algorithmic modeling for Rhino

Integration Design Process: toward Energy and Structure Compatibility based upon Iranian Traditional Architecture Principles

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There was always an idea of how we can manage the most variables together toward a better qualified space? This aim was the serious issue had been challenged my mind. It was actually surrounded by lots of approaches and way of facing the design process which made my mind’s confusion between the complexities of this world. We as architects learnt to have more than one dimension at the moment through any subject and basically objects by the way. The way we are gathering the factors was obviously the hatch I thought should get through more sophisticated problems and solving procedure. But How?!

When I commenced studying the approaches and how architects or better to say designers are getting through a problem solving, I see the facts of designing process which was more adapted to what my dear Professor, Ali Mohammad Ranjbar Kermani (Faculty member of Qom University) had worked on. A design process which was facing the influential factors with the most dimension views as possible. These factors I insist on are actually divided to 3 basic part including: Form (Structure Elements and every physical part), Context (Environment, climate, culture, etc.) and Functions (Known as Architectural space and all its related qualifications). The factors also should have seen by sub-factors which means the structure, the energy, the environment the materials the human comfort, etc. back to the design process pointed out, in this procedure the designer will revolving all around the subject which is the architecture product or design product with the most view sight he can. Which brings us to his knowledge of the factors mentioned. As a result here, the more a designer knows about the true factor he must involves, the more qualification the final product will have. We all know these qualifications has been named in lots of view sights like sustainable designing. In fact, what we are looking for is a design process to cover more factors together and the key here is just one word and it’s “the Relations” between these factors.

People in civilized nations with far history have lots of great ideas in mathematics, chemistry, physics and related knowledge. These thought had been came through their lives as we all now have the same but with a little difference. They knew something to have the most qualified designs with bringing into their lifestyle. It’s now better to refer to my thesis supervisor Professor Mohsen Vafamehr’s quote says: “Traditional architects knew their time technology as a high-tech with less-material using” (Professor Vafamehr is faculty member of Iran University of Science and Technology). The most basic idea of my thesis has been built on Iranian traditional design processing which actually is really the same thing we can rely on from our past. That’s the way of facing architectural aims with the most Relativity between qualifications which all are defining A Architectural Space Identity. This identity now should be adapted to the architectural functions like a cube designed for a bedroom and how it provides those huge complexity of factors for human physical and mental comfort (The Idea of thinking around a simple cube and how it can be flexible for functions was mentioned by my dear Professor Mojtaba Samimi, who his works always inspiring me).

If we need a rule here in this world with infinite parameters as quantities and paradigms as qualifications, is defining our designing way as a process what can provide and choose the best relations between parameters and paradigms. Which brings us to the idea of whole my thesis as “Integration Designing Process”. In this process we need to look deep inside the parameters roles and their effects beside the paradigm’s functions. Unfortunately as I searched, the looking for paradigms always done by formal but not functional ones. As an instance we have “Gonbad” elements (the same dome) in Iranian architecture which are from the greatest brick constructed ones to other esthetic styles like “Soltanieh” in Zanjan and “Sheikh Lotf-Allah” in Isfahan. Gonbad is a formal paradigm which is better to known as its functions in structural span covering and its stability in seismic behavior plus its functions as a climate control element by convection and solar controlling. This element has been built on functional view sight we call it a paradigm that playing with parameters to define a better qualifications. The whole story now revealed. How many times we are include paradigms and parameters together for better qualification? How many times our traditional architects did that? Why traditional architecture in Iran with those famous elements like “Minaret” or “Badgir” or other parts worked fine?

So I decided to study Iranian traditional architecture and its principles. The aim was to develop what traditional says adapted to what we can do right now. If I refer the way to what Professor Vafamehr was saying, here we should ask ourselves: “If one of traditional architects was alive with these technology right now, what would he did?” After going deep down the ideas I defined the way of relations between Energy and Structure as a system toward a qualified space which can adapt itself with temperature and humidity variable parameters. All I needed was truly knowledge of energy efficiency, solar controlling to its best and worst types, structural behavior of my modules and the space I want to have qualified. So I also need a way to challenge everything together which made me had to gather all by Grasshopper3d which worked on parameters from energy factor and structural factors. DIVA4Rhino is used for solar radiation analysis, Karamba3d is used for structural analysis, Kangaroo-Physics used for form and fabrications analysis, Autodesk CFD is used for wind and pressure analysis and the all results in the model defined by grasshopper3d.

Energy Performance

The function of energy parameters was supposed to perform by SMA Wires (Shape Memory Alloys) but because those inaccessibility, the module has built on a stepper motor and Arduino board sensor logging. After all done, the sensors start to log the temp and humidity, the Delta was sent to the Arduino board, if this Delta was larger than 0, which means the temperature was getting high and the motor was rotated clockwise and the membrane lifted up to have a Gonbad or dome shape on each module which blocked the solar radiation and bring the wind down, and if that Delta was smaller than 0, which means the temp is getting lower and the motor was rotated counterclockwise and the membrane pulled down to bring sun radiation and block the wind. The checkpoint of temp was based on human comfort at the range of 18-22 C, for winter and 23-25 C, for summer time, otherwise the motor was ready to perform and shape the membrane.

Structure Performance

The paradigm of structural behavior has built on Iranian arches performance under the loadings. The target module was designed by challenging the load distribution through the elements. The main idea of all structure designing is stability which is actually will get adapted to the form and Architectural designing. The issue here is to coming up with the idea of how architects can provide the esthetics and stability beside other functions together by the current time technology and materials he can access at the moment. Iranian architects used to implement the less materials with high technology and lots of adapted parts taking place in order to perform integrated as structure and architecture. These facts are the most considered parts of structural designing ideas in this thesis. The graphical analysis above is all about how the designer make things together to provide forces facing each other to make the active element with a controlled load distribution. Pa-to-Pa arches here in these analyzes is a kind of arches which act as some 3d trusses in this operation. The model has been built up in Grasshopper3D and analyzed by Karamba3D (Parametric tool for structural analysis), to consider how these arches will act against loads. The pressure distributes on these 3d trusses elements and most of these loads face each other, so the whole structure moving along stability.


We absolutely know that there are lots of other facts and factors can get roles together by knowing the great relations between functional paradigms and parameters, the culture, the society the politics and so on, but here now, the Integration Process defines a way for connecting all aspect above as factors brought to best related definition and that’s the best part. Architects should be an artist who can define the most integrated connections of these factors. There might be somehow a relative connectivity depends on every project and it’s another great part which comes by experiences.

The final file of the thesis will be available soon, you can just follow me if I can be honored by having your ideas and comments.

Thanks in advance for Sharing Ideas.




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