designers can now consider factors of embodied energy, Co2, red list chemical presence/exposure, or compositional stability throughout the product’s life-cycle, i.e, production, construction/installation, occupancy, demolition and reuse.

Ultimately, designers gain agency to choose products that transition safely through life-cycles, hence, maintaining a closed loop from manufacturing to reuse; greatly reducing virgin productions.

In conclusion, production, disposal, and certain recycling methods of plastics products pose detrimental impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions, chemical leaching, and cancerous byproducts. All greatly affecting the health of humanity, the environment, and nonrenewable resource quantities. Awareness of these exceedingly harmful impacts during design material detailing and specification processes is key in mitigating the unchecked growth of the ubiquitous industry plastics. This framework brings awareness to harmful impacts as well as agency for designers to choose responsibly for the long term.

Investigating Scales Of Performance: Mycelium Ecomanufacturing In Dhaka’s Urban Settlements

Iffat Ridwana, Mae-ling Lokko

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, United States of America

With a human population density 1.36 times higher than Mumbai (32,300) and 24 times higher than New York (1800), Dhaka the capital of Bangladesh, is the world’s densest metropolitan city at 44,000 people per square kilometer. Dhaka’s high-density “informal” urban settlements embody unique formal characteristics, microclimatic conditions, scales of biomass waste production, and labor patterns that activate new opportunities for ecomanufacturing. This paper investigates two scales of performance in the built environment including the potential of dense urban settlements to perform as urban production centers for emerging bio-based mycelium technologies, using organic wastes as a renewable material feedstock; as well as the material performance of derivative bioproducts. This form of ecomanufacturing leverages the variation of spatial planning, environmental patterns, and materials of development in informal settlements, alongside the workforce organizations in a case study area of Dhaka, Bangladesh. To characterize the material performance of derivative products, a literature review evaluating the compositional ratios of organic food and agricultural wastes available in the case study urban settlement was done and this study includes (i) mechanical tests on biocomposites developed with a range of pilot organic food waste, agricultural waste and invasive species substrates performed according to ASTM D-1037 Standard and (ii) thermal conductivity and hygric characterization of optimized mycelium biocomposites according to ASTM standard C518 and ASTM E96 standards respectively. Design strategies for matching microclimatic conditions and passive energy flows to the production stages of mycelium bio-composites within the dense urban settlements are explored, and finally, the interior conditions of designated ecomanufacturing spaces within a case study building cluster are investigated using Energy Plus simulation software. The spatial and construction material analysis in the case study area showed significant opportunities to develop this production process in comparative social and economic contexts. This distributed waste transformation over time has the potential to extend ecomanufacturing beyond the borders of informal urban settlements to serve as a highly integrated ecomanufacturing service for intersectoral waste resources in urban communities.

1:45pm - 3:15pmG: Paper Session_T9: Thermal Performance, Energy Use and Visualization
Panel Moderator: Alison Kwok

Adaptive Model Conditions for Thermal Comfort in Schools: Comparative Study in Hot climates of California, Peru and Nairobi, Kenya

David Mwale Ogoli

California Baptist University, United States of America

This study examined adaptive model conditions for thermal comfort in School buildings by comparing them in three hot climates of Riverside, California, Lima in Peru and Nairobi, Kenya. It observed different thermal comfort conditions using the ASHRAE adaptive model. This model used the predictive mean vote / predicted percent of dissatisfaction (PMV/PPD) as developed by P.O. Fanger in the late 1960’s and the Adaptive Model which has rapidly become widespread around the world. This article scrutinized which model is more suitable and energy efficient for the three locations. Many literary sources, dating from the first century with Vitruvius, and then leaving a gap up to the 1960’s were reviewed. The article noted that the bulk of research in this study started in the 1960’s and continued up to the present date. Many authors of books and articles about thermal comfort such as Fanger, Olgyay, ASHRAE, deDear, Nicol, Humphreys, Nishi, Rohles, and Szokolay were reviewed to assess the best design approach for each location.

The analysis of several studies conducted in countries with similar climatic, social, and economic conditions appears to suggest that the best design approach to achieve optimum thermal comfort in these diverse parts of the world were made by applying the adaptive model since people living in the tropics tend to adapt to a wide range of temperature fluctuations. Three sample schools were modelled using building information modelling (BIM). Simulations were done using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to study air flow and thermal comfort. Measured data were gathered in the School building in California for comparison and validation. Indoor renderings were made using Autodesk 3DS Max.

The study suggested that when humans are considered as laboratory subjects, they tend to have a universally agreeable thermal comfort range about 65°F – 78°F (18.3°C-25.6°C) but when they are given more control of their living or work space, the comfort range widens. It is possible that the economic, cultural and technological expectations of people may be factors that account for the extension of the thermal comfort zone. When the comfort zone was extended, the energy-efficiency in buildings was enhanced. The study further suggested that forcing a building onto a site that would constantly reject it as being unsustainable would increase demand of energy for occupants in the climate. Many developing countries lack significant research studies and this is a request to consider more similar in-depth studies.


