Thursday, February 1, 2018

Pre/post-occupancy Evaluations and Generative Design

All the talk about deep learning, AI and generative design is very exciting; both Autodesk and NVIDIA are doing some amazing things in this space. But, just like energy modeling and lighting analysis, which I am familiar with, if the inputs are not accurate the old says holds true; garbage in, garbage out.

In energy modeling, if the thermal properties or orientation of a wall is not correct the resultant EUI will not be valid. In lighting analysis, if the photometry is wrong or a surface reflectance is not set properly the illuminance calculation will be false.

Thus, I was pleased to hear the emphasis placed on pre/post occupancy surveys performed by Autodesk and The Living when they employed generative design in the development of their new office space in Toronto.

Pre/post Occupancy Surveys

LHB has not used generative design (yet) but we have done a lot of work in pre/post occupancy surveys. LHB architect and researcher, Becky Alexander AIA, WELL AP, recently presented on this topic at the Minnesota AIA convention. In the PDF link below, be sure to scroll down and look at all the detailed metrics related to our Minneapolis office relocation project.

The PDF has a very detailed POE case study done for our Minneapolis office relocation. Below are the first two slides from the download.

On a related note, a new POE tool from KieranTimberlake (makers of Tally, LCA) is coming out soon, called Roast
Update: I wrote this review on Roast, based on some beta testing I did with KT, here: Roast by KieranTimberlake

Generative Design:

BIMThoughts podcast, with architect and Principal Research Scientist with The Living, part of Autodesk Research John Locke, discusses occupant data collection, pre and post occupancy, and using generative design to derive at optimal solutions:

In the podcast they talk about Autodesk's Anthony Hauck, who is the Director of Product Strategy who leads product strategy creation and coordination within the AEC Generative Design group. Well, he was with Autodesk until I hit publish on this post and then saw this Tweet. I've seen Anthony give some great presentations, at BILT conferences, on the work his group is doing with generative design, deep learning and AI.

Speaking of BILT, at the Europe 2017 event in Aarhus Denmark I also attended an interesting presentation where generative design use used to design a parking structure.

Additional info on the Autodesk project:


The research was done by The Living in NYC…

You have to watch this 4 minute video:

So cool. Below are a few screen shots from the video…