2016

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    Civic Space Inspired by Hawaiian Alignments: Creating a Hawaiian Presence in Puu O Kapolei
    ( 2016-05) Ancheta, Marion ; Stilgenbauer, Judith ; Architecture
    The spirit of a place is an important element among communities, especially in those cultures that have a strong connection with the cosmos. Many ancient civilizations used the stars as referential in the placement of their structures and performing spiritual rituals among those spaces, such as the Egyptians aligning their Giza pyramid with the Orion star constellation. In The Orion Mystery: Unlocking the Secrets of the Pyramids, Robert Bauval discovers that the pyramid location had a strong connection between the dead king Osiris and the constellation of Orion.1 The importance of why the Egyptians did this was reflected in Bauval’s theory that there was spiritual knowledge that enlightened the pyramid builders, creating a portal between earth and the heavens. Similarly, the ancient Hawaiians have placed and built most of their temples, or heiau, to align with the sun's solstice and equinox at strategic locations. Globally, there are many ancient structures that are aligned with the celestial sky, taking examples from the Forbidden City in China, to the ancient Mayan city of Uxmal. Most of these monuments themselves were built for the rulers but also functioned as a civic space that invoked a central power. In the contemporary built environment, the notion of a civic space has evolved into an extension of a community, becoming a public realm of cultural activities and knowledge. The question arises: Do these spaces invoke a traditional and cultural perspective of the indigenous culture? Case studies such as the Uluru Kata-Tjuta Cultural Center in Australia, describes the importance of indigenous culture integration within a civic space. The recognition of native culture is mostly absent in today's perception of the built environment, especially in Hawai`i. This project attempts reconciliation between traditional Hawaiian knowledge of spatial elements, cultural significance, and the tangible and intangible structure of a heiau, and align it with the modern civic space. Methods that accomplish these tasks include historical research, interviews, logical argumentation and case studies. The resulting collective data establishes a set of programs for designing a Hawaiian civic space.
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    Social Housing Building Envelope Retrofit in Russia New Material Assembly Application
    ( 2016-05) Arena, Theron ; Meguro, Wendy ; Architecture
    In the 1950’s the Russian government began a massive construc tion campaign to provide housing throughout the country. Millions of units were built with minimal varia tion to supply housing demand. The driving force was to keep the cost of construc tion as low as possible; as a result these buildings were built with no energy efficiency standards. In addition, the interior of these buildings have very poor thermal comfort. These units had an intended lifespan of 25 years but, unfortunately, are still in use today. This fact together with an outdated and failing district hea ting infrastructure has resulted in a substan tial need for improved building envelope retrofits of these old prefabricated concrete buildings. Various retrofit op tions have been studied in Moscow since 1997, when the building codes in Russia changed to incorporate energy efficiency in the building envelope design. The most recent study by VTT (VALTION TEKNILLINEN TUTKIMUSKESKUS) Technical of Finland in 2014, was very thorough in overall scope, but had several areas where it could be improved. The answer is fiber cement and cellulose insula tion in a prefabricated building element. As no such building element currently exists, the culmina tion of this research document results in the crea tion of a new building material assembly that is ideally suited for sustainable prefabricated building envelope retrofits. There is a need for this new material assembly because it will provide a be tter, more adaptable, less expensive, easier to install, more sustainable, lower life me maintenance exterior insula tion system than any other material on the market today. The site loca tion selected for study is in Volzhsky, a small but progressive city in the southwestern corner of Russia. The social housing retrofit proposed herein will provide a precedent that can be followed and modified throughout the en re country.
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    Sculpting the "Aesthetics of Air" for Improved Thermal Comfort
    ( 2016-05) Bonilla, Reece ; Meguro, Wendy ; Architecture
    In an attempt to reduce building energy consumption and carbon emissions there is a growing worldwide interest in utilizing natural ventilation cooling in future high rise buildings. The use of natural ventilation cooling is not new to hot and humid regions of the world, yet this passive design principle found in tropical vernacular architecture is not found in many tall buildings in the tropics. The economically preferred double loaded corridor (DLC) spatial configuration generally associated with high rise models lack the ability to cross ventilate efficiently thereby surrendering to mechanical cooling for thermal comfort. The fundamental challenge is finding a solution that works well with cross ventilation and DLC configuration to improve thermal comfort and reduce building energy consumption. The skip-stop spatial configuration found in Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation could be a solution in providing efficient cross ventilation for double loaded corridor designs and thus improve thermal comfort through passive cooling while providing efficient space planning for vertical development. The objective of this project was to investigate the ventilation performances and thermal comfort conditions of a proposed skip-stop double loaded corridor (SSDLC) spatial configuration in comparison to a DLC and single loaded corridor (SLC) configuration. Modifications to the building envelope and local air speeds via ceiling fans through parametric analyses were also tested to improve comfort in these naturally ventilated models. Estimated thermal comfort results in these models were not seen as absolute but relative to the conditions being investigated. The research evaluates each model in Honolulu’s climate. Thermal comfort and air flow analysis was conducted using bulk air flow and computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modeling through the Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) Virtual Environment software. The Predicted Mean Vote (PMV) model was used as a metric to determine acceptable thermal comfort. The resulting research is beneficial for architects practicing in Hawaii and other major tropical cities around the world, as it provides a passive and economic solution to the cross ventilation and double loaded corridor dilemma in tall building designs, not to mention the energy savings that could potentially come out of utilizing such model in a hot and humid climate.
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    "UH Co.Lab": An Innovative Learning space at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Based on the co-design Methodology and Practice
    ( 2016-05) Chen, Juliann ; Walters, Lance ; Architecture
    The nature of the client, architect, and contractor relationship has changed considerably within contemporary architectural practice. Today, clients place more trust in professionals who specialize in non-architectural areas, such as construction costs, rather than architects who specialize in design. While a client might hire both types of parties, this disproportionate placement of trust on one particular party could adversely affect relationship between the client and the architect as well as between the client and other essential specialists. These correlations between client, architect, and other professional key players, in professional practice, are not consistently reflected in architectural education. The relationship in professional practice can be improved by starting at the roots—exposing students to design-communication strategies, thereby preparing them to engage with clients on different levels. Inspired by recent academic curricula in business and design, this dissertation investigates the modern architectural education environment, its alignment with professional practice, and the related impact on learning spaces and curricula. By anticipating new architectural curricula that derive from the profession, current design processes and methods, when combined with client-driven communication concepts from business curricula, will expose students to a variety of architect-client interactions and relationships, will help develop stronger design-communication interaction, and will demand the occurrence of new educational spaces for these interactions. This doctoral project poses the following questions. How can students gain knowledge and confidence when communicating the value of design through client interaction within an academic environment? And, stemming from that, how can the learning spaces facilitate the integration of professional design and communication strategies? Evidence shows that a curriculum that brings interactions regarding client relations into the classroom reveal opportunities for re-envisioned design spaces that accommodate and adapt to new collaborative working models and that foster growth and collective creativity. Past research on business and design curricula, existing design strategies, and communication strategies led to the development of an integrated educational model known as co-design, which has been redefined to inform the design of a new collaborative educational space. This led to the creation of a new type of programmatic educational space, which brings co-design methods into the educational environment and directly supports student engagement with clients.
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    Architecture of Confinement: Positively Influencing Rehabilitation and Reintegration
    ( 2016-05) Emberson, Jamie ; Despang, Martin ; Architecture