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Title: Design process and environmental information : applicability of design support tools
Author: Dutra, Luciano
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 0432
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2010
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The architectural design process is a fuzzy and imprecise generalisation of each architect's own and unique way of designing. The environmental design process comprises issues related to environmental comfort, energy efficiency and sustainability. As this process improves the building behaviour, hardens the understanding about how so many variables get into the design process end take part in the results. To help understanding this, new Environmental Design Support Tools (EDSTs) are available each year. Over the last decade, these tools have been aimed more specifically toward designers and given friendlier interfaces. Whilst this has made them more usable by designers, it has also highlighted continuing fundamental weaknesses in terms of applicability in the design process and design support. The bigger problem seems to be related to the inadequacy between the operability of such tools and the complexity and plurality of ways in which designers design. Most tools, although named as environmental design support tools, are actually simple simulation tools. They facilitate design tasks that would otherwise demand time but still do not support analysis and interpretation of results. This thesis investigates the problems inherent to supporting the building design process through environmental design support tools. The works of some architects carried out as an academic exercise were analysed as a pilot study for this research. A graphical tool named as "Dica Diagram" was created to scrutinise fundamental issues related to the design process and how architects take account of environmental concepts in it. Several interesting behaviours were detected during this experiment and were investigated further with two different groups of students of architecture carrying out other two experiments as case studies for this research. The experiments test twelve hypotheses through nonparametric statistical tools in order to verify some issues that could, then, help in the creation of a framework for a designer friendly support tool for implementing these features in EDSTs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available