• The Design Theory - A Systematic Approach

      Ramasamy, Vivekanandan; Matter, Fred S.; Clarke, Kenneth (The University of Arizona., 2016-03-22)
    • The Effects of Adaptive Shading and the Selective Reflector Light Shelf on Office Building Energy Efficiency and Daylight Performance in Hot Arid Regions

      Chalfoun, Nader; Abboushi, Belal Khalid (The University of Arizona., 2013)
      Highly glazed facades have been increasingly built for aesthetics, to achieve green buildings ratings, and to maximize daylight admission. In general, when the window area increases, building energy consumption increases. The objective of this thesis is to provide architects and engineers with a method to increase window area, attain daylight benefits, improve indoor environmental quality, and enhance connectivity to outdoors without increasing the building energy consumption. Adaptive shading was utilized to control solar heat gain and improve daylight performance. Additionally, this research proposed a new type of light shelves, Solar Reflector Light Shelf (SRL), which helps improve daylight while reducing heat gain. COMFEN 4.1 and Energy Plus software were used to simulate different system combinations and options, and to evaluate their performance based on monthly energy consumption, illuminance, luminance, and DGI levels.
    • Effect of Daylight Application on the Thermal Performa Iraqi Traditional Vernacula Residential Buildings

      Chalfoun, Nader; Mandilawi, Asma Sulaiman Hasan (The University of Arizona., 2012)
      This study includes three stages: the first stage is an analysis, documentation, index through comparison different traditional vernacular buildings (houses) in three cities in Iraqi provinces: Baghdad, Arbil, and the Marshes in Nasiryah province. The study compares data collection through photography and sketches the environmental aspects of the different houses as they respond to the climate, material, construction methods, and passive system. The second stage is an analysis for the daylight strategies of two of the previous regions, Baghdad and Marshes. The study will document all the windows details, and that includes window area, window area compared to the wall area and to the floor area, window treatments and ground and wall reflection. The third stage is analysis for the daylight parameters in Baghdad region only. The study includes visual comfort bench mark: Intensity, distribution, glare, shading, and control (Human intervention/automatic). The analyses documentation of the daylight parameters is going to be through graphic diagrams and sketches. A guideline will be developed based on the analysis and finding from previous sections, and by submitting a model for the analyses purposes. A thorough and professional paper will be delivered to provide proper documentation of the process and it findings.
    • Location-Responsive Design in the Mixed-Use High-Rise Typology

      Mosey, Grant Norman (The University of Arizona., 2012)
      This paper investigates how mixed-use high-rises respond to their sites, both climatically and otherwise. It seeks to make recommendations to improve the site responsiveness of tall, mixed-use buildings. Finally, it offers a case study by designing two buildings with identical programs for different sites.
    • Low Energy Strategies for Thermal Stress Reduction Through the Collection and Reuse of Water in an Arid Urban Environment

      Chalfoun, Nader; Gervais, Marie; Barnes, Ray; Stoltz, Ron (The University of Arizona., 2012)
      The Painted Desert Community is located within the boundaries of the Petrified Forest National Park in North-Eastern Arizona. Situated on a windswept plain with an elevation of approximately 5,000 feet and an annual rainfall of 9.58 inches, the community serves as a research, conference and visitor center for the Petrified Forest National Park. The community was built as part of the Mission 66 program that aimed to promote the National Park system and was designed by the renowned architect Richard Neutra and his partner in 1956. Among the elements incorporated into the master plan were long and short-term residences, a schoolroom and an administrative building housing the Visitor Center for the park. Envisioned as a "microcosm of a city zoned into residential, commercial, recreation and industrial areas", Richard Neutra and his partner Robert Alexander's design focused on wind-breaking strategies and incorporated a number of outdoor areas intended to provide various levels of privacy. These included compact private courtyard spaces attached to each housing unit and a series of larger "oasis" spaces between buildings. The design was originally intended to merge the aesthetics of International Modernist style with the climate-responsive strategies of traditional Native American structures, namely a compact human settlement surrounding a large central courtyard. It is the author's opinion that the interpretation of the traditional city-style pueblo was of a morphological rather than a functional nature. The goal of this thesis is to synthesize the ideals of the International Modernist style displayed in the Painted Desert Community with current principles of water harvesting and management strategies to improve both the interior and exterior spaces in portions of the complex. It would seem that water and energy conservation were not a priority at the time of the design which, combined with budget cuts resulting in poor maintenance, has contributed to the deterioration of both interior and exterior spaces. The goal of this study is to investigate and propose alterations to the existing buildings and their immediate surroundings that will maximize water usage efficiency and collection within buildings, with the ultimate goal of reducing thermal stress within the buildings through the introduction of both passive and active strategies to manipulate the building envelope and the strategic use of landscape elements, and increasing the opportunities to enjoy the outdoor spaces that the architects had originally envisioned. Using advanced architectural modeling and a methodology responsive to climactic, geological, environmental and social factors, the proposed modifications to the original design strategy will aim to implement advanced responses to the specific microcosm of this dense built environment in an effort to preserve the most delicate natural resource of this arid region. Final documentation will include both quantitative and qualitative data. Furthermore, the author hopes to create an adaptable prototypical approach that can be used to develop strategies on a larger scale in arid and semi-arid climates.
    • Implementing Regional Responsiveness: Architectural Inspiration from the American Southwest

