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Representative Dissertations

Representative Ph.D. in Architecture 
Dissertation Abstracts (1993-2019)

Bara Safarova - 2019: Prof. Stephen Caffey, Prof. Cecilia Giusti
Incremental Construction and House Value Segregation:  The Case of Brownsville, Texas on the United States-Mexico Border.

Jin Ting Lee - 2019: Prof. Susan Rodiek, Prof. Xuemei Zhu
Health Springs: Conceptualizing a Community Facility to Promote Healthy Aging at High-Rise Housing in Singapore. 

Rania Labib - 2019: Prof. Mark Clayton, Prof. Ann McNamara
Façade Internet of Things (FIoT): A Human-Sensing, Two-Façade Communication Approach to Achieve Glare Reduction, Optimized Daylighting, and Solar Energy Collection.

Nancy Alassaf - 2019: Prof. Mark Clayton, Prof. Gabriel Esquivel
Architectural Information Modeling (AIM): Teaching Formal Concepts of Design Using Building Information Modeling (BIM). 

Mehdi Azizkhani - 2019: Prof. Jeff Haberl
Investigating The Level of Application/Education of Passive/Natural Systems in the Design of Sustainable Buildings in the US.

Nesrine Mansour - 2019:  Prof. Anat Geva
Virtually Sacred: Effect of Light on the Spiritual Experience in Virtual Sacred Architecture.

Shermeen Yousif - 2019: Prof. Wei Yan, Prof. Charles Culp
A K-Medoids-Based Shape Clustering Method and Its Applications in Generative Design and Optimization Systems.

Maki Iisaka - 2019: Prof. Sarah Deyong
Text and Inversion in the Architecture of Seiichi Shirai. 

Emad Khaled Al-Qattan - 2019: Prof. Wei Yan
Framework Using Tangible Interaction for Automatically Capturing and Embedding Design Intent in Parametric Models.

Christopher Scott Hunter - 2018: Prof. Valerian Miranda
Influences of African American Religious Practices on the Architecture of Early African American Church Buildings 1842-1917.

Minjae Shin - 2018: Prof. Jeff Haberl
Development of a Procedure for Automating Thermal Zoning for Building Energy Simulation. 

Arsalan Gharaveis - 2017: Prof. D. Kirk Hamilton
The Impact of Visibility on Teamwork, Collaborative Communication, and Security in Emergency Departments.

Naomi Sachs - 2017: Prof. Susan Rodiek, Prof. Mardelle Shepley
The Healthcare Garden Evaluation Toolkit: A Standardized Method for Evaluation, Research, and Design of Gardens in Healthcare Facilities.

Raymond Charles Mullican - 2017: Prof. Gabriela Campagnol, Prof. Mardelle Shepley
Inductive Pattern Formation. 

Chengde Wu - 2017: Prof. Mark Clayton, Prof. Wei Yan
A System Architecture for the Integration of Smoke Propagation Simulation, Evacuation Simulation, and Building Information Modeling.

Jawad A S R B Altabtabai - 2017: Prof. Wei Yan, Prof. Mark Clayton
Parametric BIM-based Design Review. 

Gregory N. Marinic - 2017: Prof. Sarah Deyong, Prof. Peter Lang
Borderland Appropriations: Globalization, Obsolescence, Migration and the American Shopping Mall. 

James Andrew Westwater - 2017: Prof. Stephen Caffey
Unknown Architectures: Agnes Martin and Ian Curtis.

Mehmet Ozgur Gonen - 2017: Prof. Wei Yan, Prof. Ergun Akleman
Quad Dominant 2-Manifold Mesh Modeling. 

Ehsan Barekati - 2016: Prof. Mark Clayton
A BIM Compatible Schema for Architectural Programming Information.

Gregory Anthony Luhan - 2016: Prof. Mark Clayton
Measurement of Self-Efficacy, Predisposition for Collaboration, and Project Scores in Architectural Design Studios.

James Thomas Haliburton - 2016:  Prof. Mark Clayton, Prof. Valerian Miranda
Building Information Modeling and Small Architectural Practice: An Analysis of Factors Affecting BIM Adoption.

Yilin Song - 2015: Prof. Xuemei Zhu, Prof. Mardelle Shepley
The Influence of Daylighting on the Behavior of Nurses and Families in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUS).

Xin Bai - 2015: Prof. Mardelle Shepley
Impact of Daylight on Children’s Behavior in Pediatric Clinic Waiting Rooms. 

Carolina Manrique Hoyos - 2015: Prof. Robert Warden, Prof. Tazim Jamal
Resilience in Heritage Conservation and Heritage Tourism. 

Vanita Negandhi - 2015: Prof. Charles Culp
Modeling and Control of Passive Chilled Beams with Underfloor Air Distribution of Ventilation in Office Buildings in Humid Climates.

Zhouzhou Su - 2015: Prof. Wei Yan
Improving Design Optimization and Optimization-based Design Knowledge Discovery. 

Georgina Amanda Davis - 2015: Prof. Jeff Haberl
A Study of Remote, Cold Regions Habitations and Design Recommendations for New Dormitory Buildings in McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

Jong Bum Kim - 2014: Prof. Mark Clayton
Parametric Urban Regulation Models for Predicting Development Performances.

Yin Jiang - 2014: Prof. Mardelle Shepley
Between 3-D Computer Models and 3-D Physical Models: People’s Understanding and Preference. 

Jacob James Morris - 2014: Prof. Anat Geva
Immigrants' Acculturation as Expressed in Architecture: 19th Century Churches and Courthouses in South Central Texas. 

Duygu Yenerim - 2014: Prof. Mark Clayton
A Process Using Building Information Modelling (BIM) for Improving Self-Help Housing in Texas Colonias. 

Seyed Saleh Kalantari Hematabadi - 2014: Prof. Mardelle Shepley
Toward an Effective Design Process: Enhancing Building Performance through Better Integration of Facility Management Perspectives in the Design Process.

Jose Luis Bermudez Alcocer - 2014: Prof. Jeff Haberl, Prof. Juan Carlos Baltazar Cervantes
An Analysis of A Low-Energy, Low-Water Use Community in Mexico City. 

Vahid Vahdat Zad  - 2014: Prof. Robert Warden
Imagining the Modern: An Occidentalist Perception and Representation of Farangi Architecture and Urbanism in 19th-Century Persian Travel Diaries.

Shireen M. Kanakri - 2014: Prof. Mardelle Shepley, Prof Louis Tassinary
The Impact of Acoustical Environmental Design on Children with Autism.

Jialiang Wang - 2014: Prof. Liliana Beltran
Integrating Acclimated Kinetic Envelopes into Sustainable Building Design.

Iwao Takahashi - 2013: Prof. Robert Warden
Peircean Interpretation of Postmodern Architecture.

Manish Kumar Dixit - 2013: Prof. Charles Culp, Prof Jose Fernandez-Solis
Embodied Energy Calculation: Method and Guidelines for a Building and its Constituent Materials.

Shima Baradaran Mohajeri - 2013: Prof. Peter Lang, Prof. Theodore George
On the Dialectic of Silence: Klee, Kahn, and the Space of Transversal Modernity in Iran.

Simge Andolsun - 2013: Prof. Charles Culp
Small Residence Multizone Modeling with Partial Conditioning for Energy Efficiency in Hot and Humid Climates. 

Jaya Mukhopadhyay – 2013: Prof. Jeff Haberl
An Analysis of Energy Consumption in Grocery Stores in a Hot and Humid Climate.

Francisco Farias - 2013: Prof. Mark Clayton
Contemporary Strategies for Sustainable Design.

Kiyoung Son - 2012: Prof. Vallie Miranda, Prof. Paul Woods
Regression Model Predicting Appraised Unit Value of Land in San Francisco County from Number of and Distance to Public Transit Stops using GIS.

Hyojin Kim - 2012: Prof. Jeff Haberl
Methodology for Rating a Building's Overall Performance based on the ASHRAE/CIBSE/USGBC Performance Measurement Protocols for Commercial Buildings.

Bradley Angell - 2012: Prof. Robert Warden
Urban-Architectural Design After Exile: Communities in Search of a Minor Architecture.

Xiaodong Xuan - 2012: Prof. Mardelle Shepley
Exploring the Effectiveness of LEED Certification in LEED Certified Healthcare Settings in Climate Zone 2 and 3.

Chamila Subasinghe - 2011: Prof. Mark Clayton, Prof. Eugen Wagner
Rebuilding for Sustainability: Spatial Analysis of Bolivar Peninsula after Hurricane Ike.

Qing Xing - 2011: Prof. Wei Yan, Prof. Ergun Akleman
Graph Rotation Systems for Physical Construction of Large Structures.

Serra Akboy - 2011: Prof. Robert Warden
The HABS Culture of Documentation with an Analysis of Drawing and Technology.

Saiful Islam - 2011: Prof. Pill Tabb
A Study on Zoning Regulations' Impact on Thermal Comfort Conditions in Non-conditioned Apartment Buildings in Dhaka City.

Samira Pasha - 2011: Prof. Mardelle Shepley
Usability of Outdoor Spaces in Children's Hospitals.

Pasquale De Paola - 2011: Prof. Frances Downing
A Question of Method: Architettura Razionale and the XV Milan Triennial of 1973.

Edelmiro Escamilla - 2011: Prof. Anat Geva, Prof. James Smith
Investigation of Project Management Planning Practices for Renovation of Historical Buildings in Urban Contexts Located in Texas.

Laura Prestwood - 2010: Prof. Mardelle Shepley
Architectural Design Factors Of Domestic Violence Shelters That Affect Outcomes For Female Domestic Violence Victims: A Naturalistic Inquiry To Establish Grounded Theory For Future Research.

Ahmet Ugursal - 2010: Prof. Charles Culp
Thermal Comfort under Transient Metabolic and Dynamic Localized Airflow Conditions Combined with Neutral and Warm Ambient Temperatures.

Alethea Bair - 2009: Prof. Don House 
Optimization of single and layered surface texturing.

Carols Arias Reimers - 2009: Prof. Robin Abrams, Prof. Andrew Seidel 
Housing diversity and consolidation in low income Colonias patterns of house form and household arrangements in Colonias of the US.

Craig Anz - 2009: Prof. Frances Downing 
Critical Environmentalism - Towards An Epistemic Framework For Architecture.

Gali Zilbershtein - 2009: Prof. Andrew Seidel 
Architecture in the area of terror: design and perception of security of two societies

Mini Malhotra - 2009: Prof. Jeff Haberl 
An Analysis of off-grid, off-pipe Housing in Six U.S. Climates.

Ozan Ozener - 2009: Prof. Mark Clayton 
Studio Education for Integrated Practice Using Building Information Modeling.

Tom McPeek - 2009: Prof. Robert Johnson 
Collaborative design pedagogy: a naturalistic inquiry of architectural education.

Young Jun Park - 2009: Prof. Valerian Miranda, Prof. Paul Woods 
Predicting the Unit Appraisal Value of the Unimproved and Private Land in the City of Houston by LEED Sustainable Site Credits.

Zhe Wang - 2009: Prof. Mardelle Shepley, Prof. Susan Rodiek 
Nearby Outdoor Environmental Support of Older Adults' Yard.

Zhipeng Lu - 2009: Prof. Mardelle Shepley 
Design for the frail old: Environmental and Perceptual influences on corridor walking behaviors of assisted living residents.

Althea G. Arnold - 2008: Prof. Nancy Holland, Prof. Liliana Beltran 
Development of a Method for Recording Energy Costs and Uses During the Construction Process.

Arsenio Rodrigues - 2008: Prof. Phillip Tabb 
The sacred in architecture: A study of the presence and quality of place-making patterns in sacred and secular buildings.

Carlos Nome - 2008: Prof. Robert Johnson 
Pre-Programming: Evaluation of Workspace Types and Workspace Alternatives in Educational Settings.

Irina Solovyova - 2008: Prof. Frances Downing 
The Role Of The Autobiographical Experiences With Emotional Significance of an Architect in Design Conjecturing.

Xuemei Zhu - 2008: Prof. Robin Abrams Prof. Chanam Lee 
Community Environments And Walking-To-School Behaviors: Multi-Level Correlates and Underlying Disparities.

Jin Gyu Park - 2007: Prof. Mardelle Shepley 
Environmental Color for Pediatric Patient Room Design.

Narongpon Laiprakobsup - 2007: Prof. Frances Downing 
The Emergence of The Essence.

Sopa Visitsak - 2007: Prof. Jeff Haberl 
An Evaluation of the Bioclimatic Chart for choosing Design Strategies for a Thermostatically - Controlled Residence in selected Climates.

You Kyoung Ahn - 2007: Prof. Anat Geva 
Adaptive Reuse of Abandoned Historic Churches: Building Type and Public perception.

Cassandrea Hager - 2005: Prof. John Bryant 
Developing Standards for Undergraduate University construction Education Internship Programs.

Kwanchai Roachanakanan - 2005: Prof. Robert Johnson, Prof. John Nichols 
A Case Study of Cost Overruns in a Thai Condominium Project.

Rima Al Ajlouni - 2005: Prof. Robert Warden 
Development and Evaluation of a Digital Tool for Virtual Reconstruction of Historic Islamic Geometric Patterns.

Sakkara Rasisuttha - 2005: Prof. Jeff Haberl 
An Investigation of Methods for Reducing the Use of Non-renewable Energy Resources for Housing in Thailand.

Samer Al-Ratrout - 2005: Prof. Robert Warden 
Feasibility Study of Using Optical Moire Interferometry Technique for Fine-grain Surface Relief in Heritage Recording.

Tanya Komas - 2005: Prof. David Woodcock 
Historic Building Documentation in the United States, 1933-2000: The Historic American Building Survey, A Case Study.

Marie-Andree Fournier - 1999 
Impact of a Family-Centered-Care Approach on the Design of Neonatal Intensive Care Units.

Suk Bong Kim - 1998 
The Analysis of Factors Affecting Energy Consumption of Duplex Residences in College Station, Texas.

In-Kon Kim - 1997 
Subjective Responses to Daylight, Sunlight, and View in College Classrooms with Windows.

Wonpi Kim - 1997 
Effects of Dwelling Floor Level on Factors Related to Residential Satisfaction and Home Environment in High-Rise Apartment Buildings.

Grady Eric Connell - 1996 
The Design Practices of Architects in Relation to the Models of Design: Analysis-Synthesis and Conjecture-Analysis.

Mary S. McCormick - 1996 
How to Get There from Here: Way-Finding in Complex Environments.

Michael Dean Nobe - 1996 
Decision Support for Real Estate Development Cost Estimating.

Julie S. Rogers - 1996 
The Concept of Framing and Its Role in Teacher-Student Negotiations during Desk Critiques in the Architectural Design Studio.

Karen Cordes Spence - 1996 
Theorizing in Architecture: An Examination of the Texts of Frampton, Rossi, and Lang.

Rami Farouk Daher - 1995 
Towards a Comprehensive Approach for the Identification, Evaluation, and Management of Historical and Cultural Resources in Jordan: "Paradigm Shift in Conservation Ideology.

Midori Kitagawa De Leon - 1993 
Boolean operations on polygon meshes.

 

Full Abstracts

Incremental Construction and House Value Segregation:  The Case of Brownsville, Texas on the United States-Mexico Border

Author: Bara Safarova (2019)

Publication date: 2019

Abstract: Housing segregation by income has increased in the United States since 1970. Government programs based on dispersal that were designed to curb housing segregation have had mixed results and, despite criticism, remain the dominant approach. The underlying assumption of the largest programs is the dispersal of low-income, often ethnic and racial minorities into areas of opportunity. Social justice scholars have questioned the need to disperse the poor. Incremental construction is more common in less commodified housing markets, where it is a symptom of so-called social mobility in -situ, which results in more socioeconomically integrated neighborhoods. The overall question of the dissertation was whether and how does incremental construction contribute to the production of more integrated housing. The question was answered using mixed methods. First, a literature review was conducted to formulate a conceptual framework for measuring house value segregation as a precursor for income segregation. The conceptual framework was applied in Brownsville, Texas to conduct a hypothesis test using exploratory statistical analysis. The results show evidence of a statistically significant positive relationship between rates of incremental construction and house value diversity across 359 subdivisions in Brownsville, Texas. Results of a qualitative study based on interviews with 20 key stakeholders and fieldwork in Brownsville explain further the role played by real estate development, planning policy, architecture discipline, and incrementalism in inscribing house value segregation in the local context. First, the real estate development of housing was found to be segmented by socioeconomic brackets (lower, middle, and upper), and segmentation was found to affect quality of construction, increasing the gap among the spatial segments of housing over time. Second, real estate actors used a mix of design tools and private regulations to inscribe house value segregation. Third, architecture played a support role in marketing and increasing the value of housing and whole subdivisions. Last, inconsistency in evidence was found for the role of incremental construction, suggesting that the role of incrementalism is contingent on the standard of construction and the overall segmentation of the housing market. The dissertation concludes with recommendations for practice and for research.

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Health Springs: Conceptualizing a Community Facility to Promote Healthy Aging at High-Rise Housing in Singapore. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University.

Author: Jin Ting Lee

Publication date: 2019

Abstract: Background and Aims: Due to land constraints and a rapidly aging population, innovative design solutions are needed to improve the situation of eldercare in Singapore. This study explored an “Aging in Place” strategy based on existing public housing neighborhoods to promote healthy aging for older Singaporeans. The researcher proposed and evaluated the feasibility of a new type of community facility (the Health Springs) to be located in the existing unused ground floor area of high-rise public housing buildings. Methods: This design-based, mixed-methods study sequentially used focus groups and design workshops for grounded data collection and prototype development, followed by a cross-sectional survey to evaluate the potential use of the proposed Health Springs. Results: Focus group discussions with healthcare workers and older adults (n=38) suggested the need for a highly accessible community facility to increase space for caregiver assistance and improve older adults’ autonomy and health, emphasizing social connections beyond the family. Using the focus group findings, the design workshops with healthcare professionals (n=12) developed the proposed Health Springs facility, which included six different activity spaces to potentially support healthy aging. In the cross-sectional survey of public housing residents and design professionals (n=271), 81% of participants indicated they were likely to use the proposed Health Springs, with a perceived usability score (67.9/100) that strongly predicted the overall likelihood of using the Health Springs (p<0,0001). Expected health outcomes related to increased physical activity (p= 0.003) and likely use of individual spaces - a Garden Café (p= 0.0008), and Personal Care Room (p= 0.005) strongly predicted participants’ expected usage of the facility. Implications: Because of the availability of under-used ground floor area of homogeneous public housing buildings, the Health Springs is a feasible, innovative solution that potentially supports healthy aging in Singapore. This study assessed the impacts of perceived usability expected health outcomes, and likelihood of using specific spaces on the overall usage of the proposed facility. These findings can improve the design process and quality of future facilities for aging, and may be adapted to comparable high-density urban settings, potentially improving health and quality of life for residents, caregivers, and family members.

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Façade Internet of Things (FIoT): A Human-Sensing, Two-Façade Communication Approach to Achieve Glare Reduction, Optimized Daylighting, and Solar Energy Collection.

Author: Rania Labib

Publication date: 2019

Abstract: The use of large glazed façades in buildings can cause a disabling glare that can impair the vision of the occupants of surrounding buildings. In order to avoid glare, building occupants tend to close their blinds and depend on artificial lighting, thus increasing lighting-based energy consumption. Solar reflections can also overheat surrounding areas and so negatively impact the thermal comfort of occupants in surrounding buildings. To resolve the various issues caused by reflective façades, this research study proposes the Façades Internet of Things (FIoT), a model that facilitates the communication between two building facades, which can adapt to human occupancy and weather conditions in order to reduce glare, to optimize indoor daylighting, and to maximize solar energy collection. Although communication between different building elements within the same building is extensively studied by researchers, the proposed FIoT is the first novel approach that enables communication between building elements, in this case building facades, in two different buildings. To examine the performance of the proposed FIoT framework, computer-based glare, daylighting, and solar radiation simulations of two buildings and the simulations of a virtual Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) that connects both buildings are carried out. Both buildings face one another, and one building is fitted with the proposed façade that is installed on front of the existing facade. Glare is examined from 15 views inside the building that faces the reflective façade. Simulations confirmed that glare is greatly reduced by employing a FIoT to dynamically adjust the surfaces; the average occurrences of intolerable glare from all 15 views in one month (December) decreased from 40% of the time to 0.87%. FIoT not only eliminated glare but also improved the daylighting performance inside the building, increasing both the daylighting uniformity ratio and the illuminance levels. Through usage of the proposed workflow, the lighting uniformity ratio (LUR) increased on December 21, between 8:00 and 17:00, from 0.24–0.29 to 0.34–0.45. Additionally, the hourly average illuminance values improved by 88–268% during the winter solstice. Finally, compared to traditional vertical BIPV, FIoT-enabled BIPV façade elements increased the amount of solar radiation falling on them by 190–250% during the winter solstice and by 300–520% during the summer solstice.

