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The Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, commonly referred to as the AA, is the oldest independent school of architecture in the UK and one of the most prestigious and competitive in the world. Its wide-ranging programme of exhibitions, lectures, symposia and publications have given it a central position in global discussions and developments within contemporary architectural culture. Wikipedia.

Rodriguez-Alvarez J.,University of La Coruna | Rodriguez-Alvarez J.,Architectural Association, London
Landscape and Urban Planning | Year: 2016

In the last two decades, preliminary energy assessments have gradually become mandatory for new constructions in most of Europe, Australia and North America. Sound tools have been developed to support the energy performance analysis of building designs. However, their scale of analysis is limited by definition. The complexity that results from the minute consideration of multiple parameters grows exponentially when further buildings are added to the model. It is, therefore, highly inefficient to base the assessment of large urban areas on models that are intended for individual buildings. Yet the need for instruments that facilitate evaluations at the urban scale is unquestionable. A great extent of the current urban fabric has never been analyzed and hence measures to reduce consumption and carbon emissions from existing buildings are grounded on assumptions and generalizations. This paper presents the Urban Energy Index for Buildings (UEIB), a tool that has been specifically designed to assess the energy performance of buildings in large urban areas. It is based on the reduction of the urban geometry into a simpler notional grid that retains critical information to perform meaningful estimates. It aims for simplicity and ease of use so that energy aspects can be incorporated at the preliminary stages of urban plans and policies. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. Source

Chatzidimitriou A.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki | Yannas S.,Architectural Association, London
Sustainable Cities and Society | Year: 2016

The paper presents a study on the influence of urban morphology and urban design parameters such as street and building geometry, landscape elements including vegetation types, water surfaces and material properties and their effects on pedestrian thermal comfort in cities. The data provided by the paper are based on simulations using selected computational tools (ENVI-met, RadTherm and Fluent) and performed for two typical urban spaces, a square and a courtyard. The paper focuses on summer conditions which include increasingly uncomfortable periods. It draws upon studies initiated in the city of Thessaloniki in northern Greece. However, the findings apply to many other cities with similar morphological characteristics and summer design conditions. The results are ranked according to the influence each of the design parameters considered can have on pedestrian thermal comfort. Spatial and temporal variations are highlighted. Special mention is given to the high impact of trees and soil humidity and the contrasting effects of pavement albedo. The paper provides data for use by urban designers in specifying appropriate microclimatic interventions to improve pedestrian comfort. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Jacoby S.,Architectural Association, London
Journal of Architecture | Year: 2015

The twentieth-century accounts of typology are often both historiographically problematic and conceptually imprecise. They reinforce an understanding of typology as mainly an interchangeable functional and graphic classification, and present Jean-Nicolas-Louis Durand as a key figure of the discourse, despite him dealing with buildings according to their genre and not their organisational and structural diagrams of typology. In contrast, one can posit that all theories of type are foremost epistemological and discursive arguments. Although not prescriptive in a formal sense, they are concerned with a rational synthesis of form by thinking through conceptual and diagrammatic organisation. This diagrammatic abstraction had already become instrumental to architectural theory and history in the eighteenth century, long before the modern discourse on the diagram was consolidated in the 1990s.While the architectural diagram is regularly explained as a generic and generative description, it can equally be defined as a typological diagram specific to the architectural discipline and its production of knowledge. Clarifying the concept of type as emerging in parallel with ideas of abstraction and diagrammatic reasoning reveals a richer set of connected problems deriving from architectural practice, pedagogy and disciplinary knowledge, which permits a different framing of the historical discourse. This is explored by discussing its meaning for a distinction between typal and typological reasoning, how this arises from a problem of history and theory, and how the evolving typological discourse relates to the concepts of invention, disposition and style. Whereas historiography commonly recognises the French academics Antoine-Chrysostome Quatremère de Quincy and Durand, the often-overlooked Gottfried Semper and Julien-David Le Roy were central to a modern conception of architecture that developed ideas of typal and typological abstraction through historicist processes of cultural and diagrammatic reduction. © 2015 RIBA Enterprises. Source

Schiano-Phan R.,Architectural Association, London
Architectural Science Review | Year: 2012

In the past 20 years, passive downdraught evaporative cooling (PDEC) has been proven as a viable alternative to conventional mechanical cooling in buildings. Following the theoretical and experimental work by Givoni, in Israel and by Cunningham and Thompson, in Arizona, a number of pioneering buildings adopting this innovative technique have emerged around the world. These first-generation buildings demonstrate the technical applicability of PDEC as part of a climatically responsive approach to design and to the provision of comfort. However, many questions arise on the design implications of a PDEC building and specifically on the relationship between system performance, architectural integration and occupants perception. Four case study buildings using PDEC were identified in the states of Arizona, Utah and California, for which a post-occupancy study was undertaken by the author, as part of a dissemination project supported by the European Commission and completed in 2010. These buildings use various PDEC system typologies and approaches to building integration. This article reports on the outcome of this study, which has shown that the success of a PDEC system is often related to the ability of the designers to anticipate the implications for the users of their buildings (i.e. building integration) and to the robustness of the overall passive design strategy. The study also showed that the occupants perception of such buildings is influenced by their expectations (pre-conditioning) and by their ability to control their surrounding environment. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Schiano-Phan R.,Architectural Association, London
Architectural Research Quarterly | Year: 2010

As the existing housing stock ages throughout Europe, retrofitting offers many opportunities for the substantial improvement of the energy performance of residential buildings and the provision of sustainable alternatives to conventional heating and cooling. The effect of global warming is leading to a widespread use of air conditioning in existing and new residential buildings. This potentially implies an increase in cooling energy and adverse environmental effects on an unprecedented scale. In the hot and dry climate of many south European cities, this could be avoided with the use of an innovative wall integrated passive evaporative cooling system, which harnesses air, water and porous ceramic to provide comfortable indoor conditions. Dr Rosa Schiano-Phan discusses the applicability of such a system to the urban context of Seville in the light of the current Spanish regulatory framework and recent developments of European energy performance standards. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010. Source

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