- Key / Essential / Unique Design Features:
- Greywater System: Initially I wanted to create a rainwater collection system so that my exhibition center could be self-sustaining, but I didn’t have the time to do the research or figure out the implementation measures. However, I was able to successfully create a small greywater system within the plumbing system for my restrooms. This way water used in the sinks will be recycled and reused to flush the toilets.
- Sloped Roof: Although I didn’t add any solar panels to my model, the hope was to create enough surfaces that could host them. For this reason I left my roofs flat and slightly sloped so that the “solar panels” could receive the proper exposure to sunlight. I also found my roof shape to be very aesthetically pleasing.
- Building Shape: When I first started this project, I was really hoping to create a building that had an organic and fluid shape but I ran into some modeling problems. To get the shape I wanted, I was using mass models, but they didn’t interact very well with regular architectural features. So then I tried my best to create an “organic” shape using the different radial wall placing tools and I came up with a shape similar to a cloud. It wasn’t quite what I wanted, but I am happy with how it turned out.
- Your Big Successes
- Atrium: I am pretty proud of my atrium feature, it really opened up the space in a way that I think makes everything feel just a little more connected even though they are on separate levels. Although, I will say, this did take up a lot of space that I could’ve used to increase the width of circulation areas and the size of my core (maintenance and restrooms).
- Skylights: The southern facade of my building consisted of a lot of glazing because it provided a lot of natural lighting and it also looks very nice, I think. But insight quickly let me know that there is such a thing as too much glazing, at a certain point the amount of glazing can start having negative impacts like too much heat. Because of this, I really tried to reduce the amounts of glazing percentage, but that left the other sides of my building very dark so I resorted to small skylights. The main skylight is featured over the main stairway, and the other two are over two of the exhibition spaces. I did take into consideration the placement of the beams, but it was harder to work around the HVAC system.
- Outdoor Spaces: During one of my check-ins, I’m not sure who mentioned it, but it was brought up that one of their goals was to make sure that people on every level would have access to outdoor spaces. I really liked this goal and I implemented it in my model. On the first floor there is an outdoor dining space and an outdoor kids area. On the second floor, there is a balcony over the main entrance on the south side. Finally, on the third floor there is a large outdoor space with shading.
- Your Big Challenges:
- Level Height: I think my first mistake was not making my level elevations larger. I set my levels at 14 feet and I thought that would be enough to have the effect of a large open space because of the tall ceilings, but that was not the case. After I added in the structural components and the HVAC system, I was left with a ceiling height of 9 feet. I hadn’t really anticipated how much space these systems would take up. In the future I will make sure to give myself some wiggle room and add in a good 5 extra feet. This definitely would’ve made it much easier to navigate the HVAC system without worrying that my ducts and vents would be too low.
- Roof: Although I was really happy with the way that my roof turned out, I recognize now how I could’ve used the roof space more effectively had I made some changes. Currently my roof is just sloped so that so only solar panels can be placed on it. However, had I left my roof flat, I could’ve put my HVAC handling unit on the roof and hidden it with sloped partial roofs surrounding it (like how it is in the engineering quad here at Stanford).
- Structural: My building shape consisted of both circles and a rectangle so it was definitely a bit challenging to coordinate my grid system. Also, because I created a sloped roof, I had to go back and make sure that my beams were lined up as best as they could be (as best as I could get them) with the roof. This wasn’t something I initially thought of or realized, so it was a bit frustrating having to go back and try to fix it. As of now, the beams are still slightly off but it’s a big improvement compared to what I had before. In the future, I definitely wouldn’t have sloped my roof and gone through with a more simple building shape.
- Core Size: Finally, I really underestimated the amount of space that is required for bathrooms and the maintenance rooms. I was only able to fit in two single restrooms on each floor and my maintenance room wasn’t able to fully house an air handler. To avoid this sort of problem in the future, I would just overestimate the amount of space required and that way I have some left over rather than not enough.
- Lessons Learned:
- Time Management: I think the most important piece of advice that I would give myself or a future student is to not get stuck on the tiniest of details. I’m sure I spent way too much time trying the fix small mistakes that took my attention and time away from focusing on the entirety of the module. I would also advise future students to start their work early, even if they can only work on it for 30-60 minutes at a time. It really beats starting Thursday or Friday night and having to request an extension that will take over your weekend.
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