Architectural Design Supported by Information Technology

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309). This special issue belongs to the section "Architectural Design, Urban Science, and Real Estate".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2023) | Viewed by 25987

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Architecture, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
Interests: computational design; BIM; design decision support; AI; public participation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Architecture, Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, Valparaíso, Chile
Interests: robotic timber joinery; traditional timber framing; robotic fabrication; affordable housing design; constraint-based design
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Architecture, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
Interests: mixed reality/AI/early design stages/design decision support/computational design
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As fundamental planning decisions are made during early stages in design processes, early stages of architectural design have a significant impact on the subsequent performance of cities, districts and buildings in these settlements.

Increasing digitization, the technological innovations that accompany digitization and resultant new methods have contributed to wide-ranging transformations in architectural design processes in recent decades.

Today, information technology offers a vast number of different design methods and tools, for example, simulations, artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing and robotic fabrication as well as BIM towards digital twins in built environments as a digital backbone.

In addition, climate change and its consequences have significantly changed the way we think about living together and how we deal with (spatial) resources.

The key to current research and research in the coming years will be to exploit the potential of currently available and forward-looking information technologies and their integration into design processes to offer an "expanded possibility space" and to support architects in decision-making processes.

The aim of this Special Issue is to allow scientists who are investigating digital methods to support decision-making processes in early stages of design processes to publish their works and to discuss potential application fields with a broad scientific community.

Prof. Dr. Frank Petzold
Prof. Luis Felipe González Böhme
Dr. Gerhard Schubert
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Buildings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • early architectural design stages
  • computational design
  • design decision support
  • simulation, prediction and evaluation in design
  • BIM
  • performance-based spatial design
  • machine learning
  • Construction 4.0 / robotic fabrication / human–robot collaboration

Published Papers (10 papers)