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Architectural Information Modeling (AIM): Teaching Formal Concepts of Design Using Building Information Modeling (BIM)

Author: Nancy Alassaf

Publication date: 2019

Abstract: This research focuses on overcoming the difficulties of using BIM in conceptual design. It suggests that incorporating formal knowledge with computational concepts within BIM enables the tool to support the conceptual design process. This research used a mixed-methods approach that comprised of historical-interpretive research, model-based inquiry, and quasi-experimental research. First, a computational framework called Architectural Information modeling (AIM) was developed. AIM is a computational design framework that uses BIM to represent a formal language explicitly and provide a generative description of an architectural style. It employs various strategies to define conceptual design vocabularies and syntactical rules. In AIM, a direct connection between the abstract diagram and the actual built form is established. Second, the formal language of Richard Meier was selected as a test case. AIM was used to code the language of the Douglas house and generate the Smith house from the same model. Moreover, various other options that have the same formal language were created using the same model. The notion of stylistic change was explored too. Second, architectural design pedagogy was selected as an area of exploration to validate AIM. A pedagogical framework to teach AIM was developed to conduct a quasi-experimental study in the form of a longitudinal study. At the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University, three second-year design studios (38 students) participated in this intervention study. Data were collected through observations, student survey, student writing assignments, and student projects. Descriptive and inferential statistical methods, content analysis, and a panel of experts were used to analyze the data. The findings of the study illustrate that AIM can provide a shift from BIM as a construction-oriented modeling environment to a design environment where the architect can think, design, and generate multiple design options that incorporate explicit aesthetic and intellectual values. This research has produced significant original contributions in four areas: Building Information Modeling (BIM), the theory of formal language and formal studies in architecture, architectural design education and the role of BIM in design studios, and conducting research through design.

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Investigating The Level of Application/Education of Passive/Natural Systems in the Design of Sustainable Buildings in the US

Author: Mehdi Azizkhani

Publication date: 2019

Abstract: The purpose of this research is to examine the degree of adoption and education of the concepts of natural systems for heating, cooling, and lighting (i.e., passive systems) versus artificial/mechanical systems (i.e., active systems) in the design of sustainable buildings by practitioners and educators. In addition, this research investigates the variables that may increase/reduce the application of these systems in architectural designs. Natural systems use renewable energies or ambient conditions, while mechanical systems often use non-renewable energies to heat, cool, ventilate, and illuminate buildings. Although an extensive list of publications about natural systems exist, there are very few studies about the approaches/tools used by professionals for the design of natural systems in sustainable buildings. This research seeks to fill this gap through three methodologies, including: a content analysis, a case study, and a survey questionnaire to practitioners/educators. The findings show that there is a low percentage of the application of passive/natural systems in architecture design in the US. To promote the application of passive systems, the clients’ desire/collaboration, building code/rating systems, and simulation tools for passive design are the most influential factors according to a survey of the practitioners in the US. The findings also indicate that the education of passive/natural systems in the US architecture schools are mainly focused on discussions at the conceptual level, which iii needs to be further developed to include the teaching of the simulation of these systems as well. Overall, the findings suggest that investment in several areas can facilitate the application of passive systems in the US, which include: better educational focus on the simulation/calculation of passive systems; stronger connection between academia and the building industry focused on passive design; providing user-friendly tools for the design of passive systems; better collaboration between architects, clients, and engineers; reducing the work experience gap between retiring faulty and new faculty; better focus on passive design in integrated design studios; and strong inclusion of passive systems in building codes/rating systems. The long term goal of this study is to pave the way for reducing a building’s energy consumption by shifting society’s dependency from non-renewable energies to renewable energies.

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Virtually Sacred: Effect of Light on the Spiritual Experience in Virtual Sacred Architecture

Author: Nesrine Mansour

Publication date: 2019

Abstract:  As the use of digital technology became a substantial component of our daily life activities, people grew less dependent on the constraints of the physical world. Recent developments of new media platforms have led to the creation of virtual spaces introducing important changes in the practice of religion resulting in the phenomenon of digital religion. There is suggestive evidence that virtual representations of religious buildings facilitate a spiritual experience similar to the experience in real houses of worship. Some features related to sacred architecture, light for instance, can influence the spatial perception and spiritual experience. Literature shows that light can uplift the worshipers’ soul and contribute in enhancing spirituality. Yet, there is no empirical research on the effect of light in virtual sacred architecture on spirituality. Thus, the objective of this study is to empirically assess the effect of light on the spiritual experience as an emotional response in virtual sacred architecture. In pursuing this objective, two conceptual models were developed to illustrate the inter-relationship among three major elements: (a) faith/religion, (b) light/virtual sacred architecture, and (c) digital media. The three intersect and create the spiritual experience. The study utilizes an experimental approach composed of a virtual walkthrough within a digital church followed by a questionnaire that tests the emotional responses (e.g., spiritual feeling, positive/negative emotions) of the participants. Four manipulations of the virtual space were carried in two experiments: light intensity, light source, church architecture, and religious iconography. A crowdsourcing website, Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk), was used to conduct these experiments. The results support the research main hypotheses that light and its attributes (e.g., intensity and source) have an effect on the spiritual experience in virtual sacred architecture. The findings also add information to the design strategies of virtual sacred environments. The dissertation’s conclusion shows that this study bridges different disciplines, such as architecture, digital humanities, and social sciences in creating a platform for empirical exploration of the virtual ‘built’ environment. It also includes suggestions for further research such as the implementation of lighting design guidelines for virtual sacred architecture that can also apply to real sacred architecture. Furthermore, this research can expand to other religious buildings and faiths providing a whole new way of looking at sacred architecture with a virtual eye.

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A K-Medoids-Based Shape Clustering Method and Its Applications in Generative Design and Optimization Systems

Author: Shermeen Yousif

Publication date: 2019 

Abstract: As the number of design candidates in generative and design optimization systems is often excessive and overwhelming, with similar and redundant shapes of design candidates evolving, there is a need for an articulation mechanism that assists designers in the exploration and examination of the design set in a feasible manner. This work is focused on introducing a new Generative Design System (GDS) that facilitates the designers’ interaction with such systems and accommodates decision making in the process. The proposed system incorporates an innovative Shape Clustering using K-Medoids (SC-KM) method into other routine processes of parametric modeling and design optimization. The research methods include an extensive literature study, experimenting, prototyping, and validation procedures. A prototype was carried out, as the apparatus to demonstrate and test the proposed GDS, and the clustering method. In developing, demonstrating, and testing the prototype, three test-cases were pursued. Within the prototype, at first, a process of parametric form generation was carried out to initiate a design model parametrically to allow for a possibly heterogeneous or/and similar set of design options to be produced, in an algorithmic manner. Second, a design optimization process was pursued where the initial parametric model was subjected to building performance evaluation inside a Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithm, such as in Test-case 3. In the third process, the new SC-KM method was formulated and applied, using two functionalities: (1) a grid-based shape descriptor was used for a pair-wise shape comparison with the implementation of the Hungarian’s algorithm, carried out to find the shape difference score matrix for the analyzed shapes, (2) K-Medoids clustering was employed to group the design shapes into different subsets, each of similar shapes, and identify each group’s Medoid – the representative shape in the group. Applying the algorithmic definition to the samples of three test-cases, the results of the SC-KM showed satisfactory clusterings. Furthermore, verification procedures were conducted for each test-case, and in particular, external validation with the calculation of clustering evaluation metrics was pursued in Test-case 2. In contrast to the accepted practice of current generative design systems that lack organizational methods, the significance of this work is to expand and advance such systems incorporating cluster analysis as a big-data management strategy and a potential solution. The research provides contributions through the following: (1) introduction and illustration of a fully working prototype of a new generative design system, (2) development, testing, and validation of a new package of algorithms for the developed SC-KM, method. The package of plugins and algorithms will be made available for designers to download as an open-source in a visual programming interface, to be applied to a wide range of related design problems.

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Text and Inversion in the Architecture of Seiichi Shirai

Author: Maki Iisaka

Publication date: 2019

Abstract: This dissertation examines the nature of the relationship between symbolism and embodied experience in the work of the Japanese architect Seiichi Shirai, with a special emphasis on the institutional and commercial buildings of the post-World War Two period. The first part studies the signification and graphic implementation of text in Shiraiʼs buildings, book designs, and calligraphy and the ways that these work together to condition the engagement of the subject. I will trace the development of Shiraiʼs use of text from its early appearance in book design and his first architectural projects to its apogee in the three-dimensional picturesque of the NOA building. In the second part I identify a strategy of “inversion” that plays with the presence, absence, substitution, and juxtaposition of potentially contradictory effects and examine its development from simple contrarian gestures in early residential works to the sophisticated layerings that structure the picturesque experience in the Santa Chiara building, the NOA building, the Shoto Museum of Art, and the Shizuoka City Serizawa Keisuke Museum.

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A Framework Using Tangible Interaction for Automatically Capturing and Embedding Design Intent in Parametric Models

Author: Emad Khaled Al-Qattan

Publication date: 2019

Abstract: The objective of this research is to address some of the challenges of parametric design associated with defining a model’s frameworks using mathematics and computer programming. This work proposes a tactile-based approach to automate the generation of such information. A design-based research method is implemented for this work, which involves developing research prototypes consisting of Tangible User-Interfaces (TUIs) to demonstrate and test the digital-physical workflow. Five prototypes were created each generating a type of information for setting up parametric models, including; linear and polynomial mathematical equations, algorithmic rules and seed configurations for a Cellular Automata (CA) component, geometric transformations (single and compound), and Non-Uniform Rational Basis Spline (NURBS) objects. During the progress of the work, prototypes were improved to include a higher level of automation by performing multiple and more complex modeling tasks. This research includes two levels of evaluation. The first is system correctness, which tests the prototypes for translating tangible interaction with design objects into modeling information. The second is a qualitative comparison between the developed method and the conventional parametric modeling approach using graph-based and/or text-based programming applications. The results of the research have shown the plausibility of the workflow and its potential benefits for parametric modeling practice and education. This work provides a proof-of-concept for a novel approach that translates design intents into mathematical and algorithmic modeling information for establishing parametric frameworks. The outcomes of this research include; detailed workflows describing algorithmic procedures for interpreting analog data, TUI specifications, and an overall theoretical framework of the method.

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Influences of African American Religious Practices on the Architecture of Early African American Church Buildings 1842-1917 

Author: Christopher Scott Hunter

Publication date: 2018

Abstract: The purpose of this dissertation is to discover whether the evolution of African American religious socio-cultural traditions influenced the design and construction of six African American church buildings, located in the southern United States, and constructed between 1842 and 1917. The research is structured in a case study methodology which examines each church individually against four causal influences: Afrocentric and Eurocentric religious traditions, architectural styles, regionalism, and local architectural vernacular. The results are intended to provide answers to stated research questions within the dissertation regarding ethnic-religious practices and ethnic social and celebratory practices which may or may not be evident in the design or construction of the six churches. The research shall also examine whether there are cultural and architectural influences on building design by African American architects. There are two literature references relevant to this dissertation. The first is the introduction of African American religious practices such as music and song, the development of African American choirs, and the coordination of African rhythms to the African American worship experience. The second reference is the varied examples of regional architecture which existed throughout the southern United States, and its influence based on local vernacular building design and the culture and heritage of the people that the buildings supported. The collected data on the six churches were organized according to the reporting format of the Historic Architectural Building Surveys (HABS), used to document important examples of architecture across the United States. This study concludes that architecture style, regionalism, and local design vernacular influenced the design of the six African American church buildings more than the influence of cultural or religious African American traditions.

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Development of a Procedure for Automating Thermal Zoning for Building Energy Simulation

Author: Minjae Shin 

Publication date: 2018

Abstract: Although several of today’s Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools automatically produce default building thermal zoning in the required Building Energy Simulation (BES) electronic formats, these same models do not provide detailed documentation about how their algorithm(s) work or any guidance about how to create and evaluate the building thermal zones in the BES during the early stages of the design of buildings, relying instead on the user to select the thermal zones. Therefore, there is a need to develop a well-documented, accurate thermal zoning method that can assist designers with their building energy simulation. The purpose of this study is to develop a method to automatically or semi-automatically divide a commercial building into HVAC thermal zones for a building energy simulation that provides feedback to the user regarding how the resultant zones provide comfortable indoor conditions. This study accomplishes a number of objectives, which include: 1) development of a new thermal zoning method to automatically, or semi-automatically create a building thermal zone in simulation models; 2) development of a simplified, commercial base-case model based on the information from the NREL commercial building model, “Run 3A” DOE-2 simulation model, and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013; 3) parametric studies of different configurations of thermal zones to evaluate several influential parameters on the developed new thermal zoning method.

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The Impact of Visibility on Teamwork, Collaborative Communication, and Security in Emergency Departments

Author: Arsalan Gharaveis

Publication date: 2017

Abstract: This dissertation provides empirical evidence on the effects of visibility for promoting better healthcare delivery in hospital emergency departments (EDs). Visibility is defined as the level of visual connectivity among different points within a defined and closed environment. The researcher hypothesized better visibility in EDs would promote teamwork and collaborative communication among medical staff members, while reducing the frequency of security incidents. Visibility in the ED environment was objectively measured as the level of visual connectivity among different points within the ED. Teamwork and collaborative communication among medical staff members were treated as behavioral variables and were measured through direct observation, interviews, and surveys. Security incidents were defined as any type of aggressive behavior in the ED; this factor was measured using hospital incident records. All of the aforementioned factors were evaluated at four different emergency departments (after a pilot study) within the same hospital system. The methods included computerized floor-plan analysis, direct observation in the EDs, interviews and surveys of medical staff members, and textual analysis of interview transcripts. The researcher found a significant association between ED visibility and collaborative communication among the medical staff members. However, the findings about visibility’s relationship to teamwork and security were inconclusive. Based on the qualitative outcomes, teamwork can be enhanced and the rate of security issues would decrease by improvement of visibility. As one of the first studies to measure visibility in EDs and relate this factor to behavioral variables, this dissertation provides a model for future research to analyze the effect of hospital design strategies. It also provides valuable knowledge about the observed reactions and subjective perceptions of medical staff in relation to environmental variables.

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The Healthcare Garden Evaluation Toolkit: A Standardized Method for Evaluation, Research, and Design of Gardens in Healthcare Facilities

Author: Naomi Sachs

Publication date: 2017

Abstract: As healthcare organizations and designers accept, and even embrace, healing gardens and other natural spaces as modalities for promoting the health and well-being of patients, visitors, and staff, the spaces provided must be designed and programmed to best optimize user health outcomes. Valid, reliable research instruments can aid in the evaluation of existing spaces. They can also be used as guides and tools for future design and research. The Healthcare Garden Evaluation Toolkit (H-GET) is a set of four standardized instruments developed for use, individually or in combination, by researchers, designers, and healthcare providers to evaluate, design, and research gardens in general acute care hospitals. Evaluation is an important component of research on the designed environment, and is a critical part of evidence-based design. The more valid and reliable the instrument, the greater the likelihood that results will be credible and generalizable. To date, despite a clear need, there are no rigorously tested, validated instruments available for the evaluation of outdoor spaces in general acute care hospitals. The H-GET fills this need. This mixed methods study involved development and testing of the four H-GET instruments: (a) the Garden Assessment Tool for Evaluators; (b) Staff and Patient/Visitor Surveys; (c) Behavior Mapping protocol ; and (d) Stakeholder Interviews. All four instruments were tested at eight Pilot Test sites across the United States. Emphasis with data collection and analysis was on establishing instrument reliability and validity. Data from each instrument were analyzed, and data from the four instruments were triangulated to examine support for validity and to explore specific hypotheses about physical and programmatic factors that promote garden use and user satisfaction. Through H-GET pilot testing, a Healthcare Garden Evaluation Method (HGEM) emerged—a methodological process that the individual instruments facilitate in a rigorous, standardized, research-based format for future studies’ design, protocol, data collection, data analysis, and dissemination of findings.

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Inductive Pattern Formation

Author: Raymond Charles Mullican

Publication date: 2017

Abstract: With the extended computational limits of algorithmic recursion, scientific investigation is transitioning away from computationally decidable problems and beginning to address computationally undecidable complexity. The analysis of deductive inference in structure-property models are yielding to the synthesis of inductive inference in process-structure simulations. Process-structure modeling has examined external order parameters of inductive pattern formation, but investigation of the internal order parameters of self-organization have been hampered by the lack of a mathematical formalism with the ability to quantitatively define a specific configuration of points. This investigation addressed this issue of quantitative synthesis. Local space was developed by the Poincare inflation of a set of points to construct neighborhood intersections, defining topological distance and introducing situated Boolean topology as a local replacement for point-set topology. Parallel development of the local semi-metric topological space, the local semi-metric probability space, and the local metric space of a set of points provides a triangulation of connectivity measures to define the quantitative architectural identity of a configuration and structure independent axes of a structural configuration space. The recursive sequence of intersections constructs a probabilistic discrete spacetime model of interacting fields to define the internal order parameters of self-organization, with order parameters external to the configuration modeled by adjusting the morphological parameters of individual neighborhoods and the interplay of excitatory and inhibitory point sets. The evolutionary trajectory of a configuration maps the development of specific hierarchical structure that is emergent from a specific set of initial conditions, with nested boundaries signaling the nonlinear properties of local causative configurations. This exploration of architectural configuration space concluded with initial process-structure-property models of deductive and inductive inference spaces. In the computationally undecidable problem of human niche construction, an adaptive-inductive pattern formation model with predictive control organized the bipartite recursion between an information structure and its physical expression as hierarchical ensembles of artificial neural network-like structures. The union of architectural identity and bipartite recursion generates a predictive structural model of an evolutionary design process, offering an alternative to the limitations of cognitive descriptive modeling. The low computational complexity of these models enable them to be embedded in physical constructions to create the artificial life forms of a real-time autonomously adaptive human habitat.

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A System Architecture for the Integration of Smoke Propagation Simulation, Evacuation Simulation, and Building Information Modeling

Author: Chengde Wu

Publication date: 2017

Abstract: A new software system architecture was designed to integrate smoke propagation simulation, evacuation simulation, and Building Information Modeling (BIM). The integrated software prototype automates the majority of the simulation workloads, enabling seamless data _ow from BIM to smoke propagation simulation and evacuation simulation, and thus providing architects rapid feedback in design decision process. As the key to integrating smoke propagation with BIM, the research produced two spatial transformation algorithms and a room selection algorithm to resolve the incompatibility caused by the need to simplify the BIM representations for use in CFAST. With these algorithms, smoke propagation simulation of real-world buildings can be easily performed on a BIM model. To demonstrate the integration of smoke propagation simulation and BIM, a software prototype was developed with Revit Architecture and CFAST. In addition, a visualization module was developed to present simulation results, which are usually in thousands of lines of numbers, in a visually understandable format. A simple BIM-based multi-agent evacuation simulation model was developed to provide architects with more informative design feedback. At each simulation step, each agent collects the data of the surrounding environment, such as CO concentration at their head level and room temperature. The results of the simulation can be visualized as graphs and animations which help architects to visually identify bottlenecks and examine the clarity of circulation design. The validity of the algorithms was tested by FDS simulations and CFAST simulations. The analyses of the FDS validation tests showed that the transformation algorithms introduced 5-10% error for the majority of the test cases. A few extreme cases showed more than 10% error. The analysis tests showed that the room selection algorithm introduced 2-7% error. Intensive use of the software can provide insights to a designer that may result in new solutions to increase _re safety. A series of FDS simulations as experiments scrutinized how ceiling design and door design affect building _re safety. The results of the experiments showed that opening 16-25% of the ceiling can deter smoke propagation up to 60% by holding smoke inside plenum area.

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Parametric BIM-based Design Review

Author: Jawad A S R B Altabtabai

Publication date: 2017

Abstract: This research addressed the need for a new design review technology and method to express the tangible and intangible qualities of architectural experience of parametric BIM-based design projects. The research produced an innovative presentation tool by which parametric design is presented systematically. Focus groups provided assessments of the tool to reveal the usefulness of a parametric BIM-based design review method. The way in which we visualize architecture affects the way we design and perceive architectural form and performance. Contemporary architectural forms and systems are very complex, yet most architects who use Building Information Modeling (BIM) and generative design methods still embrace the two-dimensional 15th-century Albertian representational methods to express and review design projects. However, architecture cannot be fully perceived through a set of drawings that mediate our perception and evaluation of the built environment. The systematic and conventional approach of traditional architectural representation, in paper-based and slide-based design reviews, is not able to visualize phenomenal experience nor the inherent variation and versioning of parametric models. Pre-recorded walk-throughs with high quality rendering and imaging have been in use for decades, but high verisimilitude interactive walk-throughs are not commonly used in architectural presentations. The new generations of parametric and BIM systems allow for the quick production of variations in design by varying design parameters and their relationships. However, there is a lack of tools capable of conducting design reviews that engage the advantages of parametric and BIM design projects. Given the multitude of possibilities of in-game interface design, game-engines provide an opportunity for the creation of an interactive, parametric, and performance-oriented experience of architectural projects with multi-design options. This research has produced a concept for a dynamic presentation and review tool and method intended to meet the needs of parametric design, performance-based evaluation, and optimization of multi-objective design options. The concept is illustrated and tested using a prototype (Parametric Design Review, or PDR) based upon an interactive gaming environment equipped with a novel user interface that simultaneously engages the parametric framework, object parameters, multi-objective optimized design options and their performances with diagrammatic, perspectival, and orthographic representations. The prototype was presented to representative users in multiple focus group sessions. Focus group discussion data reveal that the proposed PDR interface was perceived to be useful if used for design reviews in both academic and professional practice settings.

