A Case Study of Teaching Method and Students’ Learning Experience in Integrating Urban Design and Performance Simulations for Climate Conscious Design in Estonia

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Francesco De Luca


Indoor comfort, energy efficiency and outdoor comfort are critical factors for the design of sustainable, climate conscious and livable urban environments. Simulations tools are available to be used by architects and urban designers to improve the environmental performance of buildings and districts from the early stages of the design process. Building requirements, standards and metrics can be used efficiently to assess the simulation results and parametric design methodologies allow for finding optimal design solutions. The schools of architecture struggle to teach the students how to perform correctly simulations and how to integrated them in the design process. The reason lies in the separation of the courses in which simulations are taught, usually building technology courses, and architectural and urban design studio courses. This research presents method and outcomes of an urban design course taught by the author during which the students learned how to integrate architectural and urban design principles with simulations and analysis of results against standards and metrics through parametric design. The course succeeded as well in increasing the awareness of the students about sustainable and climate conscious design.

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