Module 3 Points to Ponder

Your Name
Alexander Li
Submitted For
Module 3 - Points to Ponder
Please share your comments on 3 of the following Points to Ponder questions. (Choose 3 of the questions below.)

Why is it important to accurately model the land features of your project site with a toposurface?

It's important to accurately model the land features of a project site because the topography will influence the architectural design of the building, the required utility connections, the structural elements needed to withstand the stresses from differing site conditions and the geotechnical work that is required to prepare the site foundation.

The elements of the design that are most affected by the topography include:

  • floor plan of a building (especially if a building is more than one story).
  • energy design (topography can both hinder and enhance a building's energy efficiency profile)
  • foundational work (site conditions have enormous impact on the required foundational work and preparation needed on site)

When designing a project...

Some mixture of both site adaption and building adaption is required for a good design. However, I believe that the building should adapt to the terrain. Although an ideal site would be perfectly flat, a lot of interesting architecture and built environments take advantage of their site conditions, creating a building that addresses a particular problem and thus, is unique in its design. Because site conditions are completely unique, adapting the site will create a building that is geographically unique.

What considerations affect a project team's decision-making when deciding the floor-to-floor height to use in a multi-story building?

  • Real estate developers want a floor-to-floor height that is attractive to future buyers or renters, but they also want to maximize the number of floors that can be built at a cost-effective price under the zoning requirements of the city.
  • Designers want a floor-to-floor height that's stable, to reduce conflicts in design. The sooner the floor-to-floor height is decided, the lesser the chance that a time-consuming conflict will need to fixed in the design.
  • Engineers want a floor-to-floor height that will meet A) the structural requirements for safety of a building (engineers want to minimize column size, and lower heights help; they also want to ensure the floor is thick enough to withstand structural loads) and B) meet the system requirements for operability in the building (e.g. is there enough space for utilities, electrical work, etc.)
  • Builders want a floor-to-floor height that will make it easy to build. Part of this is minimizing the framework needed for certain activities (like concrete pours), part of this of this is ensuring that equipment needed for construction is easily movable and accessible.
  • Owners want a floor-to-floor height that is operable and maintainable, as well as a floor-to-floor height that will attract tenants to stay in the building. Like the real-estate developer though, they also want to maximize the amount of usable floor space in a building.

What are the advantages of stacking the levels of a multi-story building vertically?

  • Can you share an interesting example of a building that doesn’t vertically stack (where the floor plates change their shaped radically between the floor levels)?
  • What were the advantages or reasons for non-vertical stacking?

Why do stairs follow specific proportions with a set relationship between the tread length and riser height?

  • How can building modeling help prevent the mistakes that often occur when designing and installing stairs?

Describe a case when it would be worthwhile to create a new custom component in Revit… How do you decide when customize versus using readily available components?