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Borderland Appropriations: Globalization, Obsolescence, Migration and the American Shopping Mall

Author: Gregory N. Marinic

Publication date: 2017

Abstract:  The notion of place embodies a complex intersection of architecture, occupancy, and identity. Tied to geographic and historical conditions, built environments existing between two worlds or within contested territories reveal the underlying political and social forces that have shaped them. Assuming an analogous relationship between consumption and architecture as interconnected systems, this dissertation examines American suburbia in the early twenty-first century to assess convergent flows related to consumption. It engages with the changing nature of retail form, function, and obsolescence to illustrate transnational and technological influences impacting suburban commercial architecture. More specifically, it analyzes occupancies, appropriations, and informal adaptations of retail environments in two distinct regional contexts in North America—the USA-Mexico Borderlands of Texas and the USA-Canada Borderlands of the Eastern Great Lakes region. This research charts the rise, fall, and transformation of the American shopping mall assessed via post-structuralist theories. Proposing that the obsolete mid-twentieth century shopping mall is a metaphor for the multicultural American city, this study employs dialectical — or comparative — practices to examine conditions which forecast increasing diversity in metropolitan futures. To establish a conceptual framework, two primary theoretical precedents were hybridized in this dissertation—the archival analysis of Walter Benjamin’s seminal The Arcades Project (1927-1940) and the theoretical lens of otherness — or heterotopias — proposed by Michel Foucault in Of Other Places: Utopias and Heterotopias (1984). Furthermore, the terrain vague territorial critique proposed by Ignasi Solà-Morales and the dérives of Guy Debord’s Situationist International influenced similar documentation techniques for suburban shopping malls characterized by marginal—or borderland—national, metropolitan, and social-economic conditions. Unlike most of the existing literature surrounding so-called dead malls, this research does not lament the demise of suburban drosscape or junkspace, but celebrates its incremental translation into an organic, nuanced, and temporal placeholder for actual urbanism. By means of case studies, this dissertation serves as a documentation device that identifies, theorizes, and archives largely ignored everyday suburban structures—transitional spaces of otherness serving the needs of immigrants and historically disadvantaged communities that are routinely demolished due to contemporary market pressures, planning initiatives, and real estate practices. In short, it draws awareness to informal actions that have transformed mid-century American shopping malls into liminal places threatened by gentrification and permanent erasure.

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Unknown Architectures: Agnes Martin and Ian Curtis

Author: James Andrew Westwater

Publication date: 2017

Abstract: This study focuses on the affective role of the built space of artistic production––the studio, the writing room, the rehearsal space, and the city––to examine, through the lens of architecture, mechanisms of artistic creativity such as inspiration, insight problem solving, nature, and the sublime. Architecture is defined here as human-built, natural, or conceptual space, place, or object. The romantic image of the suffering artist––the artist who suffers for their art––is well known, but to what extent does an artist make work because of their suffering or despite their suffering? In order to represent both hypotheses embedded in the question, two specific artists were selected for case study. The Canadian-American artist Agnes Martin (1912–2004) is known for her abstract geometric paintings, writings and lectures, and the decision to turn her back on the New York art scene and move to rural Northern New Mexico where she lived for almost 50 years. Martin overcame schizophrenia to become one of the most successful artists of her generation. The English singer-songwriter-musician Ian Curtis (1956–1980), lead singer of the influential postpunk band Joy Division, lived most of his life in or close to the northern English city of Manchester. Curtis suffered from epilepsy and committed suicide at the age of 23 the day before Joy Division’s first American tour. The study takes a mixed methods approach, which includes historiography, autoethnography, and hermeneutics, to examine the effect and affect of architecture on the two case study subjects, Martin and Curtis, and how place and space is expressed via Martin’s and Curtis’s work to locate both artist and audience. The study finds that Martin and Curtis were influenced and inspired by their surroundings, as evidenced in their work. Both artists also altered space or place in order to facilitate control and creativity. Last, the artists’ lives and works are reflected back at their respective region or city to bring the effect and affect of architecture full circle.

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Quad Dominant 2-Manifold Mesh Modeling

Author: Mehmet Ozgur Gonen

Publication date: 2017

Abstract: In this dissertation, I present a modeling framework that provides modeling of 2D smooth meshes in arbitrary topology without any need for subdivision. In the framework, each edge of a quad face is represented by a smooth spline curve, which can be manipulated using edge vertices and additional tangential points. The overall smoothness is achieved by interpolating all four edges of any given quad across the quad surface. The framework consists of simple quad preserving operations that manipulate the principal curves of the smooth model. These operations are all variants of a generic “Curve Split" and its inverse, “Region Collapse". By only using these sets of simple operations, it is possibly to model any desired shape conveniently. I also provide implementation guidelines for these operations. In the results of this dissertation, I present three main applications for this modeling framework. The major application is modeling Mock3D shapes; shapes with well defined interior normals by interpolating the normals at the boundaries of the shape across its surface which can serve as a mock 3D model to mimic a 3D CGI look. As a second application, the framework can be used in origami modeling by allowing assignment of crease patterns across the surface of 2D shapes modelled. Finally, vectorization of reference photos via modeling figures by following their contours is presented as a third application.

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A BIM Compatible Schema for Architectural Programming Information

Author: Ehsan Barekati

Publication date: 2016

Abstract: Having access to architectural programming information that documents the predesign requirements for the building throughout the lifecycle of a building can add value to design evaluation, facility management, renovation and extension. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a new approach to manage the information that represents the characteristics of a building throughout its lifecycle. Architectural programming, although a key part of Architecture/Engineering/Construction/Operations (AECO) processes, has not been well integrated into Building Information Modeling (BIM) standards. Although research for many years has established computational data models for a BIM, there is not yet a comprehensive and standard data model to store architectural programming information that is compatible with BIM data modeling standards. This study investigated the possibility for a Universal Format for an Architectural Program Of Requirements (UFPOR) that can connect the architectural programming information to the BIM. Three well-known formats for architectural programming were analyzed to produce data models representing each format. The data models were further analyzed and compared to form a common data model that can bring together all three formats, producing a Universal Format for Architectural Program Of Requirements (UFPOR). The capabilities of UFPOR in representing PORs from the industry was further analyzed by modeling a POR excerpt using UFPOR. In the next phase, the data schema for the industry standard International Foundation Classes (IFC), which represents Building Information Models, was analyzed to explore its capabilities in supporting architectural programming information. Previous attempts to use IFC in documenting architectural programming information were reviewed and analyzed. The findings were compared with UFPOR to evaluate the capabilities of IFC in supporting a universal format for architectural programming. The result was a subset of IFC that can partially represent UFPOR (UFPOR-IFC). The limitations of IFC to fully support UFPOR are also discussed. In the next phase, a computer application prototype (Target) was developed based on the findings of the previous phase to demonstrate how a limited subset of architectural programming requirements can be represented in IFC based on UFPOR-IFC. The output of the application was tested to ensure the IFC physical files produced by the application accurately reflect the data inserted by the application’s user. UFPOR-IFC was tested by modeling two architectural programming documents to assess the external credibility of the findings. The devised system offers a blueprint for creating a link between real-world Architectural Programs and BIM models through IFC physical files. For future work, the findings of the study can be further analyzed by testing the extensibility of the UFPOR-IFC in modeling architectural programming requirements in different subdomains such as lighting, earthquake resilience, and acoustics. Enhancement of IFC to fully support UFPOR could also be investigated and devised. The capabilities of UFPOR-IFC to create a link between UFPOR information and other BIM models should be further tested and analyzed.

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Measurement of Self-Efficacy, Predisposition for Collaboration, and Project Scores in Architectural Design Studios

Author: Gregory Anthony Luhan

Publication date: 2016

Abstract: The design of high-performance, sustainable, built environments in architectural practice is becoming more collaborative, and the demands on architectural education to provide measurable learning outcomes that more successfully prepare students to contribute in a practice setting are increasing. Since educational experts assert that self-efficacy is a key attribute of successful students and architectural education relies heavily upon project-based learning in design studios, it is a reasonable expectation that the character and quality of architectural design studio courses may affect the development of Design Self-Efficacy. This research has developed instruments by which instructional methods, self-efficacy, and student projects may be measured and scored, enabling reliable and valid investigation of the relationships among these factors. This dissertation has three primary foci: (1) developing an instrument to measure student Design Self-Efficacy and predisposition to collaboration in design studios; (2) developing a framework for better understanding how studio type and project type impact Design Self-Efficacy, and (3) developing an instrument employing an assessment rubric to measure student learning outcomes through end results of a Project Score. Data was collected from Texas A&M University, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Kansas via content analysis of studio syllabi; focus groups and interviews with faculty; electronic surveys of students enrolled in architectural design studios; and the assessment of projects using a validated rubric. This research included the development and calibration of measurement instruments to determine if correlation exists between Design Self-Efficacy (DSE), disposition for collaboration (PD), studio-type (ST), project-type (PT), and project score (PS). Research revealed that PD is sensitive to different students and different moments in time. The DSE instrument produced results that aligned to self-efficacy theory and data analysis revealed increased self-efficacy from undergraduate through graduate studies, and theoretical groupings that parallel the processes of design studio problem solving, project development, iteration, evaluation, and communication. The PS data analysis revealed gaps in architectural design studio evaluations that can be addressed with an assessment rubric. The results of this dissertation serve as a foundation for a future research agenda to improve design education, inform the accreditation process of professional architecture programs in North America and by extension, impact the practice of architecture.

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Building Information Modeling and Small Architectural Practice: An Analysis of Factors Affecting BIM Adoption

Author: James Thomas Haliburton

Publication date: 2016

Abstract: This research study posits that there are key factors related to architectural firm culture that affect the successful adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM) at the small architectural firm level. It also posits that in order for small firms to adopt BIM they will be required to shift their firm culture, which is comprised of existing modes of practice as they relate to the people, processes, and technology. BIM represents a large innovation in the AEC industry with many beneficial potentials, but it also represents, as most innovations do, a disruption to an entrenched culture and associated modes of practice. This study accomplished three goals; it created a data gathering instrument, measured factors affecting BIM adoption at the small firm level in the State of Texas, and by using the instrument analyzed the results and produced recommendations for small firm BIM adoption by employing a mixed methods approach. Treating BIM as an innovation and following an example method from the literature review, the study used three abstracted variables related to knowledge based practices to quantify perceptions of firm culture in the areas of Human Capital, Relationship Capital, and Structure Capital. A survey instrument was created with fifteen independent variables, five within each abstracted measure, or category, to quantify perceptions of firm culture along with two dependent variables measuring perceptions of successful adoption and difficulty in adoption. Results indicated strong correlations between specific dimensions of each variable suggesting there are elements of a firm culture that could be reinforced to better position a firm for successful BIM adoption. Results were consistent with the literature with regard to Structure Capital and indicate that firms reporting higher value placed on technology (hardware and software), processes, and training showed the highest level of correlation with successful BIM adoption. The results indicated correlations within dimensions of Human Capital related to complex problem solving and universal buy-in during change initiation. The results also indicated strong correlations within dimensions of Relationship Capital concerning roles of technology in design review processes and active searching for improved process of idea exchange among team members both internal and external.

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The Influence of Daylighting on the Behavior of Nurses and Families in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUS)

Author: Yilin Song

Publication date: 2015

Abstract: The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a life-defining place for premature infants and other newborns with serious health conditions. The demand for newborn intensive care has been increasing in the recent years, but there is limited research on NICU room design and lighting environment. This study addresses these knowledge gaps and examines the relationship between daylighting - one of the key factors in the NICU physical environment - and nurse and family behaviors. It also explores trends of NICU design in the United States in terms of room types and daylighting modes in patient rooms. The project can be divided into two parts, including a nationwide cross sectional survey study of NICU staff, and an in-depth case study of a NICU at one hospital in the southeast United States. The nationwide cross sectional study used two surveys: (1) the online NICU Room Type & Lighting Condition Questionnaire distributed to 482 medical directors and with 89 valid responses; and (2) the paper-based NICU Nurse Satisfaction with Lighting Environment Questionnaire distributed to 192 nurse attendees at a national professional conference and with 78 completed responses. The in-depth case study used mixed methods, including 50.85 hours of behavioral observation, surveys of 21 nurses working in the NICU, and on-site lighting measurements during observations. The data were analyzed through descriptive and inferential statistics such as two-sample t-test, ANOVA, and Tukey’s test. The results from the nationwide surveys suggests that: (1) NICU room types are in transition from multi-beds to single family rooms; (2) NICUs with single family rooms have a higher percentage of rooms with access to daylighting and are perceived to have a more satisfactory lighting environment than those with multi-beds; (3) both medical directors and nurses agree on the impact of daylighting on improving work efficiency and increasing mental alertness. The results from the case study illustrated that: (1) nurses who take care of more rooms with daylighting tend to have more frequent behaviors of direct care and documentation on computer with shorter duration than those who work in rooms without daylighting; and (2) the frequency of family departure from the patient room during a visit is lower in rooms with a window compared to rooms without a window. The findings support the benefits of using single family rooms in the NICU, provide insights into the behavior of nurses and families in NICUs, and give suggestions on lighting design in NICUs to supplement existing recommendations and guidelines.

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Impact of Daylight on Children’s Behavior in Pediatric Clinic Waiting Rooms

Author: Xin Bai

Publication date: 2015

Abstract: Previous research has shown the stress-reduction effects of daylight, nature views, and other environmental factors among adult patients, however, limited research has been conducted on the stress-reducing effects of these factors on pediatric patients. The present study investigated the impact of daylight on children’s behaviors in pediatric waiting rooms through an observational study of over 1,000 children’s behaviors in a women and children’s clinic and a pediatric dental clinic in Texas. The observations were conducted over a five-week period with a total of 223 thirty-minute observation sessions. Children’s behaviors were observed and recorded with Noldus Observer® XT 10.5 behavioral mapping system during each session. Light levels, noise levels, and room temperature were also measured. Ten types of observed behaviors were categorized into negative behaviors (crying, shouting, hitting, fidgeting, getting out of their seats, and getting impatient and starting to talk to parents) and positive behaviors (laughing, running happily, singing, and speaking to oneself and making cute and funny sounds). Crying and singing were recorded by the duration of the occurrences in seconds. Other types of behaviors were recorded by the number of the occurrences. Spearman’s rho in SPSS 21 was used to test two primary hypotheses: 1) the presence of higher levels of daylight would result in a decreased number of negative behaviors and 2) the presence of higher levels of daylight would result in an increased number of positive behaviors. Additional analyses such as calculating seating preferences from seating maps and comparing behavior frequency between the two rooms were also measured and analyzed using Mann Whitney U test. The main results suggested that higher levels of daylight are associated with less negative behaviors and more positive behaviors. Additionally, the researcher found that patients preferred to sit closer to windows and an overly bright waiting room wasn’t associated with better waiting experience. The study expanded the knowledge of the impact of built environment on children’s behaviors. The findings can be applied to future pediatric waiting room design. Future designs are suggested to promote access to natural light and nature views, to provide family space, to reduce glare and noise, and to adopt child-proof space design and finishing materials.

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Resilience in Heritage Conservation and Heritage Tourism

Author: Carolina Manrique Hoyos

Publication date: 2015

Abstract: Resilience, defined as the capacity of a system to bounce-back, adapt or heal, from impacts, disturbances or challenges, is becoming an increasingly important concept of academic study in a range of knowledge areas. Most research on the notion of resilience in relation to the built environment is derived from an ecology perspective. Heritage conservation and heritage tourism, two knowledge areas sharing heritage sites as their common object of study, have also made the connection with the concept of resilience. However, the use of this concept has focused on an ecology approach as well. This study develops the notion of resilience in heritage conservation and heritage tourism in order to expand its potential as an emerging concept beyond ecology concerns. Using logical argumentation as the main research strategy, two processes are developed: First an analysis of the use of resilience in a range of knowledge fields, including heritage conservation and tourism studies, was performed in order to recognize conceptual and operational challenges for its application in relation to heritage sites. Findings allowed identifying that limitations of translating existing resilience frameworks directly from other knowledge areas were associated to ontological and epistemological assumptions that favor partial accounts of what heritage sites understood as systems are. Second, contributions of an integrated approach between heritage conservation and heritage tourism, and a ‘new materialism’ approach focused on Levi Bryant’s Onto-cartography, were proposed in order to expand the potential of the notion of resilience to address increasing challenges of diverse sort in heritage sites. Multiple case examples were discussed throughout the chapters that contributed to theoretical insights.

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Modeling and Control of Passive Chilled Beams with Underfloor Air Distribution of Ventilation in Office Buildings in Humid Climates

Author: Vanita K. Negandhi

Publication date: 2015

Abstract: This dissertation presents the results of a study to determine the operational control, energy performance and comfort conditions associated with passive chilled beams for office buildings in a humid climate and to develop a method for the modeling of passive chilled beams with a ventilation system and underfloor air distribution (UFAD). For the analysis, a 606,900 ft2 commercial office building in ASHRAE climate zone 3A with passive chilled beams and a ventilation system with UFAD was selected as the case-study building. In the first step, measured data from the building was used to develop a calibrated whole-building energy analysis model in EnergyPlus 8.1. The energy model also implemented methods to model the controls found in a passive chilled beam system with underfloor air distribution. A simplified steady-state energy model was also developed for the validation of the EnergyPlus model and for energy use prediction. In the second step, two methods of optimization for the operational control strategies were tested: a simplified rule-based optimization and a model-based predictive control optimization. The influence of these two approaches to optimization on HVAC energy savings and thermal comfort were found to be within 2% of each other. Finally, summertime stratification measurements were taken in the offices and were combined with a CFD model of a single zone in Star CCM+ 9.04 to establish temperature and airflow profiles in the zones. These comfort studies were conducted for the cooling season only and showed that the thermostat setpoints are not fulfilled in the exterior zones in summer and chilled beam and ventilation system interact with each other and have an adverse effect on the overall system energy efficiency. The results of the research show that if properly controlled, a passive chilled beam system with a parallel ventilation system has the potential for HVAC savings of 14-24% over standard VAV systems in office buildings in humid climates. All of the HVAC energy savings come from fan and reheat energy. Energy savings are affected by latent loads and ventilation requirements in the zones and the potential for the use of an economizer. Indoor humidity levels are also higher with a passive chilled beam system than a standard VAV system. Independent control of the volume of air supplied by the ventilation system and the supply air temperature is necessary to achieve the predicted energy savings. Lastly, the summertime zone comfort studies reveal that the presence of the UFAD ventilation system hinders the natural downward plumes from the chilled beams and the presence of the chilled beam system inhibits stratification in the zones. Because of the lower ventilation flow rates associated with the chilled beams, there is significant increase in the temperatures in the supply plenums.

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Improving Design Optimization and Optimization-based Design Knowledge Discovery

Author: Zhouzhou Su

Publication date: 2015

Abstract: The use of design optimization in the early stages of architectural design process has attracted a high volume of research in recent years. However, traditional design optimization requires a significant amount of computing time, especially when there are multiple design objectives to achieve. What’s more, there is a lack of studies in the current research on automatic generation of architectural design knowledge from optimization results. This paper presents computational methods for creating and improving a closed loop of design optimization and knowledge discovery in architecture. It first introduces a design knowledge-assisted optimization improvement method with the techniques - offline simulation and Divide & Conquer (D&C) - to reduce the computing time and improve the efficiency of the design optimization process utilizing architectural domain knowledge. It then describes a new design knowledge discovery system where design knowledge can be discovered from optimization through an automatic data mining approach. The discovered knowledge has the potential to further help improve the efficiency of the optimization method, thus forming a closed loop of improving optimization and knowledge discovery. The validations of both methods are presented in the context of a case study with parametric form-finding for a nursing unit design with two design objectives: minimizing the nurses’ travel distance and maximizing daylighting performance in patient rooms.

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A Study of Remote, Cold Regions Habitations and Design Recommendations for New Dormitory Buildings in McMurdo Station, Antarctica

Author: Georgina Amanda Davis

Publication date: 2015

Abstract: In this dissertation I examine how, despite a very cold, remote location, a holistic approach to the design of a housing facility in McMurdo Station, Antarctica, should simultaneously optimize energy efficiency and occupant comfort and minimize site impact. Because a U.S. scientific presence in Antarctica will continue for the foreseeable future, having a modern, energy efficient station that maximizes human comfort and minimizes human impact on the site is crucial for its scientific mission. The purpose of this thesis is to provide a new decision tool for the evaluation of architectural and HVAC designs for a McMurdo Station employee habitation that addresses the issues above. This is intended to encourage: 1) increased efficiency of buildings and energy systems, 2) improved quality of life, and 3) reduced environmental impact and enhancement of long-term sustainability by reducing the reliance on fossil fuels. The design tool is based on: 1) a review the station’s architectural, mechanical, and structural evolution up to the present day; 2) an analysis of on-site data collection of current conditions of building interiors; 3) questionnaire responses of contract workers; and 4) energy simulations of selected features of these designs using the energy simulation software DOE-2.1E. Results showed that: 1) final scores in the matrix indicated the need for a significant improvement in the existing station and the current proposed redesign of the station, which offered many good ideas, but still fell short of an ideal dorm design; and 2) an improved energy simulation showed initial savings of 21% from the application of Energy Efficiency Measures (EEM) based on a modified base case. The matrix provided a useful visual aid that indicated the “push/pull” dynamics” between decisions of design, EEM, and human health and comfort for the unique location and requirements of McMurdo Station.

