Computational high-rise design tool

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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Arkkitehtuurin maisteriohjelma
With many projects scheduled in the next few years, high-rise buildings are becoming more common in Finland. In the Nordics, experience in high-rise construction design is limited, which can be problematic given the difficulty of this type of project. There are several aspects to take into account dealing with this type of complex design tasks, technical aspects such as quality of view, mass placement, shading, daylight analysis, and wind performance. In this type of project, it is costly to make conceptual adjustments to respond to aspects that have been overlooked in late project phases. Early design decisions are therefore very critical in order to achieve adequate building efficiency in an appropriate time frame. This study aims to provide aid to designers with limited experience of high-rises in the conceptual design phase. They must grasp the criteria for high-rise buildings and the effects of design choices. A tool that combines key stakeholders and their demands, such as residents, client, and city municipality, gives a clear general idea of high-rise design and the challenges it entails. A literature analysis was undertaken to achieve an understanding of high-rise projects and interviews were conducted with multiple high-rise experts on various aspects of high-rise architecture. The essence of the collected information was analyzed and created a suitable way to express it via a design method. The design tool is a parametric computer code programmed for Rhinoceros 3D in Grasshopper. Design parameters such as the height of structure, form, and slenderness are taken as input values. It then processes the data and provides feedback on the design to the user concerning various requirements, such as daylight, quality of view, wind performance, etc. Working with a computer design tool has been found to be a good way to provide instant design input and assist the designer in their process. The design tool shows detailed data that is directly related to the current concept of design, making the data very accessible. Lastly, through a case study, the design tool was developed and tested. The results are promising, although not all features have been incorporated, and the design tool is a working prototype that can be used as it is or as a basis for further development.
Kotnik, Toni
Thesis advisor
Mahlamäki, Rainer
high-rise buildings, high-rise design, computational design, design tool, digital tool, design process
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