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What's for Dinner?

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Food’s implication on culture and agriculture challenges agriculture’s identity in the age of the city. As architect and author Carolyn Steel explained, “we live in a world shaped by food, and if we realize that, we can use food as

Food’s implication on culture and agriculture challenges agriculture’s identity in the age of the city. As architect and author Carolyn Steel explained, “we live in a world shaped by food, and if we realize that, we can use food as a powerful tool — a conceptual tool, design tool, to shape the world differently. It triggers a new way of thinking about the problem, recognizing that food is not a commodity; it is life, it is culture, it’s us. It’s how we evolved.” If the passage of food culture is dependent upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations, the learning environments should reflect this tenability in its systematic and architectural approach.

Through an investigation of agriculture and cuisine and its consequential influence on culture, education, and design, the following project intends to reconceptualize the learning environment in order facilitate place-based practices. Challenging our cognitive dissonant relationship with food, the design proposal establishes a food identity through an imposition of urban agriculture and culinary design onto the school environment. Working in conjunction with the New American University’s mission, the design serves as a didactic medium between food, education, and architecture in designing the way we eat.

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2017-05

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Envelope as climate negotiator: evaluating adaptive building envelope's capacity to moderate indoor climate and energy

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Through manipulation of adaptable opportunities available within a given environment, individuals become active participants in managing personal comfort requirements, by exercising control over their comfort without the assistance of mechanical heating and cooling systems. Similarly, continuous manipulation of a building

Through manipulation of adaptable opportunities available within a given environment, individuals become active participants in managing personal comfort requirements, by exercising control over their comfort without the assistance of mechanical heating and cooling systems. Similarly, continuous manipulation of a building skin's form, insulation, porosity, and transmissivity qualities exerts control over the energy exchanged between indoor and outdoor environments. This research uses four adaptive response variables in a modified software algorithm to explore an adaptive building skin's potential in reacting to environmental stimuli with the purpose of minimizing energy use without sacrificing occupant comfort. Results illustrate that significant energy savings can be realized with adaptive envelopes over static building envelopes even under extreme summer and winter climate conditions; that the magnitude of these savings are dependent on climate and orientation; and that occupant thermal comfort can be improved consistently over comfort levels achieved by optimized static building envelopes. The resulting adaptive envelope's unique climate-specific behavior could inform designers in creating an intelligent kinetic aesthetic that helps facilitate adaptability and resiliency in architecture.

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Date Created
2013

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Analysis methods for post occupancy evaluation of energy-use in high performance buildings using short-term monitoring

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The green building movement has been an effective catalyst in reducing energy demands of buildings and a large number of `green' certified buildings have been in operation for several years. Whether these buildings are actually performing as intended, and if

The green building movement has been an effective catalyst in reducing energy demands of buildings and a large number of `green' certified buildings have been in operation for several years. Whether these buildings are actually performing as intended, and if not, identifying specific causes for this discrepancy falls into the general realm of post-occupancy evaluation (POE). POE involves evaluating building performance in terms of energy-use, indoor environmental quality, acoustics and water-use; the first aspect i.e. energy-use is addressed in this thesis. Normally, a full year or more of energy-use and weather data is required to determine the actual post-occupancy energy-use of buildings. In many cases, either measured building performance data is not available or the time and cost implications may not make it feasible to invest in monitoring the building for a whole year. Knowledge about the minimum amount of measured data needed to accurately capture the behavior of the building over the entire year can be immensely beneficial. This research identifies simple modeling techniques to determine best time of the year to begin in-situ monitoring of building energy-use, and the least amount of data required for generating acceptable long-term predictions. Four analysis procedures are studied. The short-term monitoring for long-term prediction (SMLP) approach and dry-bulb temperature analysis (DBTA) approach allow determining the best time and duration of the year for in-situ monitoring to be performed based only on the ambient temperature data of the location. Multivariate change-point (MCP) modeling uses simulated/monitored data to determine best monitoring period of the year. This is also used to validate the SMLP and DBTA approaches. The hybrid inverse modeling method-1 predicts energy-use by combining a short dataset of monitored internal loads with a year of utility-bills, and hybrid inverse method-2 predicts long term building performance using utility-bills only. The results obtained show that often less than three to four months of monitored data is adequate for estimating the annual building energy use, provided that the monitoring is initiated at the right time, and the seasonal as well as daily variations are adequately captured by the short dataset. The predictive accuracy of the short data-sets is found to be strongly influenced by the closeness of the dataset's mean temperature to the annual average temperature. The analysis methods studied would be very useful for energy professionals involved in POE.

