Design Journal Entry - Module 12 Wrap Up - Louisa Gan

Journal Entry For
Module 12 - Sharing Your Project
Mar 18, 2023 9:57 PM
Created by
Louisa Gan
Date 1
Date 2
Last Edited
Mar 28, 2023 1:56 AM
Your Name

My final check-in folder is located HERE.


Key/Essential/Unique Design Features:

The project is to design a Sustainable Built Environment Learning and Exhibition Center. My building is located near the Stanford Dish, which is near our campus. At the early stage of my design, I set four goals that I hope to achieve for my project at the end of the quarter. I wanted to improve the building’s performance by reducing the overall building energy usage, maximize the user’s satisfaction by providing excellent views of the building’s surroundings, use sustainable materials to construct the building, and give back as much green space to the environment as possible. All the modeling decisions I made during the quarter were based on these goals.


My building has three floors. The overall building is well-insulated with high R-value walls and roof, so heat would not flow in and out easily from my building. I placed many south-facing windows with the shading device to maximize sunlight exposure, bring warmth to the building during winter, and utilize daylighting to reduce lighting demand. I utilized the exterior curtain walls with windows to maximize a clear view of the building’s surrounding environment. Solar panels cover over 90% of the roof area to convert solar energy into electricity to power the building. The building’s structural beams, columns, and floors are all made of mass timber. Some of the exterior walls are green walls so that plants can grow on them. Moreover, I designed a greywater system for the building to use recycled water to save water usage.

My Big Successes:

I have achieved several big successes in my building.

  • Based on the Autodesk Insight 360 results, my building has the potential to overcome the Architecture 2030 challenge to reduce its energy consumption and CO2 emissions significantly. The building is oriented in a way on the landscape that can best utilize the sun to improve the building’s performance; the solar panels cover almost the whole roof, which would generate a high amount of electricity to power the building.
  • I used sustainable building material, mass timber, to construct the structural beams, columns, and floors; the embodied energy and carbon of the overall construction of my building would be reduced.
  • My structural grids and system follow a regular pattern, which can increase the constructability of the building.
  • The curtain systems and windows on the exterior faces of my building allow users to enjoy the beautiful and tranquil view of the Stanford Dish outside of the building.
  • To contribute to the user’s comfort and well-being, the mass timber structure is aesthetically pleasing for users to look at; it can also add a natural vibe to the space. The spiral staircase at the center of the building is also an architectural component; it can attract more people to use the stairs instead of waiting for the elevators to promote well-being.
  • The building is well-insulated with high R-value exterior walls and roof to regulate the heat flow inside the building better. The exterior windows are made of triple low-e glass to reflect solar heat. The spiral staircase’s shaft at the center of the building utilizes natural ventilation to reduce the HVAC load demand for the corridors, lobby, and other public gathering spaces at the building’s center (triangular) portion.
  • I used a greywater system to recycle water from the lavatories and flush the toilets and urinals. The greywater system was not in my goals, but I decided to add that in when I learned module 10.
  • I utilized green walls to give back as much green space to the environment as possible.

My Big Challenges:

  • The biggest challenge for me is space planning. I need to plan all the spaces to make sure they have the appropriate size for their functions, and at the same time, make sure the corridors are not too narrow and ensure the doors are opened in the right direction, etc. At the beginning of the quarter, I had no prior knowledge of the HVAC and plumbing systems, so I needed to figure out how much space these systems would need. I used the typical restroom and mechanical room example in Module 5 to model the restrooms and mechanical rooms with similar dimensions for my building. Before I modeled the structural, HVAC, and plumbing systems, I needed to take some time to figure out how high the elements should be placed so that they wouldn’t conflict with other components. I had to switch back and forth from 3D to 2D and cut many section views to determine an appropriate modeling height for my beams, ducts, and pipes. I took much time to prevent elements from crashing into one another.
  • Another challenge for me is the coordination between different models. When I modeled my architectural model, I rotated the true project north to optimize the building performance (based on the feedback I received from Insight 360). However, I forgot to rotate the true project north for my structural system, which caused a big misalignment between the two model files when I merged them in Autodesk Construction Cloud, even though I linked the models from origin to origin.

Lessons Learned:

I have learned a lot from this class and enjoyed building modeling. Below are some of the things I learned.

  • Spend more time planning the spaces wisely before going into the modeling process to reduce the need to modify the original model back and forth to accommodate spaces for other systems.
  • Draw the structural framing, duct systems, and pipe layouts on your iPad or a piece of paper before you go straight into modeling. After knowing the overall layout of the system, it is much easier to model the actual elements in Revit and prevent many mistakes from being made.
  • Always think ahead. When I modeled the structural system, I knew that the HVAC ducts would be placed underneath my beams, so I limited the height of my beams to prevent the clear height of the floors from being squeezed after all systems were added.
  • Start the planning and modeling process early, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Ask the TAs and google online when you have questions.

Video Presentation / Tour of Your Project Features

The PPT for my final presentation is attached below:

Louisa Gan_CEE220B Final Presentation.pptx15184.3KB

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