CEE 120C/220C

Parametric Design & Optimization | Spring 2016

03 June 2016

Parametric Building Massing Analysis

CEE220C | Joe Arnstein

This parametric model allows the user to input building base height and total height to determine total leasing revenue and construction cost as well as insolation values.  The scrip exports a file of data to an excel sheet.

02 June 2016

Assignment 5 - SF Residential Tower Challenge


For this assignment, we were asked to compare 10 different alternatives of buildings. My particular building begins with the profile of a 4 pointed star, and tapers upward to form a smaller star. It also has a top rotation, which I initially set to be 80 degrees. My tower can be seen below: 

Building at 670ft

The initial properties of this tower can be seen in the Revit table below:

Building at 670ft Properties

I began by first varying the height of the building, from 660 to 750ft to find the best alternative in terms of height. It turned out that my best alternative was this building with a height of 670ft, based mainly off of the EUI energy analysis measures. This building also had the second lowest net revenue compared to the rest of the buildings, however it was still the best alternative because the cost does not incorporate how the larger floor area affects the price. 670ft was only a bit more expensive because of the larger area, therefore allowing 670ft to still come out on top. 

The next best alternatives based on height were the 750ft, and 730ft, in that order. The data can be seen in the table below:

Screen Shot 2016 06 03 at 12.03.37 AM

After testing the heights, I decided to go ahead and test rotation based on my best case of 670ft. I tested rotations from 50 to 100 degrees. From this analysis, I discovered that the best rotation at 670ft was at 65 degrees. My next alternatives were at 80 and 70 degrees, in that order. A table showing the values used for my analysis can be seen in the table below:

Screen Shot 2016 06 03 at 12.03.52 AM

 It's interesting because the 670ft 65 degree rotation building is one of the most expensive buildings, however the EUI is the lowest. However, I think the discrepancies arise from the difference in floor areas, but overall if all floor areas were normalized, this building would be the ultimate winner. I therefore choose it as my best alternative. 

02 June 2016

Assignment 5

220C | Yang Yue

Assignment 5

My design is inspired by cyclone. I hope to create a shape that enables dynamic curves on the surface, though will not be specifically designed in this assignment. The shape was generated with three enclosed curves. The bottom is a horizontal oval, the top is a sloped oval, and in the middle, the outline turned into a perfect circle. By doing this, the mass created is born to be twisting, without any need to make adjustment.

I set many parameters to control the shape. But it seem like some of the parameters will not be strictly followed when mass volume is generated. So in Dynamo, I only tried to vary three parameters and made small changes in building shape. Note that we need to guarantee a total surface area of 1,200,000 to 1,500,000 sf, so I selected 10 scenarios within this range and manually did the analysis. However, three of the cases cannot be simulated due to some reasons.

The table show important information of my cases. Since the changes were small, all results are quite similar. In term of EUI value, the building with roof slope of 30 degrees ranks the highest. This is probably due to a smaller area of interior zone. The second best design is the forth one, but I cannot think about the reasons. Another choice is the one with large roof area. This is also my favorite in terms of building shape.  

Case Gross Floor Area (sf) Total Cost ($) Total Revenue ($) EUI (kBtu/sf/h) Solar Potential ((kBtu/sf/h))
H=600, MR=200, TW=275, TS=25 1.24E+06 884426967 1.63E+09   2.16E+10
H=650, MR=200, TW=275, TS=25 1.39E+06 1.019E+09 1.89E+09   2.12E+10
H=700, MR=200, TW=275, TS=25 1.55E+06 1.167E+09 2.18E+09 39.2 2.16E+10
H=650, MR=250, TW=275, TS=25 1.84E+06 1.348E+09 2.50E+09 35.8 2.16E+10
H=650, MR=200, TW=200, TS=25 1.48E+06 1.178E+09 2.23E+09 39.2 1.58E+10
H=650, MR=200, TW=225, TS=25 1.52E+06 1.213E+09 2.30E+09 39.3 1.76E+10
H=650, MR=200, TW=250, TS=25 1.55E+06 1.248E+09 2.37E+09   1.98E+10
H=650, MR=150, TW=300, TS=25 1.22E+06 989454632 1.89E+09 36.8 2.3E+10
H=650, MR=150, TW=350, TS=25 1.29E+06 1.05E+09 2.01E+09 36.6 2.7E+10
H=650, MR=150, TW=350, TS=30 1.37E+06 1.019E+09 1.90E+09 35.2 2.12E+10


02 June 2016

SF Residential Tower

CEE220C | Amirhossein Hashemi

For this assignment, I compared almost 20 alternatives (10 based on height, and 10 based on the top rotation). The top view of all alternatives is like this:

In which you can set the width only, since it's placed inside of a square.

