Anjali Swamy

2 Units

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Step 1 - Generative Design Framework

A very brief description of the design decisions from Step 1 following the Generative Design Framework.

Design Decision 1: Designing a louver system to create passive shading in front of windows while minimizing cost of materials

  • Design Variables
    • Number of Louvers
    • Spacing of Louvers
    • Angle/Orientation of Louvers
  • Evaluators
    • Minimize the solar gain inside window
    • Minimize cost with material usage
    • Minimize the weight of the material (load)
  • Most Important Tradeoffs to Consider
    • Amount and cost of materials vs solar gain
  • Design Decision 2: Designing the size of a green wall to improve air quality while being economically reasonable
    • Design Variables
      • Length of Wall
      • Width of Wall
    • Evaluators
      • CO2 Absorbed and Oxygen emitted
      • Amount of water needed to maintain it
      • Cost of installation
      • Cost of maintenance
    • Most Important Tradeoffs to Consider
      • Increased size of wall vs. cost of installation and maintenance
  • Design Decision 3: Selecting grid layout and ceiling height to determine size of columns and beams needed to carry load - Maximize open volume in the room while minimizing material
    • Design Variables
      • X locations of columns on grid
      • Y locations of columns on grid
      • Story Height
    • Evaluators
      • Max Compressive Load on Column —> Size of Column
      • Max Moment on Beam in between columns —> Size of Beam/Ceiling Sandwich
      • Volume of free space
      • Volume of concrete material (proportional to cost and embodied carbon)
    • Most Important Tradeoffs to Consider
      • Increased floor height, bay size vs. volume of free space
      • Increased floor height, bay size vs. load of columns/beams
      • increased floor height, bay size vs volume of concrete/embodied carbon

Step 2 - Generative Design Study

For my study I selected my third design decision where I worked with changing the grid of columns and adjusted the floor height as parametric inputs, calculated the controlling loads on concrete beams and columns, adjusted the columns and ceiling sandwich in the Dynamo model to reflect the design per the loads, and evaluated the free volume in the space and concrete volume. An overview at my study graph and model is shown below:

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My study graph begins with establishing the inputs that will be used for generative design and other inputs that can be manipulated manually. Although required to have two inputs, my design inputs were the bay size in the X direction, Y direction, and floor to ceiling height. I set limits on the values to reasonable amounts for the design. The size of the overall floor slab and surface load used to calculate beam/column loads also can be varied manually.

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To make the dynamo geometry, I created a grid of points using the input for bay size and translated the points to the top of the floor height. I connected the point using cylinders to represent cylindrical concrete columns.

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To represent the ceiling sandwich depth controlled by the beams , I modeled two rectangles lofted together. The second rectangle was translated down using the depth calculated from the beam demands.

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After setting up the geometry, I used it to calculate the compressive load on the column and moment demand on the beam using the bay sizes. I also calculated the number of columns to be used later on.

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After calculating loads, I designed the beam and column and calculated the evaluators. First I calculated the concrete beam depth required, keeping the width at a constant of 20 inches (this can be adjusted to suit design needs). I also designed the area of the column needed to take the compressive loads ( I ignored rebar for simplicity). I then calculated the free volume inside the room where I subtracted the original square footage times height by area taken up by the columns and ceiling sandwich. This value will be maximized in my design for maximum open space per an architect’s desire.

The second evaluator was the volume of concrete from the beams and the columns which are proportional to cost and embodied carbon and therefore, should be minimized.

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Finally, the outputs were set as the free volume, volume of concrete, radius of column and depth of ceiling sandwich. For the generative design the free volume and volume of concrete were optimized.

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Step 3 - Generative Design Study Results

  • The screenshot of the Scatterplot or Parallel Coordinates Graph illustrating the tradeoff that you chose to model and study.
  • Provide a brief explanation of what’s being shown in the Scatterplot or Parallel Coordinates Graph and how the tradeoff being illustrated would impact the design decision. What would you do with this info?
  • An image of your Dynamo Study Graph (showing all your nodes and the connecting logic) -- You can use the File > Export Workspace As Image... command in Dynamo to save a PNG image to upload with your posting.

For my generative study, I chose to optimize maximizing the free volume and minimizing the volume of concrete. I ran 20 combinations.

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The generative design results are shown below. When looking to maximize volume of free space and minimize volume of concrete, tradeoffs need to be made.

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One combination that keeps the volume low while still having relatively higher free volume is the design shown below.

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Looking at a scatterplot with the volume of concrete on the x axis and free volume on the y axis can assist in making a decision that provides the best tradeoff. As the volume of concrete increases, the free volume seems to increase. The trend shows a steeper increase at lower concrete amounts and a plateau in free volume as the concrete amount increases. This relationship is due to the smaller bay sizes leading to shallower ceilings and lower column sizes resulting in more space. Although the amount of beams and columns increase with more bays resulting in a higher volume of concrete. One optimal design is shown below where the free volume is nearly maximized while maintaining a low amount of concrete. This design relies on large bay sizes and ceiling height. The next best option with 9 columns is shown in the image above when looking to pick a design using the other type of plot produced by generative design.

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