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Parametric Urban Regulation Models for Predicting Development Performances

Author: Jong Bum Kim

Publication date: 2014

Abstract: This research developed and evaluated the Parametric Urban Regulation Model (PURM) to represent urban regulations in parametric Building Information Modeling (BIM) and assess the development performances of urban regulations prior to the urban regulation adoption. The PURM was formed with the Parametric Urban Design Model (PUDM), the Parametric Urban Design Model Object (PUDO), and the Parametric Urban Design Application (PUDA). The first contribution, representing urban regulation provisions in parametric BIM, was driven by parameterization of the urban regulation provisions with the PUDM and the PUDO. By using the parametric modeling within BIM technology, five types of PUDOs of Site, Block, Parcel, Building, and Parking were assembled to create the PUDM as a 3D urban regulation plan. The PUDOs and the PUDM visualized form implication of urban regulation provisions with the object geometry in parametric BIM. The second contribution, testing development performances of the urban regulation provisions, was devised to articulate the advantage of the urban regulation modeling in parametric BIM. The geometrical attributes of PUDOs were expressed with the parametric relationships, so the PUDM could present a range of regulation provision values. Once the PUDM was built in parametric BIM, an energy performance analysis could be performed. The PUDAs enabled the economic analysis based on the simplified pro forma estimation method. The third contribution, reducing ambiguity in interpretation of the urban regulation provisions, was experimented with an existing zoning regulation and 11 software prototypes of the PUDAs. Some associations among the provisions that can make the regulation interpretation complex were imbedded in the PUDAs so that a set of related provisions can be determined simultaneously. The environmental and the economic analyses made the relations among the provision values and the development performances explicit. In the long run, the PURM can achieve benefits in comparison to conventional methods of representing urban regulations. The development performances can be assessed in explicit and direct ways, which were often unforeseen and unintended in the current practice. The PURM can potentially contribute the new platform development that encapsulates the urban plan without a static regulation tool and that improves the quality of urban planning outcomes and development conceptualization.

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Between 3-D Computer Models and 3-D Physical Models: People’s Understanding and Preference

Author: Yin Jiang

Publication date: 2014

Abstract: Good communication between architects and clients is an important factor for a successful architectural project. It is critical for architects to present their design ideas effectively and unambiguously to reduce or eliminate their clients’ misunderstanding. For people who are not professionally trained in architecture, a three-dimensional (3-D) model is one of the most effective medium of communication. The purpose of this study is to compare laypeople’s understanding and preference of digital and physical models, how these models are used in design practice and how architects evaluate their client’s understanding and preference. In such context, this research study consisted of a quantitative phase and a qualitative phase. The quantitative part of the study compared desktop-Based interactive 3-D architectural models to physical models by investigating laypeople's understanding of spatial layout and their preferences regarding these two models. An office complex and a single-family residence building were designed, and each type was represented by both physical and digital forms with the same level of detail. Participants were asked to memorize the building components and reassemble them Based on their memory. The qualitative phase involved a series of semi-structured interviews with eight experienced design professionals, its aim was to collect their opinions about how they perceive their clients' preferences and understandings of these two types of models during their practice. The data from both phases were analyzed. In general, Results from the quantitative phase reveals that laypeople who studied physical models performed their tasks significantly better than those studied digital models. The qualitative phase discusses architects’ choice of models, the factors that drive their decisions, the communication with clients, and their clients’ understanding of those models.

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Immigrants' Acculturation as Expressed in Architecture: 19th Century Churches and Courthouses in South Central Texas

Author: Jacob James Morris

Publication date: 2014

Abstract: This paper introduces a conceptual framework to analyze identity and assimilation processes in immigrants’ architecture. Specifically, the study examines European immigrants who arrived directly to Texas port cities and settled in South Central Texas during mid-to-late nineteenth century. The architectural choices made in the communities in which these immigrants settled express various aspects of their orientations to maintain identity and tradition while at the same time assimilate to the new land. The theoretical framework theorizes that the manifestation of these two distinct directions in public architecture in these communities is conditioned by community context and building type. This study posits that churches serve as the symbol of cultural heritage and reflect the collective memory of immigrants’ homeland. Courthouses have been considered as the predominant symbol of self-government and of community’s civic pride. Thus, the county courthouse served as the icon of immigrants’ negotiation of new and externally derived civic responsibilities, i.e., assimilation. Consequently the study focused on two building types, churches and courthouses, built in Texas county seats. The locations were chosen so that the sites will represent a variety of immigrant ethnic groups. To test the expectations derived from the framework, this study utilized a small sample comparative analysis. The comparisons of the targeted buildings (courthouses and churches) were conducted along specific criteria, which included site, morphology, and building technology. The findings show that across all criteria, churches exhibited a higher degree of European traditional architecture in correspondence to the cultural identity of each applicable ethnic group. Courthouses generally reflected architectural patterns of that era across Texas and thereby were more similar to one another, in the context that they reflected overall contemporary practice throughout the state of Texas. The courthouses demonstrated the assimilation process of immigrants to their new land. These findings lead to a better comprehension of the influence of immigrants upon public architecture in their new homeland, and to the recognition of the significance of identity, pride, and place in the interpretation of historic architecture.

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A Process Using Building Information Modelling (BIM) for Improving Self-Help Housing in Texas Colonias

Author: Duygu Yenerim

Publication date: 2014

Abstract: Colonias, as an example of informal settlement development along north of U.S. – Mexico Border, are comprised of low-cost, self-built and -managed houses with lack of access to basic services. These settlements often have four particular problems as a result of self-help construction of homes without expert consultation: (1) substandard and unsafe constructions that do not meet building standards, (2) higher than average cost for energy per unit area due to poor housing conditions and poor building performance, (3) poor access to capital due to incorrect valuation of their properties, and (4) inattention to best practices for sustainable community development. This research identifies a process for designing additions and improvements to the existing self-help structures in the colonias by utilizing Building Information Modeling (BIM) and building simulation tools to reduce energy consumption and improve sustainability. This study employs a mixed-method research by combining survey research (qualitative), quasi-experimental research, and model-based research strategies (quantitative). This research comprises (1) survey of the literature review to build a logical framework and constitute a theoretical foundation for the research, (2) data collection including (a) interviews with residents in colonias and field survey of their houses to document existing architectural patterns in the colonias, and (b) focus groups with experts to identify best practices and low-cost, sustainable strategies that are appropriate for colonias residents, (3) development of a Colonias BIM Toolkit (CBT) to aid in creation of BIM models and calculation of their building performance, and (4) testing the strategies suggested by experts on designing an addition to two test cases by utilizing CBT. This study is limited to 30 self-help homes selected from three colonias located north of Highway 359 in Laredo, Texas which are referred to as Green Colonia, Red I and Red II. Documentation of existing architectural design and construction patterns were used to develop a toolkit, CBT, to model existing colonias homes. The findings from the focus group comprise best practices and sustainable design strategies specific to colonias residents in Laredo, Texas. These are embedded in the CBT for best practices. CBT enables rapid modeling of the homes, and simulation of their building performance, to provide insights on energy use and cost while designing an addition to existing homes. Findings also show that the BIM models and simulation results of the 30 homes can be used to estimate the aggregate energy use of the three colonias. The most cost effective and energy efficient practices for two homes are identified. Based on these findings, the study confirms the benefits of utilizing BIM technology to model an informal settlement context to address sustainability and affordability.

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Toward an Effective Design Process: Enhancing Building Performance through Better Integration of Facility Management Perspectives in the Design Process

Author: Seyed Saleh Kalantari Hematabadi

Publication date: 2014

Abstract: In today’s architecture and construction industry, there is a growing agreement that the input of facility management professionals (FMs) can be a vital resource during the architectural design process. FMs are responsible for the everyday operation of buildings, and are therefore aware of many practical details of maintenance and efficiency that designers may overlook. In this study, the current state of the facility management industry and the extent of FMs’ collaborations with designers were examined in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East. The objective was to understand the challenges and concerns faced by FMs in these diverse regions, and to determine how the process of collaboration could be improved so that the accumulated knowledge of FMS can better inform design. The study included a comprehensive literature review of previous work on this topic, in-depth interviews with prominent facility management professionals, and a broad quantitative survey of FMs in the three study regions. An analysis of the interview and survey data revealed the nature of existing collaborations and their benefits, as well as barriers against collaboration and suggestions for overcoming those barriers. Difficulties in communication between the two fields were found to be the most pervasive obstacles, closely followed by a perceived lack of interest on the part of designers. The study data also allowed for a comparative analysis of FM-designer collaborations in the U.K., the U. S., and Middle East, and led to suggestions about the most effective times during a project’s life cycle for FMs to provide input to designers. The study results indicate that interventions to improve training and awareness in both fields may be particularly effective in increasing the benefits of collaboration. A process model for more effectively integrating the knowledge of FMs into the design process is also provided based on the study results.

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An Analysis of A Low-Energy, Low-Water Use Community in Mexico City

Author: Jose Luis Bermudez Alcocer

Publication date: 2014

Abstract: This study investigated how to determine a potential scenario to reduce energy, water and transportation use in Mexico City by implementing low-energy, low-water use communities. The proposed mixed-use community has multi-family apartments and a small grocery store. The research included the analysis of: case studies, energy simulation, and hand calculations for water, transportation and cost analysis. The previous case studies reviewed include: communities in Mexico City, Mexico, Austin, Texas, Phoenix, Arizona, New York City, New York and San Diego, California in terms of successful low-energy, low-water use projects. The analysis and comparison of these centers showed that the Multifamiliar Miguel Aleman is an excellent candidate to be examined for Mexico City. This technical potential study evaluated energy conserving measures such as low-energy appliances and efficient lighting that could be applied to the apartments in Mexico City to reduce energy-use. The use of the simulations and manual calculations showed that the application of the mixed-use concept was successful in reducing the energy and water use and the corresponding carbon footprint. Finally, this technical potential study showed taking people out of their cars as a result of the presence of the on-site grocery store, small recreation center and park on the ground floor also reduced their overall transportation energy-use. The improvement of the whole community (i.e., apartments plus grocery store) using energy-efficient measures provided a reduction of 70 percent of energy from the base-case. In addition a 69 percent reduction in water-use was achieved by using water-saving fixtures and greywater reuse technologies for the complex. The combination of high-efficiency automobiles and the presence of the on-site grocery store, small recreation center and park potentially reduced the transportation energy-use by 65 percent. The analysis showed an energy cost reduction of 82 percent reduction for apartments and a 22 percent reduction for the store. In addition, for water cost there was a 70 percent reduction for apartments and a 16 percent reduction for the store. Overall, a 64 total percent reduction in carbon dioxide (CO_(2)) was accomplished by saving energy-use in the apartments, the grocery store and transportation. Finally, a guide has been created for Mexico City to establish strategies and actions based on the results of this work in order to reduce overall energy and water-use in Mexico City. The guide is expected to be useful in the short term in Mexico City, and could be potentially adopted in the long term in other countries in the same manner as which Brazil and Colombia adopted the Mexican CONAVI’s 2010 Housing Building Code.

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Imagining the Modern: An Occidentalist Perception and Representation of Farangi Architecture and Urbanism in 19th-Century Persian Travel Diaries

Author: Vahid Vahdat Zad

Publication date: 2014

Abstract: This study explores the inception of modernity in Iran by examining how the built environment was perceived and represented by Iranian travelers visiting Europe in the mid-19th century. Recent scholarship on modernity in non-Western societies unsettles Euro-centric assumptions that depicted the global circulation of architecture as one way transit between the center and the periphery, the original and the copy. Taking part in questioning this uni-directional cultural dissemination, my project reverses the Orientalist gaze of Postcolonial theories. Here, I discuss how the Iranian traveler constructed tajaddod (Iranian experience of modernity) based on an “Occidentalist” imagery. Many modern institutions and architectural typologies were first introduced to Iran by travelers who visited Europe. These individuals, following a long-standing Persian tradition of travel writing, often kept notes and diaries known as safarnameh. For the purposes of my research, safarnameh serve as non-participant recordings of how Iranians responded to the unfamiliar architectural landscape of the West. To investigate how the message of European modernity was transformed by the travelers, I examine the differences between the descriptions of architecture in each safarnameh and the more prosaic perceptions of those spaces in the Western imagination. I look closely at the literary styles, figures of speech, settings, imagery, symbolism, exaggerations, narrative devices, and tones used by the Iranian writers in their interpretation of European architecture and urban facilities. This study reveals how non-European imaginations, aspirations, fantasies, and agency were a vital part of the transnational dialectic of modernity. By projecting their own Persian/Islamic ideals and imagery onto their observations, these travelers developed a syncretic understanding of modernity. Their encounter with a pre-imagined Western “Other” became the foundation of tajaddod. When Iran’s experience of modernity is presented as a distorted copy of a Western phenomenon, Iranian architects are alienated from their heritage. They are presented with a false choice between (Persian) tradition and (Western) modernity. My project emphasizes that the Iranian desire towards a modern utopia is not radically alien to Persian/Islamic tradition. This approach advances humanities research by revisiting genealogical notions of a mythical original modernity by unraveling global entanglements.

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The Impact of Acoustical Environmental Design on Children with Autism

Author: Shireen M. Kanakri

Publication date: 2014

Abstract: In recent years, research has shown that the educational environment has a profound effect on learning and performance among students, especially those with autism. Many design solutions that target autistic populations have been introduced for implementation in both mainstream and special education classrooms. Classrooms serve as the major setting for emotional, cognitive, social, and psychological development for all students. Additionally, for most students with autism, education is centered on learning skills for future independence. If classrooms and learning environments are not designed to accommodate students with developmental disabilities, it can be assumed that they will not learn these important skills and may struggle to live in our society. Acoustics is one of the most important issues in the interior design requirements of these children. This study consisted of two main stages. The first stage was to evaluate the current situation by distributing a questionnaire to teachers and professionals associated with programs serving children with autism. The second stage involved observing the children’s behavior in classrooms with varying noise levels and a short interview with teachers every day of the observation. The findings of this study demonstrate that there is a strong correlation between the level of noise and inappropriate behaviors of children with autism. The findings led the researcher to recommend a preliminary framework of design guidelines using a quantitative and qualitative analysis to transform the data into tangible knowledge.

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Integrating Acclimated Kinetic Envelopes into Sustainable Building Design

Author: Jialiang Wang

Publication date: 2014

Abstract: The building envelope is one of the most important design parameters for determining how the indoor physical environment relates to thermal comfort, visual comfort, and even occupants’ working productivity. Thus, the building envelope significantly affects the energy usage of a building. In an effort to simultaneously consider and satisfy all of the various indoor comfort requirements, changing climatic conditions can generate conflicting conditions. Acclimated Kinetic Envelope (AKE) is a notion proposed in this research to address these types of situations. There have been a number of experimental designs and practices dealing with the potential benefits of AKE. However, there has yet to be a detailed comparison in terms of the various impacts on building energy, indoor comfort, and other human factors, especially in different climates. The general objective of this research was to evaluate AKE’s performance on energy usage and human factors, and compare that information to CEE's in office buildings in four different climatic zones. The research methodology had two key elements: energy simulations and mockup surveys. With respect to energy use, the research employed a parametric simulation to assess building heating and cooling loads, the effects of envelope assemblies, and the overall building energy use related to the two types of envelopes (AKE and CEE). With respect to human factors, the research adopted mockup tests and surveys to evaluate the visual qualities and human responses of the two types of blind systems strategies (AKE and CEE). This research determined the following: 1) Compared to the other referenced models, AKE technologies significantly reduced the heating and cooling loads and peak demands of buildings, even with regards to designs using highly-insulated glazing and walls, in the representative climates. 2) Kinetic windows played a more significant role in energy saving than other kinetic elements existing in the four representative climates; the savings were approximately twice as large as the savings from highly-insulated glazing. 3) Only cooling-dominated climate installations were able to obtain energy savings by setting up external movable blinds. 4) Mockup survey results showed that overall satisfaction with the visual quality created by external movable blinds was statistically higher than the satisfaction related to external static blinds. Similar trends were also found in the subjective responses to “Lighting Levels, Lighting Distributions, and Glare Sensation.”

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Peircean Interpretation of Postmodern Architecture

Author: Iwao Takahashi

Publication date: 2013

Abstract:  The influence of philosophy on architectural theory contributes to the formulation of architectural theory in the history of architecture. This relationship created the oscillation of architectural theory between rationalism and romanticism reflecting the woven tendency of philosophy such as enlightenment and counter- enlightenment movement. This dissertation research focuses on architectural language theory which maintains a tight relationship with the philosophy of language. Postmodern architecture during the period of the 1970s through 1980s is examined to determine meanings of architecture, and the language theory of architecture. It followed the philosophy of language originated from Ferdinand de Saussure who influenced theorists, and explicitly sign theorists influenced by Charles Sanders Peirce. This theoretical underpinning of language theory is questionable because of an inappropriate application of the sign theory of Charles Sanders Peirce in terms of principal interpretation of language structure, dyadic and triadic type of language. This research re-interprets the meaning of architecture during postmodern period along with Peirce's semeiotic theory, and American Pragmatism that Peirce originally invented. The collection of evidence from architectural history and the influence from philosophy provides a conceptual sketch that the oscillation of theoretical tendency is the source of architectural creation. This creative process is analyzable based on Peirce's sign theory and his logic. The research applies current Peircean scholars' development including 'Peircean Algebraic Logic' by Robert W. Burch to develop a conceptual model to frame Peircean interpretation. The multiple-case study (four architects with eight architectures) demonstrates the effectiveness of the conceptual model to facilitate a Peircean interpretation of postmodern scenographic architecture and contextual postmodern architecture. The results of this interpretation draws the limitation of some type of scenographic architecture that uses a proxy referential method, while Pragmatism provides the contents to Postmodernism's needs that is parallel to architectural theory.

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Embodied Energy Calculation: Method and Guidelines for a Building and its Constituent Materials

Author: Manish Kumar Dixit

Publication date: 2013

Abstract: The sum of all energy embedded in products and processes used in constructing a building is known as embodied energy. According to the literature, the current state of embodied energy research suffers from three major issues. First, there is little agreement on the definition of embodied energy. Second, the existing embodied energy data suffers from variation and are regarded as incomplete and not specific to a product under study. Third, there are various methods for calculating embodied energy with varying levels of completeness and accuracy. According to the literature, the input-output-based hybrid method is the most appropriate method but it needs further improvements. Some of the studies also found a positive and strong correlation between the cost and embodied energy of a building but this correlation needs to be analyzed at a building material or product level. This research addressed the three issues identified by the literature. First, using a rigorous literature survey, it proposed an embodied energy definition, a complete system boundary model, and a set of data collection, embodied energy calculation, and result reporting guidelines. The main goal of proposing the guidelines was to streamline the process of embodied energy calculation to reduce variations in embodied energy data. Second, three improvements were carried out in the current input-output-based hybrid approach, which included process energy data inclusion, human and capital energy integration, and sectorial disaggregation to calculate material-specific embodied energy. Finally, the correlation between the embodied energy and cost and price was analyzed at a material level. The study concluded that an input-output-based hybrid method was the most appropriate method for calculating the embodied energy of a building material in a complete manner. Furthermore, incompleteness in the results of a process-based method was significant (3.3 to 52% of the total). The energy of human labor and capital inputs was up to 15% of the total embodied energy. It was also found that the sectorial disaggregation could provide results specific to a material under study. The results of this study indicated a strong and positive correlation between the embodied energy and cost (and price) of building materials under study.

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On the Dialectic of Silence: Klee, Kahn, and the Space of Transversal Modernity in Iran

Author: Shima Baradaran Mohajeri

Publication date: 2013

Abstract: This dissertation connects the cultural theory of space with specific aesthetic and architectural practices in the history of modernism that are entangled with the past and present of Iran, its artifacts, and its politics. As a response to different forms of alienation and despair symptomatic of Iran’s unfinished modernization plans throughout the twentieth century, this study reveals proposals for possible changes to the global ethics and language of space and Iran’s socio-cultural modernization through overlooked sources in this context: Paul Klee’s Miniature series (1916-1918) and Louis Kahn’s unrealized master plan for the New Civic Center in Tehran (1973-1974). The first part of this study outlines the condition of globalism and its new coordinates with reference to the spatial theories of the later Heidegger and Deleuze. It then focuses on Klee’s narrative of spatiality as a result of his critical engagement with Persian miniatures. Through his Miniature series and the Twittering Machine, Klee maps an archeological analysis that identifies certain historical shifts in the Iranian discursive language of space, a shift into the machinic sensibility that poses a critique to pure “representation” and the hierarchical model of space. This dissertation further looks at Kahn’s proposal for the Tehran Civic Center that was the site of intense struggle between centers of power and culture in Iran. Kahn’s democratic layout for a modern urban space in the heart of the Iranian metropolis suggests an indirect resistance to “authority” in the form of a politicized and institutionalized culture and identity. This analysis reveals the works of Klee and Kahn as silent, invisible practices: while Klee opts under the pressure of a rising nationalism to cover up his Persian sources, Kahn’s democratic blueprint is excluded and erased by a successive pseudo-developer. This study argues that these tragic encounters of modernity with cultural place are not signs of failure, but rather can be understood as political practices that form the promise of a new reality, a new ethos as the intensive globalism yet to come. Through an engagement with the later Heidegger, Deleuze, Klee, and Kahn, this dissertation offers the theory of “transversality” as a silent political and ethical attitude of modernity that encounters every place in its living conditions of multiplicity, simultaneity, and movement and within the real, contingent effects of identity, representation, and authority.

