March 2011 Archives
The Passive Solar Design group has been working rigorously through the Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 semesters developing a series of energy models that evaluate the performance of the proposed architectural designs. Using the energy modeling program Ecotect Analysis, the team is able to estimate the effects that specific architectural elements have on influencing the internal building environment. That is, evaluating how key building components, such as thermal mass, affect the internal temperature, humidity and overall comfort of the building and its inhabitants.
The team has also been investigating daylighting design with the help of both Revit Architecture and Ecotect. Using these tools the group is able to evaluate the amount of daylight received by interior spaces at any time and at any place on the planet. This allows the group to analyze and recommend the most ideal placement of windows, overhangs and other shading devices.
The results of these analyses will be used to direct the design of the upcoming 2013 Solar House and enhance overall building performance as well as eliminate the costs associated with poor design decisions. These tools are just one of the many reasons why the Missouri S&T Solar House Team is leading the way in sustainable and energy efficient design.
After weeks of initial design within the current groups: Architectural, Passive Solar, Electrical, Mechanical, Structural, and Home Automation, they all came together for a design "charrette". During this two hour session, members and leaders from all of Missouri S&T's design subgroups came together to explain their ideas developed throughout the semester.
After having each group lead present to the rest of the team, time was taken to allow members to comment on system integration and potential design considerations, and to brainstorm solutions to these challenges.
We then headed for the Butler-Carlton Hall atrium where the proposed floor plan for the next house was laid out on the terrazzo floor. This interactive aid helped team members visualize the layout and get a better feeling of space usage and flow.