New York City College of Technology (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN13 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 3177-3186
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Recent technological advances in the AEC (architecture engineering and construction) industry have increased the potential of façade performance, as data sets arising from digital models can now be shared synchronously between various disciplines as well as iteratively throughout the design process. These data exchanges are facilitated by the integration of natural programming languages into traditional modeling environments, utilizing open source software. Web- and cloud-based collaboration tools contribute to facilitating the digital information exchange. The increased efficiency and corresponding cost- effectiveness of a collaborative, performance-based design process has led to a heightened call for this practice by clients and building industry legislators alike.

The pedagogical challenge of a collaborative approach is not only to teach the technical skills of computational design, like scripting and parametrics, but also instill a sensibility of how to begin an adaptive, intelligent digital model that will be efficient for downstream interoperability, moving from parametric modelers to BIM (Building Information Models) families, to energy analyses, and on to direct fabrication.

A new Center for Performative Design & Engineering, at NYCCT, created with National Science Foundation funding, brings together different disciplines involved in BIM, Building Performance, and Fabrication, to teach new research methodologies and concepts through design, assembly, and testing. We are implementing a curriculum-wide interdisciplinary student project where various courses collaborate on portions of the design process of façade panels to fully close the design/analysis/fabrication/validation loop. This project illustrates actionable responses to environmental inputs that feed into the fabrication of innovative developable and deployable surfaces.

Beginning from an industry-identified design problem, form-finding based design runs synchronously with environmental analysis, using interoperable computational tools and the assistance of an environmental engineer as well as rapid-prototyping tools. Initial design and analysis conjectures are continued into a BIM environment, where connectivity to a building and overall integration can be evaluated. The student groups collaborate on projects together with the assistance of multiple web-based interfaces sites, such as G-Team, Box, Google Plus web conferencing, and a Word Press.

The refined prototypes are fed back to the computational team, where students learn about sheet metal fabrication, while next, waterjet-prototyped panels are tested in the field or at an offsite lab. The percentage differences in field measurements and computational analysis are fed back into the computational model to increase accuracy, thereby closing the loop when the digital model becomes accurate relative to physical performance.
Collaboration Tools, Parametrics, BIM, Building Performance, Fabrication, Building Technology, façade performance.