      Chalfoun, Nader; Maxwell, D. C.; Moeller, Colby; Reid, J. Jefferson; Holmlund, Jim; Chalfoun, Nader (The University of Arizona., 2012)
      This work advocates the implementation of the theory of Regionally Responsive architecture into the curriculum of architectural education; combining: (1) Increased awareness of historic architecture and regional treasures. (2) Understanding and applying the theory of Critical Regionalism in a regional context (3) Understanding and applying the basics of passive design strategies in response to climate (4) Understanding and applying the use of the most contemporary quantitative analytical tools (including various measuring apparatuses, computer simulations, wind tunnels, and daylight simulators) The goal is to integrate these four concepts into all sectors of architectural instruction to provide a lens of Regional Responsiveness to inform the student’s design work and professional paradigms. The laboratory for this work is the American Southwest and the prehistoric ruins. The concepts, however, are broad enough for incorporation into any region for any time period.
    • Exposed Memory: Weathering of Regional Architecture

      Domin, Christopher; Benninger, Cole Harris; Domin, Christopher; Reimer, Paul; Weiner, Paul (The University of Arizona., 2010)
      Weathering introduces a language of durability and change throughout time. Architecture and its materials are constituents of place, as is the way they weather and age. The intent of this research is to analyze regional weathering characteristics specific to the American Southwest as a reflection of a sense of belonging that evolves over time.
    • High Performance Building Envelopes: Principles Derived From Natural Homologues and Analogues

      Laver, Jed; Clifford, Dale; Malo, Alvaro; Vandiver, Pamela B.; Vollen, Jason (The University of Arizona., 2009)
    • Digital Design and Manufacturing of Architectural Ceramics

      Winn, Kelly Raymond (The University of Arizona., 2008)
      Established methods of forming ceramics have traditionally required a significant investment in the time and energy intensive processes of trial and error mold making during the refinement for the production of final prototypes. Digital media and computer numerically controlled machining [CNC] can assist in the design and analysis of ceramic structures before testing and production. Computer aided design allows the iterative steps in the forming process to be simulated for greater accuracy in form and the reduction of production time in the fabrication of structural ceramic modular units and surface tiles. The DD-MAC project implements digital tools in the design, analysis, and production of component based ceramic structures. Digital tools are used to simulate structural and environmental forces for a site specific installation. Molds for ceramic prototypes are designed digitally and produced with CNC technologies for the production of a full scale prototype wall structure made from ceramic and composite components. The full-scale prototype wall will be used for the physical testing of structural units and surface tiles in a physical environment. The application of research and simulation to a physical model allows for the validity of the computer model to be assessed. The computer model can then be re-informed or the simulation can be redesigned in response to the physical model.
    • Thermal [MU]: A Class of Performative Masonry Units

