Green Architecture and Environmental Design using Rapid-Prototyping Social-Networking Sandbox Tools, followed by Professional Architectural Software

Abstract

In 2012 the United Nations UN-Habitat's Sustainable Urban Development Network partnered with European Union sandbox-game developers of architectural and social-networking software. The U.N. goal is to upgrade 300 public spaces worldwide by 2016 by joining professional designers with local inhabitants in virtual-world simulations of public spaces so that a collective design experience may be realized. This work inspired the author, a professor of engineering and architecture in a new U.S. Sustainable Design Engineering program, to create projects where students build a green home in green villages, or on the virtual college campus, using rapid-prototyping architectural software in virtual environments containing simulated weather, terrains, and biomes. Their avatar interacts with other student avatars to collectively design and build. Social-media streaming dialog is scrolled across the screen so everybody can voice their thoughts. Student homes are graded on passive solar (including overhangs and thermal mass's); Active solar panels; Natural daylighting; Mitigation of cold northern winds; and overall architectural esthetic. Additionally, each student in a town shares the same grade for their community garden design; their design of community livestock barns and corrals; and their overall urban design and city planning -- including piazza's, a central market, parks, and a wellness center with indoor pool and activity rooms. Credit is also given for electromechanical engineering using the software's circuits-design, logic-design, and electromechanical device elements. Selected designs are continued into full-scale professional architectural renderings and detailed construction drawings ("working drawings"). LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) architectural sustainability concepts are incorporated throughout.



Author Information
Joseph Wunderlich, Elizabethtown College, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ACSEE2013
Stream: Sustainability

This paper is part of the ACSEE2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by amp21