Conceptual Design

Your Name
Melissa Lopez
Linked Student
Journal Entry For
Module 4 - Conceptual Design - Building Context & Passive Design
ACC Folder Link
Jan 22, 2022 6:07 AM
Last Edited
Jan 24, 2022 2:02 AM


For the Environmental Lab Exhibit, the Jasper Ridge Preserve deemed itself as an optimal space to create a space that embraces the outdoors, natural light, and a modern feel.

The main component of the conceptual design that I focused on in this thought process was the sun’s impact on the design and orientation of the building.

Firstly, I created a couple of distinct designs to better understand how their shape would diffuse the sun’s shadow. Since I am particularly new to Revit, I was simultaneously exploring how to show the shadows of all the models at the same time. During this exercise I focused on different times of the day and the different shadows created with the sun’s movement.


Sun Path at 9am


Sun Path at 11am


Sun Path at 2pm

Solar Analysis for Potential Designs:


The takeaway from this exercise: This allowed me to create a building design where I could optimize the east, south, and west-facing sides in order to enhance the sun’s impact on the building throughout the day.

I then proceeded to create a design that I thought combined these learning and created the design below.


Moving forward, this solar analysis plus the information provided by climate consultant suggests to me that optimizing solar heat gain for passive heating will be a key strategy in this project. Considering that one of this climate zone’s biggest needs for thermal comfort is heating due to the mildly cold temperature throughout the year means that optimizing windows for solar radiation is a net positive for the exhibit. The next steps will include how I can continue to mold the exhibit space by focusing on the roof’s orientation, window usage and perhaps reimagining the west wall.