on Book: “Intelligent design using solar‐climatic vision: Energy and comfort improvement in architecture and urban planning using SOLARCHVISION”, Young Cities Research Paper Series, Volume 09, Samimi M. and Nasrollahi F., Berlin Institute of Technology, Germany, 2014, ISBN 978-3-7983-2675-0 (Print).
Rahul Mehrotra, Professor and Chair Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard University, USA
This is wonderful work and visually so rich. Congratulations. It is nice to see these basic questions coming back into the discussion so clearly.
Namely Chapter III is very interesting for my office! To influence running costs in buildings with simple and comparingly cheap interventionis like the correct dimension and orientation of shading elements is a very strong argument. The charts and schemes show these effects very clearly.
The main objective of a building design is not to save energy. At first, the building should be designed for its users and the purpose of meeting their needs. In the design process, the architect is responsible for defining the shape and orientation of the building, the size and position of transparent areas in the facade and the selection of materials for the construction. In other words, the architect uses the design to determine the energy balance, the indoor climate and the heating and cooling demand of the building in relation to the local climate. The book at hand, written by Mojtaba Samimi and Farshad Nasrollahi, helps architects to become more aware of these crucial factors, which are dependent on the thermal behavior of the building envelope. A general analysis demonstrates how to best approach the design process with regard to the local climate conditions – so by taking into consideration, and not excluding, solar radiation and temperature. The SOLARCHVISION tool has been developed for this purpose, namely to study the patterns of climate parameters, such as direct beam radiation, sun paths, air temperature, wind speeds and directions, and assess the impact the data has on the building envelope and the architectural design in general. The authors illustrate the “positive and negative effects of solar radiation” for several basic building shapes, but also some more complex case studies, dependent on the climate of the particular location. Detailed analyses are described for hot, intermediate and cold climate regions (Europe, U.S., Canada, Australia, East Asia, Iran). The SOLARCHVISION approach is not restricted to single buildings but is also used to discuss the interrelations between buildings and their neighborhood on a district level. The book concludes with an application of the generated approach in the newly planned city district, Shahre Javan Community, which was developed within the German-Iranian research project “Young Cities—Developing Energy-Efficient Urban Fabric in the Tehran-Karaj Region”.