• The Design Theory - A Systematic Approach

      Ramasamy, Vivekanandan; Matter, Fred S.; Clarke, Kenneth (The University of Arizona., 2016-03-22)
    • 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.
    • 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)
    • Sensitive Apertures

      McDonald, Ben Air; Malo, Alvaro; Simmons, Joseph; Bickel, William (The University of Arizona., 2008)
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 %
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Identifying the Criteria That Sustain Livable Streets

      Choudhury, Angana; San Martin, Ignacio; Medlin, Larry; Domin, Christopher (The University of Arizona., 2008)
    • Glass Dominated Institutional Buildings in Hot & Arid Climates

      Chatterjee, Arunima; Chalfoun, Nader; Yoklic, Martin; Brittain, Richard (The University of Arizona., 2007)
      While the concept of global design has liberated the aesthetic genus of contemporary institutional architecture, it has brought with it a far greater set of problems in energy consumption. In order to build ‘intelligent’ buildings to counter these problems, we often design the problems and then engage into an expensive endeavour of finding possible solutions. This research aims to focus on the recent trends of building institutional geometries for the hot and dry climatic regions and analyse the case study of the east expansion of the College of Architecture in the University of Arizona, located in Tucson. The advent of mechanical cooling has encouraged the practice of building for any place disregarding the regional or climatalogical context. The ‘glass box’ is a common design solution for a day lit, aesthetically appealing post international style approach to commercial architecture. It is the view of the author that buildings born of such ideology has little empathy towards the macro and micro climate considerations. Using the case study of the new architectural expansion building is an attempt to analyze a glass dominated prototype in the desert. The research focuses on the integrity of such designs in terms of energy consumptions, thermal efficiency and comfort. Energy modelling of parametric retrofits suitable to the climate is conducted to study changes incurred from the building’s original state. The objective of this research is to investigate possibilities of globalised architectural solutions but still hold roots to climatological responses. Reference examples of similar structures built in the desert have been observed during the course of the research to benefit the parametric runs. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction. LEED 2.2 Energy and Atmosphere credit runs has been a part of the project goal to gain a perspective from the USGBC LEED certification criteria to determine what can be achieved for optimal energy efficiency in this particular constitution. In particular, the study illustrates the functioning of the case study building in terms of energy consumption for space cooling. eQuest runs when compared to the utility data of similar sized buildings on campus shows an astonishing increase in the chilled water usage. Similarly, the per-square foot usage electricity for space cooling was found to be remarkably higher than the old architecture building. Energy usage pattern reflects a moderate decrease with optimization strategies on the building envelope. The results clearly show a great improvement in the building energy performance for space cooling with glazing changes and shading strategies.
    • Investigation of Energy Efficiency of Multifamily Housing Development in Hot and Arid Climate of Tucson, Arizona

      Deshpande, Amruta; Chalfoun, Nader; Hardin, Mary; Michal, Richard (The University of Arizona., 2007)
      A building is not just a shell but a complex system, a controlled environment which is affected by climatic factors such as temperature, heat, light, air movement, humidity etc. And how you deal with all these factors affects the energy consumption, durability and comfort within. The first step towards energy efficient building design lies in climate design. Building designs sensitive to climate around them perform well with regards to energy. The natural elements such as sunlight, solar heat, wind etc when interact with the building in a desired way reduce the use of other forms of energy for creating the desired thermal comfort levels within the building. This study aims to investigate all the factors which usually affect the energy efficiency of a multi-family residential scheme such as the climate, geometry, orientation, proximity of structures to each other, their shading qualities, planning of internal spaces etc with regards to the climate it is being built in. The project will particularly focus on design and development of 12 residential units as a part of a multi-family residential development in hot and arid climatic zone and devise strategies to optimize their energy efficiency. The investigation will be furthered by use of computer simulation software to optimize the thermal performance of the cluster as a whole and the comparative results will be later verified to draw out conclusions regarding the effectiveness of these strategies.
    • A Study of the Effect of the West Facades on Energy Efficiency of Office Buildings at the University of Arizona Campus in Tucson, Arizona

      Alcocer, Jose Luis Bermudez; Chalfoun, Nader; Medlin, Larry; Domin, Christopher (The University of Arizona., 2007)
      Each façade of a building envelope has a different solution that should respond to the specific environmental condition. In particular, west façades in the Sonoran Desert present opportunities for design solutions. For example, the volume of the building shades the western side during hot summer mornings creating a useful and cooler space. Also, the low solar altitude allows thermal gains on a cold winter afternoon. The west façade also can provide exterior views to the dramatic Sonoran sunsets. The goal of this research is to select one case study building chosen from eight pre-studied buildings and analyze the energy efficiency of its west facade. After a set up of a framework of analyzing daylight and shadow analysis with a study model into the heliodon, the baseline energy budget of the selected building was simulated through computer energy analysis programs such as Ecotect, eQuest and Energy-10. The results of this study showed that through efficient design solution suitable for west façade treatment in the Sonoran Desert, buildings can achieve about 27.08 % savings in energy consumption and $131,016 annual from the operating cost. This thesis research provides opportunities for west façades to be effectively employed to mitigate the negative environmental aspect of hot-arid climates.
    • Design Strategies for the Rillito River, Tucson, Arizona: Exploring the Urban Design Opportunities for Improving the River Corridor

