Jun 2016, Volume 5 Issue 2

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    Zoltan Nagy,Bratislav Svetozarevic,Prageeth Jayathissa,Moritz Begle,Johannes Hofer,Gearoid Lydon,Anja Willmann,Arno Schlueter

    The Adaptive Solar Facade (ASF) is a modular, highly integrated dynamic building facade.The energetic behavior as well as the architectural expression of the facade can be controlled with high spatio-temporal resolution through individually addressable modules. We present the general design process, the current mechanical design, and simulation results on photovoltaic power production and building energy consumption. We introduce the controller concept and show results on solar tracking as well as user interaction. Lastly, we present our current and planned prototypes.

    Ignacio Requena-Ruiz

    The study of the relationship of climate and indoor thermal environments in architecture is essential to understand the inhabitants' sensory perception. This is even more relevant when working in the existing housing stock in view of the new challenges posed by the conservation of the 20th century architectural heritage and the adaption of these buildings to our current comfort and environmental criteria.

    This article aims to develop a balanced understanding of the approach of Modernist architecture to climate, indoor atmospheres and inhabitants' thermal comfort. To do so, we complement the quantitative approach of environmental assessment methods with the qualitative angle of the history of sensory and architecture. The goal is to understand the environmental performance of architecture for dealing nowadays with thermal comfort issues while respecting its cultural and historical values. Two modernist houses have been selected as case studies: the Villa Curutchet of the master Le Corbusier and the Villa Chupin of his disciple André Wogenscky. As a result, the article reveals potentialities and constraints in terms of thermal comfort when working with Modern Architecture.

    Fatemeh Pariafsai

    In the past few decades, the use of glass in buildings has remarkably increased. As a result, several transparent buildings have been constructed, in which the materials have almost disappeared. Given that the advancement of architecture is inextricably linked to the acquisition of general knowledge on future developments, this study was conducted to predict the paths of development that glass structures are likely to take in the future. Investigations such as this increase the possibility of advancing both design and construction at the same speed as technology. To achieve this goal, this study evaluates the present situation by investigating new possibilities and assessing their effect on the development of glass buildings. The findings of this study show that the durability, safety, appearance, and efficiency of transparent buildings can be improved through continuous refinement of designs, replacement of aged elements, prompt repair of damaged protective coatings, and greater exploitation of double-sided screens.

    Bruce K. Ferguson,Derek E. Ferguson

    Architectural and personal influences on neighboring behaviors were studied in a residential neighborhood using both qualitative informal conversations, and systematic recording of activity in the neighborhood's social space. This dual approach produced new insights into neighboring behaviors and social networks. It was discovered that the residents who participated in the social space were only a portion of the resident population. There was an additional neighborhood-based network whose neighboring was not conducted in the social space; instead it was maintained by direct house-to-house contact. It was also found that some individuals chose not to participate in any neighborhood social network. The social space was an effective neighboring venue for those residents who chose to use it, but did not attract commingling of groups. Contrary to an assumption in previous neighboring research, there are social groups which develop and maintain themselves without participation in a social space.

    María-Jesús González-Díazn,Justo García-Navarro

    Up to now, ecology has a strong influence on the development of technical and instrumental aspects of architecture, such as renewable and efficient of resources and energy, CO2 emissions, air quality, water reuse, some social and economical aspects. These concepts define the physical keys and codes of the current 'sustainable' architecture, normally instrumental but rarely and insufficiently theorised. But is not there another way of bringing us tonature? We need a theoretical referent. This is where we place the Van der Laan's thoughts: heconsiders that art completes nature and he builds his theoretical discourse on it, trying to better understand many aspects of architecture. From a conceptual point of view, we find in his works sense of timelessness, universality, special attention on the 'locus' and a strict sense of proportions and use of materials according to nature. Could these concepts complement our current sustainable architecture? How did Laan apply the current codes of ecology in his architecture? His work may help us to get a theoretical interpretation of nature and not only physical. This paper develops this idea through the comparison of thoughts and works of Laan with the current technical approach to 'sustainable' architecture.