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Small Residence Multizone Modeling with Partial Conditioning for Energy Efficiency in Hot and Humid Climates

Author: Simge Andolsun

Publication date: 2013

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to reduce the energy cost of the low-income households in the hot and humid climates of the U.S. and thereby to help them afford comfortable homes. In this perspective, a new HVAC energy saving strategy, i.e. “partial conditioning” was modeled and its potential to reduce the HVAC energy consumption of the low income homes in Texas was quantified. The “partial conditioning” strategy combined three primary ideas: 1) using historic courtyard building schemes to provide a buffer zone between conditioned spaces, 2) zoning and applying occupancy based heating/cooling in each zone, and 3) reusing the conditioned air returning from the occupied zones in the unoccupied zones before it is returned to the system. The study was conducted in four steps: 1) data collection, 2) baseline design and modeling, 3) partial conditioning design and modeling, and 4) analyses and recommendations. First, a site visit was held to the Habitat for Humanity office in Bryan, Texas to collect data on the characteristics of the Habitat for Humanity houses built in Bryan. Second, a base-line Habitat for Humanity house was designed and modeled based on this information along with multiple other resources including International Energy Conservation Code 2012 and Building America benchmark definitions. A detailed comparison was made between the commonly used energy modeling tools (DOE-2.1e, EnergyPlus and TRNSYS) and a modeling method was developed for the estimation of the baseline energy consumption. Third, the “partial conditioning” strategy was introduced into the baseline energy model to simulate a partially conditioned atrium house. As the occupied zone and the direction of the airflow changed throughout the year in the partially conditioned house, this step required an innovative air loop model with interzonal air ducts that allowed for scheduled bi-directional airflow. This air loop was modeled with the AirflowNetwork model of EnergyPlus. Fourth, the modeling results were analyzed and discussed to determine the performance of the partial conditioning strategy in a hot and humid climate. It was found that partial conditioning strategy can provide substantial (37%-46%) reduction in the overall HVAC energy consumption of small residences (∼1,000 ft2) in hot and humid climates while performing better in meeting the temperature set points in each room. It was also found that the quantity of the energy savings that can be obtained with the partial conditioning strategy depends significantly on the ground coupling condition of the house for low rise residential buildings.

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An Analysis of Energy Consumption in Grocery Stores in a Hot and Humid Climate

Author: Jaya Mukhopadhyay

Publication date: 2013

Abstract: The intent of this study was to investigate the efficient use of energy by developing an energy efficient grocery store combined with cogeneration. This study demonstrated the potential to reduce the energy use in buildings, by implementing a decentralized source of energy generation that allowed for the use of a portion of the energy generated to be shared across building boundaries. This study considered a high energy use building such as a grocery store to be a part of a residential community, which could potentially participate in the sharing of energy across building boundaries. To better utilize energy resources the study proposed the implementation of a cogeneration facility to supply energy primarily to the store. Surplus energy generated by this cogeneration system was then shared with the requirements of the surrounding residential community. Finally, in order to better account for energy consumption of these buildings both site and source energy was considered. The study focused on hot and humid climates. This study was presented in two parts: Analyzing conventional grocery store systems to determine the maximum savings possible; and examining the option of co-generation systems to provide power to grocery stores and a portion of the community in order to reduce source energy use for the grocery store and a portion of the surrounding community. Source energy savings were in the range of 47% to 54% depending on the energy efficiency measures selected and the cogeneration configuration determined in the grocery store. Economic payback periods in the range of 4 to 7 years (time until zero net present value) were observed. The selection of appropriate options was narrowed down to two options that utilized more thermal energy within the boundaries of the store and generated more amount of surplus energy to be absorbed by the neighboring residential buildings.

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Contemporary Strategies for Sustainable Design

Author: Francisco Farias

Publication date: 2013

Abstract: This exploratory research examined the degree of adoption and impact of the concepts of Building Information Model (BIM), Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), Integrated Design Process (IDP) and Building Energy Simulation (BES) on the design processes of advanced architectural firms when executing sustainable design. Six offices identified by the press for a strong commitment to sustainable design and influence in the design of high performance buildings were selected as cases. In semi-standardized interviews, these firms presented their perceptions of the influence of BIM, BES, and IPD/IDP. The results show that a generalization of sustainable design processes is possible. A design process for sustainability (DEPROSU) model was created by collecting best practices from data gathered from the interviews and the critical literature review. Secondary contributions show that BIM, IDP/IPD and BES have a synergistic effect in sustainable design methods, and that the human resource profile from these firms has evolved towards multi-skilled professionals knowledgeable in BES, BIM, parametric design, sustainability and construction processes. This research provides evidence of commonalities found in the design processes of the selected firms. These commonalities, which have been represented in the DEPROSU model, can potentially be validated as protocols or standards for sustainable design, providing architectural design practices with concrete patterns for improvement and or validation of their design methods.

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Regression Model Predicting Appraised Unit Value of Land in San Francisco County from Number of and Distance to Public Transit Stops using GIS

Author: Kiyoung Son

Publication date: 2012

Abstract: The objective of this study is to develop a quantifying model that predicts the appraised unit value of parcels in San Francisco County based on number of LEED-NC Public Transportation Access (PTA) qualified bus, light rail and commuter rail stops, distance to closest bus, light rail and commuter rail stops, zoning class and parcel size. As a population of interest, San Francisco County was chosen since it is known as a region having well-organized transportation systems including bus, light rail and commuter rail systems. According to the correlation results, for mixed zone, an appraised unit value increases as the number of LEED qualified transit stops increases (bus, light rail, and commuter rail). In addition, the appraised unit value increases as the distance to LEED qualified bus stops light rail stops decreases. For residential zone, the appraised unit value increases as the number of LEED qualified bus and light rail stations increases. Furthermore, the appraised unit value increases as the distance to LEED qualified bus stops decreases. When it comes to the predictive regression model for mixed zone, the adjusted R-square of the transformed model was 0.713, which indicates that 71.3 percent variability in transformed unit value of parcels could be explained by these variables. In addition, for the predictive model of residential zone, the adjusted R-square for the model was 0.622 thus the independent variables together accounted for 62.2 percent variability in the transformed unit value of parcels. The predicting models for mixed and residential zones were significant that suggests that the components of LEED-NC PTA criteria, number and distance from parcels, this could affect land development strategies. In addition, an appraised unit value of parcels in San Francisco County can be estimated by using the predictive models developed in this study. Therefore, the findings of this study could encourage real-estate developers to site their projects according to the LEED-NC PTA criteria.

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Methodology for Rating a Building's Overall Performance based on the ASHRAE/CIBSE/USGBC Performance Measurement Protocols for Commercial Buildings

Author: Hyojin Kim

Publication date: 2012

Abstract: This study developed and applied a field test to evaluate the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)/Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)/United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Performance Measurement Protocols (PMP) for Commercial Buildings in a case-study office building in central Texas. As the first integrated protocol on building performance measurement, the ASHRAE PMP accomplished its goal of providing the standardized protocols for measuring and comparing the overall performance of a building, including energy, water, thermal comfort, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), lighting, and acoustics. However, several areas for improvement were identified such as conflicting results from different procedures or benchmarks provided in the ASHRAE PMP; limited guidelines for performing the measurements; lack of detailed modeling techniques, graphical indices, and clear benchmarks; and some practical issues (i.e., high cost requirements and time-intensive procedures). All these observations are listed as the forty issues, including thirteen for energy, five for water, and twenty-two for Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ). Recommendations were developed for each issue identified. For the selected high-priority issues, twelve new or modified approaches were proposed and then evaluated against the existing procedures in the ASHRAE PMP. Of these twelve new or modified approaches, the following are the most significant developments: a more accurate monthly energy use regression model including occupancy; a monthly water use regression model for a weather-normalized comparison of measured water performance; a method how to use a vertical temperature profile to evaluate room air circulation; a method how to use LCeq – LAeq difference as a low-cost alternative to estimate low frequency noise annoyance; a statistical decomposition method of time-varying distribution of indices; and a real-time wireless IEQ monitoring system for the continuous IEQ measurements. The application of the forty recommendations and the twelve new or modified approaches developed in this study to the ASHRAE PMP is expected to improve the applicability of the ASHRAE PMP, which aligns the overall purpose of this study. Finally, this study developed a new single figure-of-merit rating system based on the ASHRAE PMP procedures. The developed rating system is expected to improve the usability of the protocols.

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Urban-Architectural Design After Exile: Communities in Search of a Minor Architecture

Author: Bradley Angell

Publication date: 2012

Abstract: This dissertation analogically applies a framework of minor literary analysis to uniquely political units of the built environment. As urbanism is conventionally understood to be executed per the greatest utility of established communal objectives, an underlying politicization is inherent as such forms must adhere to dominant norms of development which potentially marginalize those who practice cultural methods outside normative standards. Employing a uniquely architectural method of environmental justice advocacy, select communities facing disenfranchisement react by self-producing urban-architectural forms ("UAFs") to protect threatened cultural values from marginalization. Installed to subvert the existing power dynamic, such UAFs are potential exhibitions of minor architecture. Adopting the analytical standards established by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari for evaluating Franz Kafka's literature, this paper tests six UAFs to discover if a minor architecture is possible under contemporary globalization. Employing an enumerated framework of minor production characteristics, an interpretive-historical analysis is the primary method of judgment regarding each unit's execution of minor architecture. Two secondary tests are undertaken to validate the primary findings, the first of which is a physio-logical evaluation that characterizes and measures urban resource utility as per collective minority aims. Second, a newspaper correlation test is undertaken so as to judge the enunciative effectiveness of each community per issues of minority politics. Of the six cases examined, two have their source in cinema including "Bartertown" of MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME (1985) and the "House on Paper Street" of FIGHT CLUB (1999). The four remaining cases include the Tibetan Government-in-Exile of Dharamsala, India; Student Bonfire of Robertson County, Texas; Isla Vista Recreation & Park District of Santa Barbara County, California; and the Emergent Cannabis Community of Arcata, California. Of all the cases studied, only the Tibetan Government-in-Exile met both the conditions of minor architecture and was validated in terms of practiced urban resource use as well as effective representation in mainstream newsprint. Both cinematic cases failed as minor productions of the built environment. Although they did not find full validation, the three remaining real-world UAFs each were found on a course of minor architectural expression at varying stages of execution.

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Exploring the Effectiveness of LEED Certification in LEED Certified Healthcare Settings in Climate Zone 2 and 3

Author: Xiaodong Xuan

Publication date: 2012

Abstract: Most LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings are commercial office buildings and multi-use buildings. As of October 2009, 35,000 projects were registered in the LEED system, "comprising over 4.5 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 91 countries." However, as of April 30, 2009, only 43 healthcare projects had achieved LEED certification. Currently, most studies focus on the economic benefits and energy consumption of LEED certified buildings, rather than human factors. A small gain in productivity can result in a heftier financial gain. Even modest improvements in productivity and absenteeism can substantially outweigh the energy cost. This study surveyed 164 staff in the two healthcare settings for case study, and 146 staff in the six LEED certified healthcare settings for the main study in climate zone 2 and 3. Telephone interviews with the six facility managers were used to verify the survey results and further examine the healthcare facilities? performance and the effectiveness of the LEED strategies from facility managers' perspectives. Independent t-test was used to examine the difference between the LEED and Non-LEED hospitals in one healthcare system and results showed that building performance were rated higher by staff in LEED certified hospital than Non-LEED hospital. MANOVA was conducted to compare the staff's ratings between Silver and Gold certification levels, male and female, and also explore the possibility of interaction effect. Multilevel regression modeling was used to test how the building performance variables affect the overall comfort and productivity. Study results showed that staff in the Gold certified hospital had significant higher ratings in most the performance variables. Gold certified healthcare settings were significant better in rated building overall, overall comfort and controllability than Silver certified healthcare settings. And males felt more comfortable in temperature than females in healthcare facilities. Regarding the overall comfort and productivity, building design, efficiency of the space use, temperature comfort and controllability over building system were significant predictors for staff overall comfort; and lighting comfort, temperature comfort and controllability over building system had significant positive relationship with perceived productivity. LEED certified healthcare settings appear to have a good environment and building performance for occupants. Controllability, lighting, temperature, use of space, building design were important factors in staff comfort and productivity.

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Rebuilding for Sustainability: Spatial Analysis of Bolivar Peninsula after Hurricane Ike

Author: Chamila Subasinghe

Publication date: 2011

Abstract: Recurring extreme events of nature challenge disaster-prone settlements in complex ways. Devastating property damages are one of the tests of survival for such settlements in both economic and social terms. It also provides unique opportunities to rethink the environment cleared by massive natural disasters. However, rebuilding for long-term resiliency is one of the least investigated areas, particularly when employing tacit knowledge in the sustainable recovery process. This study examines the post-disaster rebuilding process in spatial terms for Bolivar Peninsula in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. It further investigates the nexus between connectivity among open space networks to various levels of surge damage among Bolivar spontaneous settlements. The study uses syntactical methods to measure axial connectivity of the Bolivar Peninsula access grid and one-way Analysis of Variance to interpret the way connectivity varies along the no damage to destroyed damage scale. In addition, the permeability rubric analyzes the elevation characteristics of houses that demonstrated higher probabilities of survival through a logistic regression. The conclusions are based on two basic premises. Local knowledge demands an indefinite time to be adapted and mobilized because of the increasing intensity of natural disasters. In addition, the high frequency of disaster events significantly challenges the versatility of local coping and survival strategies. The results reveal that the connectivity of the access grid has an inversely proportional relationship with various damage levels, particularly for no damage and destroyed. Furthermore, out of a number of resiliency characteristics listed in the literature, only ground elevation and ground enclosure demonstrated probability significances for survival. Potentially, the results of this research could support three significant outcomes pertaining to sustainable disaster recovery: preserving place character, social justice among affected groups, and promoting rapid recovery.

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Graph Rotation Systems for Physical Construction of Large Structures

Author: Qing Xing

Publication date: 2011

Abstract: In this dissertation, I present an approach for physical construction of large structures. The approach is based on the graph rotation system framework. I propose two kinds of physical structures to represent the shape of design models. I have developed techniques to generate developable panels from any input polygonal mesh, which can be easily assembled to get the shape of the input polygonal mesh. The first structure is called plain woven structures. I have developed the ?projection method? to convert mathematical weaving cycles on any given polygonal mesh to developable strip panels. The width of weaving strips varies so that the surface of the input model can be covered almost completely. When these strip panels are assembled together, resulting shape resembles to a weaving in 3-space. The second structure is called band decomposition structures. I have developed a method to convert any given polygonal mesh into star-like developable elements, which we call vertex panels. Assembling vertex panels results in band decomposition structures. These band decomposition structures correspond to 2D-thickening of graphs embedded on surfaces. These band decompositions are contractible to their original graph. In a 2D-thickening, each vertex thickens to a polygon and each edge thickens to a band. Within the resulting band decomposition, each polygon corresponds to a vertex and each band corresponds to an edge that connects two vertex polygons. Since the approach is based on graph rotation system framework, the two structures do not have restrictions on design models. The input mesh can be of any genus. The faces in the input mesh can be triangle, quadrilateral, and any polygon. The advantages of this kind of large physical structure construction are low-cost material and prefabrication, easy assemble. Our techniques take the digital fabrication in a new direction and create complex and organic 3D forms. Along the theme of architecture this research has great implication for structure design and makes the more difficult task of construction techniques easier to understand for the fabricator. It has implications to the sculpture world as well as architecture.

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The HABS Culture of Documentation with an Analysis of Drawing and Technology

Author: Serra Akboy

Publication date: 2011

Abstract: The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) is one of the oldest federal programs in the United States. In 1933, the HABS culture of documentation started with the mission of creating a permanent record of the nation's architectural heritage. Since the inception of the program, the formal documentation methodology has been measured drawings, large-format photographs, and written histories. HABS documentation accentuates the act of drawing as a mediating conversation between the documenter and the historic environment. In a typical HABS project, the documenter is immersed in the historic setting by hand measuring the structure and creating field notes. The documenter's intimate access to the artifact develops his awareness of cultural heritage and helps cultivate an appreciation for the compositional sensibilities of the architectural precedents. However, the HABS culture of documentation has been fine-tuned to incorporate a number of digital technologies into documentation projects. When projects involve issues of logistics, time, and cost, HABS professionals utilize a host of digital methodologies to produce measured drawings. Although HABS prepares deliverables to meet the archival standards of the Library of Congress, the hardware and software necessary to recognize digital files have a limited lifespan that makes them unacceptable for use in the Library. Only measured drawings that use archival ink on stable translucent material, accompanied by negatives on safety film, can be submitted to the Library. Thus, if HABS pursued only digital technologies and deliverables, the effects of this approach on the quality of the documenter's engagement with cultural heritage would pose a significant question. This study addressed the question of how the HABS culture of documentation evolved in regards to drawing and technology, and how this relationship might be transformed in the future. Using HABS as a focus of inquiry is important in order to illuminate similar dynamics in heritage projects that utilize digital technologies. The methodology used in this study included a literature review, participant observations, and an analysis of documentation projects, as well as in-depth interviews with HABS staff, project participants, private practitioners, and academicians. The outcome of the study will be recommendations to heritage professionals for a future that resides in digital means without compromising the qualities that the HABS experience has offered to generation of documenters.

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A Study on Zoning Regulations' Impact on Thermal Comfort Conditions in Non-conditioned Apartment Buildings in Dhaka City

Author: Saiful Islam

Publication date: 2011

Abstract: Unfavorable thermal comfort conditions are common in the non-conditioned apartment buildings typical of Dhaka (Ali, 2007; Hafiz, 2004). Causes behind such unfavorable thermal comfort conditions include (but are not limited to) Dhaka?s climate, microclimate in Dhaka's typical residential neighborhood, its socio-economic context, housing type, and its inadequate planning regulations. Dhaka's climate is hot humid but it can be tackled with well designed buildings as well as well as designed neighborhoods, both of which demands ample open space. However, due to land scarcity and high population density, building developments lack open spaces and that results in unfavorable thermal comfort conditions in apartment buildings. Dhaka?s previous zoning regulations were unable to control this dense development, and therefore, a new set of zoning regulations were enacted (2008).However, due to land scarcity and high population density, building developments lack open spaces and that results in unfavorable thermal comfort conditions in apartment buildings. Dhaka?s previous zoning regulations were unable to control this dense development, and therefore, a new set of zoning regulations were enacted (2008). However, no post-evaluation study was conducted to research the effect of this new set of regulations. The intention of this research is to first evaluate the existing regulations, and second, to suggest appropriate zoning regulation schemes for Dhaka's non-conditioned apartment buildings (for a lot size of 1/3 acre), which would provide favorable thermal comfort conditions without changing its existing density. To accomplish the first goal, this research analyzed two existing zoning schemes (one based on regulations of 1996, and the other based on the regulations of 2008). To accomplish the second goal, this research analyzed two hypothetical zoning schemes. The hypothetical ones were studied because this research finds 1996 and 2008 regulations to be two extremes (in terms of allowing open space and building height), and therefore examination of in-between alternative zoning schemes seemed essential for this study. To analyze the four zoning regulation schemes' impact on thermal comfort in apartment buildings, four sets of built environment were created in EnergyPlus (Energy Simulation software) as well as in Fluent (Computational Fluid Dynamics software). Each set of built environment is a cluster of nine buildings; and each set is different from each other in terms of their building footprints and building heights. The building on the center was modeled implicitly, and remaining buildings were modeled as solid blocks (to act as neighboring buildings) for blocking sun and wind. The ES and CFD software simulated possible solar, daylight, and wind availability inside the central building, and consequently produce data on thermal comfort conditions, namely indoor temperature and air velocity. The simulation results were compared to see which zoning schemes provided the most favorable thermal comfort conditions. This research found one of the in-between schemes (60% allowable footprint, 9-story height limit) to be more appropriate in terms of thermal comfort conditions than the other three schemes; because it provides better solar protection and better natural ventilation and consequently it reduces indoor temperature and increases indoor air velocity.

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Usability of Outdoor Spaces in Children's Hospitals

Author: Samira Pasha

Publication date: 2011

Abstract: Researchers have studied the positive effect of healing outdoor environments on hospitalized children, their family members and staff's health and mood. Consequently many modern hospitals dedicate portions of their space to healing outdoor environments. However, these amenities are underutilized due to various design barriers. This research aimed to identify barriers to garden visitation and introduce design guidelines that encourage garden visitation in pediatric hospitals for all groups. Five Texas pediatric hospital gardens were selected to examine the impact of availability of shade, quality and availability of seats, and presence of the healing nature on user satisfaction and garden use. Behavioral observation, surveys, interviews, and site evaluations were conducted. Gardens were ranked based on design qualities, user satisfaction, and frequency and duration of garden visitation. The primary conclusion of this study was that garden visitors' satisfaction with design is positively correlated with presence and quality of hypothesis variables. Duration and frequency of garden visitation also increased in gardens with better shading, seating options, and planting. Other factors identified as influential in increasing garden use included availability of amenities for children and playfulness of design layout. The research findings were instrumental in introducing new design guidelines for future hospital garden design projects. In addition, they served to statistically support design guidelines suggested by previous researchers.

