Designing and manufacturing zero fossil energy buildings with 3D/4D parametric performance tools Article

Spiegelhalter, T. (2012). Designing and manufacturing zero fossil energy buildings with 3D/4D parametric performance tools . 6(2), 27-41. 10.18848/2325-1662/cgp/v06i02/38326

cited authors

  • Spiegelhalter, T


  • "Architecture is a tool," once wrote the media theorist Vilém Flusser when addressing the first Intl. Symposium on 'Intelligent Buildings' in 1987". [1] "Tools change our thoughts, feelings, and desires." [2] Flusser's thesis is: "we are governed by our tools even though we design them ourselves." [2] We can look at the history of mankind as a feedback process between tools and human beings. That is, ". . . exactly what we are doing when we divide history into earlier and a later stone age, a copper and bronze age, and an iron age." [2] Today, scientists create computational tools to solve society's problem of diminishing resources and climate change. The architectural profession appears to be in the throws of a massive technological transformation. However, the profession's transformation efforts utilize poor sustainability practices in architecture, which has slowed education in carbon-neutral-building and resourceuse- benchmarking with parametric-design-software tools. This begs the question of whether architectural curricula and professional initiatives are effective. The current profession's inability to reach the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (UNIPCC) goal of reducing average CO2e to 80 percent (approximately 1.3 metric tons per person per capita world-wide) by 2050 is alarming. Carbon-neutral-design and resource-use-benchmarking for a greener tomorrow on a comparable global level remains widely unaddressed, despite the increasing, world-wide planning support and exchange with interoperable, parametric BIM megadata modeling tools. The situation calls for a rapid and fundamental reorientation of our professional practice of and the education in the process of designing, constructing, and operating buildings. This paper is a critical examination of how parametric 3D/4D modeling with integrated sensor-technology can assist us in producing detailed 'what if' resource-usage and lifecycle scenarios, which enhance the design, manufacturing, operation, monitoring, and benchmarking of zero-fossil-energy buildings towards carbon neutrality. © Common Ground, Thomas Spiegelhalter, All Rights Reserved.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 27

end page

  • 41


  • 6


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