      Bio, Robert; San Martin, Ignacio; Medlin, Larry; Livingston, Margaret (The University of Arizona., 2007)
    • Pedestrian Movement Systems in Urban Environments: Its Application to the City of Tucson with a Perspective on Pedestrian Scale

      Lee, Jae Hoon; San Martin, Ignacio; Medlin, Larry; Hollengreen, Laura (The University of Arizona., 2006)
    • Thermal Comfort in Transition Spaces in Desert Communities: The Study of Cases in Tucson, Arizona

      Ilham, Samia; Chalfoun, Nader; Medlin, Larry; Hammann, Ralph (The University of Arizona., 2006)
      The objectives of the study is to examine the relationship and effectiveness of the transition space in front of the entries of a building. Transitional Space is the space in between a mechanically conditioned space and natural outdoor space, which is influenced by the external climate but architecturally bounded by the building. This study started with this goal of introducing a zone in between the air conditioned interior and natural outdoor to break the tendency of separating these two layers by a thin layer of glass door. A comfortable thermal environment in the transition zone will encourage activities to spill out of the building creating an alive and vibrant atmosphere. During this study to explore and examine the requirements of a transition space in a hot arid region like Tucson, Arizona, historical examples from similar climatic zones were identified and studied. Some local examples were also observed to determine the effectiveness of the different strategies used to achieve a thermally and visually comfortable environment. Four Buildings were selected based on the orientation of their entries in the University of Arizona campus. After analyzing some strategies were developed for these entries.
    • Sustainable Design for Health Care Facilities: A Case Study of the LEED Certified Rincon Community Hospital at Civano

      Moeller, Colby; Chalfoun, Nader (The University of Arizona., 2006)
      This Master’s Report focuses on applying sustainable design principles to the design of Rincon Community Hospital at Civano a new healthcare facility being planned for Tucson. Civano is a pre-planned sustainable community located in Tucson, Arizona that demonstrates efficient utilization of resources and planning. Based upon the principle of human thermal comfort, the proposed hospital design emphasizes integration with the surrounding environment by focusing on the relationship of the indoor and outdoor spaces. This includes maximizing the effective use of adjacent open air spaces, transitional spaces, and courtyards that are designed to maximize thermal comfort by working with the local climate to create comfortable microclimates around the building. Rincon Community Hospital at Civano also demonstrates the application of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) principles during the design process. The proposed design for the hospital utilizes passive solar design, daylighting, earth cooling, and building orientation to create comfortable environments for human occupation that require less energy than specified by ASHRAE Standard 90.1 1999. To achieve these goals, the hospital design was developed through analysis of the physical characteristics of the site, potential for LEED® scoring, and energy analysis. The results are presented as annotated plan, section and perspective images. It is hoped that this methodology can be applied to future development of sustainable healthcare facilities in desert environments that create healthy natural environments to aid patient healing and accelerate their recovery process.
    • Trail Enhancement and Trail Connection between Manitou Springs and the Garden of the Gods Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Hurley, Cecilia Martha; Livingston, Margaret; Matter, Fred; Blazquez, Oscar (The University of Arizona., 2005)
    • Improving Daylight Illumination and Energy Efficiency Using an Atrium in a Mixed-Use Building

      Godhamgaonkar, Anjali; Chalfoun, Nader; Hammann, Ralph; Medlin, Larry (The University of Arizona., 2005)
      Commercial /mixed use buildings in which electric lighting consumes more than 40% of all electric energy demands are discovering a changing need for daylight under the impacts of energy costs. Using atrium in a design can provide adequate light levels into the core spaces. This research attempts to bring the interior daylighting illumination levels within a mixed used commercial -residential building in a desired range of comfortable intensity by using atrium in combination with other daylighting strategies. This research aims to achieve adequate daylight, along all the levels in the atrium and also achieve comfortable intensities in the surrounding spaces. A mixed use atrium building on a site in Tucson, Arizona, was designed and investigated for daylight which involved physical model (experimental) study and computer simulation using software Superlite. Problem areas in daylight performance of the design with respect to the desired daylight factors were identified and analyzed to optimize the daylight illuminance to a adequate level. The results reveal that for optimization, the changes in atrium roof geometry works best in combination with other daylight strategies such as window area, window sill height, light shelf, surface reflectance etc. Atrium in combination with other strategies is found to make significant contribution in daylighting the deeper spaces thereby reducing the use of artificial lighting energy.