      Gindlesparger, Matthew Eugene; Clifford, Dale; Malo, Alvaro; Vollen, Jason (The University of Arizona., 2008)
      The concrete masonry unit (CMU) has been a standard in the building industry for the last century, widely utilized for its durability, modular assembly, and its’ relative ease of handling. While there are a variety of sizes, the general form of the CMU has remained unchanged; the same module can be used anywhere in the world. The goal of this project is to increase the aesthetic and thermodynamic performance of CMUs by re-investigating the interior and exterior surface geometries of the unit with the intent of extracting greater thermodynamic performance. This greater performance in turn correlates to user comfort and more ecologically responsible building practices. I propose a modular system of construction derived from the relationship between material, fabrication, and assembly, and results in a unit able to thermodynamically respond to daily and seasonal variations in solar condition. The application for this model is wall system that tempers the environment of the Sonoran desert, where we witness great contrasts in solar conditions throughout the year. Geometry and materiality become points of interaction with the environment, as the Thermal Masonry Unit (Thermal[MU]) provides the capacity to absorb, store, and/or dissipate energy. The Thermal[MU] utilizes these attributes by acting as a filter between environment and user: providing shade and a thermal barrier in the summer and collecting/distributing the heat gain in the winter months. This passive thermal control is important because it makes a more economical use of material properties and forming principles and establishes a direct physical relationship between the user and the environment.
    • Identifying the Criteria That Sustain Livable Streets

      Choudhury, Angana; San Martin, Ignacio; Medlin, Larry; Domin, Christopher (The University of Arizona., 2008)
    • A Study and Analysis of the Effect of Natural Ventilation on Housing in Humid Climate

      Sahoo, Kiriti; Chalfoun, Nader; Medlin, Larry; Brittain, Rocky (The University of Arizona., 2008)
      Traditionally, Natural ventilation has been a strategy for achieving thermal comfort. Today it is used to lower energy needs by substituting for mechanical ventilation. Airflow patterns for natural ventilation usage depend on the climate, site location and geophysical characteristics. This master’s report investigates compares and analyzes airflow in a residence in a humid climate in India. The author utilized graphical and hand calculation methods to simulate the airflow pattern and the natural ventilation contribution to minimizing heating and cooling demands. The research demonstrated that natural ventilations strategies saved 32.95 % of the cooling load while through optimization methods the overall savings was 50.53 %
    • Learning Through A Green Environment: A Research Thesis on Sustainable Early Childhood Learning Spaces

      Chassé, Elise S.; Chalfoun, Nader; Michal, Richard; Moeller, Colby; Scott, Elizabeth (The University of Arizona., 2008)
      This thesis describes the development of early learning spaces which teach sustainable practices to children in a method that can be applied at a global level. Sustainability, for the purpose of this research, is defined as the idea of living throughout a lifetime with the conscious and unconscious understanding that natural resources are not unlimited and need to be respected and conserved through personal effort. Through a detailed analysis of both early childhood education methods and innovative sustainable design practices, a specific design matrix was created based on current standards set by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for New Construction v.2.2 © by USGBC, and from this matrix and casestudy analysis, 19 learning components were established. From research on two teaching methods, the Reggio Emilia and the Montessori teaching styles, it has been established that the environment surrounding the children acts as a pedagogical tool by engaging natural curiosity and demonstrating natural behavioral limits. Through the analysis of early childhood education methods, a learning paradigm outlining five key ways in which design relates to the way young children learn has been developed. Young children learn through five basic methods; tactile learning, spatial relationship awareness, connectivity of the child with others and the physical world, freedom of exploration, and the conceptualization of human comfort. Innovative sustainable design practices identified in this research include passive and active energy and water conservation, utilizing alternative energy resources, and incorporating recycled and non-toxic materials into the design components. Specific aspects of sustainability were chosen because they are easily adaptable into the lives and learning strategies of young children. By incorporating these strategies into a child’s daily life by exposing the function of sustainable techniques, the space creates a passive education approach. The learning paradigm developed from early education research is applied to current sustainable strategies, using LEED™ as an organization tool. The matrix was designed to show a clear connection between the way children learn and specific sustainable strategies. By relating each applicable credit to ways in which children learn, a set of guidelines has been established for incorporating energy efficiency and sustainability into a child’s life experiences. Four casestudies were chosen which demonstrate that educational spaces are convincing arenas for the process of integrating sustainable design features into the daily lives of children. Van Eyck’s Orphanage emphasizes the use of materiality and the idea of scale in spaces designed for children. The Argonne Child Development Center focuses on sustainable features of energy consumption and healthy resource utilization. Davidson Elementary School includes similar features but adds emphasis to the mutual relationship among school, immediate physical environment and the larger community. The Civano Community School utilizes sustainable strategies to teach children about environmental issues and awareness. From the sustainable learning matrix, and from analysis of case studies, which utilize key learning techniques and sustainable strategies, final design components have been developed and classified into easy to understand diagrams. The intent of these component diagrams was to provide a reference guide for future early childhood education design projects. The purpose of this research was to develop key spatial components for specific sustainable education spaces based on common ways young children learn and universal ideas of sustainability, which can be altered using site and climate specific techniques to be integrated into communities on a global scale. This document is meant as a guideline for other designers to use when considering the development of spaces to teach young children about energy efficiency and sustainability. The 19 key spatial components established in this document combine the ideas behind early childhood learning methods with multiple sustainable strategies, to provide learning spaces which bring sustainability to a level that children can understand. By encouraging sustainable choices and awareness at a young age, children will grow up with the understanding that it is their responsibility to preserve the environment and positively influence our future.
    • Live/Work as an Urban Design Strategy

