Points to Ponder / Wrap-Up Questions
Please also share your comments on 3 of the Points to Ponder questions listed below in a new posting on this linked Notion page.
- Why is it important to accurately model the land features of your project site with a toposurface? What aspects of a building design are most affected by the terrain features? The construction team must know how much Earth to dig out of a site to leave room for the building pad on which the structure will rest, which is why accurately modeling a toposurface is essential.
- When designing a project:
- Should the building adapt to the terrain?
- Or, should you adapt the terrain to the building?
What a fascinating question! Modernist architects e.g. Le Corbusier and Mies might argue that there is a universal Internationalist style that exists as an ideal independent of terrain, whereas in the 21st Century, with the growing sustainable design movement, we might have to pay more attention to the environmental terrain in our designs. For the purposes of our course, though, we certainly adapt the terrain to the building when we lay down our building pad.
- What considerations affect a project team's decision-making when deciding the floor-to-floor height to use in a multi-story building?
- From a real estate developer's perspective?
The real estate developer probably wants to maximize floor space per unit height, so they’d likely favor low floor-to-floor height.
- From a designer's perspective?
Tall ceilings can be quite aesthetically moving, so I’d hypothesize that designers would tend to prefer, by contrast, high floor-to-floor heights.
- From an engineer's perspective?
Higher ceilings can incur greater energy costs, I’d speculate, so sustainability engineers may favor low heights. On the other hand, for a given TOTAL height, perhaps increasing the height of floor to floor would not have that much of an impact. An interesting research question….
- From a builder's perspective?
Higher ceilings can mean higher construction costs, I’d imagine.
- From an owner's perspective?
The owner will likely prefer the openness that comes with higher floor-to-floor heights, though this is of course subjective.
- What are the advantages of stacking the levels of a multi-story building vertically?
- Can you share an interesting example of a building that didn't vertically?
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water is much more horizontal than vertically stacked
- What were the advantages or reasons for non-vertical stacking?
Vertical stacking can make the experience of a building somewhat uninteresting both from the outside but, especially, from the interior. Not stacking vertically can make, by contrast, the experience dynamic and changing from level to level.
- Why do stairs follow specific proportions with a set relationship between the tread length and riser height?
If the riser height is too low, then stairs occupy too much floor space, but if too high, they’re not climbable (or safe!)
- How can building modeling help prevent the mistakes that often occur when designing and installing stairs?
By prescribing the tread length and riser height in advance, and in the context of the building model as a whole, we can prevent ambiguous construction directives that would lead to such mistakes.
- 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?
If you have a very particular client request for a specific space they care a great deal about, then perhaps creating a custom component in Revit is warranted; otherwise, why reinvent the wheel. Instead, take advantage of other designers’ work!