Loughborough University
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ArDOT: a tool to optimise environmental design of buildings

conference contribution
posted on 2012-09-06, 10:19 authored by Monjur Mourshed, Denis Kelliher, Marcus Keane
Environmental design of buildings involves ‘finding the optimum’ solution satisfying predefined objective(s) (e.g., reduction in operating/capital cost, maximisation of daylighting etc.). A number of computer based simulation models exist to assist professionals in finding this optimum through building performance assessment. Contemporary practices involving building simulation require enormous effort to prepare input, extract output, and visualize data, which restricts designers from realizing the full potentials offered. In most cases, rules of thumb are applied and experienced guesses are made; simulation software is used only to validate the assumptions, which do not necessarily lead to the intended optimum. Moreover, these tools have been developed as simulation engines, which is inadequate to visualize the compounded and interdependent effect of a large number of design variables. The authors believe that to realize the potential offered by building simulation software, a new breed of DBSs (Decision Based Systems) is needed coupling existing simulation engines with formal optimisation methods through neutral data standards (BPM – building product models) for seamless integration. This paper first elaborates on the previous attempts at solving integration issues related to the design process and simulation; also attempts at finding the limitations. Secondly, formulation of design problems as optimisation has been discussed with reference to the different stages of design. Thirdly, for effective integration of activities among stakeholders and processes, the use of client/ server oriented building product model has been proposed to overcome the limitations of file-based prototypes. Analysis and discussions based on the above aspects form as justification for ArDOT, an Architectural Design Optimisation Tool under development at IRUSE, National University of Ireland, Cork. Combining all three aspects into one makes ArDOT unique, which is essentially an enhanced decision making tool for the design of energy efficient buildings.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


MOURSHED, M., KELLIHER, D. and KEANE, M., 2003. ArDOT: a tool to optimise environmental design of buildings. IN: Building Simulation 2003: Eighth International IBPSA Conference, Eindhoven, Netherlands, 11 - 14 August 2003, II, pp. 919 - 926.




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This paper was awarded one of five IBPSA awards presented at the biennial conference of International Building Performance Simulation Association at Eindhoven, Netherlands.




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