CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design supported by the sibling associations ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD and CAAD futures

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Such a problem, in standard form, presents an objective function Z=f(x), of n variables x, to be minimized and a system of linear equations and/or inequalities, on the same variables, which represent the constraints and which define an admissible area for the solution.

The architectural organism is modelled as an assembly of parallelepiped shaped space entities or units, provided with a certain number of "holes" that permit functional corresponding connection. The pursued intent being optimal assembly.

The model, in its mathematical form, fits a standard Non-Linear M.P. (N.L.P.) problem, since the objective function Z is non-linear and the constraints are represented by inequalities. In its graphic form it reproduces an image of all the space units constituting the organism; moreover it is able to represent these units, in their logical and physical individuality, and their mutual relationship, as well as the ones with the external environment.

‘Expert knowledge’ provision has been made possible by the introduction of hypertext, the advancement of the world wide web and the development of large scale data-storage media. Much of the computer’s value to the architects lies in its ability to assist in the evaluation of a range of performance criteria. Without the help of a computer, architects are faced with impossibly complex arrays of solutions. This paper illustrates an evaluation tool for two factors which are important to the window design. The two factors to be investigated in this paper are sunlighting and views out of windows.

Sunlight is a quantitative factor that can theoretically be assessed by some mathematical formulae provided there is sufficient information for calculation but when total cumulative effects of insolation through the different seasons is required, in addition to yearly figures, a design in real-time evolution requires substantial computing power. Views out of windows are qualitative and subjective. They present difficulties in measurement by the use of conventional mathematical tools. These two fields of impact in window design are explored to demonstrate how computers can be used in assessing various options to produce optimal design solutions. This paper explains the methodologies, theories and principles underlying these evaluation tools. It also illustrates how an evaluation tool can be used as a design tool during the design process.

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