A systems approach to building design
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
The methodology of building design is discussed together with existing and potential uses of the digital computer for building design processing. It is concluded that interdisciplinary information sharing through computer aided design procedure is severely restricted by methodology problems and by the relatively small quantity of common information. Appraisal of design alternatives will remain the major role of the digital computer in the building design process. Appraisal of building thermal environments is discussed and a differential cost approach is developed to measure both resource and performance differences between design alternatives. A computer model for simulation of the heat flows that occur in commercial buildings with intermittently operated hydronic heating is developed. The model and the differential cost approach are used to establish the significance of dynamic influences on fuel consumption and thermal environmental quality. Differences in capital costs, energy costs, and users’ costs of reduced performance due to thermal deficiency are evaluated for a range of equipment sizes for two typical rooms. It is concluded that the extra resources associated with dynamic simulation modelling are not warranted for the design of building heating equipment. Further investigation is required into the empirical adjustments for intermittency and the appropriate level of detail of models for thermal appraisal of architectural decisions.