ASHRAE, ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2017: Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy, (2017).

P.O. Fanger, Thermal comfort: Analysis and Applications in Environmental Engineering, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1972.

R.J. de Dear, G.S. Brager, Developing an adaptive model of thermal comfort and preference, Pt 1A (1998), pp. 145–167.

Automated Energy Use Data Collection and Comparative Visualization in Public Schools for Game-Based Environmental Education for K-12 Students

Philip Reim1, Yang Song2, Malini Srivastava3

1North Dakota State University, United States of America; 2Texas A&M University, United States of America; 3University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, United States of America

Live visualizations of building occupants’ energy use produce heightened energy consciousness among occupants (Faruqui et al., 2010) and motivate actions taken to reduce consumption (Faruqui et al., 2010). In particular, smart energy monitor technology implemented in K-12 schools not only directs students’ attention to the energy implications of their decisions at school, but also encourages the same degree of energy awareness at home (Fell & Chiu, 2014). In spite of these documented outcomes in the literature, [Name of City] Public Schools district did not have any means of metering, monitoring and providing visualizations of energy use data in the schools for educational and environmental benefit.

This paper documents a successful process and method for implementing smart energy monitor–based frequent comparative visualizations in seven public school buildings in a serious pervasive games–based educational and engagement effort. A collaboration between the local university, municipality, utility and the school district was created to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions from municipal buildings (of which the schools are a part). The authors, who lead the work of this partnership, worked with public school district administrators, device manufacturers, and utility companies to effectively structure and install functioning live energy displays in the schools by securing a [State] Department of Commerce grant for energy education and efficiency measures.

For effective use of the functioning live energy displays, the method builds on a pervasive serious energy game designed, implemented and tested by the authors in classrooms with consistent success in achieving energy savings and learning gain amongst students. The paper describes the partnerships, roles, processes and methods needed to identify appropriate technology and evaluate the costs and returns on investments for the parties involved. This paper further describes the workflow developed by the authors, using Python and Adobe Illustrator scripts, for collecting live energy data from the smart meters, normalization of the collected data, and the production of an age-appropriate (for elementary, middle and high schools) comparative visualization. These visualizations are then displayed on monitoring systems and summarize comparative energy use reductions between meter-equipped schools with the goal of creating competitive comparisons in the serious games. The displays can be updated at any convenient time interval and presented to students in digital or printed formats.

As the testing of the hardware and software commences, the COVID-19 pandemic–related school closures have created an opportunity to test a version of the educational game component that is fully asynchronous and more widely accessible beyond the school building. The installation of the hardware and the successful research and creation of a real-time visualization process provides the potential for testing the impact of energy use in schools and transfer of knowledge from the school environment to the home environment.

Faruqui, A., Sergici, S., & Sharif, A. (2010). The impact of informational feedback on energy consumption: A survey of the experimental evidence. Energy, 35(4), 1598-1608.

Fell, M. J., & Chiu, L. F. (2014). Children, parents and home energy use: Exploring motivations and limits to energy demand reduction. Energy Policy, 65, 351-358.

Visualizing Thermodynamic Flows in Architectural Research: Multi-scalar Co-benefits of Waste-heat Utilization in Data Centers

Sara Ghaemi, Aletheia Ida

University of Arizona, United States of America

This research examines the excessive heat produced by datacenters, which according to the office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy "are one of the most energy-intensive building types, consuming 10 to 50 times the energy per floor space of a typical commercial office building. Collectively, these spaces account for approximately 2% of the total U.S. electricity use." (Strutt, et al., 2020). During the COVID-19 pandemic, the reliance of communities on datacenter infrastructure anticipates an increased insurgence of their rapid growth. In some ways, because of the extreme heat-generation from densely packed information technology (IT) equipment, the datacenter provides a unique testbed for architectural systems research that may lend to future low-energy and reduced embodied carbon footprint solutions for buildings in general.

Energy in the form of excessive heat is often considered problematic to either human comfort or machine functionality. Many modes of heat removal by mechanical systems are based on thermodynamics of sensible and latent content of air mixtures and require large amounts of energy input to modify the air-mix to a reasonable temperature. According to the International Energy Agency, "Cooling is the fastest-growing use of energy in buildings. Without action to address energy efficiency, energy demand for space cooling will more than triple by 2050 – consuming as much electricity as all of China and India today" (IEA, 2018).

