The purpose of this investigation is to identify a geometry, within a given area and location, that captures the highest value of solar radiation. This computation exercise will aid the final design  of a rooftop scaffolding garden and the orientation of its grow beds, questioning the possibility of vertical permaculture farming within the city. In order to achieve this end, two definitions with different parameters and functionality have been built. The first uses a pyramid with kangaroo and Galapagos. A degree of rotation is applied and the top point is given freedom to move as needed in XYZ.  The shape produced after running Galapagos is able to capture the higher values of solar radiation and offered a good template from which I can model the scaffolding. The second roof area is slightly more complicated and the geometry of the plan required a different approach. By populating the given area with a point grid, and applying a Z axis move function to each point a parametric topography was achieved. Creating a gene-pool for the parametric points is helpful when working with Galapagos. Then, using the movable points to create a surface which is fed directly into ladybug and then Galapagos creates the ingredients necessary for the algorithm to run. It will test every combination of point heights until it identifies the surface geometry with the highest solar radiation. Both of these methods have worked to produce a desired result. This is a useful tool for analysis that will be utilized in many other aspects of this thesis project.

Workflow Diagram:


Base Area for Each Garden Structure:

Pyramid Study  Results on Area 1:

Topography Study, Area 2:

Set area:

Create point grid:

Apply Parameters:

Create surface from parametric points:

Feed into ladybug with custom settings:

Run Galapagos to optimize topography (3 hours):


Implementing Geometry into Scaffolding Grid:

Step 1 : Optimize Geometry – Step 2: Trim Surfaces to Area  – Step 3: Place grow-beds at optimal points

Topography for optimal plant growth:


Tutor: Rodrigo Agirre

Student: Keesje Avis