Environmental building design


The main aim of this assignment was to familiarize  with key building performance simulation areas that are relevant to an urban and building scale and to demonstrate competence in using the software, as well as understanding and interpretation of the results.
The secondary aim was to use information obtained from the analysis, in order to propose more informed solutions for specific performance problems.


I selected Abu Dhabi as my site to perform the test considering the extreme weather conditions prevalent in the country. Using, climate consultant and Ecotect, I did the basic climate analysis which include temperature, wind, available solar radiation, Sun angles, humidity and rainfall.

Environmental design


The following visualizations were also done within the context of the site:

  • Overlay of a 3D sun-path above the site
  • Shadows and overshadowing between buildings, for specific hours in the year
  • Shadow arrays and shadow overlays for specific hours and days in the year


In addition to the basic site analysis, the P.V. potential of 1 building (within the urban block in Abu Dhabi), assuming that 50% of the area of one façade, as well as 50% of the area of the roof of that building would be covered in P.V.’s was calculated. This solar study was meant to identify the optimum location for the positioning of P.V. panels. To do this, a solar mapping using DIVA (Rhino), where the façade that receives the maximum radiation throughout the whole year was identified and then from that façade, to identify which part of the façade (50% of it) would be covered in P.V.’s. The same concept was applied to the roof area as well. In the next step, one room in the building within the site was chosen to perform daylight analysis which had day-lighting issues to resolve.


In order to improve the day-lighting conditions, solutions were proposed for the room. The day-lighting conditions based on daylight autonomy metrics and daylight factors were used in the process.



Thus, using tools like climate consultant, Diva (Rhino), Ecotect, ladybug one can analyze and find solutions in order to improve the living conditions for a given building.

Environmental building design and performance evaluation is a project of IaaC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed at Master of Advanced Architecture in 2015/16 by:


  • Dhairya Thakkar


  • Spyroz Stravoravdis