The Perkins+Will Research Journal is a peer-reviewed research journal dedicated to documenting and presenting practice-related research associated with buildings and their environments. This is the ninth issue, specially dedicated to documenting the outcomes of the 2nd Workshop on Architecture and Engineering of Sustainable Buildings, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). This two-day workshop was organized by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Perkins+Will, and was held at the Perkins+Will Chicago office on July 26 and 27, 2012. The event brought together invited participants from different universities, design/architectural and engineering firms and national laboratories, representing multidisciplinary and multi-faceted perspectives on sustainability issues relating to buildings and urban design. This special issue includes articles that capture the essence of the workshop, as well as summary of the workshop outcomes.
“Constitutional Ecology: The Case of Aligning Science and the Law in Urban Design ” discusses current trends in research relating to the design of cities. The article suggests that regulations that are employed to control urban development have a significant impact on health, safety and welfare of the population, and that there should be legal and scientific mechanisms in place to monitor the efficacy of the adopted regulations.
“Building Simulations and High-Performance Buildings Research: Use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) for Integrated Design and Analysis” discusses relationships between building performance simulations and design, and the role of building performance research in architectural practice. The first part of the article presents research activities at Perkins+Will Tech Lab, and the second article discusses the role of performance simulations in the design of high-performance buildings, methods for integrating analysis procedures with the design, as well as case studies.
“North House: Prototyping Climate Responsive Envelope and Control Systems” presents a design research project that focused on developing a full-scale prototype of a net-positive energy solar powered residence, optimized for cold climates. The article discusses project objectives, design aspects, development of a specialized facade system with integrated photovoltaics, different building systems incorporated into the house, and control mechanisms used to track and monitor energy usage.
“Current Trends in Low-Energy HVAC Design” discusses how HVAC systems are changing to address the need to design energy-efficient buildings. The article discusses different systems and methods, as well as emerging types of HVAC systems. Also, the article suggests that use of simulation tools for energy modeling or computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling are necessary for the design decision-making, and must be integrated with the design process.
In this special issue of the Perkins+Will Research Journal, we have also included summary of the Workshop outcomes, as well as identified research gaps and next steps that need to be addressed in order to advance the current state of knowledge and promote design and construction of next-generation sustainable, high-performance buildings and cities.