Overview

In this assignment, you’ll recommend a proposed design to the developers of a new high-rise building project in San Francisco based on your evaluation of potential buildings forms.

Design Brief

This project will be located in San Francisco, near the new Transbay Terminal at 200 Folsom Street, in a rapidly-growing area of the city with a good view of the waterfront and the Bay Bridge.

Your job is to create alternative building forms that we’ll be able to evaluate as the developer considers options for the final design. The building form should:

Building Geometry

• Provides between 1,200,000 and 1,500,000 SF of new floor area.
• Stays within the site development limits – up to 300’ x 450’ in plan view – with a height limitation of 750’.

Building Performance

• Minimizes the surface area of the building envelope.
• Maximizes the solar insolation potential as measured by cumulative insolation available on the building envelope surfaces throughout the year.

Economics

• Minimizes the projected construction cost – for simplicity, assume that the construction cost per SF will grow linearly from \$500 per SF at the ground level to \$1000 per SF at 750’ above the ground.

Approach

Create two parametrically-driven building forms that can be easily changed by varying one or two parameters -- one using one of the example forms that we’ve explored in class, and another using a new form of your own design).

Then, evaluate combinations of these input parameters  for each of these forms, and report the input parameters changed and the computed values for each of these reported parameters (also called metrics) in a table:

• the gross floor area created
• the gross surface area of the building envelope
• the gross volume of the tower

These metrics are computed automatically by Revit for every variation of building forms created using conceptual mass families.   For building forms created using Dynamo or Grasshopper, you’ll set up node logic to compute these values from the form geometry.

We’ll look at creating additional evaluation metrics (for example, building energy performance, solar insolation potential, value of space created, and projected construction cost) as we continue with this example in the next module.

Steps to Complete

For 2 Units

Step 1 – Set Up a Building Model to be Flexed and Tested using One of Our Example Revit Conceptual Mass Forms

• Import a conceptual mass element into a Revit project file that will represent the outer shape of your building form. You can use any of the conceptual forms that we’ve explored in the examples or located in the CEE 120C/220C Shared Library (for example, Twisting Rectangular Mass, Twisting Triangular Mass, or One WTC).
• Set up the Revit building model environment:
• Add new levels as needed and divide your mass element into mass floors that can be used to compute the Gross Floor Area of your building.
• Set the Project Location to San Francisco. This will be important for accurately determining the sun’s position.
• Set up the base constraints that will remain constant in all the cases you test:
• Adjust the instance parameters of the form to the desired values that will be held constant through your testing.
• Use formulas to set up any relationships between the parameters that should be maintained (for example, a constant twist or taper).

Step 2 – Build the Dynamo Graph Logic to Flex One of the Form’s Parameters

• Set up the Dynamo Graph logic to evaluate a single set of input values as the inputs for the instance parameters of your building form and report the requested metrics.
• Try varying the input values manually to test a variety of alternative design scenarios, and rerun your evaluation to compute the values for the requested metrics.

Step 3 – Report the Evaluation Metrics for At Least 6 Alternative Design Scenarios

• After you’ve confirmed that your Dynamo Graph logic works for input values that you set manually, set up a Dynamo List.Map to iteratively evaluate a range of values for one of the input parameters.
• Run a series of at least 6 test cases and report the input values used and the resulting metrics for each case in an easy-to-read summary table (created in Word, Excel, Google Sheets, or any data table tool) showing the input values tested and the values computed for each of the reported parameters. You can use one of Dynamo’s data exporting nodes to export the summary table directly (as shown in the examples) or create the summary table manually (by copying the results by hand).
• If you have Microsoft Excel installed on your computer, you can use the Data.ExportExcel node to create an Excel file.
• If you don’t have Excel installed, you can use the Data.ExportCSV node to create a text file with the result values.
• If you’d prefer to create the table manually, just copy the results by hand to fill-in your own table. Note -- it’s much better to create the table automatically. That way, the table is always updated if you change any inputs and re-run your analysis.

For 3 or 4 Units

Step 4 – Create a New Building Form of Your Own Design to be Flexed and Tested

• Create a new model that will represent the outer shape of your building form. You can use (your choice):
• A new Revit conceptual mass family
• Dynamo geometry
• Grasshopper geometry
• A good strategy is to first create profiles representing floor shapes that can be parametrically flexed, then place these profiles at several key levels and loft them into an overall building form.
• If you’ll be creating a Revit conceptual family that can be twisted, be sure to use the Template provided in the CEE 120C/220C Shared Library as a starting point. It’ll save lots of time!
• Import your new building form into the same modeling environment used in Step 1.

Step 5 – Build the Node Logic to Flex Two of the Form’s Parameters

• Make a copy of your Dynamo or Grasshopper Graph for Steps 1 thru 3 and add “Part 1” to the filename. Then, save your new logic in a new Dynamo Graph with “Part 2” in the filename.
• Enhance your the Dynamo or Grasshopper Graph nodes created in Step 2 to evaluate two sets of input values as the inputs for the instance parameters of your building form and report the requested metrics.
• Try varying the input values manually to test a variety of alternative design scenarios, and rerun your evaluation to compute the values for the requested metrics.

Step 6 – Report the Evaluation Metrics for 6 Additional Design Scenarios using this New Building Form

• After you’ve confirmed that your Dynamo or Grasshopper Graph logic works for input values that you set manually, set up a Dynamo List.Map or Grasshopper Anemone loop to iteratively evaluate combinations of input values for two of the input parameters.
• Run a series of at least 12 test cases and report the input values used and the resulting metrics for each case in easy-to-read summary table (created in Word, Excel, Google Sheets, or any data table tool) showing the input values tested and the values computed for each of the reported parameters.

Submit

• Please create a folder named “Module 5” within your personal folder in our Autodesk Construction Cloud project:
• Then, upload these items to your Module 5 folder using the web interface:
• If you completed Part 1 (for 2 units) or Part 2 (for 3 or 4 units) of the assignment using Revit and Dynamo, please upload:
• Your Revit project (.RVT) file
• 💡
Please the following naming convention for your uploaded files: "#ofUnits_NameAndLastName_Module#".  For example: 4units_NicolasOrtizAbello_Module5.rvt
• Your conceptual mass family (if you used one)
• Your Dynamo Graph (.DYN) files
• Any supporting custom nodes that you used or created
• If you completed Part 2 of the assignment using Grasshopper, please upload:
• Your Rhino project (.3DM) file
• Your Grasshopper Graph (.GH) file
• Also upload the summary tables (created in Word, Excel, Google Sheets, or any data table tool) showing the input values tested and the values computed for each of the reported parameters.
• Create a link to your Module 5 folder:
• Right-click on the Module 5 folder in the file tree (at the left side of the interface) and choose Share from the pull-down menu.
• Choose Share with Project Members, then switch to the Link tab.
• Click the Copy button to copy the link to your clipboard.
• Create a new posting on this Notion page — Design Journal Entry: Flex Your Form — including:
• Images/screenshots showing two variations of the input parameters that you tested for:
1. one of the provided building forms
2. your new, original building form
• An image of your Dynamo and Grasshopper Graph workspaces
• A brief description of your design outlining the parameters that can be used to flex and dynamically change your building form

✏️
Design Journal Entry: Flex Your Form — Due May 6