Research within PhD Program, IIT

The IIT Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture Program, under the directorship of Prof. Mahjoub Elnimeiri fosters and promotes research in architecture that is driven by technology to advance knowledge and scholarship in architecture. In our program we choose the theme of looking into engineering and technology from the eyes of the architect and founded in the Miesian legacy. Currently we are working on a lot of research on the area of energy and sustainability. Here we describing selected ones:

Project 01: Performance-based generative design approach for long span Roof structures: multi-objective optimization, toward the integration of energy and structure

This research is intended to incorporate structural performance and energy efficiency strategies of long span roof structures through an architectural form generation process. The main objective is to propose a performance-based form generation design approach for the development of architectural forms of roofs that are optimized both in terms of the structural performance and energy consumption.

Today architectural design is driven by the search for exotic forms and complex geometries which in most cases lead to complex structures and costly construction. In the current long span roof architectural design practice, issues pertaining to building performance such as structure and energy conservation considerations are typically left to be dealt with after the architectural form is well articulated. As a result, such an approach may enable a building to stand upright, and may also reduce the energy consumption in the building.

To mitigate this problem this research proposed a workflow to demonstrate how a flexible 3D model can be parametrically altered toward targeted solutions with the help of a near real time feedback generated by performance-based analysis such as structure and energy within an optimization algorithm. The integration of generative tools and performance analytical tools in the early stage of design will provide great opportunities for performance-based form generation approaches and help architects moving away from traditional form driven approaches.

Project 02: Integration of Daylight in Commercially Used Buildings for Energy Saving Purposes

The main goal for this research is to achieve the best total energy performance in commercial office buildings using integrated management systems, while maintaining the light distribution, temperature and air quality comfort ranges in the space. The idea is to maximize the natural light for both increasing energy efficiency and enhancing occupants’ well-being and productivity.

The research will primarily use computer simulations to model the proposed system applied to a baseline module and run the energy, daylight and system simulations, in order to calculate the daylighting and energy consumption in the building with the new system. The system components will then be verified via actual measurements in a real office space with the new components installed.

The verified results will then be analyzed, statistically tested and compared with the actual results of an existing system available in the industry, in order to evaluate the overall performance of the proposed system. The final outcome of this research will be the development of a fully integrated building management algorithm that responds to multiple parameters as well as controlling multiple systems in a real time basis.

Project 03: Optimizing the Envelope of Tall Office Buildings for Energy Efficiency and Thermal Comfort in the Tropic Climate of Dhaka

The aim of this research is to define strategies to optimize the envelope of high-rise office buildings in order to achieve a more efficient level of energy performance while focusing on indoor thermal comfort in the tropical urban climatic context of Dhaka.

In the tropical climate of Dhaka, the building envelope should be responsive with the external environment in order to minimize solar heat gain and to maximize ventilation opportunity to ensure indoor thermal comfort and energy savings (Muhammad et al 2005). But as experiencing fast ongoing modernization in Dhaka, local architects are often inspired by design ideals from temperate climates and consequently poorly suited with local conditions. Architects and designers are continuously experimenting with building envelopes without pointing out the outdoor and indoor climate relationship and hence energy issues are always left unanswered. In such a context, need to integrate the traditional envelope elements, materials and construction (based on their thermal performance) is important and, understanding of the thermal comfort requirement in the local climatic condition and its interaction with building energy consumption may address the issue significantly.

The research will firstly calculate variable indoor set-points by using adaptive thermal comfort model and also develop a method to use that in energy simulation program. Then the effectiveness of different ventilation strategies will be evaluated and quantified as a percentage of the annual energy consumption in the local context for more energy saving and thermal comfort. Finally the values of envelope & glazing parameters for optimum energy performance using appropriate optimization methods will be determined.


PhD Program, College of Architecture

Illinois Institute of Technology

Phone: 312.567.3930
Fax: 312.567.6816

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