Interactive Design Method for Irregular Column Layouts

2022, Keerthana Udaykumar

Interactive Design Method for Irregular Column Layouts

This thesis presents an interactive design method to support architects in designing column-slab systems with material-saving and structural performance-aware considerations. Conventional design workflows present a known issue of oversizing column-slab systems to fulfil the architect’s special intent. This can be attributed to the fact that the structural specifications are developed after the detailed architectural design is complete. This process is not only time-consuming but also presents an environmental problem. Because the opportunity to influence the material quantities in the early design stage is lost. 

The purpose of this thesis is to address the knowledge gap by integrating structural analysis, material quantity estimation, and real-time interaction early in the architectural planning process. As opposed to pure feedback-based structural analysis tools, this method provides design guidance toward structurally compliant solutions. The proposed method is developed into a computational method ICL (Interactive irregular Column Layout solver). This is implemented by integrating finite element (FE) analysis within an agent-based modelling (ABM) environment to simulate irregular column-slab layouts. Within this framework, the agent-based model is using the FE-analysis to refine the decision-making of the adaptive agents toward solutions that satisfy the serviceability Limit State (SLS) deflection criteria. Further, real-time interaction built within the agent-based model is also a key feature. Finally, the ICL method is used to solve column-slab systems with anisotropic material properties. The slab segmentation and their respective grain direction are determined by clustering the force flow of the slab. 

The developed method is tested on real-life building floor plans of different scales and typologies and demonstrates how the interactive structural guidance method supports the user’s decision-making during the early design stage.


ITECH M.Sc. Thesis Project 2022: Interactive Design Method for Irregular Column Layouts
Keerthana Udaykumar

Thesis Advisers: Anna Krtschil, Luis Orozco

Thesis Supervisor: Prof. Jan Knippers
Second Supervisor: Prof. Achim Menges

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