Real-Time Data in Architectural Practice; Embracing A.I. in the design for energy efficiency

Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool
Department Name: Architecture

Abstract

The project aims to address methods for creating a computational system for design efficiency of the Higher Education (HE) campuses in the North-West. With new developments in technology, like generative design processes, autonomous systems and self-aware bots, the AEC industry is bound to be affected at a global scale. But how would Artificial Intelligence (AI) augment the architectural design and what are the possibilities for architects working with these technological advancements?

The case study will run as a collaboration with an experienced industrial partner that has been involved in designing and building school campuses in the UK. More specifically, the project's main focus is to identify improvement strategies for energy consumption in university campus buildings.
A university campus usually occupies large areas in a city's fabric. The urge to create additional campuses or to further develop the existing ones continues as contracts that reach £2 billion are planned between 2017 and 2020, according to Barbour ABI, the construction analysts. Similarly, the Financial Times report that, in 2016, British universities have increased their budget on new buildings by 43 per cent in six months. However a campus is a complex structure that hosts various activities. These activities change continuously over time. Thus, the development or expansion of a campus is characterized by complexity. This complexity requires an approach different from the terraced houses construction style that was applied during the UK's rapid urbanization. The mere repetitive construction approach wouldn't respond efficiently since the overall behavior of a campus changes and it happens on a procedural level. Therefore, the approach should consider the flexibility of an adaptive system in the early stages of their design. During this project, the benefits of combining Human and Artificial Intelligence will be explored. Through the use of data from the campus, the goal is to realize which factor is the biggest contributor for the energy consumption. The data will relate to the design of the campus, as well as its' energy performance, and post-occupancy information & insights. By embracing this type of data with computation in the early stages of the design process, the project will investigate improvements in the workflow and output of the architectural practice for HE campuses. Based on The Clean Growth Strategy paper, the majority of buildings including campuses, heating creates around 32 per cent of total UK emissions. However the design of an efficient HE campus in energy consumption may not only reduce the emissions but help to drive growth. According to Terence Fox, a director in the finance department at Edinburgh University, new buildings can prove decisive. "If a student [comes] from the US, Australia or China, they need to come here because we've got not just the best students, but the best facilities. If the choice is Manchester or Edinburgh, and Manchester has new buildings, they'll probably go to Manchester."

From a research aspect, the applications of the respective methodology could extend beyond the energy planning of higher education campuses. While the energy factor is becoming ever more critical within the AEC practice, further equally important design variables could be revisited and explored. People's flow in a building or the exterior view maximization are examples of such variables. In this manner, the architect's professional boundaries could be transcended. This application of Artificial Intelligence for design decision-making however is its' infancy even for large international firms. As more and more practices create specialist groups to embrace this technological development the benefits will become more tangible. And the AEC industry will be enhanced by embedding new ways of tackling design challenges; ways that would be impossible without the implementation of computational modelling systems.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description OPPO @Liverpool Libraries 
Organisation University of Liverpool
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have installed a set of sensory devices in different rooms at two libraries, the Sydney Jones & the Harold Cohen buildings. This will supply the partner with information about relevant data collected from the building (temperature, humidity, light, occupancy counter).
Collaborator Contribution The partner has contributed by allowing research to be conducted in their premises and by supplying us with information (BMS) and materials.
Impact This research project continues the multi-disciplinary agenda of OPPO, that is related to architecture and music. In the architecture side, the output allows an insight to how rooms are being used. It enables an understanding of their energy consumption and further analysis may reveal patterns of performance as well as user attendance. For the music field, outputs considered different techniques for mapping data to music scores.
Start Year 2020
 
Description OPPO @Sensor City 
Organisation Sensor City
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have installed a set of sensory devices in different rooms at the Sensor City building and supplied the partner with information about relevant data collected from the building (temperature, humidity, light, occupancy counter).
Collaborator Contribution The partner has contributed by allowing research to be conducted in their premises and by supplying us with information (BMS) and materials.
Impact This research project was multi-disciplinary, related to architecture and music. In the architecture side, the output allows an insight to how rooms are being used. It enables an understanding of their energy consumption and further analysis may reveal patterns of performance. For the music field, outputs considered different techniques for mapping data to music scores. The final design considered the ABCJS Javascript library as relevant for converting data to music scores. In addition, the project resulted in conference presentations.
Start Year 2019
 
Description AAVS Global Summit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presenting at the Architectural Association School of Architecture.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description APR Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Annual Progress Presentations Conference held at Liverpool University across different fields.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Architectural Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Workshop on Environmental Analysis looking at Building Energy Performance
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Architectural Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Workshop on Computational Design
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Architectural Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Workshop on Environmental Analysis looking at Building Energy Performance
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Digital Fabrication Lab 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presenting on how Data are shaping our future buildings at the University of East London.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Formal Methods in Architecture, 4th International Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presenting about digital fabrication and design computation at the Formal Methods in Architecture, 4th International Symposium in Escola Superior Artística Do Porto, Portugal.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Lecture Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presenting about academia and architectural practice at the Instart Annual Conference, in Hangzhou, China.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Lecture Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presenting about Industry 4.0 and architectural computation at the University of Patras Architecture Department, Greece
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Lecture Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presenting about computation in academia and practice at the University of Patras Architecture Department, Greece.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Lecture Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presenting about academia and architectural practice at the University of Nanjing Architecture Department, China.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Lecture Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presenting about A.I. in architectural design and material computation at the University of Patras Architecture Department, Greece.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Lecture Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presenting about academia and architectural practice at the Instart Educational Institute, in Hangzhou, China.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Lecture Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presenting at Cardiff, Welsh School of Architecture regarding digital technologies on design and fabrication workflow within the applied industry and in the academic research curriculum.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Lecture Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presenting about academia and architectural practice at the Zhenhai County Middle School, in Ningbo China.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Letter From London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation on a Scientific Conference about the correlations between UK and Greek academics and professionals in the discipline of architecture.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description NWCDTP Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presenting about the research work on the annual NWCDTP Conference in Manchester
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Nanjing University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presenting at Nanjing University, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, China
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description OxArch Lecture Series : Reconstrution 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presenting at Oxford Brookes University, School of Architecture
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Oxford Brookes Apprenticeships 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presenting at Oxford Brookes, School of Architecture regarding digital technologies on design and fabrication workflow within the applied industry and in the academic research curriculum.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Postgrad Lecture Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presenting at Oxford Brookes University about Computational Design and using BIM in the architectural industry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description eCAADe 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presenting at eCAADe hosted by Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Environmental Engineering of Lodz University of Technology, in Poland
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018