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23 pages, 11031 KiB  
Article
Mixed Reality for Safe and Reliable Human-Robot Collaboration in Timber Frame Construction
by Luis Felipe González-Böhme and Eduardo Valenzuela-Astudillo
Buildings 2023, 13(8), 1965; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13081965 - 1 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1339
Abstract
In the field of construction, human-robot collaboration and mixed reality (MR) open new possibilities. However, safety and reliability issues persist. The lack of flexibility and adaptability in current preprogrammed systems hampers real-time human-robot collaboration. A key gap in this area lies in the [...] Read more.
In the field of construction, human-robot collaboration and mixed reality (MR) open new possibilities. However, safety and reliability issues persist. The lack of flexibility and adaptability in current preprogrammed systems hampers real-time human-robot collaboration. A key gap in this area lies in the ability of the robot to interpret and accurately execute operations based on the real-time visual instructions and restrictions provided by the human collaborator and the working environment. This paper focuses on an MR-based human-robot collaboration method through visual feedback from a vision-based collaborative industrial robot system for use in wood stereotomy which we are developing. This method is applied to an alternating workflow in which a skilled carpenter lays out the joinery on the workpiece, and the robot cuts it. Cutting operations are instructed to the robot only through lines and conventional “carpenter’s marks”, which are drawn on the timbers by the carpenter. The robot system’s accuracy in locating and interpreting marks as cutting operations is evaluated by automatically constructing a 3D model of the cut shape from the vision system data. A digital twin of the robot allows the carpenter to previsualize all motions that are required by the robot for task validation and to know when to enter the collaborative workspace. Our experimental results offer some insights into human-robot communication requirements for collaborative robot system applications in timber frame construction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architectural Design Supported by Information Technology)
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20 pages, 5995 KiB  
Article
Automation in Interior Space Planning: Utilizing Conditional Generative Adversarial Network Models to Create Furniture Layouts
by Hanan Tanasra, Tamar Rott Shaham, Tomer Michaeli, Guy Austern and Shany Barath
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1793; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071793 - 14 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3012
Abstract
In interior space planning, the furnishing stage usually entails manual iterative processes, including meeting design objectives, incorporating professional input, and optimizing design performance. Machine learning has the potential to automate and improve interior design processes while maintaining creativity and quality. The aim of [...] Read more.
In interior space planning, the furnishing stage usually entails manual iterative processes, including meeting design objectives, incorporating professional input, and optimizing design performance. Machine learning has the potential to automate and improve interior design processes while maintaining creativity and quality. The aim of this study was to develop a furnishing method that leverages machine learning as a means for enhancing design processes. A secondary aim was to develop a set of evaluation metrics for assessing the quality of the results generated from such methods, enabling comparisons between the performance of different models. To achieve these aims, floor plans were tagged and assembled into a comprehensive dataset that was then employed for training and evaluating three conditional generative adversarial network models (pix2pix, BicycleGAN, and SPADE) to generate furniture layouts within given room boundaries. Post-processing methods for improving the generated results were also developed. Finally, evaluation criteria that combine measures of architectural design with standard computer vision parameters were devised. Visual architectural analyses of the results confirm that the generated rooms adhere to accepted architectural standards. The numerical results indicate that BicycleGAN outperformed the two other models. Moreover, the overall results demonstrate a machine-learning workflow that can be used to augment existing interior design processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architectural Design Supported by Information Technology)
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32 pages, 12844 KiB  
Article
Performance Analysis of 3D Concrete Printing Processes through Discrete-Event Simulation
by Eric Forcael, Paula Martínez-Chabur, Iván Ramírez-Cifuentes, Rodrigo García-Alvarado, Francisco Ramis and Alexander Opazo-Vega
Buildings 2023, 13(6), 1390; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13061390 - 27 May 2023
Viewed by 1722
Abstract
Three-dimensional concrete printing is a technique that has been growing constantly, presenting advantages such as reduced completion times and a decreased environmental impact by eliminating the use of formworks. To carry out the process, the printing path of the extruded material and the [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional concrete printing is a technique that has been growing constantly, presenting advantages such as reduced completion times and a decreased environmental impact by eliminating the use of formworks. To carry out the process, the printing path of the extruded material and the movement of a robot must be programmed. Thus, the present research simulated these 3D concrete printing processes in a small 2-floor building of 309.06 m2 and then in a 12-floor building of 10,920 m2. To analyze the 3D printing process, discrete-event simulation was used while considering different variables such as extrusion speed and the locations of a robot mounted on tracks. The results show that when comparing the time taken for a conventional construction system to construct concrete walls and the maximum duration for 3D-printed walls, this method is 45% faster than traditional construction for a small building, but for a big building, there is a difference of 40% in favor of conventional construction; however, this was when using only 1 robot for the whole building. After running the same analyses but using 3 robots instead of 1, the total 3D concrete printing time for the big building was 80% faster in favor of the 3D concrete printing process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architectural Design Supported by Information Technology)
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20 pages, 5564 KiB  
Article
Design Efficacy and Exploration Behavior of Student Architect-Engineer Design Teams in Shared Parametric Environments
by Stephanie Bunt and Nathan C. Brown
Buildings 2023, 13(5), 1296; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13051296 - 16 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1319
Abstract
Increasingly, architects and building engineers use parametric modeling programs to explore design solutions as professionals and as students. However, little is known about their combined efficacy and exploration in these tools when working in mixed design teams. While disciplinarily diverse teams of designers [...] Read more.
