Generation of energy-efficient architecture solutions applying GENE ARCH: An evolution-based generative design system

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Luisa Caldas (2008) Generation of energy-efficient architecture solutions applying GENE_ARCH: An evolution-based generative design system. Adv. Eng. Inform. 22: pp. 59-70



As the field of design automation and generative design systems (GDS) evolve, more emphasis is placed on issues of design evaluation. This paper focus on the presentation of different applications of GENE_ARCH, an evolution-based GDS aimed at helping architects to achieve energy-efficient and sustainable architectural solutions. The system applies goal-oriented design, combining a genetic algorithm (GA) as the search engine, with the DOE2.1E building energy simulation software as the evaluation module. Design evaluation is based on energy spent for heating, cooling, ventilation and artificial lighting in the building, and on sustainability issues like greenhouse gas emissions associated with the embodied energy of construction materials. The GA can work either as a standard GA or as a Pareto GA, for multicriteria search and optimization. In order to provide a broad view of the capabilities of the software, different applications are discussed: (1) standard GA: testing and validating the software; (2) standard GA: incorporation of architecture design intentions, using a building by architect Alvaro Siza; (3) Pareto GA: choice of construction materials, considering cost, building energy use, and embodied energy; (4) Pareto GA: application to Siza’s building, considering thermal and lighting behavior separately; (5) standard GA: shape generation with single objective function; (6) Pareto GA: shape generation with multicriteria evaluation; (7) Pareto GA: application to an urban and housing context. Overall conclusions from the different applications are discussed, as well as current challenges and limitations, and directions for further work. Keywords: Genetic algorithms; Generative design systems; Pareto multicriteria optimization; Design automation; Sustainable construction; Bioclimatic architecture; Energy efficiency; Embodied energy; Life-cycle analysis

Extended Abstract


title = "Generation of energy-efficient architecture solutions applying GENE_ARCH: An evolution-based generative design system ",
journal = "Advanced Engineering Informatics ",
volume = "22",
number = "1",
pages = "59 - 70",
year = "2008",
note = "Intelligent computing in engineering and architecture ",
issn = "1474-0346",
doi = "",
url = {,},
author = "Luisa Caldas",
keywords = "Genetic algorithms",
keywords = "Generative design systems",
keywords = "Pareto multicriteria optimization",
keywords = "Design automation",
keywords = "Sustainable construction",
keywords = "Bioclimatic architecture",
keywords = "Energy efficiency",
keywords = "Embodied energy",
keywords = "Life-cycle analysis "

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