algorithmic modeling for Rhino

Do you think a model or methodology flowchart for pre-rationalization of free-form facades could be a great help for designing architectural envelopes and facades?

This Model would include a series of decisions you can make while forming a facade and it would give you an overall limits in manufacturing industry to prevent over optimism of building technology. The model would lay out different types of glass and their manufacturing limitations, initial idea of connections and performance. The visual chart would give a good idea of what you want, what can be achieved and what will be their outcomes. The chart will provide the architect the knowledge of "questions" to answer and incorporate the solutions in the design to decrease post rationalization done by Facade Engineers. It would decrease the risk of having the shape changed due to post-rationalization.

Any comments to improve it will be much appreciated. Once the chart is complete it will be available for free.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Huzefa,

Sounds very interesting.
You are currently working on creation of this flowchart?

Are you an engineer or architect?

Yes, I am making this Chart these day. I am a Facade Engineer with an Msc in Facade engineering (previously an architect) and am in the design and fabrication industry in the UK. The new architects in the market compete in International Design Competitions having little idea of the facade industry. This visual flowchart could be very informative in giving parameters to the digital designs of envelopes.

Now I am even more interested in your project.

Will it deal with different types of it - structural glazing, double, steel-glass? Or generally cover the aspects like spans, modules, building physics?

Hey i have attached below a bit of areas i'm focusing on. It will be very interesting to have first hand discussion with designers increase the scope.
Decisions such as structural glazing, double skin, steel framing will be covered and questions to keep in mind are raised through the flowchart. Every form and its component assembly raises different questions which can help one make decisions early in the design process.

Hell yea, sounds really great.

Attached are are the issues i am currently focusing on. Please comment on them and let me know of the perimeters usually given to the generative model.



Do you want to make it as an interactive web app or just stay with a static chart ? There are so many different areas here, it would be nice to get it interactive.

I would suggest to lets take it step by step. Currently i am gathering Data from the manufacturing side.

Which of these do you think are the things a designer seldom think of?

In my modest opinion it would be the "Construction" category.
Even though this is a job of an engineer, there has to be a at least some guidance on the very construction system that will be used on that facade. Steel interconnected grid, cable net, junction types...

I think that part should be considered as more important to architect, than ways of actual producing the construction, tolerances, etc.

I agree with you as the other categories are some how explored by the architect in designing the form.

Construction and manufacturing limitations to size and performance are the major focus of the project.

Hi Huzefa,

your project sounds interesting.

Will your flowchart just limited to glazing facades, because somehow it sounds like this?

Or will this be just the first step and other types will follow?

Maybe this could also be somehow the start of the developement of a Grasshopper BIM Plug-In?

I'm looking forward for the first results.



Hi Martin,

The flowchart would include in detail glazing and metal forming and fabrication processes. Concrete, plastics and timber would be mentioned but not in as much detail. May be later we all can make changes and add material components to make it more informative.

Which one of the chart above do you think is most ignored by architects in initial stages and may be a potential threat to major design changes in future?






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