Increasingly, architects and building engineers use parametric modeling programs to explore design solutions as professionals and as students. However, little is known about their combined efficacy and exploration in these tools when working in mixed design teams. While disciplinarily diverse teams of designers have been shown to develop more creative design solutions, this occurs primarily when there is a conducive environment and a shared understanding of design goals. Because architects and engineers are traditionally taught to use different tools and processes to address their professional goals, indicators of students’ combined efficacy in parametric tools are unclear. In response, this research uses a conceptual design experiment to study aspects of design efficacy and the exploration behavior of student architect-architect, engineer-engineer, and architect-engineer pairs within a live parametric modeling tool. The dimensions of their collaborative exploration within the tool were recorded, and their success at achieving the desired criteria was rated by professionals. Noticeable performance differences between team types were expected, including that the mixed design teams would better balance all goals and that the homogenous teams would better address their own disciplinary criteria. However, this was not the case when working in a shared, multidisciplinary digital environment, as the teams performed similarly despite having different member composition. We discuss several factors, such as the effect of digital design feedback and the still-developing student design process, which may have relationships with the design efficacy of the teams when using the study’s parametric modeling tool. Future research can further investigate the effect of mutually approachable working environments on design team performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architectural Design Supported by Information Technology)
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24 pages, 7798 KiB  
Article
Conceptual Architectural Design at Scale: A Case Study of Community Participation Using Crowdsourcing
by Jonathan Dortheimer, Stephen Yang, Qian Yang and Aaron Sprecher
Buildings 2023, 13(1), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13010222 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4606
Abstract
Architectural design decisions are primarily made through an interaction between an architect and a client during the conceptual design phase. However, in larger-scale public architecture projects, the client is frequently represented by a community that embraces numerous stakeholders. The scale, social diversity, and [...] Read more.
Architectural design decisions are primarily made through an interaction between an architect and a client during the conceptual design phase. However, in larger-scale public architecture projects, the client is frequently represented by a community that embraces numerous stakeholders. The scale, social diversity, and political layers of such collective clients make their interaction with architects challenging. A solution to address this challenge is using new information technologies that automate design interactions on an urban scale through crowdsourcing and artificial intelligence technologies. However, since such technologies have not yet been applied and tested in field conditions, it remains unknown how communities interact with such systems and whether useful concept designs can be produced in this way. To fill this gap in the literature, this paper reports the results of a case study architecture project where a novel crowdsourcing system was used to automate interactions with a community. The results of both quantitative and qualitative analyses revealed the effectiveness of our approach, which resulted in high-level stakeholder satisfaction and yielded conceptual designs that better reflect stakeholders’ preferences. Along with identifying opportunities for using advanced technologies to automate design interactions in the concept design phase, we also highlight the challenges of such technologies, thus warranting future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architectural Design Supported by Information Technology)
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23 pages, 9963 KiB  
Article
Embedding Acoustic Analysis in Landscape Architecture Design Processes: A Case Study of Munich Airport
by Karen Lee Bar-Sinai, Tom Shaked, Elif Simge Fettahoglu, Jochen Krimm and Benedikt Boucsein
Buildings 2023, 13(1), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13010143 - 5 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4022
Abstract
Noise is the number two environmental health risk in Europe. With the majority of the world’s inhabitants residing in ever-growing cities, urban noise impacts an increasing number of people. Urban airports significantly contribute to urban noise, and their spatial effects far exceed their [...] Read more.
Noise is the number two environmental health risk in Europe. With the majority of the world’s inhabitants residing in ever-growing cities, urban noise impacts an increasing number of people. Urban airports significantly contribute to urban noise, and their spatial effects far exceed their boundaries. While indoor acoustic mitigation in architecture is growingly addressed using parametric tools, there is limited research on mitigating noise with digital means through landscape and urban design. Moreover, there is a lack of methods for ameliorating urban noise through ground-forming. To address this, this paper contributes a novel method for integrating acoustic analysis in parametric landscape-forming. The method includes collecting on-line and on-site noise data, developing alternative landscape formations for mitigating noise, and evaluating design alternatives within a single digital design environment. This method was applied using research by design and examined on a case-study site adjacent to the Munich Airport. Three landform landscape designs for a park are developed, and their acoustic performance is compared. The results indicate the possibility of integrating acoustic considerations in landscape architecture, and the method provides a step-by-step guide for doing so. This capacity also promotes the long-term goal of increasing the environmental performance of urban grounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architectural Design Supported by Information Technology)
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20 pages, 3202 KiB  
Article
Design of Economic Sustainability Supported by Enterprise Resource Planning Systems in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction
by Tomáš Mandičák, Marcela Spišáková, Peter Mésároš and Mária Kozlovská
Buildings 2022, 12(12), 2241; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12122241 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2163
Abstract
The implementation of information systems is a current topic, especially in the digital age and the digital economy. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems (such as some information systems) are a tool that can be used for information systems to enable the sustainable design [...] Read more.
