ARCHITECTS ANONYMOUS - DEVELOPING A PARTICIPATORY, USER-FRIENDLY PLATFORM TO GENERATE REGION-SPECIFIC CLIMATIC BUILDING DESIGN STRATEGIES FOR THE ‘ANONYMOUS ARCHITECT’

Open Access
Author:
Punathambekar, Shivaram Anand
Graduate Program:
Architecture
Degree:
Master of Architecture
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
May 18, 2016
Committee Members:
  • Shivaram Anand Punathambekar, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • Housing
  • Energy-efficiency in buildings
  • India
  • Climatic Design
  • Smartphone
Abstract:
Current public discourse around energy conservation in buildings revolves around a ‘top-down’ approach that is centered around green building rating systems and energy codes. Aside from the debate of whether these systems and codes are themselves efficient enough is perhaps the larger question of the sheer number of buildings that ‘slip’ through these regulations; particularly in the residential sector, which is not only the largest building typology by area and energy consumption, but is by and large unorganized and little regulated from an energy perspective. This situation is even more critical in fast-developing countries like India, in which it is projected that more than three-fourths of the buildings that will exist by 2030 have not yet been built. The majority of these residential buildings are built by clients (the ‘anonymous architect’) using stock designs from contractors that rarely take into account the climate of the region, which is the key component towards achieving energy efficiency. Even for the anonymous architect who is energy-conscious but unfortunately does not have the resources to consult specialized professionals; there is a distinct lack of existing research in the form of a user-friendly, open-source platform that can generate region-specific climatic building design strategies which can then enable him/her to request changes to the contractor’s stock designs. Accordingly, this research uses technology such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and web-design tools to generate these design strategies in a participatory, ‘bottom-up’ platform - one that can be easily accessed even from the anonymous architect’s smartphone.