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A Question of Method: Architettura Razionale and the XV Milan Triennial of 1973

Author: Pasquale De Paola

Publication date: 2011

Abstract: My doctoral work aims to construct a theoretical and intellectual framework to understand a set of remarkable developments concerning the Italian discourse on architecture from the early 1950s to the mid 1970s. This was when the term Rationalism and its theoretical body of work acquired renewed prestige replacing the ephemeral aesthetic of the modernist movement with a grounded discourse based on a deep understanding of the city as background of all architectural artifacts. The main hypothesis of my research is that this return to a rational methodology characterized by a deep understanding of architecture's internal building logic and identifiable in the work and ideas expressed in the International section of the XV Triennial Exhibition of 1973 had a significant and lasting impact on the thinking and formation of architecture culture in Italy and worldwide. This dissertation will thus attempt to construct a matrix of historical and methodological associations and demonstrations that validate and legitimize that rational methodology through a close examination of the work and key concepts of Tendenza, a group of architects in the Italy of the 1960s, pointing out their importance in preparing the ground for the International section of the XV Triennial Exhibition of 1973, which represented a major point of arrival and a point of departure for architecture culture in Italy and worldwide.

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Investigation of Project Management Planning Practices for Renovation of Historical Buildings in Urban Contexts Located in Texas

Author: Edelmiro Escamilla

Publication date: 2011

Abstract: This study investigated the relationship between Project Management Planning (PMP) practices and project success for preservation projects of historical significance located in an urban context. The planning for these projects was also emphasized because these historic buildings are recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. Yet, when analyzing the performance metrics of these historically significant renovation projects that included budget and time after the project has been completed denote problems in the management and delivery of these projects. The project team members' perceptions of PMP practices and how these practices affect project success were the focus of this research. To ascertain the importance of these questions, the study incorporated three major bodies of knowledge. The first body of literature focused on project management practices associated with project success. The second concentrated on historic preservation with a focus on historic significance and project planning. The third body centered on facility management as it relates to project management issues in the delivery of a construction project. Combining these bodies of knowledge into one literature review contributed to the development of a conceptual model to illustrate how the research variables and hypotheses were established. To test the research questions and its hypothesis, three statistical tools were used: analysis of variance (ANOVA), descriptive data analysis, and ordinary least square regression. The conclusions from these tests indicated that differences in perceptions of success criteria existed between the project team members. The findings also indicated a significant disconnect between the perceptions of project success and actual performance of project delivery. Furthermore, the findings indicated that only a few project management practices tested were perceived to have significant correlation with project success. The project team members felt that the success criteria of performance and the success factors associated with performance -- site analysis, site layout and staging, and a quality assurance plan -- were more important to the success of the renovation project than many of the management practices in this study.

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Architectural Design Factors Of Domestic Violence Shelters That Affect Outcomes For Female Domestic Violence Victims: A Naturalistic Inquiry To Establish Grounded Theory For Future Research

Author: Laura Prestwood

Publication date: 2010

Abstract: Designing domestic violence shelters for women must be considered from a feminist perspective, inclusive of theories of embodiment, as the female victim's emotional state (mind) is a critical component in determining her overall state (i.e., level of distress). The primary objective of this study (Specific Aim 1) was to identify the mental and emotional state of female domestic violence victims upon entry into a shelter as a means of establishing specific user needs which should directly impact the design of the shelter. The primary hypothesis (Hypothesis 1) was that upon entry into a shelter environment, victims are experiencing high levels of distress compared to normative controls. The secondary objective of this study (Specific Aim 2) was to identify shelter users? perceptions of the current shelter environment in which they lived as a foundation for matching specific design criteria with the specific needs of the female domestic violence victim (i.e., stress reduction) in an attempt to understand the relationship between user needs and individual design characteristics of the shelter. The secondary exploratory hypothesis (Hypothesis 2) was that anxiety or stress is reduced over time; therefore, the architectural design of a shelter that promotes independence will result in less distress among domestic violence victims utilizing the shelter. Thirty-three domestic violence victims in Fort Worth, Texas participated in focus groups and interviews conducted over a four-month period of time in 2009. Qualitative analysis of this data yielded four emergent themes: (1) loss of independence and control: the second layer of fear; (2) the search for security; (3) reconnecting to self; and (4) expressions of humanity. Quantitative analysis was utilized to measure participant stress levels at three intervals during their thirty day shelter program: (1) within the first twenty-four hours of shelter entry; (2) seven to ten days after shelter entry; and (3) fourteen or more days after shelter entry. Findings of this researcher have been utilized to generate design objectives that can be extrapolated to apply to other locations of shelters and could impact the design of new facilities as well as the redesign of current shelters.

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Thermal Comfort under Transient Metabolic and Dynamic Localized Airflow Conditions Combined with Neutral and Warm Ambient Temperatures

Author: Ahmet Ugursal

Publication date: 2010

Abstract: Human thermal environments constitute complex combinations of various interacting thermal factors. The transient and non-uniform nature of those thermal factors further increases the complexity of the thermal comfort problem. The conventional approach to the thermal comfort problem has been simplifying the problem and providing steady thermal environments which would satisfy the majority of the people in a given space. However, several problems emerged with this approach. People became finely tuned to the narrow range of conditions and developed expectations for the same conditions which made them uncomfortable when there were slight deviations from those conditions. Also, the steady approach didn't solve the comfort problem because, in practice, people move between spaces, and thermal conditions such as metabolic rate, surface temperatures, airflow speed and direction vary in a typical day. A human subject test was designed to determine the transient relationship between the people and their environments. In the first part, thermal perceptions of people were taken during various metabolic rate conditions. In the second and the third parts, transient conditions of different thermal factors were created. Various combinations of airflow frequencies, airflow location around the body, metabolic rate, and room temperatures were tested for their individual and interaction effects of providing thermal comfort. The concept of Localized Dynamic Airflow was proposed in which room airflow was simply redirected to different parts of the body with a varying airflow speed. Results showed that males and females respond differently to the thermal conditions. The room temperatures they found neutral were significantly different. People's thermal comfort during transient metabolic conditions was similar to high metabolic conditions. This heightened response extended into the next ten minutes after the high metabolic conditions ended. Test results suggested that people tolerate higher temperatures during transient environmental conditions. The average response was for comfortable even during the high temperature (83°F) and high metabolic rate (4 met) conditions. Low energy use of the localized dynamic airflow and the increased room temperatures has significant potential for monetary savings.

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Optimization of single and layered surface texturing

Author: Alethea Bair

Publication date: 2009

Abstract: We present the results of two controlled studies comparing layered surface visualizations under various texture conditions. The task was to estimate surface normals, measured by accuracy of a hand-set surface normal probe. A single surface visualization was compared with the two-surfaces case under conditions of no texture and with projected grid textures. Variations in relative texture spacing on top and bottom surfaces were compared, as well as opacity of the top surface. Significant improvements are found for the textured cases over non-textured surfaces. Either larger or thinner top-surface textures, and lower top surface opacities are shown to give less bottom surface error. Top surface error appears to be highly resilient to changes in texture. Given the results we also present an example of how appropriate textures might be useful in volume visualization.

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Housing diversity and consolidation in low income Colonias patterns of house form and household arrangements in Colonias of the US

Author: Carols Arias Reimers

Publication date: 2009

Abstract: Colonias are low-income settlements on the US-Mexico border characterized by poor infrastructure, minimum services, and an active housing construction with a high self-help and self-management component. Housing in colonias is very diverse showing house forms that include temporary and permanent structures, campers, trailers or manufactured houses and conventional homes. Most of this housing does not meet construction standards and codes and is considered substandard. Colonias households are also of diverse nature and composition including single households, nuclear and extended families, as well as multiple households sharing lots. This wide variety of house forms and households in colonias fits poorly within the nuclear household, single family detached housing idealized by conventional low-income housing projects, programs and policies. As a result, colonias marginally benefit from the resources available to them and continue to depend mostly on the individual efforts of their inhabitants.
This research identifies the housing diversity and the process of housing consolidation in colonias of the US-Mexico border by looking at the patterns of house form and household arrangements in colonias of South Texas. Ten colonias located to the east of the city of Laredo along Highway 359 in Webb County, Texas were selected based on their characteristics, data availability and accessibility. Data collected included periodic aerial images of the colonias spanning a period of 28 years, household information from the 2000 census disaggregated at the block level for these colonias, and information from a field survey and a semi structured interview made to a random sample of 123 households between February and June 2007. The survey collected information about house form and household characteristics. The survey also incorporated descriptive accounts on how households completed their house from the initial structure built or set on the lot until the current house form. Data was compiled and analyzed using simple statistical methods looking for identifiable patterns on house form and household characteristics and changes over time. Findings showed that housing in colonias is built and consolidated following identifiable patterns of successive changes to the house form. Findings also showed that households in colonias share characteristics that change over time in similar ways. These results suggest similarities of colonias with extra-legal settlements in other developing areas. Based on these findings, the study reflects on possible considerations that could improve the impact of projects, programs and policies directed to support colonias and improve colonias housing.

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Critical Environmentalism Towards An Epistemic Framework For Architecture

Author: Craig Anz

Publication date: 2009

Abstract: Upon identifying the multifaceted and disparate array of ever-changing environmental informants to architectural discourse, one is confronted with how to unite this dialogue in meaningful ways to current modes of thought and action. The question gains more significance as our knowledge of the greater environmental domain becomes more systemic and complexly heterogenic, while at the same time, approaches to the issues have proved to be progressively more reductivist, disconnected, overtly abstracted or theorized, and universally globalized in regard to multifaceted and content-rich human particularities in situ. This research focuses on the implications and applications of Critical Environmentalism (CE) to propose a corresponding epistemological framework to wide-ranging socio-environmental complexities occurring across architectural endeavors, primarily within urban and community developments as comprising the greatest number of intersections between human constructions and the greater environmental domain. CE addresses environmental issues reciprocally emerging across numerous disciplines and theoretical stances and fosters critical and systemically collective approaches to knowledge integration, amalgamating multiple stakeholder perspectives within an interconnective and operational goal of creative communal development and betterment of the human condition in relation to environmental concerns. Situating the environment (Umwelt) as an interconnecting catalyst between divergent points-of-views, CE promotes a multi-methodological, co-enabling framework intended to foster increased ethical and participatory dynamics, communal vitality, co-invested attention, and productive interchanges of knowledge that cultivate an overall quality of knowing and being within the intricacies of the greater domain. As such, it engages broader definitions for architecture within its social community, significantly embodied and epistemologically co-substantiating within a shared, environmental life-place. Fundamentally a hermeneutic standpoint, this investigation elucidates conceptual connections and mutual grounds, objectives, and modes-of-operation across knowledge domains, initiating an essential, socio-environmentally oriented framework for architectural endeavors. In this, it brings together common threads within critical social theory and environmentalist discourse to subsequently promote distinct interconnective components within a framework of socio-environmental thought for architecture. The research then provides case examples and recommendations toward stimulating progressive environmental initiatives and thus increased capacity to improve existing epistemic conditions for architecture, urban design, and community development within the broader scope of Critical Environmentalism.

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Architecture in the area of terror: design and perception of security of two societies

Author: Gali Zilbershtein

Publication date: 2009

Abstract: This dissertation falls in the realm of environmental behavior and focuses on the role of the built environment in influencing responses to threats to personal security associated with terrorism. The research integrates pertinent knowledge from psychology, architecture and security/terrorism into a cohesive conceptual framework. Based on the conceptual framework, this work examined the effects of levels of terrorism threat (high vs. low) on people who face public buildings (city hall or shopping mall) that vary in their facade and entrance designs (solid exterior vs. glass facade with/without designed vs. temporary access control security measures). The research was conducted in two societies that are different in their experience with terrorism (Israel and Texas). The effects were measured along four dimensions: how much the issue of terrorism threat is on a person's mind, how safe and how anxious the individual feels, and how likely he/she is to use the building. The investigation consisted of three quasi-experiments and a pretest survey and employed a computer-based web driven platform. A total of 1071 undergraduate students from College Station, Texas and Tel Aviv, Israel participated in these studies. The results illustrate the predominance of the levels of threat of terrorism in influencing all the examined security-related responses. The characteristics of buildings affected those responses to some extent. Differences between the two societies were found mainly in relation to the building-uses. Participants of the two societies responded similarly to the design elements of buildings. In conditions of low threat of terrorism participants from both societies had a higher sense of security when they were exposed to a glass facade compared to a solid concrete facade. In high terrorism threat, participants from both societies felt safer, and were more inclined to use a building with a solid facade. However, when access control security measures were visible to participants in the approach to the building (regardless of their design), both facade designs elicited a similar sense of security, while the propensity to enter the building was higher towards a glass facade.

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An Analysis of off-grid, off-pipe Housing in Six U.S. Climates

Author: Mini Malhotra

Publication date: 2009

Abstract: This dissertation addresses the issues of climate change and depletion of non-renewable resources of energy and water, and aims at eliminating the use of non-renewable resources of energy and water for the building operation in single-family detached residences in the U.S. With this aim, this study investigated the feasibility of the off-grid, off-pipe design approach in six climate locations across the U.S. to achieve self-sufficiency in a house for building energy, indoor water use, and household wastewater and sewage disposal using only on-site available renewable resources. For the analysis, a 2,500 ft 2, 2000/2001 International Energy Conservation Code standard reference house with typical building and usage characteristics was selected as the base case. The six U.S. climate locations included: Minneapolis, MN, Boulder, CO, Atlanta, GA, Houston, TX, Phoenix, AZ, and Los Angeles, CA. The renewable resources considered for this study included: solar radiation, wind, biomass for building energy needs; rainwater for indoor water use. In addition, the building site was considered for the disposal of household wastewater and sewage. The selected climate locations provided different scenarios in terms of base-case building energy needs and availability of renewable resources. Depending on these, energy and water efficiency measures were selected for reducing the building needs. For the reduced building needs, the sizing of systems for self-sufficiency was performed, including: solar thermal system for building's space heating and water heating needs, photovoltaic and wind power systems for building's electricity needs; rainwater harvesting system for indoor water needs; and septic system for the on-site disposal of household wastewater and sewage. In this manner, an integrated analysis procedure was developed for the analysis and design of off-grid, off-pipe homes, and was demonstrated for six U.S. climate locations.
The results of the analysis indicated that achieving self-sufficiency for energy, water and sewage disposal was possible in all climates provided the systems for the collection and storage of renewable resources were large. On the other hand, the utilization of these systems was small for locations, where the year-to-year and seasonal variations in the weather conditions and availability of climate resources was large. For increased system utilization, minimization of the peak building needs, utilization of harvested energy for secondary purposes, and considering alternative systems for such applications are preferred.

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Studio Education for Integrated Practice Using Building Information Modeling

Author: Ozan Ozener

Publication date: 2009

Abstract: This research study posits that an altered educational approach to design studio can produce future professionals who apply Building Information Modeling (BIM) in the context of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) to execute designs faster and produce designs that have demonstrably higher performance. The combination of new technologies and social/contractual constructs represents an alternative to the established order for how to design and how to teach designers. BIM emerges as the key technology for facilitating IPD by providing consistent, computable and interoperable information essential to all AEC teams. The increasing trend of BIM adoption is an opportunity for the profession to dramatically change its processes and may potentially impact patterns of responsibility and the paradigms of design.
This study showcases a repeatable framework and a theoretical model for the integrated studio using BIM and provides answers to the pedagogical questions raised by BIM, integration, and performance-based design. Using a formative and exploratory action-research design, the study proposes a comprehensive pedagogical framework using the established theories of design studio education, building integration, and BIM. The framework was refined and triangulated in a set of focus group studies that include academics, design firms and AEC industry representatives, as well as students.
Instrumental case studies implementing the pedagogical framework were conducted as courses in a graduate architecture program. Students' design processes and collaboration schemes were observed using systematic methods that included a broad range of data in conformance with a multi-method research approach. Content analysis of the data provides qualitative evidence for the effectiveness and encountered challenges of BIM methods that is related to proposed studio framework. These findings are corroborated by descriptive statistics and numerical data from the surveys, simulations, reports, and BIM models. Findings of the study illustrate that a carefully designed set of course exercises that incorporate BIM can enhance design processes, increase the depth and the number of alternatives studied, catalyze an interoperable and integrated educational environment, and expand the scope of design learning. Case studies presented here suggest common patterns of collaboration between designers and consultants during the integrated design process using shared BIM models. The findings from the study are synthesized in two theoretical models for the BIM enabled integrated studio and collaborative processes.

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Collaborative design pedagogy: a naturalistic inquiry of architectural education

Author: Tom McPeek

Publication date: 2009

Abstract: The design and implementation of architectural projects are almost exclusively collaborative endeavors requiring the expertise of individuals working together to achieve a singular goal. Architects, who are often put at the lead of design projects, are seldom trained at the university level in the skills of collaboration. This apparent failure of design academia to formally embrace a corresponding collaborative pedagogy has resulted in design education trailing disciplines such as business, law, nursing and medicine; each long ago integrating collaborative study models into their curriculum. Current and past efforts in architectural education include intradisciplinary, interdisciplinary and community based collaborations, most on an ad hoc basis and few as an institutionalized part of a curriculum. This paper highlights ethnographic interviews conducted with authorities in architectural education on collaborative methodologies utilized in the design studio and identifies factors that inhibit and facilitate the incorporation of collaborative methods in the context of situated learning.

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Predicting the Unit Appraisal Value of the Unimproved and Private Land in the City of Houston by LEED Sustainable Site Credit

Author: Young Jun Park

Publication date: 2009

Abstract: The primary objectives of this research are to identify the relation between Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria regarding sustainable site credits and the appraised value of land parcels in the City of Houston, and additionally to analyze the effects of detail components which leverage the sustainable credits regarding the Public Transportation Access (PTA) in terms of economic issues. To accomplish these objectives, the approach to estimate sustainable ratings of specific parcels using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was established. Green construction must be one of the most powerful trends in the construction industry. One of the main concepts to underlie the basis of this green construction is sustainability. This sustainability has to be considered in the process of the site selection prior to the actual activities to construct a building. Recently, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has suggested the modified guideline with "LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations". According to this metric, it is clear that this principle endeavors to block environmental abuses related to land development or restoration projects. On the other hand, it is not easy to check the serviceability of these rules to guarantee continuous economic merit through sustainable land development or restoration encouraged by these criteria.
The criteria regarding the sustainable site selection in this LEED metric are Sustainable Site Credit (SSC) #1: Site Selection, SSC #3: Brownfield, and SSC #4.1: Public Transportation Access. Linear regression methods were used for predictive analysis. In this model, the unit appraisal value of the land was used as the dependent variable to reflect the economic values of the land, and LEED-sustainable-site criteria were used as the categorical independent variables.
According to statistical results, the models to predict the appraisal parcel value using sustainable site components have relatively low R-square. Moreover, SSC #1 and SSC #3 were not significant factors affecting the unit value of land. This outcome means that there are no statistically significant effects of SSC #1 and SSC #3 on parcel value.
On the other hand, SSC #4.1 was highly significant. Furthermore, the detail components of SSC #4.1 regarding the bus stops and railroad stations were also significant. These results can lead to improved environmental preservation by avoiding development which is far from the PTA as well as increasing economic value while enhancing the development density near the PTA corridors. Finally, GIS was used to determine the LEED ratings of individual parcels. The methods established to do this can be applied to other projects for the other regions, or the same region at different times.

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Nearby Outdoor Environmental Support of Older Adults' Yard

Author: Zhe Wang

Publication date: 2009

Abstract: This study investigated the under-explored relationship between residential site environments of older adults and their yard activities, from the perspectives of health, gerontology, and environment-behavior issues.
This study surveyed 110 assisted-living residents in Houston, Texas about their previous yard activities and environmental features of their previous residential sites, before moving to a retirement community. Twenty environmental features thought to be related to yard activities were studied at the building level and at the site level; these were classified into four categories: 1) Typology; 2) Motivators; 3) Functionality; and 4) Safety. Based on the availability of data, the presence of environmental features on 57 sample sites was determined in Geographic Information Systems.
Including personal factors and social factors in modeling, the frequency and/or the duration per occurrence of yard activities were positively associated with three site features: transitional-areas, connecting-paths, and levels of pleasant indoor sunshine.

