Program B Research Library
Virtual prototyping of built environments||Building design 
Parametric building design 
The objectives of this project were two-fold:
  • assess the ease with which current architectural CAD systems support the use of parametric descriptions in defining shape, engineering system performance and cost at the early stages of building design
  • assess the feasibility of implementing a software decision support system that allowed designers to trade-off the characteristics and configuration of various engineering systems to move towards a global optimum rather than considering each system in isolation.
The research investigated software tools and developed interfaces to optimise architectural layout and structure based on parametric models. Parametric in this context means the relationships between elements of the model. Model relationships were based on parameters such as building usage mix, respective floor areas and so on, while structural parameters such as structure type and minimum column centres are all crucial to the early design phase. Researchers from the Stanford University Centre for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE) collaborated with Construction Innovation on the project.
This project allowed industry partners to examine methods for defining parametric models within three architecture, engineering and construction CAD systems (AutoCAD Architectural Desktop, ArchiCAD, and Microstation Triforma) plus CATIA (a leading parametric modeller), and to analyse and implement mixed-use commercial/residential multistorey developments.
Linking early design decisions across multiple disciplines(Refereed conference paper)
Note the final research report is confidential and not available