Arch 692b is the second part of a two semester long thesis series. In the Master of Building Science program at USC, the written thesis is one of several important elements of the overall academic program. The completed written thesis represents the documented evidence of the ability to craft, carry out, and document a purposeful and detailed research activity. In the ARCH 692 course, the thesis student learned how to undertake serious and scholarly scientific research and to document the process and results.
This research examines a digital design workflow that leverages topology optimization tools to generate structurally informed geometries based on structural performance. Digital fabrication tools were utilized to prototype the assembly.
A new approach that integrates virtual reality and biosensors was proposed to investigate the impacts of interior architectural design features on occupants’ subjective perceptions and physiological responses.
This research mainly provided methods to compare the performance of visual, energy, and thermal categories, and methods to put them into one scoring system to evaluate the comprehensive performance with the consideration of trade-offs. Performance of several shading and glazing options were evaluated. The results indicated that for either a small room with small window areas or a large office building with large glazing areas, a combinatorial system with electrochromic glazing and kinetic miniature blinds had an exceeding performance considering visual, thermal, and energy factors.
Reducing lighting electricity consumption while maintaining an acceptable illuminance level is critical to achieving environmental sustainability and net-zero energy buildings. Lighting control systems have become widely adopted in commercial buildings, aiming to automatically adjust the electrical lighting levels depending on daylight penetration. Two simulation-based daylight-linked lighting control algorithms (switch on/off and dimming control) have been developed. The intent was to create two control algorithms for the luminaires that predetermined their hourly on/off and dimming status based on pre-calculated daylight and lighting illuminance data from simulations. Ladybug and Honeybee in Grasshopper were used to analyze the hourly illuminance from daylighting and luminaires. The illuminance data was structured with a matrix by applying Python scripts with a linear programming mathematics method to calculate the maximum luminaire off and dimming levels. The annual hourly analysis was run in Microsoft Visual Studio. Finally, seven dashboards were created in Microsoft Power BI to interactively visualize the luminaries’ electricity usage, cost-saving, the lighting operation hours, and illuminance distribution false-color maps (luminaires + daylighting) to assist in better decision-making.
With the growing pace in the building industry, the amount of time given for building design is reducing, and designers must make quick and timely decisions. Currently the traditional 2D design techniques used to create precast panels do not meet the needs of the customer in both quality and speed. As a result, many industries have already made the transition of moving from 2D to using building information modeling software. The software can be further approved by developing plug-ins in C# for simple or complex tasks by working with the interface of the software (Revit API). A tool was developed to help frame a project quicker by identify the panel dimensions and placing the anchors in the correct positions. This plugin automates less complex panels allows the façade engineers, alleviating some of their work. A second tool helps with documentation by quickly and easily making shop drawings and enabling the configurations of shop drawing templates. After the panels are framed, the shop drawings are setup.
Areas in redlined neighborhoods associated with very low tree canopy cover are hotter than their greener and wealthier counterparts in Brentwood and Los Feliz. Hotter surroundings include high outdoor heat stress due to exposure to direct shortwave radiation and increased building cooling loads, which impact the health and wellbeing of residents. The heat mitigation due to a proposed shade tree planting intervention by the USC Urban Trees initiative was quantified in terms of the outdoor heat stress metric UTCI(universal thermal climate index) and on building cooling loads. A coupled energy model was used to simulate the impact of shading and evapo transpirative cooling by trees on the building heating and cooling loads in mixed mode(natural ventilation) and on thermal autonomy in free running mode. The improvement in outdoor heat stress by the added shade trees was limited when compared to the base case scenario of low tree canopy. The decrease in cooling loads due to the shading and the cooling effect of trees was significant.
The thesis provides a catalogue for low carbon concrete alternatives. Two prototypes using ping pong balls were created to test the cement reduction potential. Grasshopper was used to design a parametric slab where the cement reduction was calculated.
Light transmitting concrete is a fairly novel material. The existing method of production is limited to the use of optical fibers as the light transmitting element. To expand the use of this material, alternative translucent materials are experimented with and documented.
This study investigates the effects of indoor air quality (IAQ) parameters (short term-changes in indoor CO2 and PM2.5 concentration) on four human bio signals. Pearson correlation, stepwise linear regression and random forest are applied in data analysis. The bio-signals (among four bio-signals) most associated with IAQ parameters, participants’ IAQ evaluation and thermal comfort are determined. The factors (including indoor temperature, indoor relative humidity, four human bio-signals, and two IAQ parameters) most associated with participants’ IAQ evaluation and thermal comfort are determined.