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Design for the frail old: environmental and perceptual influences on corridor walking behaviors of assisted living residents

Author: Zhipeng Lu

Publication date: 2009

Abstract: Background: Physical inactivity is a prevalent health problem among long-term care residents. Previous research indicates that objective and perceived physical environments play important roles in physical activity behaviors. In assisted living facilities, corridors have the potential to promote walking because frail older residents spend most of their time indoors. Yet the impacts of corridor features on residents' walking behaviors are poorly understood. 
Specific Aims: The overall aim is to explore the relationship between physical features of corridors in assisted living facilities and residents' walking behaviors, and to assess how residents' perceptions of corridor walkability influence this relationship. Specific research questions will be addressed in each phase of the project. 
Methods: Study Design: The study will employ a mixed-method research design that incorporates focus groups, survey and photographic experiment in a sequential order with the preceding method generating hypotheses for the succeeding one. Setting and Population: The study area will be in central Texas. 1) Focus groups will be conducted in six facilities. In each group, six to twelve residents will take part in the discussion. 2) Fifteen facilities will participate in the survey, with 300-400 residents involved. 3) In the photographic experiment, fifty residents will be randomly recruited from two facilities. Facilities for focus groups and the survey will be purposely selected in order to achieve a wide range of variety in the corridor physical features. Measures: 1) Open-ended questions will be asked during focus groups to elicit information about residents' walking experience and to conceptualize walkable corridors. 2) The survey questionnaires and the Corridor Coding System Scales (CCSS) (a corridor environmental audit tool) will be developed on the basis of the literature and the results of focus groups. Resident's survey questionnaire will be used to measure residents' walking behaviors, perceptions of indoor walking environments, and physical and psychological health status. Administrator's questionnaire will collect facility-level information such as activity programs offered and policies related to walking. The CCSS will be employed to objectively measure the physical features of indoor corridors. 3) A set of photographs will be created with corridor elements (e.g. chair and plant) systematically manipulated in the scenes. The experiment will further test residents' preferences on certain corridor features regarding walking. Analysis: 1) The qualitative data from focus groups will be analyzed using the refined version of the constant comparative method provided by Lincoln and Guba (1984). 2) Simple regression analyses and Hierarchical Linear Model will be combined to analyze the survey data. 3) ANOVA and paired-sample t-test will be used to analyze the data of the photographic experiment.

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Development of a Method for Recording Energy Costs and Uses During the Construction Process

Author: Althea G. Arnold

Publication date: 2008

Abstract: Rising energy costs should be a concern to contractors, designers, and owners. It is difficult to make a quantity takeoff for energy usage because these costs are imbedded in the materials, equipment, or overhead costs. This research examines energy consumption during the construction process, sets forth methods for recording this energy consumption and establishes a program for the recording and analysis of this data.
An energy study of electricity, gasoline, and diesel consumption was made for the construction of three buildings to determine what data was available. After available data was evaluated, and the Energy Data Analysis program developed, three other construction sites were visited to determine how readily energy data can be recorded using the program.
Four construction energy phases were identified from this research. The four phases are: (1) site clearing and preparation, (2) building structure, (3) interior finishes, and (4) commissioning. The main type of energy consumption during Phase 1 is diesel fuel for earth moving equipment. The energy uses for Phases 2 and 3 varied considerably among the projects studied and were difficult to quantify. However, the energy use during these phases was low compared to other phases and for many projects may not be economical to evaluate. During Phase 4, electrical energy demand was high due to Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) commissioning requirements and power up of all electrical power uses including lighting.
These few construction projects are not enough to make definitive conclusions about what percentage of the total project cost is spent on energy. This research found that construction energy costs vary during different phases of the building process and can be a significant part of that phase (as high as 5.7% of the cost). The Visual Basic program developed during this research will facilitate future energy studies on construction sites. When the program is applied to a project, it identifies and quantifies the energy use, and makes predictions as to which project tasks warrant further energy studies.

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The Sacred in Architecture: A Study of the Presence and Quality of Place-making Patterns in Sacred and Secular Buildings

Author: Arsenio Rodrigues

Publication date: 2008

Abstract: The purpose of this research was to test whether the presence and quality of certain place patterns contributed to place being experienced as sacred. The results are intended to make available an assessment method based on pattern presence and pattern quality for determining whether a specific built environment is more likely to be experienced as sacred or secular. The research explored the difference in the presence and quality of place patterns at two selected case studies: Rothko Chapel and Contemporary Arts Museum, both in Houston, TX. Three types of data were collected and analyzed: graphical data, questionnaire data, and focus group discussion data. Graphical data included photographs and sketches with field notes. A total of forty-eight questionnaires were administered to twenty-four Houston architects at the selected buildings. The focus group discussion panel consisted of six participants-three architects and three spiritual mentors from Houston. Relative frequencies were calculated for multiple-choice answers in the questionnaire, while open-ended questionnaire items were subjected to inductive content analysis. Focus group discussion data was examined and coded. The study concludes that built environments which possess a higher presence and higher quality of certain place patterns are more likely to be experienced as sacred than built environments with a lower presence and lower quality of the place patterns. A pattern matrix and a set of design guidelines for sacred place-making were produced as part of this study.

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Pre-Programming: Evaluation of Workspace Types and Workspace Alternatives in Educational Settings

Author: Carlos Nome

Publication date: 2008

Abstract: The overall objective of this research was to improve the understanding of worker attitudes and perceptions toward different workspace types and workspace alternatives and how they are related to processes and activities native to a given organization. The specific goals of this study were: The development of a methodology to assess workers attitudes toward different workspace alternatives for use in the planning stages of new offices. Identification of workspace variables that affect perceptions and preferences regarding the alternatives based on the proposed units of analysis (individual, interpersonal relations, and organizational). This research consisted of mixed methodology. It was a cross departmental study of needs and preferences of workers regarding key variable and choices of workspace types and workspace alternatives. The main research instrument was a four stage web based survey. The secondary component was focus groups. By tracking these declared needs, preferences and choices regarding workspace types and workspace alternatives it was possible to identify if they associate with demographic information, work performance, and the proposed units of analysis, within a given organizational structure. This information provided a substantial knowledge base for decision makers in the planning stage of relocation of people, and the allocation of space processes. This study provided decision makers in the above mentioned processes a tested methodology that enables the development of a proactive approach to innovative workspace planning. The results are relevant to designers, managers and facility managers as it provides a perspective to understand or identify potential space and layout improvements in existing and future workplaces based on the core activities of any given organization. Such information will allow managers to make informed decisions about future workspace changes, as well as planning new workspace alternatives to continually support the organization's objectives.

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The Role Of The Autobiographical Experiences With Emotional Significance of an Architect in Design Conjecturing

Author: Irina Solovyova

Publication date: 2008

Abstract: The dissertation investigates the role of autobiographical memories with emotional significance in architectural design conjecturing. The dissertation is structured as a set of individual articles (chapters), each can be read independently. To set the background to the empirical research, an overview of models of the design process, intuition in design, memory, emotion and place are presented. The empirical research consists of comparison of two case studies. Ethnographic methods were used for data collection. Direct analysis, indirect analysis (content analysis of protocols) and analysis of language for affect were used to scrutinize the data. Findings clearly indicate the utilization of autobiographical memories with emotional significance in design conjecturing. The study describes the types of autobiographical memories with emotional significance and purpose of their use in design conjecturing. In general, the dissertation study indicated that half of thought content used by architects during design conjecturing comes from their autobiographical experience. At the same time, personal experiences of students are neglected in architectural education. Overview of the current status of architectural education leads to the argument that academia is due for a paradigm change. The dissertation provides suggestion on the direction of changes in design education.

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Community Environments And Walking-To-School Behaviors: Multi-Level Correlates and Underlying Disparities

Author: Xuemei Zhu

Publication date: 2008

Abstract: Walking can be a safe, healthy, and affordable mode of school transportation. However, most students today do not use walking for their school travel. More research is needed to understand the correlates of walking to or from school and to identify effective interventions. This is a cross-sectional study of 73 public elementary schools in the Austin Independent School District of Texas. The first phase used geographic information systems and field audits to examine school-level disparities in the environmental support for walking in schools' attendance areas. The second phase involved surveys of students' parents or guardians to identify the multi-level correlates of using walking as their children's typical school travel mode. In the first phase, results from analyses of variance and linear regressions indicated the existence of disparities. Lower economic status of student population was associated with poorer street conditions (e.g., maintenance, visual quality, amenities, and perceived safety), shorter distances to school, and lower traffic volumes. Higher percentage of Hispanic students within a school was associated with increased danger from traffic and crime and more sidewalks, greater population density, and mixed land uses. The second phase used binary logistic regressions to predict walking to or from school. Among the personal and social factors, parents' education, car ownership, personal barriers, and school bus availability were negative correlates, while parents' and children's positive attitude and regular walking habit and supportive peer influences were positive correlates. Of the physical environmental factors, long distance and safety concerns were the strongest negative correlates, followed by the presence of highways or freeways, convenience stores, office buildings, and bus stops en route. In conclusion, environmental interventions are needed to develop centrally located neighborhood schools, barrier-free attendance areas, and well-maintained pedestrian infrastructure. Disparities and fine-grained differences are found in the environmental support for walking. A high priority for low-income, Hispanic children and interventions tailored for specific contexts and populations appear necessary. Safety improvement is indispensable in terms of both traffic and crime and should be supplemented with educational programs that target both parents and children. Finally, multi-agency collaborations are needed at the policy level to support and facilitate these multi-level interventions.

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Environmental Color for Pediatric Patient Room Design

Author: Jin Gyu Park

Publication date: 2007

Abstract: Color has a large impact on our psychological and physiological responses. This study examines the value of color as a component in a healing environment for pediatric patient rooms by measuring color preferences among healthy children, pediatric patients, and design professionals. Environmental satisfaction is a significant mediator between the physical environment and children's health. Previous color preference studies have typically been done with small color chips or papers, which are very different from seeing a color applied on wall surfaces. A simulation method allowed for investigating the value of color in real contexts and controlling confounding variables. The findings of this study demonstrated that blue and green are the most preferred, and white the least preferred color, by both children and design professionals. Children's gender differences were found in that boys prefer red and purple less than girls. Pediatric patients reported lower preference scores for yellow than did healthy children. These findings lead to color application guidelines for designers to understand color more and eventually to create better environments for children and their families.

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The Emergence of The Essence

Author: Narongpon Laiprakobsup

Publication date: 2007

Abstract: The study aims to develop the theory of inbetween place. The inbetweens have been important elements in architectural design as transitional and reconciling realms. Architecture of place and its theories has been dominated the environmental design as place-making. However, the inbetween environments have not been clarified in significant, living place-forms for interval embodiment and systemic relationships between juxtaposing places. Through inbetween places, domains in juxtaposition will be comprehensively integrated as the whole. By a triangulation from three standpoints--phenomenological, embodied realism, and neo-structuralism--through case studies, the intrinsic characteristics and underlying essence of inbetween modes of place is identified. The study argues that inbetween places present themselves as living forms of connectedness, embodied presence, and significant pauses. Distinctive inbetween presences of place emerge from three frameworks--synthesized presence of place and the inbetweens, embodied presence of the inbetweens, and presence of inbetween "Significant Forms." On presence of place and the inbetweens, inbetween places reflect living forms of intervals as interconnecting mediums between neighboring places. As an interval place, inbetween places, based on embodied presence, can be defined as distinct body of junctions by organized complexity of edges. According to Langer's term "Significant Form" of place, inbetween places convey the symbolic presence of associative, edging layers that clarify differences and spatial relations between environmental juxtapositions. From a framework triangulation, inbetween places manifest complex interval domains of associative junctions as fundamental composite presences of: (1) defined inbetween containments; (2) active edging junctions or layers of juxtaposition; and (3) associative layers with places in juxtaposition. The essential quality of concrete, interrelating junctions between places separates inbetween places from inbetween placeless-ness. Inbetween places are intermediary domains creating vital and aesthetic links between places in juxtaposition; on the other hand, inbetween placeless-ness is deprived of a significant place of meaningful interactions with nearby realms. Thus, inbetween places turn out to be critical domains to develop comprehensive relationships between juxtaposing places, drawing different domains nearby to be bonded through the presence of adaptive, edging layers of places.

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An Evaluation of the Bioclimatic Chart for choosing Design Strategies for a Thermostatically - Controlled Residence in selected Climates

Author: Sopa Visitsak

Publication date: 2007

Abstract: To be successful in sustainable building design, architects must consider energy efficient design strategies in the early design stage. Unfortunately, many architects still rely on simplified analysis, synthesis techniques, and historical examples. Although, building energy simulations are becoming more common in the design of buildings, architects rarely use simulation in the early design stage. The "Bioclimatic" charts have been used in the early design stage to define potential building design strategies to achieve indoor thermal comfort. Currently, many architects use the Givoni-Milne bioclimatic design chart (Milne and Givoni, 1979), which was developed based on principle reasoning and heuristics. There have been many attempts to develop computerized programs to further the bioclimatic analysis; however, there have been very limited efforts to test and evaluate the design strategies of the chart using simulations of a thermostatically-controlled building. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to promote comfortable buildings that reduce energy use through appropriate building design strategies. The objectives of the research are to develop a more accurate bioclimatic chart for a thermostatically-controlled residence by testing and evaluating the Givoni-Milne bioclimatic chart. The analysis is performed with DOE-2.1e program (Winkelmann, 1993) and TMY2 weather data (Marion and Urban, 1995) for several climates. To achieve these objectives, four main tasks were accomplished: (1) investigate the Givoni-Milne Bioclimatic Chart using representative weather data from several climates, (2) analyze and modify the design strategy boundaries using DOE-2 program and TMY2 weather data to simulate the effects of varied conditions of a thermostatically-controlled residence in different climates, (3) compare these new design strategy boundaries to the original Givoni-Milne design strategy boundaries, and (4) develop general guidelines for the new bioclimatic chart. In summary, there were some differences in the results from the Givoni-Milne bioclimatic chart and the DOE-2 simulation results. These results imply that without further modification, the G-M Chart may have only a limited use for a thermostatically controlled residence. Therefore, to improve the usefulness of the bioclimatic chart the new bio-climatic chart for choosing design strategies for a thermostatically-controlled residence in the hot-humid climate of Houston, Texas, was developed. This new bioclimatic chart for a thermostatically-controlled residence will be a useful tool for architects and engineers in the early design stage. Similar versions of the new bioclimatic for other climates could then be developed.

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Adaptive Reuse of Abandoned Historic Churches: Building Type and Public perception

Author: You Kyoung Ahn

Publication date: 2007

Abstract: This study investigates the adaptive reuse of abandoned historic churches. Since churches serve as cultural heritage symbols, the public becomes concerned with maintaining the historic integrity of these buildings. More so, this phenomenon is accentuated when the church is recognized as a historic building by the National Register of Historic Places. Yet, more and more churches are abandoned due to decreases in congregation size and financial constraints that limit the maintenance of the churches. Adaptive reuse projects of these abandoned churches are often initiated to save and preserve these buildings. This research focuses on the question: What is the public perception of critical architectural features of a historic church when it is adapted to a new function (new building type)? To support the importance of this question, the study integrates two major bodies of knowledge. The first body of literature is research conducted in cognitive science focusing on human perception of environments. The second body of literature is on historic preservation with a focus on adaptive reuse. The integration of these literature reviews is further demonstrated in the analysis of examples of past and recent adaptive reuse projects of religious buildings. Following this investigation, a conceptual model was developed to illustrate how research variables and hypotheses were made based on the findings from this literature review.

To test the research question and its hypotheses, two prototypes of historic churches were developed. Then, typologies of changes in the important architectural features (interior volume and light quality) of the churches were constructed from examples of adaptively reused historic churches listed in the National Register of Historic Places. These typologies were developed to represent various building types (e.g., community/cultural, institutional, commercial, and residential). Finally, an experiment was conducted to test public perceptions of acceptable and desirable degree of each reuse and the degree of retaining religious origins by use of these typologies.

The findings of this research illustrate the importance of public perception and building type in adaptive reuse projects. This in turn provides theoretical and practical implications for adaptive reuse projects in the field of historic preservation.

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Developing Standards for Undergraduate University construction Education Internship Programs

Author: Cassandrea Hager

Publication date: 2005

Abstract: Personally observed variability among construction education internship programs prompted this investigation. The schools of construction that form the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) encourage its members to provide curricula that produces qualified professionals for the construction industry. There is agreement within ASC that a practical component along with classroom curriculum is needed for construction students' education (Senior, 1997). Although construction programs have different ways of accomplishing this experiential component, most do have some sort of internship or cooperative program (Chapin, et al., 2003). Construction internships vary greatly from one program to the next - in length, supervision, academic deliverables, and whether credit is earned. No common set of internship field experience standards or best-practices guidelines have been developed for construction education. This study was divided into three subproblems. Subproblem One describes the status of construction internship programs currently administered in selected American undergraduate universities. Subproblem Two identifies elements that students, companies and schools perceive to support valuable, satisfying internship experiences. And, Subproblem Three incorporates findings from Subproblems One and Two to identify common elements to provide a structure for construction internship programs, in order to develop a set of guidelines for construction education internship programs. Three constituencies were surveyed: 1) university undergraduate construction programs, 2) construction companies, and 3) students of the respective construction programs. The school survey utilized ASC membership rosters to survey 91 schools, with 56 participating (62%). The company survey randomly sampled 200 of the Top 400 U.S. Construction Companies listed in Engineering News Record's ENR Sourcebook 2003, with 75 participating (37.5%). The student survey had 31 students from eleven schools in nine different states voluntarily participate. Univariate analyses on only one variable at a time served to describe the survey population, and by extension, the population from which the sample was selected. The data were analyzed utilizing frequency percentages and summary averages including mode and mean. Based on the findings of this study, it was concluded that a set of "best-practices" guidelines were needed for construction education internship programs. A set of best practices guidelines for developing construction education internship programs are provided.

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A Case Study of Cost Overruns in a Thai Condominium Project

Author: Kwanchai Roachanakanan

Publication date: 2005

Abstract: Construction managers confront many problems. Still, this industry plays a vital role in the healthy growth of the economy of many countries throughout the developed and developing world. Effective management of construction projects has been a major research subject in the last century due to the importance of this industry and the amount of money it attracts. One critical problem facing construction managers is inefficient cost control procedures, particularly in developing regions of the world. Since the end of the Second World War, the use of sophisticated cost control procedures in managing and controlling project costs have been accepted and applied widely in many parts of the world such as the United States and the United Kingdom. These procedures are important in a growing economy to ensure delivery of projects on time and within budget, but they are equally important during an economic recession when project viability becomes marginal. In the early 1990s, the construction industry in Thailand played a critical role during a period of strong economic growth. Construction cost control was not a major concern as developers rushed to capitalize on the booming market. In the late 1990s, the economy of Southeast Asia sank into recession. Project cost control became a critical issue for the developers as well as the construction companies in managing construction projects. A significant number of projects in Thailand in the late 1990s had significant cost overruns. Cost overruns had been a problem during the high growth period in the early 1990s, but demand overcame the problems created by poor cost control. The use of good project cost control procedures has become a concern of project investors and construction companies in Thailand since the recession of the late 1990s. Project managers and developers are now aware that the failure of a cost control system or use of a poor system can lead to project failure. Project cost control methods need to be improved in Thailand to ensure that owners and contractors manage construction costs and meet project goals on time and within budget. In this study, project cost controls in the United States and Thailand will be examined. These procedures will be analyzed to identify their similarities and differences. The causes and solutions for cost overruns in the two countries will also be examined. The results from the study will illustrate how the project cost control procedures used in the United States can be applied to the construction industry in Thailand to improve the procedures used by Thai contractors.

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Development and Evaluation of a Digital Tool for Virtual Reconstruction of Historic Islamic Geometric Patterns

Author: Rima Al Ajlouni

Publication date: 2005

Abstract: For the purpose of cultural heritage preservation, the task of recording and reconstructing visually complicated architectural geometrical patterns is facing many practical challenges. Existing traditional technologies rely heavily on the subjective nature of our perceptual power in understanding its complexity and depicting its color differences. This study explores one possible solution, through utilizing digital techniques for reconstructing detailed historical Islamic geometric patterns. Its main hypothesis is that digital techniques offer many advantages over the human eye in terms of recognizing subtle differences in light and color. The objective of the study is to design, test and evaluate an automatic visual tool for identifying deteriorated or incomplete archaeological Islamic geometrical patterns captured in digital images, and then restoring them digitally, for the purpose of producing accurate 2D reconstructed metric models. An experimental approach is used to develop, test and evaluate the specialized software. The goal of the experiment is to analyze the output reconstructed patterns for the purpose of evaluating the digital tool in respect to reliability and structural accuracy, from the point of view of the researcher in the context of historic preservation. The research encapsulates two approaches within its methodology; Qualitative approach is evident in the process of program design, algorithm selection, and evaluation. Quantitative approach is manifested through using mathematical knowledge of pattern generation to interpret available data and to simulate the rest based on it. The reconstruction process involves induction, deduction and analogy. The proposed method was proven to be successful in capturing the accurate structural geometry of the deteriorated straight-lines patterns generated based on the octagon-square basic grid. This research also concluded that it is possible to apply the same conceptual method to reconstruct all two-dimensional Islamic geometric patterns. Moreover, the same methodology can be applied to reconstruct many other pattern systems. The conceptual framework proposed by this study can serve as a platform for developing professional software related to historic documentation. Future research should be directed more towards developing artificial intelligence and pattern recognition techniques that have the ability to supplement human power in accomplishing difficult tasks.

