EXPERIMENT ON BUILDING ENVELOPES

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Submitted by admin on Thu, 2016-07-14 03:33

The thematic focus of the experiment was Environmental Envelopes; or more technically - facades. By means of discourse and research with local and international artists, designers and engineers; the aim was to explore local expressions of both material and immaterial culture and suggest culturally and environmentally sensitive and relevant approaches to working with building skins in Addis Ababa.
The utilization of local materials and glass technology in the city has allowed the workshop to develop a series of intelligent, efficient, low-tech facade systems that are at a level of complexity, which can be understood and built using local skills. It combined practical knowledge of natural ventilation, shading and day lighting systems with environmental factors such as solar gain, wind flow and weather-
proofing to deliver high performance facades with reduced energy and running costs. As there is a direct relationship between building envelope and structure, the interrelationships defined will be geometrically coordinated in three dimensions, with modular conditions and proportions clarified so that the ‘building’ can evolve as a unified overall concept. With regard to digital tools, parametric software tools were utilized to develop multiple design iterations that were then evaluated in the digital environment and physically tested by means of 1:1 prototypes. The goal was to control aspects of the internal environment and meet comfort requirements on a larger scale, by introducing local changes to the modular design of components as part of the envelope. The workshop took place at the EIABC - Addis Ababa University Campus. 6th semester architecture students will be involved in the learning/experimental/designing process in conjunction with the major partners. The outcome of the workshop as a research venture had produced the potential of further wide-scale adoptions by both.

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