The implementation of information systems is a current topic, especially in the digital age and the digital economy. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems (such as some information systems) are a tool that can be used for information systems to enable the sustainable design of the management processes in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC). The focus of design for economic sustainability is defining selected key performance indicators and targeting good values for these indicators in AEC. The subject of this research was the idea that implementing ERP systems in construction management could positively affect the financial results; i.e., provide economic sustainability. This research analyzed the ways that these systems can reduce the costs and increase the revenues of construction companies. The aim of the research was to analyze the impact of the implementation of ERP systems on selected key performance indicators (costs and revenues) in AEC. A questionnaire was used as a tool to collect research data. It was distributed to construction companies operating in Slovakia. The research sample consisted of 125 respondents, of which 55 could be used for the research questions. Data processing was undertaken, with Cronbach’s alpha used to verify the suitability of the research questions and Fisher’s test and Pearson’s correlation coefficient used to confirm the dependence. The research confirmed the impact of ERP systems on cost reduction and revenue growth in the context of designing the economic sustainability of businesses in AEC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architectural Design Supported by Information Technology)
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22 pages, 5597 KiB  
Article
Pragmatic Design Decision Support for Additive Construction Using Formal Knowledge and Its Prospects for Synergy with a Feedback Mechanism
by Chao Li, Ata Zahedi and Frank Petzold
Buildings 2022, 12(12), 2072; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12122072 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2052
Abstract
The construction industry has long been labor-intensive, with slow productivity growth and a significant environmental impact. In this regard, the ever-increasing practices of additive manufacturing (AM) in construction have presented a variety of advantages and are deemed one of the critical technologies for [...] Read more.
The construction industry has long been labor-intensive, with slow productivity growth and a significant environmental impact. In this regard, the ever-increasing practices of additive manufacturing (AM) in construction have presented a variety of advantages and are deemed one of the critical technologies for the concept of Construction 4.0. Building information modeling (BIM) as an enabler for the digital transformation in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) domain provides a framework for considering novel AM methods during the early stages of architectural design. It is known that decisions during early design stages significantly impact the subsequent planning and construction phases, whereas missing AM knowledge by architects and engineers could in turn impede the adoption of AM technologies when the early determination of appropriate manufacturing methods needs to be made. Meanwhile, the early stages of architectural design are characterized by vagueness, uncertainty, and incompleteness, which have to be clarified iteratively by both architects and domain experts. To this end, this paper introduces a knowledge-driven design decision support that prospectively incorporates an adaptive feedback mechanism under the BIM methodology. As such, architects can be assisted in choosing appropriate construction methods during the early stages of architectural design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architectural Design Supported by Information Technology)
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25 pages, 5887 KiB  
Article
Algorithmic Generation of Building Typology for Office Building Design
by Dóra Noémi Androsics-Zetz, István Kistelegdi and Zsolt Ercsey
Buildings 2022, 12(7), 884; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12070884 - 22 Jun 2022
Viewed by 2619
Abstract
Numerous office building design optimizations are in international research to reduce energy consumption, optimize costs and provide optimal comfort. However, there is a lack of knowledge on the effects of geometry and space organization. This study deals with space organization problems and searches [...] Read more.
Numerous office building design optimizations are in international research to reduce energy consumption, optimize costs and provide optimal comfort. However, there is a lack of knowledge on the effects of geometry and space organization. This study deals with space organization problems and searches for all possible optimal building space structure configurations in terms of energy and comfort parameters using a mathematical algorithmic method. The methodology is based on the formulation of feasible architectural rules and their translation into an algorithm that can generate 2D floor plans satisfying all boundary conditions. In the framework of an exemplary modeling procedure, a 4-story office building geometry generation was carried out, resulting in 17-floor plan versions and 7 different building geometries. The resulting building shapes were classified by energy-related geometry parameters (envelope surface/useful area) for the future step of the research, where the cases will be compared with the help of building simulations. With the help of the method, it was possible to significantly narrow the search space, but future improvements are needed for faster work for wider applicability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architectural Design Supported by Information Technology)
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11 pages, 688 KiB  
Perspective
Decision Support Systems in Architecture—A Future Perspective
by Gerhard Schubert, Ivan Bratoev and Frank Petzold
Buildings 2023, 13(8), 1952; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13081952 - 31 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1228
Abstract
The benefits of design decision support systems (DDSSs) in the architectural planning context have been proven in research and are increasingly used in practice. The sense and purpose are apparent. The weighing of the most diverse ideas and approaches are required for design [...] Read more.
The benefits of design decision support systems (DDSSs) in the architectural planning context have been proven in research and are increasingly used in practice. The sense and purpose are apparent. The weighing of the most diverse ideas and approaches are required for design problems that cannot be solved unambiguously and are characterized by complex, open issues of architectural design tasks, coupled with contradictory criteria. DDSSs support planners/decision-makers with objective information to support the decision-making process with well-founded data and statements. This is becoming increasingly necessary, especially given increasingly complex construction tasks, and thus the difficult-to-predict effects of decisions. Taking this maxim into account, however, also reveals challenges in the planning context, as well as the immense potential and fields of application. Building on these issues, this article presents a perspective for DDSSs. The paper discusses the current focus and advancements of such systems, highlighting the challenges such tools still face, and provides a vision of the perspective future of these systems from reactive systems to proactive assistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architectural Design Supported by Information Technology)
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