Current methods of waste heat utilization are reviewed for district-scale and building-scale examples, including those in Scandinavia and the US. In some cases the large-scale datacenter waste heat is coupled to heating needs for housing at district scales (Malkawi, et al. 2018), while in other cases edge-cloud datacenter waste heat is utilized directly within the same building for low-income residential units enabling reduced energy costs and open access to internet. (Litvak 2017) In addition, the design research presented here focuses on system-scale waste-heat utilization through biomaterials, both for carbon sequestration and biofuel production.

With this work, one of the useful tools for defining the thermodynamic flows and identifying useful waste-heat output is the Sankey diagram, which provides a visual indication of relative energy values and states across the comprehensive building design. In addition, the work demonstrates the importance of integrating empirical material prototype testing alongside simulation analyses, including those for computational fluid-dynamics (CFD) and building-scale energy consumption. In combination, these co-linked tools and methods provide insight for architectural research and design by emphasizing the potential relationships of energy flows, materials, and functions. Integration of such techniques in the design process might allow us to shift away from increasing dependency on high-energy cooling systems and ultimately improve the performance of buildings in the midst of intense socio-environmental climate change and pandemic challenges with increasing temperatures and dependency on internet.

1:45pm - 3:15pmG: Workshop_W7: Writing for Architectural Journals: Guidelines, Tips, and Pitfalls
Panel Moderator: Philip Plowright

Simi Hoque, Co-Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Green Building

Philip Plowright, Editor-in-Chief, Enquiry: Journal of the ARCC (ENQ) 

Marci Uihlein, Executive Editor, TAD (Technology, Architecture, Design)

Led by editors of architectural journals, the workshop will provide guidance on writing for academic journals including structuring the papers, evolving an argument, providing adequate literature support, and developing conclusions. Examples will be discussed and attendees will have the opportunity to solicit feedback on their work. 

3:15pm - 3:30pmBreak

Take a Tour or Visit an Exhibit

3:30pm - 5:00pmKeynote: Michelle Addington_RESEARCH REDUX
Session Chair: Aletheia Ida
Session Chair: Beth Weinstein

Michelle Addington is dean of The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, where she holds the Henry M. Rockwell Chair in Architecture. Originally educated as a mechanical/nuclear engineer, Addington worked for several years as an engineer at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and for E.I DuPont de Nemours before she studied architecture. 

Material and performance research in Architecture is often entangled in a methodological network constrained by missing knowledge, unsupported by foundational methods, clouded by conflicting domains, and untethered to meaningful impacts. The robust academic structure that both undergirds as well as overarches the research enterprise that forms the fundamental core of most disciplines, and should be that which frames and guides our research activities, is all but missing from our field. There is no consistent development and progression from undergraduate to graduate to doctorate to post-doctorate to faculty; what we have instead are small ad hoc fragments scattered about the world—a bespoke independent study program advertised as a research master’s degree, a funded special initiative that is singularly self-contained either as a unit or as a faculty member’s lab. While canon in architectural history is certainly being questioned, we know the extents of the field and what it considers as its principles and governing criteria. We cannot say the same about material and performance research in Architecture. Academic research both governs canon and is governed by canon. Without canon, there is no stable ground from which to launch an investigation, to open up an inquiry, to dismantle an accepted belief. Without canon as stable ground, then the starting point becomes that which we do and that which we are familiar with—aka practice and precedent. 

Much of what we call research is thus incremental and relative, which is not to discount it as incremental research is certainly considered a worthy undertaking. But we are often left without a clear and meaningful beginning and ending point for what drives the iteration other than the desire to try something or to make something. Even when research is intended to tackle a grand challenge, such as climate change, we tend to allow precedent and practice to co-opt the starting point and the ultimate question, keeping us bound to the way that we do things, albeit with some possible improvements. Big questions devolve into minor adjustments if we even are able to implement the results. More often than not, we aren’t able to implement results beyond prototyping or demonstration 

A robust research structure allows for questions large and small, enables methods that are repeatable and verifiable, establishes paths for dissemination that range from knowledge building to implementation to definitive (and verified) contribution. But we don’t have such a structure, and we don’t have the critical mass or canonic foundations to build one. For too long, we have tried to cobble together some semblance of a research structure for investigating materials and performance: a grant here and there, a few dozen doctorates, some experimental work carried out by firms, a scattershot of engineering-like papers appearing in numerous journals. For too long, many of us have been critical of what we perceive as the lack of rigor in how we educate architects in the questions and methods of research as well as in what qualifies as the products of research. Maybe it is time to stop trying to fit into the normative research structure that is the backbone of the more atomized disciplines, and build a research ecosystem that truly capitalizes on what knowledge we do bring to the table, what unique skills and capabilities we can bring to bear, how we fluidly collaborate and embrace enormous breadth across disciplines. What could and should it be?

5:00pm - 6:00pmLounge

BYOB (bring your own beverage)


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