Garcia - Design Journal Entry - Module 4

Journal Entry For
Module 4 - Conceptual Design - Building Context & Passive Design
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Jan 26, 2024 5:12 AM
Last Edited
Feb 1, 2024 5:04 AM
Created by
Sam Garcia

Your Design Journal entries for this module should highlight:

  • the design alternatives that you modeled and tested
  • the results of the analyses and how they influenced your thinking about how to move forward

Use text , images, web links, movies... Whatever media works best to express your ideas!

Images of Your 3 Design Proposals

Paste screenshots of your 3 proposed building forms here...

These initial forms were primarily intended to practice using Autodesk Forma and to examine the impact that building height and orientation (as well as tilt) has on building performance, especially as related to solar hours and generation.

Because this project site is located in the Southern Hemisphere (Brazil), each proposal includes some sort of tilt toward the north (to maximize solar impact on those north-facing elements).

All 3 options also have different height levels to better understand the impact of height on shading, etc.

Option A


Option B


Option C


Side-By-Side Comparisons of Your Analysis Results

Paste at least 2 screenshots showing the side-by-side comparisons of the analysis results for your 3 proposed building forms here…



Your Recommendation for the “Best” Design Option

Create a few paragraphs outlining a brief explanation of why you chose this design option as the “best” after comparing your analyses of the proposals. Explain your reasoning and the tradeoffs that influenced your decision about which design option to move forward with.

Based on this preliminary analysis, Option A stands out as the “best” design option. Option A sees several key benefits:

  • Rooftop features one elevated and tilted section which can be used to host solar PV. This section of the roof is nicely situated (and is elevated enough) to avoid some of the shadows cast by the neighboring buildings to the north. This demonstrates that considering the shadows from the neighboring buildings will be key to maximizing onsite solar generation.
  • Roopftop features one flat lower section. This section of the roof could potentially be used to host additional solar PV, but given that the neighboring buildings block a significant amount of the sunroof on this building, it may be preferable to use that section for something else (green roof for building cooling and runoff benefits, hosting of HVAC equipment, etc.
  • From a purely visual perspective, Option A strikes me as more interesting and more appealing relative to Option B. This suggests that use of multiple/layered structures can provide visual benefits that a single standalone structure may not.
  • While Option C benefits from un-interrupted solar access at the topmost part of its “tower” section, that building height is not feasible for this project scope. As such, that design proposal was intended more as an educational opportunity to better understand the impact of height on building performance as related to solar access and generation.

Example of Solar PV on slanted rooftop: