Research on Building Layout Driven by Energy Flow in Humid Tropics: Take the Living Space of Hale Kuahine Dormitory in Honolulu as a Thermal Comfort Stimulating Object

Xu, Ruyun
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2016]
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Building, which can be defined as a “container of life”, should not only be analyzed for expressing visual beauty of architectural language, but special attention related to living quality indoor and outdoor also must be asserted. The desire of comfort is usually satisfied by some mechanical equipment with high energy consumption in modern architecture; however, facing the current crisis of environmental pollution and energy shortage, it is urgent to blaze a trail and to find an architectural approach that is energy-efficient to enhance the life quality. As a part of the Shanghai-Hawaii Global Track Project, this doctoral research has been launched in University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM), by selecting the non-air-conditioned dormitories in East-West Center (EWC) as an object to study the relation between the comfort level of daily activities and the building programming, which is one of the main architectural design contents once linked too much to spatial accessibility but lacking of considerations from a performance perspective. In order to find appropriate strategies for building programming in such a climate of humid tropics, the paper will blend the lessons of architectural history with the future-oriented technological progress, presenting in two major research clues ---- one is “experience” and the other is “evidence”. Specifically, the clue of “experience” will commence in studying the ancient ingenious ideas from typical human dwellings and vernacular settlements in hot-humid areas and then move to those salient modern regional explorations sparked by their ancestors’ wisdom. Meanwhile, the clue of “evidence” will serve as an evaluation system to demonstrate the feasibility of certain sustainable design concepts, with the assistance of computational simulation data and new credible discoveries from relevant disciplines such as environmental psychology, thermodynamics, neuroscience and behavioral economics on man-environment interaction. By mixing these expertise, architects can take the role of traditional engineers to fabricate a well-tempered “living machine” and figure out some constructive design techniques, which, if applied to mold the campus dormitory, would create a sense of well-being and encourage more students to enjoy the space for a longer time.
D.Arch. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
Building Layout, Energy Flow, Thermal Comfort, Sustainability, Hot-humid
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Theses for the degree of Doctor of Architecture (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Architecture
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