      Kelliher, Daniel James; San Martin, Ignacio; Domin, Christopher; Medlin, Larry (The University of Arizona., 2008)
    • Sensitive Apertures

      McDonald, Ben Air; Malo, Alvaro; Simmons, Joseph; Bickel, William (The University of Arizona., 2008)
    • Building Reuse: Beyond Preservation, Towards Policy

      Lovato, Michael J.; Jeffery, R. Brooks; Nequette, Annie; Bartlett, Susan (The University of Arizona., 2008)
      To be truly sustainable, a society must maximize the use and reuse of its existing resources. Yet the economics of the construction industry are designed to encourage the construction of new buildings as quickly and as cheaply as possible, and the demolition of existing buildings just as quickly. In order to achieve the levels of sustainability deemed essential by many of our nation’s leaders, the vast resource that our existing building stock represents can no longer be ignored, regardless of lack of historic signifi cance, perceived aesthetics, or energy effi ciency. Th is thesis summarizes and assesses the eff ectiveness of existing policies established in the interest of preservation, sustainability, and economic development that provide a strong framework for building reuse. Th is thesis outlines a feasible building reuse policy, conceived as largely independent from, but with the potential for, far-reaching benefi ts for preservation, sustainability, and economic interests.
    • Study of Thermal Comfort Determinants in the Urban Street Design in Hot and Arid Climate

      Young, Soo Kim; San Martin, Ignacio; Malo, Alvaro; Medlin, Larry (The University of Arizona., 2008)
      Preliminary bioclimatic design principles that are related to thermal comfort level of the urban street environment in hot and arid climate region were searched in this research. As methods of investigation included: literature reviews, empirical studies and case studies. In hot and arid climate region, most of physically unpleasant conditions in the street environment are found during summer time. However, street design standards and typologies on the basis of mere dichotomy of access and movement don’t refl ect diversity of existing streets and their bioclimatic requirements to provide physical comfort within them. Thermal comfort was used as a criterion to evaluate the physical condition of the street environment in the research and determinants of thermal comfort inthe street environment were researched. The preliminary literaturereviews conclude that the refl ectivity and the emissivity of materials are two main determinants of thermal performance. Field research were conducted for the numerical comparison of the ambient and the surface temperature by surrounding materials in the street environment. Paseo del Prado in Madrid Spain and Univeristy boulevard in Tucson, Arizona, United States are the measured streets. It is found that there is clear diff erence in the ambient temperature by surrounding material. Simultaneously, critical role of shades was revealed to decrease both ambient and surface temperature in the street environment. The ambient temperature measured in the shade maintained 20.0 F lower than nonshaded environments. Further investigations on urban climatology show crucial relationship of the street geometry, e.g. street orientation and building height to street width ratio (H/W) with thermal comfort in the street environment. Street case studies provide supplementary solutions for the street design such as vegetations and shading devices. Material uses, geometry, vegetation and shading devices are organized as a preliminary design recommendations in conclusion.
    • The Role of Identity in Local Environments: Formalization of Tucson's Identity

