Automated space layout planning for environmental sustainability
2010-10-06T11:25:02Z (GMT) by
There is a growing global interest in low/zero carbon buildings in response to the increased CO2 in the atmosphere, nearly half of which comes from building energy consumption. Buildings are built for a considerably longer lifespan and enhancing energy efficiency in buildings can play a significant role in reducing CO2 emissions. Energy efficiency features need to be incorporated at the earliest, as alterations to the design at latter stages may prove to be difficult and sometimes expensive. Building design is concerned with satisfying various objectives (e.g. cost, efficiency of a space layout, energy consumption), which are sometimes in conflict with each other. Performance of various indicators, therefore, needs to be assessed as a whole rather than in isolation. Space layout planning is considered as the starting point of building design. Most performance indicators; i.e. cost, energy efficiency, etc. are closely linked with the layout. Researchers have attempted at automating space layout planning since the 1960s with a view to effectively search the solution space. Diverse approaches are adopted in space layout planning that ranges from the analysis of spatial proximity to the application of ‘space syntax’ theory. Developments in whole building energy simulation and integration of simulation in the design process imply that the search for optimum space layout could be better guided by incorporating detailed-based simulation as response generators as opposed to the ones with a simplified representation of the problem domain. This paper describes a framework for sustainable space layout planning that uses evolutionary computation methods to search the solution space. Whole building simulation programs are used as response generators to guide the search for energy efficient layouts. The integrated approach enables the consideration of energy consumption, in addition to the geometry and topology, for decision making during space layout planning.