Final Post

This semester we looked at how everything can be considered a system, especially through the book ‘thinking in systems’.

Our first assignment of the course was to look at the site as a whole. Through the analogy of a sun diagram and were tested to see if we knew how it worked. This was a good introduction as the analysis of a site is the first thing that one will approach in looking at a new project.

Our next assignment was more diagram based and was to teach us how to take information and ideas and to portray them in a more aesthetically appealing way. This was a good start on how to diagram everything that we are looking at in a way that makes more sense, without losing any of the raw data.

With the same idea of looking at systems that exist, we learnt about the bay game and got to witness first hand how everything affects one another, and how no elements are independent from the system while still being in it. This was a really interesting portion of the course, because we were all working together for the area that we were assigned, and yet we also had individual aims such as to make an income.

After studying systems that already exist, we then began creating our own systems. This first was applied to an undesigned scenario that we came up with (post-disaster) where the aim was to think of a system that could function in more than one way, and then we began to apply it to existing buildings and noticing how elements of their design effect the energy efficiency and the way that a building runs. We looked at isolated aspects of a building, such as one element in human scale, as well as the whole building as a system that works together. This then became even more helpful when we applied it to our studio assignments for the final assignment. This aided in the design of our studio project by applying principles discussed in class, such as cross ventilation into the placement of windows, and into the type of environment that we wanted to create.

Overall, this class has been incredibly helpful in thinking of everything as being part of a larger system and how those systems can help to make the design and space of a site function more efficiently and make it a more livable and dynamic environment.


Final Assignment (9)

This final assignment was to relate our studio project with all of the concepts that we had learnt in class.
My studio is ecoMOD and this semester I have been designing a modular home located in South Boston Virginia.

My first way to analyse the site was to look at the wind-roses for the site to see the direction of the prevailing winds.
Windroses for SoBo

After figuring out that the prevailing winds were from the SW I started to look at sun angles that are seen in the site and applied them to a site plan. I also looked at the 5 modular homes that would be built next to each other to see if they would shade each other and if the height of the buildings compared to the distance of them from one another was did not cause any additional shading.
Systems site plan

The site plan is good for showing the buildings in context with one another, but does not show any details about the building and therefore I looked at a plan and major section through the site looking at daylighting, energy capture and ventilation.

The plan here just shows the cross ventilation, the prevailing winds and where I took the section cuts from. The first section cut shows a section through both of the modules, cutting through the bedroom in one module (green), and into the kitchen and living space of the other (orange). The features that can be seen here are cross ventilation from one module through a large open doorway and out of the other window, and the inclusion of a skylight to add more natural light into the kitchen.


T SERIES FOR SYSTEMS quarter scaleThis section cut, at 1/4″ =1′ scale, shows the kitchen and living module at a more human scale. This section cut shows the pitched ceiling and the skylight as well as an example of a possible screen to help have diffused light into the kitchen space rather than solely direct light. In addition I documented the cross ventilation that I forsee taking place and the movement of cool air in through the windows and front door and then the hot air out through the clerestory window.

My modular design is meant to be as affordable as possible, and therefore it was very interesting seeing the ways that these energy principles can save money on aspects like artificial lighting through the use of apertures and natural light and ventilation.