Wai Chan

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Journal Entry For
Module 7 - Study Your Options
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Related to 120C/220C Students - Spring 2022 (1) (Related to Design Journal Entries | Winter 2022 (Linked Student))

Module 7 - Study Your Options


1. Three Design decisions with the Generative Design Framework

It is assumed that I have received an instruction to provide a proposal regarding the development of a new office building in downtown. In general, the project is going to be built in a developed city with many existing buildings surrounding to it and the development site is close to the airport.

There are many stakeholders and different requirements or restrictions to this project. Therefore, I decided to adopt the Generative Design tool to study my options and help me figuring out the best option from all the results.

In my proposal, I’m going to introduce three design decisions for the Development of Office Building.

Design Decision (A) – Cost Saving Design without Views of Iconic Bridge

  • Objective: Lowest construction cost
  • Model: Floor plan area and views are considered as Variables and height is considered as Constant.
  • Design Variables: from 1,200,000 to 1,500,000 SF of Floor Area
  • Constants: Height of 500’
  • Evaluators: Minimize the Construction Cost by reducing the floor area and views
  • Interpretation: The lowest construction cost could be identified by the lowest 1,200,000 and less views to the iconic bridge.

Design Decision (B) – Modern Design with the best view of the City’s Iconic Bridge

  • Objective: Most views on the iconic bridge by maximizing the views without obstruction
  • Model: Total height will be the design variable and the floor plan area is considered as constant.
  • Design Variables: As there is a height restriction of 500’ due to the airport area, the range is considered from 300’ – 500’
  • Constants: it is going to provide a total floor area of 1,200,000SF.
  • Evaluators: Maximize the view by calculating the directness to the bridge
  • Interpretation: By looking at the most directness of the result, the best view of options could be identified without consideration of the construction cost

Design Decision (C) – Sustainable Office Building Design

  • Objective: Reduce the utility cost during the building operation
  • Model:

Design Variables – (1) Middle – Rotation, (2) Top – Radius, (3) Top – Rotation; Constants: (1) Base – Radius, (2) Middle - Radius

  • Design Variables: Middle – Rotation (From 0 to 180); Top – Radius (From 30 to 50); Top – Rotation (From 0 to 180)
  • Constants: Base – Radius (40); Middle – Radius (40)
  • Evaluators: Solar Potential Total Cost; Solar Insolation; Cost Per Insolation
  • Interpretation: By maximizing the solar insolation, the higher total cost may be increased.

A more detailed description of the design decision from Step 2 that you decided to run a Generative Design Study with. Use the Framework structure to keep it consistent.

2. Detailed Description of the Design Decision (C)

For the detailed description, I chose Design Decisions (C) to run a Generative Design Study by using the similar framework structure to describe the major elements for my final decision making.

A. Objective

The purpose of this design decision is to return the best case of the solar potential by using the Generative Design Study.

B. Model

There are total THREE nos. of design variables and TWO nos. of Constants that I have relied on in the Study Graph as follows:-

Design Variables:

The design variables are related to the shape of the building by changing the rotation and Radius at Top and middle level as follows:-

  • Middle – Rotation
  • Top - Radius
  • Top - Rotation


The Constants are related to Size of Base and Middle by keeping the radius unchanged.

  • Base - Radius
  • Middle – Radius

The figure below showing the setting of the Design Variables and Constants and their value accordingly.

Figure 1 - Design Variables and Constants
Figure 1 - Design Variables and Constants

C. Design Variables

I have applied the following input numbers for the Design Variables:-

  • Middle – Rotation (From 0 to 180)
  • Top – Radius (From 30 to 50)
  • Top – Rotation (From 0 to 180)

D. Constants

I have also applied the following Constants to build the lofted surface of the building shape.

  • Base – Radius (40)
  • Middle – Radius (40)

E. Evaluators

THREE evaluators of this study graph can then be analyzed from “Design Variables” and “Constants”.

  • Total Cost
  • Solar Insolation
  • Cost Per Insolation

The figure below showing Three evaluators of this study.

Figure 2 - Three Evaluators of this Study
Figure 2 - Three Evaluators of this Study

F. Interpretation:

By using the generative design study with different variables and constants, different evaluators can then be shown in the Study Graph.

By studying the results of study graph, the highest solar insolation of 171,123,625 is identified with the total cost of 41,233,409.

3. Generative Design Study Graph

Figure 3 - Study Graph of Design Decision (C)
Figure 3 - Study Graph of Design Decision (C)
Figure 4 - Selected building for the best option from the study graph
Figure 4 - Selected building for the best option from the study graph

4. Dynamo Study Graph

Figure 5 - Screenshot of the dynamo workplace.
Figure 5 - Screenshot of the dynamo workplace.