Simulation in Architectural Research

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Simulation in Architectural Research


In the new world of architectural research and finding, technology has a main role to play. With the help of technology it made possible in creating virtual world which triggers many facts and findings for obtaining inferences that helps in drawing conclusions. This paper focuses on one of the research processes that are involved in the forthcoming generation of architectural research i.e. architectural simulation research. The architectural simulation can be classified into drawing, photographs and different scale model. This research can be executed in similar lines with the conventional Logical Argumentation, Experimental Research and Qualitative Research in many ways. The paper also focuses on the tactical part of the different category of simulation research which deals with the characteristics of simulation types.

Keywords: Simulation; Architectural research; Architectural Photographs; Architectural Models

  1. Introduction

Simulation occurs when a replication of a real world context or a hypothesized real world context contains with in a dynamic interactions that are result of manipulated factors. The interactions are reflective of the interactions occurring in the virtual world for application into the real world context [2]. In simple terms simulation is a process where one can compare the real world scenario by creating virtual world. It may be minimized scale in real world or created by the software. There are points to be considered during the process of simulation as it proposed a virtual reality. It can yield information to estimate the probable threats, also provides different types of analytical tools and interpretation interface for accuracy in simulation. This predicts the possible solutions that are effective in mitigating dangerous conditions like natural hazards like earthquake, tsunami, and wind factors etc. to estimate the probable threats and provides different types of analytical tools and interpretation interface for accuracy in simulation as deals with scale and complexity. Computer technology helps a lot in this research. It helps in material testing by virtual simulation like fire-fighting, wind factor analysis, climatic change, temperature regulation inside as well as outside the building etc. [1].

  1. Strategy of Simulation Research

Whenever simulation process has to be acquainted with architectural research, then it can be sub-divided into categories like drawing, photography as well as architectural models. It can be equipped with various applications depending on the virtual requirement of the circumstances.

2.1 Drawing for Simulation

The process of design can be considered as the simulation research, as the interpretation of thoughts and feeling of the researcher is involved. An architect ought to design a building as per client’s requirement, professional ethics and personal innovations. Series of trial and error can be manipulated by the architects; by keeping in mind the different factors like functional requirement, structural stability and pleasing aesthetics along with time and cost to complete the projects as well [2].

2.2 Photographs for Simulation

Photographic analysis is another way of representing simulation in architecture. This is the process to understand the photographs and try to relate it into real world scenario and find out the relationship between the images into real world version. Photograph of one place is being inter-related to the other built space which may be conceptually and contextually related. Many parameters can be evolved from such photographic analyses.

2.3 Model for Simulation

Different kinds of outcomes can be obtained so as to calculate parameters when there is a physical or virtual model is entitled for evaluation. The influence of orientation of the building, sun light, wind behavior, all these can be calculated through building modeling process. Scale physical model can be tested in the lab by the process of wind tunnel test for testing wind pattern, BESTEST [The Building Energy Simulation Test] for calculating the building energy intake for a particular time period and giving results to optimize it effectively. Different software like Design Builders, Ecotect analysis software etc. simplifies the task to identify the variable like DBT [Dry Bulb Temperature], WBT [Wet Bulb Temperature] and humidity level inside the rooms etc. During the research process one can change the parameters and check the calculations for different probabilities and infer the best option for implication into the respective site specific building design.

  1. Types of Simulation Research

3.1 Iconic

In this kind of research testing of material or products are executed with the help of simulation oriented interventions. The simulation mainly involves in the process of changing variables limit, rather than change in materials for the simulation.

3.2 Analogous

This kind of simulation occurs, when there is an actual or proposed physical system is carried by adopting comparative analysis matrix. This type of research includes the Model simulation by taking all the parameters into consideration and compares the attributes and impacts simultaneously.

3.3 Operational

When people are involved for decision making process operational simulation happens. This model deals with peoples interaction with physical context but emphasis is more upon the data generated by the role play. This kind of simulation advantages by skit play or some kind of act for generating awareness among people. Audiences are the variable parameters who are changing their views according to the emotional attachment of the story in the virtual world which they relate to real world scenario [6].

