The Architectural Engineering division is concerned with research and education in the analysis, design, construction, and operation of engineering systems for residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities. The Architectural Engineering division focuses on an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to achieve optimal building designs and pays special attention to the relationships between design solutions and the indoor as well as the surrounding environment. This implies integration of architectural design with engineering systems like lighting, acoustics, fire protection, plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, structural systems, communications and control, as well as close cooperation with other key players in all areas of the building process.
Division of Architectural Engineering
About the division
The Building Informatics group works with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry. We study how ICT tools are introduced to generate, capture, store, manipulate, transfer and deliver information between organizations, persons and computerized artefacts. Our research is focused on design collaboration, integration and structuring of IT tools in the entire building process.
Special research areas, comprising both design and analyses, are knowledge representations and model integration, knowledge communication and discovery, human computer interfaces including Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality interfaces to digital building models. We also focus on digital infrastructures, building product information modelling and handling, and languages and systems for integration of building process related information. Demonstrator development plays a central role in the research methodology and in the highly emphasized industry collaboration, and design of the Virtual Building (VB), which we define as "a formalized digital description of an existing or planned building, which can be used to fully simulate and communicate the behavior of the real building in its expected contexts".
Current research areas:
- Formalisation of building processes and products from systems viewpoint.
- Knowledge representations and knowledge augmentation.
- Space and time dependent Virtual Building models.
- Knowledge transfer methodologies. Learning organisations. Data mining.
- Collaborative work (Computer Supported Collaborative Work, Concurrent engineering).
- Intelligent buildings.
The research is based on the social needs for minimizing the energy use and environmental influences of the construction industry and at the same time maintain a satisfactory indoor climate. Pursuing this, the design process and the design of buildings is changing continuously as well as the role of buildings as part of the future renewable energy system.
The research objective is to minimize the influences on the environment through increased utilization of passive and natural energy technologies such as passive solar heating, passive cooling, natural and hybrid ventilation and daylight. In some areas the limit for optimizing single components has been reached so that further development requires system optimization with simultaneous participation of all players of the building sector. Apart from research in high energy-efficiency buildings, research in smart integration of existing buildings in the future integrated energy system in order to increase capacity of the existing distribution grids as well as to increase utilization of renewable energy resources is an important topic.
Energy conversion in buildings and the role of buildings in a smart energy system is due to the interaction of a number of factors such as building design, adaptation to the surroundings, outdoor climate, the use of buildings, building services, user behavior, the control strategies etc. Special focus is devoted to the interaction of natural energy technologies such as natural ventilation, passive solar heating, passive cooling and daylight and building design as well as optimization of the interaction between traditional building services and natural systems and how thermal building energy storage can benefit energy use flexibility.
The research within Indoor Environment and Sustainable Buildings has a holistic perspective to the evaluation of indoor environment, and it’s close connection to sustainable buildings. The indoor environment research is centered on a combined evaluation of comfort, health and well-being for occupants as influences from our surrounding environment. Our research covers the evaluation of both individual and combined parameters within thermal, atmospheric, visual and acoustic indoor environment, with the main focus on the combined effects and evaluation of more than one parameter at a time. Evaluation methods cover quantitative and qualitative methods, while also handling occupant behavior, robustness and its effect on the indoor environment.
The research within indoor environment also contributes to new knowledge within social sustainability and thereby influence the overall assessment of sustainable buildings. The research group works with all aspects of sustainability in buildings but directs focus on social and environmental sustainability including Indoor Environment, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and sustainable building materials.
This research area focuses on air flow processes in buildings and building services. Ventilation and air flow in buildings are significant elements in the determination of energy and mass flow in a building and form the basis for determining global thermal comfort and air quality.
The description of local comfort and air quality is also closely related to a description of the air flow parameters involved. The subject covers many areas such as free and forced convection, boundary layer flow, jet flows of different nature, stratified flow and plumes above heat sources. The research also involves other areas, e.g. thermal conductivity, thermal radiation and mass diffusion, and has interfaces to medicine and physiology in connection with studies of air distribution and mass transport around persons.
Also, the air flow processes in building components and services are addressed. Therefore, ventilation and air flow processes in buildings form the basis for determination of energy consumption, indoor climate and work environment, but are also applied to risk assessment in connection with fire, dispersion of smoke, contamination, transport of bacteria and dispersion of gases in disasters.