Loughborough University
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Interactive constraint-based space layout planning

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conference contribution
posted on 2012-05-10, 11:35 authored by Shariful H. Shikder, Andrew Price, Monjur Mourshed
Layout planning is the primordial design activity that determines the characteristics and performance of a building throughout its lifecycle. Due to its iterative nature, there is a growing interest in the automation of space layout planning to enhance the search for optimum design solutions. The approaches for automation range from constraint/heuristics-based to the application of numerical optimisation algorithms. Among these, the use of design constraints to guide the search of the solution space is well regarded due to its ability to model design problems of an applied nature with multiple objectives. Constraint-based approaches also allow interactivity between the designer and layout planning process, which simulates the iterative nature of creative design and can be integrated well with the existing design process. Interactivity also enhances the management of design knowledge through improved processing and visualisation of information. This paper presents a theoretical framework for interactive constraint-based layout optimisation with an implemented prototype for a hospital patient room interior layout. The theoretical framework was developed by analysing existing layout automation methods and interactive approaches through a review of relevant literature. Object-oriented computer programming was used to develop the prototype to demonstrate the proposed approach of interactive layout planning system. The framework augments the iterative design process by facilitating the active participation and sharing of the designer’s knowledge during the aggregation. With regard to the implementation of the framework in large problems, fast evaluation of design solution was found to be necessary to interact with the system in real time. Interactive constraint-based layout optimisation has, therefore, the ability to enhance the search process of optimum design solutions by augmenting the iterative nature of the creative design process.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


SHIKDER, S.H., PRICE, A.D.F. and MOURSHED, M., 2010. Interactive constraint-based space layout planning. IN: Barrett, P. ... et al. (eds). Proceedings of CIB World Building Congress 2010: Building a Better World, 10th-13th May 2010, Salford, UK.




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