M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentPeleg Uriel
SubjectA Caad System for the Schematicdesigndevaluation of a Passiv
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisor PROFESSOR EMERITUS Edna Shaviv


Planning a passive solar house, where the building itself is the solar system, requires knowledge of solar design rules at the schematic design stage. The knowledge and time needed for complex hand-calculations of the building’s thermal performance leads the architect to prefer the use of simple ‘rules-of-thumb’ at the schematic design stage. Thorough thermal analysis of the building is done only at the final stages of the design using simulation models. As a result, the architect can find only at the end, if mistakes have been made in the solar design of the building.

Great progress was achieved in Computer-aided-architectural-design (CAAD) for producing perspective-views and detailed plans of the building’s model, using the computer as a design tool. Again, the architect is faced with the problem of the knowledge, time and amount of data that are needed for the effective use of current CAAD systems.

This research is intended to explore a new approach to computer use in architecture, in order to answer some of the problems that were mentioned above. The solution lies in finding a simple and effective way of using the computer as a design & guidance tool for the schematic design stage. The computer is used in a way that combines the geometry design with the solar design of the building. The study reviews the design parameters that affect the performance of a passive solar house and determine a set of guidance rules for solar planning of building in different climates.

A CAAD system was developed in this study: The system requires simple input of a building sketch. Using dynamic defaults and tools for analyzing the buildings' geometry, the system automatically fills in the required building data. A good solar solution of the building is recommended by the expert-system, according to the rules that were determined earlier. This process includes automatic connection to the simulation module, to predict the thermal & solar performance of the building as a passive solar house.

After the automatic stage of the system, a graphic presentation of the solution is shown and the architect can make alterations according to this design criteria. At any stage, the building data can be saved as a new alternative and a simulation of the thermal performance of this new alternative can be carried out.