      Romero, Juan Bustelo; Jeffery, R. Brooks; Frederickson, Mark; Doxtater, Dennis (The University of Arizona., 2008)
      Due to several factors such as the excess of the urban sprawl or low density construction, Tucson suffers from certain homogeneity that makes difficult to discern its particular essence. Conversely, we may find a considerable number of cities‐Las Vegas, New York, San Francisco, Rome or Venice among many others‐ that boast about its acknowledged identity. Key investigation will uncover the factors that generate some of these unique identities. Subsequently these assumptions are then compiled in a design agenda that will generate a design project applied to Tucson. Beyond the search of a plain answer the research produces a method of investigation that provides the capacity for designing urban environments with the physical essential qualities that define the identity of a particular place. The research is based on direct observation, aerial and ground level photography and synthesis maps of several case studies.
    • Thermal Comfort Assessment of the Proposed Green Roof for the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Tucson, Arizona

      Patil, Uttara R.; Chalfoun, Nader; Albanese, Charles; Stoltz, Ronald (The University of Arizona., 2008)
      This master's report describes a method for thermal comfort assessment of green roofs in the urban environment of hot arid regions. The dual goal of this study is to not only emphasize green roof technology but also to promote outdoor living by demonstrating techniques that achieve thermally comfortable microclimate. Methods of investigation for this project started with an experiment, which included building a physical model of 4'x4'x4' with three different roof types; asphalt shingle, corrugated metal and saturated/dry green roof. This model was then used to record the four environmental variables that were used to help predict thermal comfort. These are: Surface Temperature, Dry bulb Temperature, Globe Temperature, and Relative Humidity. Average air velocity was used. The premise behind conducting this experiment was to validate the superior performance of green roof over other roof types in a hot arid surrounding. Additionally, the gathered data was used for comparison with results derived from OUTDOOR© a computer program for the assessment of outdoor thermal comfort conditions. The project applied to a proposed green roof top at the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in Tucson, Arizona. Distinct locations were chosen on the proposed roof for performing thermal comfort analysis. Fish eye lens photography slogn with other data acquisition systems were used to simulate the conditions at the determined locations using the OUTDOOR© program. Results derived from this simulation were found to be conforming to original results from the experiment. The earlier evaluation brought forth the highly uncomfortable thermal conditions existing on the roof. Design strategies were suggested to counteract the existing situation and to bring temperatures within comfort zone. The final results indicate that simple but informed modifications to design can help provide desired outdoor thermal comfort levels even during the extreme climate found in the months of June and December.
    • Elastic Systems for Compliant Shading Enclosures

      Vander Werf, Brent Daniel; Malo, Alvaro; Medlin, Larry; Bickel, William (The University of Arizona., 2008)
      Forces are everywhere, in and on every object. They even act in ‘empty space’. Forces form objects, hold them together or destroy them. Forces act within atoms, molecules, and gases, in liquids and in solid bodies. Frei Otto. Krafte, die Objekte bilden. This study investigates elastic structures and materials in terms of mechanical and physical properties for the design of a bistable (capacitor) mechanism which is programmed to deform an aperture, complying to variable thermal loads and light to provide shade and thermal comfort regulation between an exterior and interior space. Elastic properties, precedents and materials are studied and modeled to identify the maximum stress and strain force by which materials and structures are capable of deforming and returning to an original size and shape without permanent deformation. Bistable structural mechanisms, organized with elastic spring steel strips and pin connections, in the form of an aperture, are then investigated as a capacitor. The capacitor utilizes prestressed structural strips which deform an aperture with activated thermostat coils through diurnal thermal loads from the sun. The increasing storage of elastic strain energy is programmed to rotate and close the aperture at a maximum stressed position, at which point, it is capable of releasing the stored kinetic energy with a decrease in heat input, triggering the mechanism to open the aperture instantly. The arrangement of the self adjusting shade system is organized and manipulated spatially through a variety of prototype developments as a passive glass enclosure for the east and west facades of buildings. The University of Arizona’s entry for the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon Competition is used as a testing platform for the final prototype, validating its performance, function and value as a potential building component.