Surrogate Models for Urban Regeneration

2024 ~ Present | A previous software development effort by the PI (eddy3d.com) attracted 100k+ unique downloads since 2018 from within the sustainability community and is currently used by thousands of active users at leading institutions in academia and industry. That said, the models developed in this course have the opportunity to be packaged as software and to be disseminated to an existing global community of sustainability professionals. For this VIP course, we will partner with Perkins & Will Research regarding the selection of modeling topics. Every summer term, a small subset of students will have the possibility of internship opportunities at the P&W Atlanta office to take the models developed in the classroom into a professional setting and to test them on real-world projects.

Goals

Conventional environmental simulation approaches in urban design are time-consuming and often incompatible with the fast-paced design processes. This project aims to revolutionize this outdated paradigm by developing surrogate models that accelerate simulations, thereby offering real-time feedback to urban decision-makers, such as architects, urban designers, and policymakers. Our goal is to seamlessly integrate sustainability considerations into every step of urban decision-making processes by integrating our models with industry-standard CAD tools such as Rhino and Revit.

Issues Involved or Addressed

Critics of sustainability often point out that the concept does not reach far enough; it focuses on maintaining the status quo rather than regenerating urban systems. We aim to build tools that not only address the environmental and economic aspects of sustainability but also empower to regenerate urban systems with society in mind. This is not merely a technological pursuit; our aim is not to build tech for tech’s sake. Instead, we aim to amplify the societal perspective of sustainability. Our models will redefine urban decision-making by empowering urban decision-makers to test interventions in real time. By letting everyone partake in urban decision-making, we make the concept of regenerative cities tangible, actionable, and inclusive. The models developed will pertain to topics including but not limited to: -air quality / pollution / natural ventilation potential -microclimate assessment (outdoor thermal comfort, heat islands) -flood, stormwater / water runoff -mobility / walkability / transportation -global warming / climate change (heat waves) -urban decarbonization -urban building energy / district energy -environmental justice -neighborhood amenity access -noise pollution

Methods and Technologies

  • Surrogate modelsMulti-objective analysisSoftware DevelopmentUI/UXValidationMachine Learning

Academic Majors of Interest

  • ComputingComputational Science and Engineering
  • ComputingComputer Science
  • ComputingHuman-Computer Interaction
  • DesignArchitectural Technology
  • EngineeringCivil Engineering
  • EngineeringMechanical Engineering
  • Physics

Preferred Interests and Preparation

We seek an interdisciplinary team of highly motivated students. We plan to form teams that consist of CS / Engineering (Civil, Environmental, Electrical), Applied Systems Engineering / ISyE, Architecture, and Urban Design. We seek students with either an experience with Python/C# and machine learning and simulation modeling will be advantageous.

Meeting Schedule & Location

Time 
11:00-11:50
Meeting Location 
Klaus 1440
Meeting Day 
Monday

Team Advisors

Patrick Kastner
  • College of Design

Partner(s) and Sponsor(s)

A previous software development effort by the PI (eddy3d.com) attracted 100k+ unique downloads since 2018 from within the sustainability community and is currently used by thousands of active users at leading institutions in academia and industry. That said, the models developed in this course have the opportunity to be packaged as software and to be disseminated to an existing global community of sustainability professionals. For this VIP course, we will partner with Perkins & Will Research regarding the selection of modeling topics. Every summer term, a small subset of students will have the possibility of internship opportunities at the P&W Atlanta office to take the models developed in the classroom into a professional setting and to test them on real-world projects.

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