For energy analysis part, first, I analyzed ten alternatives changing the height from 660 ft. to 750 ft. Considering EUI, annual energy costs, and also total value of the building, the best case turned out to be 720 ft. tower, with an EUI of 35.80 (kBtu/ft²/year). After that, I analyzed ten new alternatives by changing the top rotation of the tower from 0 to 45 degrees. Amongst these alternatives, the lowest EUIs are for 20 and 25 degrees, respectively. This is how I found my two best alternatives. And for the third one, I went back to different heights and chose the one with the lowest EUI, which was for the height of 670 ft. (even though the total revenue is not that attractive, compared to the other two alternatives!)

02 June 2016

Assignment 5 - SF Residential Tower Challenge

CEE 220C - Jordan Pratt

I compared two main building forms: a block "S" and a block "J". Both of these were designed in response to a rising need of graduate housing for Stanford University. The block "S" is obviously a nod to the great running back Stefan Taylor, and the block "J" pays respect to the first president of Stanford University, David Starr Jordan.

The primary inputs I chose to vary were building height and twist angle. Both building forms taper to get slightly wider as they go up, and consistently twist in resonse to an adjustable parameter.

First I optimized both buildng shapes for value (revenue - cost), and the maximum height was the clear winner for both forms.

The second parameter I varied was building twist angle. I chose to vary the "J" first from -30 to +30 degrees. The output parameter I optimized for was building Energy Use Intensity (EUI) with the units of kBtu/SF/year. The "J" form at 15 degrees of twist resulted in the lowest EUI of 36.016 kBtu/SF/year.


I recommend the 744 foot tall (62 story), "J" form with a twist angel of positive 15 degrees. My #2 recommendation is the 62 story "J" with 0 degrees of twist, because it maximizes revenue at $1.067 Billion. My #3 choice is the "S" form for its school spiritedness.

Finally, after many days of blood, sweat, tears, I was able to select a winner, and panelize the surface.

...and with that, I complete my Stanford education. I would like to thank Glenn for his tireless dedication to the Stanford students. Glenn, you are the man.

God bless you all.

Jordan Pratt


01 June 2016

Assignment 5


Assignment 5

Instead of changing a single form and coming up with ten iterations, I created ten different building masses to test individually. I tested a wide range of buildings that curved, twisted, sloped, tapered, angled, and more! I made each building by creating a new mass in Revit and then pushing and pulling the form and using voids until I reached a shape that I liked. I then ran each building through my Dynamo script and recorded the following information in my Excel file: building height, total building volume, total floor area, annual energy use, solar insolation potential, preserved open-space, construction cost, and sales revenue. I ranked the buildings based on their lifecycle profit (Revenue - Construction Cost - Lifecycle Cost). According to this ranking system, these are the best performing buildings:

1. Triangle (Building #9)

2. Bent (Building #1)

3. Oval-Rect (Building #3)


After this analysis, I recommend building #3 (Triangle). 


A360 Model Link:

27 May 2016

Assignment 5

CEE 220C | Brittany Morra

My building has an L-shaped base and teardrop shaped top. I varied the heights, widths, radii, and rotation.

Ultimately, my recommendation would depend on the client’s preferences. However, without knowing specifics, I recommend Option 9 as the top choice. This option has a 750’ tall tower with width of 250’ and top radius of 83’. This option rotates the building 90 degrees to decrease insolation; on a building with a large amount of glazing, solar heat gain can significantly increase cooling loads, so decreasing the insolation decreases the energy consumption. This option optimizes revenue (revenue minus cost is the highest) and provides the best views of the Bay and surrounding area. Because this option is a tall tower, it also provides the largest amount of open space on site compared to the other options with shorter towers.

Choice 1:

The second option I would recommend is Option 10. This option is a shorter tower, 550’ high, 270’ wide, and 100’ top radius and is rotated 90 degrees. This option is good because it costs less than the 750’ tower but still offers views of the Bay and a relatively high revenue. This option also uses less energy than the 750’ tower because it has less surface area to volume and is less affected by solar heat gain.

Choice 2:

Option 3 is my third recommendation. This option is only 330' tall and is 360' wide. It is cheaper than the other two options but brings in less revenue and the views are not as good. This may be the best option for a client with a limited budget, and it would most likely have lower energy use than the tall tower.

Choice 3:

11 May 2016

Assignment 4 - Soak Up the Sun


In this assignment, I used the same structure from assignment 2 to "soak up the sun." I allowed the amplification value of the middle curve to be an input, as well as the outer curve's "number of waves."

I specifically focused on how the amplification value of the middle curve can affect sun directness and insolation values, since I thought it would be more interesting and less intuiutive for me. I initially thought that the smaller the amplification values, the higher the sun directness and insolation values would be. However this was not exactly the case.

For the sun directness values, I found the amplification to be ideal at 2. Going below 2 or above 2, even by 0.5, would decrease the sum of the sun directness values of my structure. This is contrary to what I thought since I saw an amplification of 1 to be ideal because more sun would be reaching them. However the waves from the curve in front would block the middle panels from reaching the sun if their amplifcations were too low. In addition, sometimes having a bigger amplification allows the sun to reach the panels on the waves more easily. The amplification of 2 created the structure I have below, which differs from my initial structure since the initial structure had an amplification of 10 for the middle curve. 

