Computationally Unifying Urban Masterplanning

david bir Paul H. J. Kelly, Tony Field, and Alvise Simondetti., and David Birch.
ACM Computing Frontiers (2013) (2013)

Architectural design, particularly in large scale masterplanning projects, has yet to fully undergo the computational
revolution experienced by other design-led industries such
as automotive and aerospace. These industries use computational frameworks to undertake automated design analysis and design space exploration. However, within the Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industries
we nd no such computational platforms. This precludes
the rapid analysis needed for quantitative design iteration
which is required for sustainable design. This is a current
computing frontier.
This paper considers the computational solutions to the
challenges preventing such advances to improve architectural design performance for a more sustainable future. We
present a practical discussion of the computational challenges and opportunities in this industry and present a computational framework \HierSynth” with a data model designed to the needs of this industry.
We report the results and lessons learned from applying
this framework to a major commercial urban masterplanning project. This framework was used to automate and
augment existing practice and was used to undertake previously infeasible, designer lead, design space exploration.
During the casestudy an order of magnitude more analysis
cycles were undertaken than literature suggests is normal;
each occurring in hours not days.