3.4 Mathematical

System of number coding that captures real world relationships in quantifiable abstract values related to virtual world scenario. This mathematical simulation mainly deals with the estimation and costing of the building. While making the total preliminary budget of the project many permutations and combinations occurs between the choice of materials, labor and in fragmenting mile stone.

All these available types of simulation research can be done with the help of either physical or virtual models. The concepts are same but the analysis or the outcomes may be varying as all these are involved in different parameters and different situations [2].

  1. Simulation and relation with other types of research

4.1 Relationship between Simulation Research and Logical Argumentation Research

The logical argumentation research explains the dynamic interactions and relationships but cannot actually demonstrate them. But the simulation research is designed to enact a particular case or at most of limited number of case specimen of the general theory. [2]

4.2 Relationship between Simulation Research and Experimental Research

Experimental research isolates a context and identifies a particular variable that can be manipulated to see how it affects with other variables. Experimental research is more related to iconic simulation research. But simulation research recognizes that cause-effect relationships are usually is not clear in real world context which always involve probabilistic factor [2]. Experimental research involves the realistic approach of finding the factor associated with the concerned project whereas the simulation research only gives us a virtual recognition of diagnosing the project aspects.

4.3 Relationship between Simulation Research and Qualitative Research

Simulation research involves conducting interviews which are held online, checking records accurately and in a shorter span of time. Checking documents or other kind of field-works which are mainly supposed to be qualitative research oriented [2].

  1. Tactical Concern

Replicating the real world scenario simulation research has some limitations. Ways to overcome such errors becomes an integral part of tactics. The Strategic tactics are: Accuracy in replication is also a matter of concern in this procedure [3]; Data error is a liability that is sometimes found in such processes; co-ordination problem may also arise if there is improper balance in execution; duplication of data or wrongly placed data or wrong input of data is sometimes caused by manual errors which is conventionally a drawback in simulation processes. Output printing/ modeling errors are also possible in such a scenario [4].

  1. Characteristic of Simulation Research

6.1 Strength of Simulation Research

Simulation research is capturing the complexity of real world behaviors i.e. natural and social behaviors. It provides a variety of ways of understanding the future behaviors of a context i.e. pattern and projection of behaviors. It provides harmony between logical argumentation research, qualitative research, and experimental research and keeps a constant relationship between them [5].

6.2 Weakness of Simulation Research

Simulation research replicates a real world scenario but there is no assurance of completeness of the research in a projected schedule. This approach may not fulfill the essence requirement of an appeal. There might be many computing errors possible during this process [6]. The lack of accuracy might be resulting in certain technical liabilities in the scenario.

This research is costlier than other type of research. The expense undertaken in this phenomenal process is relatively high and thus the installation expenses are also considerably costly. The time taken by such a process is also very long. It consumes literally more time to take care of every amenity of this process which would linger the total agenda to a longer period of time.

  1. Conclusion

Architectural simulation research can be in effective instrumental tool in appropriate and case specific design processes, as it infers potential parameters derived out of various research modules. Architectural simulation research helps in streamlining end user preferences and impacts by influencing proper design implications such as: Analysis of air pollutant dispersion is identified using atmospheric dispersion modeling in building industry; Design of Noise barriers to effect roadway noise mitigation is also one of these approaches; It mitigates the backdrops of acoustical errors in a design; Weather forecasting is also a contribution of simulations in today’s practical world; The information and nearly accurate predictions of weather and climate are made with the help of executing simulation identifying techniques in certain instruments to retain the value of climate characteristic of a place; Live Forecasting of prices on financial markets and stock markets is an intimal extent of simulations in technology; Behavior of structures [such as buildings and industrial parts] under stress and other conditions are also estimated via simulations; This phenomenon is useful in undertaking the stability assurance of a structure; Designs of industrial processes, such as chemical processing plants are possible due to it; Strategic Management and Organizational Studies are managed properly by these processes; Urban Simulation Models that simulate dynamic patterns of urban development and responses to urban land use and transportation policies; Traffic engineering utilizes it to plan or redesign parts of the street network from single junctions over cities to a national highway network, for transportation system planning, design and operations; Modeling buildings crashes to test safety mechanisms in new building models is an exotic output of the simulation oriented technological advancement.


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