    Ying Deng,Edwin H.W. Chan,S.W. Poon

    Public housing (PH) has existed in Hong Kong for six decades. Previous and current challenges that have been encountered over time function as a collective driver for design progression. However, such challenges have remained under research to be able to draw useful lessons from them. To understand how this established motif can suit the sustainability-consciousera, this study uses Hong Kong as a representative case for sub-tropical compact cities by critiquing its PH design against multiple constraints. The objective of this study is to trace the historical relationships between challenges and design progress as well as to assess current and future implications of sustainability trends on PH design. By synthesizing data from literature, policy documents, and empirical evidence, this research develops an evolution map for PH design in Hong Kong that is driven by seven major challenges. Based on this map, a conceptual framework for intersecting considerations that envisages five main future prospects toward future PH design is also established.

    Farzaneh Soflaei,Mehdi Shokouhian,Seyed MajidMofidi Shemirani

    The effect of courtyards as microclimate modifiers on the sustainability of traditional houses in a region with BWks mesoclimate in Iran was explored. The principle behind traditional Iranian courtyards was investigated to identify the most influential physical–environmental character-istics that can effectively improve energy efficiency in contemporary residential buildings. A field study was performed to analyze various physical elements of six valuable traditional courtyard houses located in a region with BWks mesoclimate in Iran. These elements included the orientation, extension, rotation angle, dimensions, and proportions of enclosed and open spaces, as well as physical bodies (opaquewalls), transparent surfaces (openings), and natural elements (waterandsoil). Results showed that most of the studied Iranian courtyards were particularly designed to enable orientation, dimension, and proportion to act as microclimate modifiers. All survey-based data were summarized and integrated to propose a physical–environmental design model for courtyards as a useful energy-efficient strategy for contem-porary sustainable housing in a region with BWks mesoclimate. The proposed model can be generalized to all design cases located in areas with similar climatic conditions.

    Mohamad Kashef

    This is an analytical study of the intensely debated concept of urban livability. The paper examines different literature or theoretical streams that contribute to the debate related to the notion of livable cities. It juxtaposes academic constructs from architecture and urban planning fields with the popular culture and web indices that rank cities according to their living standards, services, and international appeal. The study offers a comparative analytical assessment of these diverse approaches and lays out a nuanced understanding of urban livability that draws on the richness and diversity embedded in design, planning, and current ranking tools. The paper ultimately aims to shed light on the configurations, conditions, and processes that may enhance the livability of various urban settings. It integrates such disparate views into an interdisciplinary perspective of urban livability. While the bulk of this paper analyses relates to North American, European, and Australian cities, the concepts discussed pertain to urban livability on a global scale.

    Oula Aoun,Jacques Teller

    Driven by globalization and market openings, many architecture and engineering firms have become global. By focusing on the urban megaprojects in the Gulf, a particular cultural and political context, this paper argues that such firms have a major role in the rapid urban transformation of Gulf countries and act as transfer agents of an international knowledge in the urban planning domain. However, the transfer is adapted by several context-related char-acteristics, such as local governance, urban knowledge, and regulatory framework. This paper explores the procedural adaptation of these firms to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in terms of internal structure, methodology, adopted tools, and interaction with the context. The level of learning that results from this transfer is also investigated.

    Nicholas Webb,André Brown

    Research and critique of unbuilt or destroyed works of architecture is traditionally carried out through the examination of surviving information such as drawings, models, photographs, biographies and monographs. The case study presented here demonstrates that this approach cannot always give a full-picture of the architect or designer's intentions, and may miss inconsistencies in the design and links to other precedents or antecedents in such schemes. Here, we employ strategic contemporary digital representation techniques to re-present and re-analyse the evidence available for a particular architectural project. We describe a systematic methodology, which shows that these techniques can challenge or enhance current understanding. The focus therefore is on the digital re-analysis process that has been devised. Sir Edwin Lutyens' unbuilt Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral design, that would have delivered one of the largest cathedrals in the world, is used as a case study. The findings reveal new information about the cathedral by following structured lines of enquiry generated from the study of primary and secondary source data, as well as serendipitous results that occur as a potential by-product of the methodological process.

    Wong Nyuk Hien