Sun Directness Updated 59.12 Ampl 2

For ideal insolation values, I took advantage of the List.Map in order to find the optimal amplification value for my structure. I found that the optimal amplification value for the middle curve was 10, as I had initially in my structure. This, again, is completely opposite what I would've expected. 


10 May 2016

Assignment 4 - Soak up the Sun

CEE 220C | Brittany Morra

I used to find the best rotation for the structure, and I played with the shelter dimensions manually to find a shape that increased the solar insulation but still maintained the overall shape and feel of the design.

The first picture shows the cumulative insolation, and the second picture shows the structure at one point in time (with adaptive colors and panel openings).

09 May 2016

Assignment 4

CEE 220C | Yang Yue

Assignment 4

I got inspired from a signature structure in 2010 Shanghai World EXPO. It can be used as a shelter while giving a dynamic appearance. The structure is semi closed. The inner area, if designed to be an exhibition area, can provide good daylighting with very litter direct beam. The outer space around the structure is well sheltered from sun light and rain. According to the calculation, the structure has aninstantaneous directness score of 31-32, which can provide some space for PV panels. 

The top edge of the structure can be adjusted, which can be flatter or steeper to fit the sun angle. 

09 May 2016

Assignment 4


Assignment 4

A360 Link:


Almost all of the components of this structure are mathematically driven. The shape of the surface is driven by a lofted surface of three curves which can be altered by changing the amplitude, frequency, and degrees of the sine curve. A circular trim adorns the edges of the structure - the radius of which can be changed with a slider as well. Curved adaptive-beams are placed along the structure. You can increase of decrease the number and spacing of the beam with an integer slider. Panels with rectangular openings cover the entire surface. You can change the number of panels in the grid through sliders. The structure responds to the sun! Panels that receive more sunlight have smaller openings, while panels with less sunlight have larger openings. This reduces the amount of direct sunlight entering the structure in order to reduce its solar heat gain, but also provides ample natural daylighting. The colors of the panels change as well depending on the directness of the sunlight (green/blue/yellow). Within dynamo, the cumulative solar insolation at different parts of the surface was mapped to the colors yellow and red in order to provide visual feedback during the initial design phase.

A function was created in order to find the degrees in the sine curve which result in the largest amount of cumulative solar insolation for the structure (see custom node). After playing around with it for awhile, I realized that the maximum solar insolation would be when the roof was completely flat - but that was boring! So I gave myself a constraint in order to find the degrees in the sine curve that would result in a certain amount of cumulative solar insolation. Once this number was found in the dynamo function, that number was plugged in as the value in a second instance of that same custom node in order to generate the surface. The cumulative solar insolation as well as the solar potential is calculated for the surface as a whole and for the panels. 


03 May 2016

Assignment 3


Assignment 3

I created a new conceptual mass and explored how to add parameters to control the positions of the curves in a more fluid way. After applying the Rect Seamless adaptive panel, I added an image of flowers to the panels. Using boolean switches and if statements, I added in the possibility that allows the image to be mirrored and flipped. Then, using the brightness of the colors, the panels increase or decrease in thickness. Using if statements and a boolean switch, you can choose between debossed and embossed effects.


A360 Link:

20 April 2016

Assignment 2 - Give me Shelter

220C | Brittany Morra

Assignment 2 - Give me Shelter

I started thinking about a design that would provide a little shelter from the wind as well as shelter from the rain and sun. I also wanted it to be accessible from all sides, even though there is a front.

The resulting design reminded me of a frog, so I chose green and blue for the colors.

The parametric features are the length, width, height of the front and back arches, the number of ribs, size of the panel openings (the type of panels can be changed too), and there is an option to switch the front arch to a squiggly sine wave arch. Lots of options!

20 April 2016

Wenjin Situ: Parabola Parametric Shelter

CEE 220C | Wenjin Situ

In this project, I create two versions of parabola parametric shelters. In this first version, the surface is created by two sine parametric functions that can be manipulated by changing the amplitude and frequency. After the surface is created, the surface is sub-divided with quads and placed with resizable rectangular panels. The number of panels can also be manipulated to suit the user.

In the second version of shelter, I use a different approach to create a similar shelter. The surface is covered with adjustable panels as the previous shelter, but the curves to difine the surface is created using three points for each curve.

Subdivided curves are also created to place ribs in the shelter. I also wrote an small function such that the horizontal ribs will be placed after one intervals (rib-no ribs-rib-no rib...etc)

Hope you like them!

19 April 2016

Cesar Marco: Give Me Shelter

CEE 220C | Cesar Y. Marco

My assignment allow you to control the length of the structure I have design. One can also modify the number of ribs as well as the number of panels. The openings of the panels were also modified to follow a sine wave pattern. 

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