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Optimization Driven Architectural Design of Structures

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - OptArch (Optimization Driven Architectural Design of Structures)

Reporting period: 2016-02-01 to 2018-01-31

The methodology for dealing with optimization problems in the field of architectural design relies on trial and error procedure. This approach has the disadvantage of being difficult to implement and also not taking into account mathematical aspects of optimization procedure. The challenging main objective of OptArch is to propose a radically new design procedure for safer, more economic and environmentally friendly structures. Methodologically, this will be achieved by an in-depth investigation of fundamental aspects of architectural design and by implementing design procedure at three different levels, corresponding to different levels of available hardware performance. For conceptual and preliminary design phases, new design procedures are also proposed.
The tasks of OptArch integrate and extend previous research of Consortium in the fields of structural optimization, numerical analysis, novel structural engineering approaches, soft computing and computer technology. Such a multidisciplinary approach is deemed necessary to tackle the challenges associated with achieving project objective. The expertise of Consortium in all aspects of proposed research, combined with exceptional opportunities provided by MSCA Actions, give OptArch the potential to significantly enhance our knowledge and improve current design practice of structural systems, helping future generations of engineers to design safer, more economic and eco-friendly structures. An additional result of OptArch is to consolidate the Consortium as a leading independent researcher and team leader in an academic environment which is currently suffering from a pronounced brain-drain of young talents.
The OptArch project focuses on: (1) Collaboration and exchange of knowledge between partners. (2) Specialization of expertise regarding SMEs participating. (3) Development of cheaper and more efficient structures. (4) Create and test of methodologies for applying optimization in different design phases of structures. (5) Exploiting topology optimization techniques in computer aided architectural design. (6) Exchange ideas and propose formulations to real life applications. (7) Develop solutions for optimized multidisciplinary architectural designs. (8) Combine criteria deriving from structural mechanics, eco design, bioclimatic design and acoustic performance.
WP1: The main objective of WP1 is R&D of gradient based and derivative free algorithms that address unconstrained and constrained, single and multi-objective optimization problems in the field of structural engineering. The first coordination meeting took place in May 2016. In the framework of WP1 Mr. Abdelhady and Mr. Farag were hosted in NTUA during Summer of 2016 each in order to exchange knowledge with NTUA researchers on programming. In 2017 researchers from NTUA moved to Eupraxia to be trained in advanced programming.
WP2: During secondment of Mr. Michailidis (INPG) at SHAPE and ACE Hellas, several novel criteria dedicated to architectural design have been defined and numerically tested. The obtained results proved that geometric constraints in shape and topology optimization can enlarge its scope of application in architecture. More precisely, we formulated three novel constraints on the geometry of shapes.
WP3: During Secondment of Prof. Abdalla to NTUA, solid-element-based numerical models were implemented to study the progressive collapse resistance of reinforced concrete (RC) column-beam-slab substructures. After careful designing the structures an optimization method was used to redesign the structure. During secondments of Mr. Chatzieleftheriou and Mr. Kallioras to EUP to check accuracy of models with appropriate monitoring equipment will be obtained.
WP4: An initial coordination meeting among all partners involved in WP4 had taken place via teleconference in September 2016. Collaborations and activities should evolve through secondments and in parallel to development of other WPs. Furthermore, a coordination meeting among all partners involved in WP4 had taken place during mid-term evaluation meeting of OptArch in Athens, in September 2017. In coordination meeting, UCY went through the WP4 and exchanged ideas with the partners of WP with regard to its contents and aims.
WP5: A brief description of work conducted is presented: (1) Secondment to INPG by A. Couvelas (SHAPE) and exchanged ideas. (2) Secondment to X by A. Couvelas (SHAPE) presentations by X researchers on their research programs. Prof. G. Allaire (X) included CFD analysis in post-graduate syllabus. (3) Secondment to SHAPE by F. Maden to accomplish Task 5.1. (4) Secondment to SHAPE by M. Matheou (UCY).
WP6: The collaboration of participants on definition and numerical implementation of geometric constraints related to architecture in shape and topology optimization algorithms as well as enhancement of aesthetic qualities and manufacturability of optimized shape have been very fruitful. In addition acoustic problems and more precisely adjustment of maximum and minimum pressure from optimization of boundary conditions is addressed.
WP7: The WP has initiated in February 2017. The representatives from all partners made an online meeting in March 24 in order to discuss joint activity and secondments. A second coordination meeting has taken place during mid-term evaluation meeting of OptArch in Athens during September 11-12, 2017.
WP8: In this WP International Conferences and Specialized Seminars on topics related to Engineering and Applied Sciences were scheduled to be organized. In this direction the activities have been organized so far: (1) Summer School Structural Morphology 2017 (Sept. 2017, China). (2) GECCO 2018, (July 2018, Japan), organized by POLIBA & FZU and NTUA. (3) WCCM 2018 (July 2018, USA), organized by NTUA. (4) CST2018 (Sept. 2018, Spain), organised by: NTUA, POLIBA & FZU. Two diploma theses developed from students with collaboration of researchers from OptArch, during secondment.
OptArch is targeted on defining and testing of mathematical optimization techniques in several design phases of structures. In detail, the Consortium is developing base methodology of applying optimization techniques in architectural and engineering problems like weight minimization, shape and topology of structures, form finding, etc. The innovation of structuring an applicable environment of above mentioned approaches under a multiobjective optimization scheme is performed by Consortium. Future work relies on fine-tuning the above mentioned formulation while expanding it with more demanding aspects such generative design, kinetic structures, acoustic performance optimization, etc. By the end of OptArch, Consortium plans to develop a holistic methodology on applied optimization on almost all aspects of architectural design from structural shape to hybrid structures.
As most of lifetime of is spent indoors, several economical, psychological and social factors are defined by architectural design. Also, as buildings use around 40% of global energy and resources while emit almost 33% of global GHG emissions, the importance of optimizing building design is significant. Through OptArch, academic sector will broaden its horizon by working closely and interacting with SMEs from different disciplines while a large number of researchers from EU member states and third countries will be given the opportunity to work side by side and exchange knowledge and experience.