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Design methodology for integrating multipath systems (building services)

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journal contribution
posted on 14.11.2016, 14:56 by Farid Fouchal, Tarek HassanTarek Hassan, Dennis Loveday
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report on a geometrical integration methodology that can be used to organise some types of these systems. Most multipath delivery systems, such as Building Services (BSs), are arbitrarily distributed with no known solution to reduce the complexity in the way channels are arranged. Design/methodology/approach – Integration for optimal functionality through reduction of geometrical complexity is achieved by understanding the elements of complexity within current practices; identifying commonalities between the various components which can be used for integration; performing an axiomatic design to resolve design complications; adopting theory of inventive problem-solving for methodology and process development towards optimal functionality; and generating a mathematical solution to inform digital modelling of optimal design. The study takes into account thermophysical and electromagnetic interactions between utilities and uses novel mathematical manipulations based on designing a manifold of spherical and cylindrical geometries joined using Bezier surfaces. Findings – Once a solution was reached, computer-aided design (CAD) iterations were undertaken for channelling six BSs into a single unit. The outcome was concentric cylindrical–spherical shells superimposed with spacings of typically few millimetres to deliver/distribute the utilities. It is applied to bring together BSs into a single trunking system at minimal, yet appropriate, proximal distances, and it allows distribution of any number of services in any direction. Physical prototypes were produced and initial testing of their performance (reported elsewhere) has been encouraging. Originality/value – A design methodology for integrating arbitrary distributed paths/conduits. The approach could be incorporated into CAD tools as a design feature to facilitate integration of multipath delivery systems.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Journal of Engineering Design and Technology






491 - 506 (16)


FOUCHAL, F., HASSAN, T. and LOVEDAY, D., 2014. Design methodology for integrating multipath systems (building services). Journal of Engineering Design and Technology, 12 (4), pp.491-506.


© Emerald


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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