Building Simulation

This course is the third of four modules (6121, 6122, 6125, & 6125) and constitutes part of the core curriculum in architecture and the Master of Design in Energy and Environments. 

Objective: The best intent does not always lead to the best performing design, as intuition and rules of thumb often fail to adequately inform decision making. Therefore, high-performance architecture increasingly utilizes simulation tools to eliminate some of the guesswork. Simulation is the process of making a simplified model of some complex system and using it to predict the behavior of the system.In this course, state-of-the-art computer simulation methods for ventilation (Computational Fluid Dynamics) and thermal/energy analysis will be introduced. 

Innovative techniques for using these models in the architectural design process will be explored.

The course will provide students with:
1. An understanding of building simulation methods and their underlying principles
2. Hands-on experience in using computer simulation models to support the design process
3. An increased understanding of high-performance environmental design strategies in architecture

Content: In this course, students will acquire skills in computerized building performance simulation for architecture while simultaneously using these skills to explore fundamental design issues such as building massing and envelope design. The course includes discussion of the benefits as well as the limitations of these methods. Topics include fundamentals such as modeling strategies, underlying physical principles, understanding simulation assumptions, and interpreting results with an emphasis on developing the ability to translate the analysis into design decisions. Through practice with the software tools, students develop a better understanding of physics in architecture and hone their own design intuition.