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Date Created
2011

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Regression tree-based methodology for customizing building energy benchmarks to individual commercial buildings

Description

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, commercial buildings represent about 40% of the United State's energy consumption of which office buildings consume a major portion. Gauging the extent to which an individual building consumes energy in excess of its

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, commercial buildings represent about 40% of the United State's energy consumption of which office buildings consume a major portion. Gauging the extent to which an individual building consumes energy in excess of its peers is the first step in initiating energy efficiency improvement. Energy Benchmarking offers initial building energy performance assessment without rigorous evaluation. Energy benchmarking tools based on the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) database are investigated in this thesis. This study proposes a new benchmarking methodology based on decision trees, where a relationship between the energy use intensities (EUI) and building parameters (continuous and categorical) is developed for different building types. This methodology was applied to medium office and school building types contained in the CBECS database. The Random Forest technique was used to find the most influential parameters that impact building energy use intensities. Subsequently, correlations which were significant were identified between EUIs and CBECS variables. Other than floor area, some of the important variables were number of workers, location, number of PCs and main cooling equipment. The coefficient of variation was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the new model. The customization technique proposed in this thesis was compared with another benchmarking model that is widely used by building owners and designers namely, the ENERGY STAR's Portfolio Manager. This tool relies on the standard Linear Regression methods which is only able to handle continuous variables. The model proposed uses data mining technique and was found to perform slightly better than the Portfolio Manager. The broader impacts of the new benchmarking methodology proposed is that it allows for identifying important categorical variables, and then incorporating them in a local, as against a global, model framework for EUI pertinent to the building type. The ability to identify and rank the important variables is of great importance in practical implementation of the benchmarking tools which rely on query-based building and HVAC variable filters specified by the user.

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Date Created
2013

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An adaptive intelligent integrated lighting control approach for high-performance office buildings

Description

An acute and crucial societal problem is the energy consumed in existing commercial buildings. There are 1.5 million commercial buildings in the U.S. with only about 3% being built each year. Hence, existing buildings need to be properly operated and

An acute and crucial societal problem is the energy consumed in existing commercial buildings. There are 1.5 million commercial buildings in the U.S. with only about 3% being built each year. Hence, existing buildings need to be properly operated and maintained for several decades. Application of integrated centralized control systems in buildings could lead to more than 50% energy savings.

This research work demonstrates an innovative adaptive integrated lighting control approach which could achieve significant energy savings and increase indoor comfort in high performance office buildings. In the first phase of the study, a predictive algorithm was developed and validated through experiments in an actual test room. The objective was to regulate daylight on a specified work plane by controlling the blind slat angles. Furthermore, a sensor-based integrated adaptive lighting controller was designed in Simulink which included an innovative sensor optimization approach based on genetic algorithm to minimize the number of sensors and efficiently place them in the office. The controller was designed based on simple integral controllers. The objective of developed control algorithm was to improve the illuminance situation in the office through controlling the daylight and electrical lighting. To evaluate the performance of the system, the controller was applied on experimental office model in Lee et al.’s research study in 1998. The result of the developed control approach indicate a significantly improvement in lighting situation and 1-23% and 50-78% monthly electrical energy savings in the office model, compared to two static strategies when the blinds were left open and closed during the whole year respectively.

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Date Created
2015

The effect of floor to area ratio parameter on net zero commercial buildings located in Phoenix, Arizona

Description

The building sector is one of the main energy consumers within the USA. Energy demand by this sector continues to increase because new buildings are being constructed faster than older ones are retired. Increase in energy demand, in addition to

The building sector is one of the main energy consumers within the USA. Energy demand by this sector continues to increase because new buildings are being constructed faster than older ones are retired. Increase in energy demand, in addition to a number of other factors such as the finite nature of fossil fuels, population growth, building impact on global climate change, and energy insecurity and independence has led to the increase in awareness towards conservation through the design of energy efficient buildings. Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB), a highly efficient building that produces as much renewable energy as it consumes annually, provides an effective solution to this global concern. The intent of this thesis is to investigate the relationship of an important factor that has a direct impact on NZEB: Floor / Area Ratio (FAR). Investigating this relationship will help to answer a very important question in establishing NZEB in hot-arid climates such as Phoenix, Arizona. The question this thesis presents is: “How big can a building be and still be Net Zero?” When does this concept start to flip and buildings become unable to generate the required renewable energy to achieve energy balance? The investigation process starts with the analysis of a local NZEB, DPR Construction Office, to evaluate the potential increase in building footprint and FAR with respect to the current annual Energy Use Intensity (EUI). Through the detailed analysis of the local NZEB, in addition to the knowledge gained through research, this thesis will offer an FAR calculator tool that can be used by design teams to help assess the net zero potential of their project. The tool analyzes a number of elements within the project such as total building footprint, available surface area for photovoltaic (PV) installation, outdoor circulation and landscape area, parking area and potential parking spots, potential building area in regards to FAR, number of floors based on the building footprint, FAR, required area for photovoltaic installation, photovoltaic system size, and annual energy production, in addition to the maximum potential FAR their project can reach and still be Net Zero.

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Date Created
2016