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An Investigation of Methods for Reducing the Use of Non-renewable Energy Resources for Housing in Thailand

Author: Sakkara Rasisuttha

Publication date: 2005

Abstract: The purpose of this research is to develop methods that reduce energy consumption in a residential building in a hot and humid climate region (Thailand) using efficient architectural building components and renewable energy (solar energy) to produce electricity, domestic hot water, and supplemental cooling by night sky radiation. Improving the architectural building components, including building materials, is an option to reduce energy consumption in a building. Using renewable energy sources is another option to reduce the consumption of non-renewable energy. In residential buildings, solar energy has been utilized for space heating and domestic hot water using active solar collector systems and for generating electricity using photovoltaic (PV) systems. One photovoltaic system, the hybrid photovoltaic-thermal (PV-T) collector system, has been developed by several researchers over the last 20 years. The hybrid photovoltaic-thermal (PV-T) collector system is a combination photovoltaic (for producing electricity) and solar thermal collector (for producing hot water).Theoretical and experimental studies of this collector have highlighted the advantages of the hybrid PV-T collector system over separate systems of PV and solar collector in term of system efficiency and economics. Unfortunately, very little experimental data exists that demonstrates the advantages of a combined system. Therefore, one of the objectives of this study conducted was an experimental study of this system as an auxiliary energy source for a residential building. Night sky radiation has also been studied as a cooling strategy. However, no attempt so far could be found to integrate it to a hybrid PV-T collector system. The night sky radiation strategy could be operated with the hybrid PV/T collector system by using existing resources that are already present in the solar system. The integration of the night sky radiation into the hybrid PV-T collector system should yield more productivity of the system than the operation of the Hybrid PV-T system alone. The research methods used in this work included instrumentation of a case-study house in Thailand, an experimental PV-T collector system, and a calibrated building thermal simulation. A typical contemporary Thai residential building was selected as a case-study house. Its energy use and local weather data were measured and analyzed. Published energy use of Thai residential buildings was also analyzed as well to determine average energy consumption. A calibrated computer model of the case-study building was constructed using the DOE-2 program. A field experiment of the thermal PV system was constructed to test its ability to simultaneously produce electricity and hot water in the daytime, and shed heat at night as a cooling strategy (i.e., night sky radiation). The resultant electricity and hot water produced by the hybrid PV-T collector system helped to reduce the use of non-renewable energy. The cooling produced by the night sky radiation also has to potential to reduce the cooling load. The evaluation of the case-study house and results of the field experiment helped to quantify the potential reduction of energy use in Thai residential buildings. This research provided the following benefits: 1) experimental results of a hybrid PV-T  solar collector system that demonstrates its performance compared to typical system of separate photovoltaic and solar collector, 2) results of night sky radiation experiments using a photovoltaic panel as a radiator to demonstrate the performance of this new space cooling strategy, and 3) useful data from the case-study house simulation results and guidelines to assist others in transferring the results to other projects.

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Feasibility Study of Using Optical Moire Interferometry Technique for Fine-grain Surface Relief in Heritage Recording

Author: Samer Al-Ratrout

Publication date: 2005

Abstract: In order to prepare for the prospective need for heritage 3D recording, the main objective of this research was to investigate a new depth measuring method that can reduce identified limitations of current point-to-point measuring approaches. The limitations were time-money consumption, intrusiveness, accuracy assumption and efficiency. In many disciplines other than heritage recording, optical moire interferometry techniques (OMIT) are well developed as a measuring method and are considered fast, non-intrusive, accurate, and efficient. Based on these considerations, this research hypothesized that OMIT, as a measuring method, is feasible with respect to time-consumption and accuracy in acquiring depth measurement for fine-grain surface relief for historic recording. To test this hypothesis, a feasibility investigation was carried in which OMIT was used for surface relief topographic recording. This goal was approached by performing a comparison study between the OMIT measuring method as the investigated method and the hand measuring method as the control method. For each method, the comparison required performing eight experimental samplings of relief recording for a pre-designed physical model surface. The data collected from the hand measuring samples were the depth measurements of predefined points on the model surface and the time consumption for both measuring and data preparing processes. The data collected from the OMIT measuring samples were moire dark fringes generated on the model surface and the time-consumption for both moire generating and data preparing processes. For measurement accuracy evaluation, the collected depth data were prepared in the form of topographic contour drawings. For the OMIT feasibility evaluation, a comparison was carried out to examine the resulting topographic contour drawings for depth measurement accuracy level and measuring process time-consumption. In conclusion, the OMIT method showed higher depth measurement accuracy levels and lower process time-consumption than the hand method. The OMIT method also demonstrated less intrusiveness and more efficiency. This superiority validates the feasibility of using fine-grain surface relief for heritage recording purposes. Finally, the observed advantages of the OMIT method were presented to establish potentials for future developments and investigations. The observed limitations of the method were also pointed out to establish trends for recommendations and further studies.

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Historic Building Documentation in the United States, 1933-2000: The Historic American Building Survey, A Case Study

Author: Tanya Komas

Publication date: 2005

Abstract: The objective of the study was to gain new insight into archival building documentation in the United States since 1933 focusing on Historic American Buildings Survey(HABS) as a case study. It sought to help explain how individuals with different levels of involvement with the HABS program, and throughout its entire history, understood the development, current operational context, and future direction of HABS. Seven general philosophical and practical issues were explored: 1) how HABS documentation standards were understood and applied, 2) the relative values of the process and products of documentation, 3) the understanding and application of the objective and subjective natures of the documentation process, 4) whether the mission of the program had changed with changes in the operation of the program since its inception, 5) the role of technology in the process of HABS documentation and how it shapes the end products, 6) defining broader historical epochs with the goal of adding to existing understandings of the history of the program, and 7) the causes and effects of HABS drawing style changes over time.

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Impact of a Family-Centered-Care Approach on the Design of Neonatal Intensive Care Units

Author: Marie-Andree Fournier

Publication date: 1999

Abstract: The presence and involvement of families in the neonatal intensive-care unit offers a unique way to humanize the healthcare experience for infants, their families, and their caregivers. Unfortunately, the physical environment of intensive-care units has been identified as an obstacle to the effective practice of family-centered care. A better understanding of family-centered care in the perinatal context is essential to optimize the design of the physical environment. This qualitative study explored the human behaviors and interactions of families and caregivers in the physical environment of a neonatal intensive-care unit. Inspired by an ecological model that considered all aspects of a situation physical, social, and organizational the research proceeded with a multi-method approach that included plan analysis, observations of participants, interviews with the caregivers, and questionnaires to families. Data were content-analyzed to provide a better understanding of the role played by the environment in enhancing and/or obstructing the implementation and practice of family-centered care, as well as the impact of a family-centered care approach on the use of the space. As a result, information was first encoded in three types of categories corresponding to the three types of interactions occurring in the NICU: 1) interactions between parents and infants; 2) interactions between families and caregivers; and 3) interactions between caregivers and infants, and among caregivers. Analyzing families and caregivers behaviors, four environmental themes emerged as central concepts to understand the relationships between the environment and families and caregivers coordinated action in the NICU: 1) privacy and intimacy; 2) social support and interaction; 3) comfort and image; and 4) functionality, flexibility, and accessibility. Those themes were important to conceptualize the performance of the environment in supporting a family-centered care approach. Findings led to the elaboration of final recommendations to guide the design of Planetree neonatal intensive-care units practicing family-centered care.

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The Analysis of Factors Affecting Energy Consumption of Duplex Residences in College Station, Texas

Author: Suk Bong Kim

Publication date: 1998

Abstract: The overall purpose of this research was to characterize the variability of energy consumption due to a series of construction, occupant, and weather-related effects in duplex residences in College Station, Texas. Spline regression was used to estimate cooling efficiency, heating efficiency, base load, modified cooling balance temperature, and modified heating balance temperature for monthly billed kWh and average daily outside temperature. These estimates were used to predict normalized annual consumption. Best subsets regression and multiple regression were used to explore the relationship between energy consumption and construction occupant, and weather-related factors. Normalized annual consumption, actual energy consumption, cooling efficiency heating efficiency, and base load were used as dependent variables. Construction-related factors included market value, floor area, perimeter, length of common wall, year built, wall materials, roof reflectivity, shading factor orientation perpendicular to the common wall, and number of bedrooms. There were seven occupant-related factors: winter thermostat-set temperature, summer thermostat-set temperature, programmable thermostat setting, adjusted thermostat setting, number of occupants, student or not, and monthly rent. Weather-related factors included cooling efficiency, heating efficiency, base load, modified cooling balance temperature, and modified heating balance temperature. The sample for this study was 140 duplex residences which used only electricity for cooling and heating, and had one year minimum occupancy in College Station, Texas. The spline regression models with weather- related factors achieved adjusted R 2 values averaging 0.82. Construction, occupant, and weather-related factors were determined to be components of energy consumption. In the final modeling, construction, occupant, and weather-related factors accounted for 0.96 of the variance for the actual energy consumption of duplex residences. Some significant differences were found between the models which contained the weather-related factors and the models which did not contain the weather-related factors. This study demonstrated that weather-related factors were a very important factor in the analysis of energy consumption.

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Subjective Responses to Daylight, Sunlight, and View in College Classrooms with Windows

Author: In-Kon Kim

Publication date: 1997

Abstract: In recent times, because of full air conditioning and permanent full or supplementary artificial lighting, the function of windows has changed in the United States. As a result of this change, the psychological aspects of the window functions are more important than the quantity of the light or ventilation provided by the window. The qualitative or psychological aspects of the window functions require a different window design from a design for the quantitative aspects of the window. This study investigates the psychological effects of daylight, sunlight, and view provided by the classroom windows to provide the new design criteria for classroom windows. This study includes two separate experiments: the first experiment is to investigate and window classrooms, and the second experiment is to investigate how different window configurations impact psychological responses. The windows in the classrooms provide positive emotion to the classroom environment and serve to increase academic satisfaction with the classrooms. However, there is no difference between classrooms without the windows and with the windows, which do not provide view and natural light. This result clearly shows the necessity of the windows in the college classroom. The attribution of view through the windows is the most important factor in window design for college classrooms. It is necessary that the orientation of the windows is decided by considering the outside view. Sunlight might be welcomed by classroom occupants, unless sunlight reaches to the workplane and becomes a glare source. Many small windows are better for windows might have occupants feel more alive and pleasant and increase the effect of view types. The best window condition selected by participants in this study is eight small windows providing sunlight and a good view. The worst condition is two large windows providing daylight (no sunlight) and a poor view.

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Effects of Dwelling Floor Level on Factors Related to Residential Satisfaction and Home Environment in High-Rise Apartment Buildings

Author: Wonpi Kim

Publication date: 1997

Abstract: The wider context for this study is the premise that high- rise apartment living has negatively contributed to a variety of problems related to the physical conditions of existing apartment buildings. Critics of high-rise housing attack the very concept of apartment living. Regarding high-rise living environments, building height is an important physical dimension of a resident's perception. The purpose of this study was to identify factors related to residential satisfaction and home environment, and to examine the effects of dwelling floor level on these factors and personal characteristics. The review of literature and factor analysis identified six important environmental factors physical quality of dwelling unit, safety/security, social interaction, self-expression/place-identity, physical qualities of neighborhood environment, and management/maintenance. Seven hundred and fifty subjects were randomly selected from eight high-rise apartment communities in major U.S. cities. Three hundred and ninety- six residents responded to the mail survey. The average respondent was an unmarried, over 40, female, employed Caucasian with at least one college degree. This group had typically lived in their current high-rise for 6 to 9 years and had an annual income, ranging from $40,000 to $59,999. Contrary to general assumptions about high-rise apartment buildings being inappropriate housing alternatives, these groups of residents reported a high degree of satisfaction with their high-rise residences. An examination of dwelling floor effects on the six factors indicated that the physical qualities of the dwelling unit were the only significant relationship. It was also found that no personal characteristics except gender and type of tenure were significantly related to the dwelling floor level for this specific group. Multiple-regression analysis found that both physical quality of dwelling unit and management/maintenance were important predictors of residential satisfaction and home environment on all floors. Although this study investigated the effects of dwelling floor level on factors explored, only a small portion of these relationships were significant. "Living on a different floor" in high-rise apartment buildings does not contribute significantly to the problems associated with high-rise living. Therefore, blank condemnation of high-rise dwellings that does not consider specific contexts should be questioned. When the buildings were well-designed and well-maintained, these particular residents showed a high degree of satisfaction at all floor levels.

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The Design Practices of Architects in Relation to the Models of Design: Analysis-Synthesis and Conjecture-Analysis

Author: Grady Eric Connell

Publication date: 1996

Abstract: Architectural design is understood to operate within two models, Analysis-Synthesis (AS) and Conjecture-Analysis (CA) conventionally referred to as the rational and intuitive methods. Conceptually the models seem viable but in practice lack the richness and complexity associated with architectural design. This study examines the design processes of 12 men and women architects chosen from a variety of practices in nine locations. Ethnographic methods were used for data collection. Data were content analyzed comparing the processes of practicing architectural designers against the two models. Findings indicate that architectural design is more complex than the models AS and CA represent. Architectural design is more accurately represented the aspects of continuity, anticipation of unpredictability and explicit involvement of others as part of the process are taken into consideration.

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How to Get There from Here: Way-Finding in Complex Environments

Author: Mary S. McCormick

Publication date: 1996

Abstract: This research compared environmental properties that influence way-finding-plan complexity, signage, vistas, and landmarks-to the observed, way-finding behavior of some 5,000 patients and visitors at a major health-care facility, in order to generate design guidelines for expansion. Observations of the way-finding behavior of patients and visitors were made at choice points where they had to decide which way to go, where plan complexity was high and signage was poor. An ANOVA data analysis showed that the presence of vistas and landmarks at choice points was associated with significantly less way-finding difficulty than, where vistas and landmarks were absent. A second ANOVA showed that way-finding difficulty decreased with the presence of appropriate environmental properties: 53.4% of participants showed way-finding difficulty when vistas and landmarks, were absent, 48%, when vistas were present, 38.5%, when landmarks, were present, and only 30.5% of participants showed way-finding difficulty when both vistas and landmarks were present; these results were all statistically significant. Unanticipated findings were that high traffic volume reduced observed way-finding difficulty greatly. Half of all patients and visitors parked in disadvantageous places and entered the wrong building entrances, through conflicts between signage and the perceptual characteristics of roads and building entrances. According to the neurosciences and environmental psychology, way finding combines orientation with navigation in consistent ways. A survey of some prehistoric and isolated societies revealed architectural forms associated with orientation and navigation. Concepts from phenomenology and Gibson's direct perception yielded a model of being in place and moving through space. Resulting design guidelines recommend a central trail connecting all the buildings indoors and out, to integrate the health-care facilities and organize the campus for future growth. Landmarks at nodes and vistas along links should be added to reduce plan complexity and guide patients and visitors to their destinations. Elevator stacks must become distinctive and visible from the trail. Way-finding design recommendations for the campus as a whole include distinctive site entrances separated by function, streams of traffic directed by destination, vistas and landmarks to guide approaching drivers, parking terraces near building entrances, and unique building entrances visible from site entrances.

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Decision Support for Real Estate Development Cost Estimating

Author: Michael Dean Nobe

Publication date: 1996

Abstract: This research examines the theoretical underpinnings and associated advancements related to the built environment and decision support systems (DSS). Specifically for the built environment this includes the disciplines of real estate development, construction science and project management finance, statistics and economics, for decision support systems this includes management science and decision analysis, and computer science. The purpose of this research was to design, develop and evaluate a prototype development cost estimating decision support system for use in the pre- development planning stage of real estate development. Particular emphasis was placed on synthesis of each discipline's models and/or advancements which support design and development of a decision support system; derivation of real estate development cost; and evaluation of risk. The results of the design and development phases of this research are embodied in the Real Estate Development Decision Support (REDDS) system as documented in this dissertation. Following design and development of the system, it was tested on a group of real estate development and construction management students at Texas A&M University. It was hypothesized that such an interdisciplinary methodology, which utilizes a decision support system framework, would facilitate generation of consistent and timely analysis of real estate development cost and associated risk and elevate the confidence of the user in the decision making process. Test results indicate that the REDDS systems does significantly reduce conceptual cost estimating preparation time. Further it was determined that the REDDS system does not significantly change the confidence of the user in the decision making process. Finally, this study shows that use of the REDDS system provides a consistent and sophisticated framework for evaluating development cost and risk, which leads to less variation and more accurate estimates.

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The Concept of Framing and Its Role in Teacher-Student Negotiations during Desk Critiques in the Architectural Design Studio

Author: Julie S. Rogers

Publication date: 1996

Abstract: This research investigates negotiation through the identification of frame categories evidenced in verbal communication in desk critique settings in the architectural design studio. The study provides an interpretative account of communicated frames and their relationship to the development of the architectural design project. The basic assumption of this research is that an understanding of the types of frames (or interpretative schemes) the teacher and the student are invoking, the content of their interpretations and the extent to which the interactants redefine or shift frames is critical to understanding negotiated order in the architectural design studio.

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Theorizing in Architecture: An Examination of the Texts of Frampton, Rossi, and Lang

Author: Karen Cordes Spence

Publication date: 1996

Abstract: Recent discussions of the subject of theory in architecture often presuppose what is meant by the term "theory." As a result, the term has been used rather loosely and with a wide array of meanings. This study examines the subject of theory in order to begin an elucidation of what it means to theorize, framing the possibilities of this subject to allow a better understanding of its elements and characteristics. Such an elucidation aids the accessibility of theoretical investigations in the profession, provides a fundamental structure for the activity of theorizing and the construction of theorems, and discourages the post-rationalization of connections between idea and form. The investigation begins by examining traditional definitions of the term theory." Theory" is defined as a clarification. It may be in the form of a doctrine or explanatory scheme. The activity of clarifying is distinguished from the clarification resultant recognizing a distinction between "theorizing" and theorem." From this beginning, a number of other characteristics are identified in theorizing. This elucidation of theorizing is then used in an examination of several recent texts that are commonly recognized to be a part of the subject of theory in architecture. Specifically, the writings of Kenneth Frampton, Aldo Rossi, and Jon Lang--selected because of the nature of their approaches--will be studied to evaluate their contents, noting strengths and weaknesses. These works will also be considered in terms of their correlation with the previously noted elements and characteristics of theorizing. Investigating selected writings provides an understanding of how theorizing functions in architecture as well as examines and tests the identified elements and characteristics of theorizing. The elucidation of theorizing, along with Frampton's critical theory, Rossi's typological and analogical approaches, and Lang's behavioral science, present a beginning for a deeper understanding of theorizing in architecture. Correlations and conflicts are identified to disclose the variety of perspectives that constitute the subject of theory in architecture.

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Towards a Comprehensive Approach for the Identification, Evaluation, and Management of Historical and Cultural Resources in Jordan: "Paradigm Shift in Conservation Ideology

Author: Rami Farouk Daher

Publication date: 1995

Abstract: Research related to conservation of the natural and manmade environments is shifting towards a broader definition of the word "conservation." This new paradigm shift does not limit the domain of conservation to aesthetic preservation of cultural artifacts and historic monuments, or to a struggle for a better natural environment. The current approach to conservation looks upon the world as a global system, which encompasses both natural and built environments. Under this broader conception of the world, conservation can be best defined as the "dynamic management of change" in order to ensure the well being of humankind. Currently in Jordan research in the area of conservation is often limited to historical analysis and architectural documentation of historical sites. In addition, management of the cultural heritage is restricted to rescue and salvage archaeology and does not address the conservation of the more recent and diverse cultural heritage. The research adopted a multi-method approach through the incorporation of between method triangulation to increase the internal validity of the study. The first method used was an exploration in the contexts and dynamics of heritage conservation in Jordan. This exploration took the form of an expedition (traveling workshop) and consisted of a field reconnaissance-level survey of post-1700 AD historical and cultural resources public meetings and a one-day workshop, and a conservation questionnaire. The second method was a study of the evolution of conservation movements in different geographic and cultural contexts (United States, France, and Egypt). The main advantage of the multi-method approach was not the quantity of data it provided, but rather the data's diversity and the opportunities for comparison that this diversity afforded. The outcome of this research is to suggest a comprehensive-regional approach for the identification evaluation, and management of historical and cultural resources in Jordan; taking into consideration local culture values, dynamics, and context. This research goes beyond being an intellectual exercise or an advocacy to save monumental and appealing architecture; it is a rhetorical argument (a scientific, methodological, and historical argument), based on maximizing the voices of authority and understanding the key players in conservation in Jordan to build a broader understanding of Jordanian local, national and place identities.

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Boolean operations on polygon meshes

Author:  Midori Kitagawa De Leon

Publication date: 1993

Abstract: Geometric modeling studies how to construct and represent shapes of objects. The shape of a physical object can be measured and represented as a geometric model on the computer. The shape of a non-existing object can be designed and represented as a geometric model on the computer. Algorithms for Boolean operations construct complex models from simpler models. This research presents a simple, robust, and fast algorithm for Boolean operations on polygon meshes. The proposed algorithm systematically classifies the relationship of two intersecting polygons into four types and subdivides intersecting polygons by using one of three methods. Singular intersections are defined and a method which locally classifies polygons in singular intersections is documented. As well as 2-manifold objects, certain types non-2-manifold objects are acceptable as input. The robustness of the algorithm is graphically illustrated by resulting objects constructed by an implementation of the algorithm. The binary index list subdivision methods (BILS methods) presented here for geometric search are simple but powerful: the methods allow the Boolean operation algorithm to have computational time which is linear in the size of the input. The BILS search methods are described and experimental evidence is presented to show that the complexity of the algorithm is linear in the size of the input.

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