Architecture, Building and Planning - Research Publications

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    Life cycle environmental benchmarks for Flemish dwellings
    Mouton, L ; Ramon, D ; Trigaux, D ; Allacker, K ; Crawford, RH (IOP Publishing, 2024-03-01)
    To reduce the environmental effects caused by building construction and operation, life cycle assessment (LCA) is increasingly applied. In recent years, national building regulations have implemented LCA requirements to support building life cycle impact reduction. A key element in these regulations are environmental benchmarks which allow designers to compare their building designs with reference values. This study aims to develop bottom-up life cycle environmental benchmarks that represent the range of environmental impact results achieved with conventional construction in Flanders, Belgium. For this purpose, the study investigates the potential of using a database of building energy performance calculations. Specifically, this study considers 39 residential buildings identified as representative of the Flemish energy performance of buildings database of 2015–2016, applying modifications to establish scenarios that are still relevant in 2025. The buildings are assessed with the Belgian LCA tool TOTEM to calculate an aggregated environmental score based on the European product environmental footprint (PEF) weighting approach and including 12 main impact categories. In addition to the aggregated score, the climate change (CC) indicator is analysed individually. In view of the benchmarks, variations were applied to the 39 original buildings in terms of heating system and materialisation. The variation in heating system included changing gas boilers to electric heat pumps to comply with upcoming (2025) Flemish building regulations. The variations in building materials included three sets of conventional Flemish building element compositions that were applied to generate a wider spread of impact results as a basis for benchmarks. Benchmark values were derived through a statistical analysis of the 117 modelled variants: a best-practice value (10th percentile), reference value (median) and limit value (90th percentile). For the environmental score, the benchmark values are 86, 107 and 141 millipoints per square meter of gross heated floor area (GHFA) (mPt m−2GHFA), respectively; and for CC, the benchmark values are 844, 1015 and 1284 kg CO2-eq m−2 GHFA. Finally, the study discusses the representativeness, implications and limitations of the final benchmarks and benchmark approach.
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    Usefulness of data analytics in Smart Villages development
    Doloi, H ; Doloi, H ; Bora, A (Smart Villages Lab, The University of Melbounre, 2022-12-20)
    With over 40% global population still live in rural with many under extreme poor conditions, effective management of resources for supporting the development is crucial. One of the key considerations in effective management is need-based and context specific intervention planning incorporating bottom-up information flow. Traditional top-down approaches in planning and development are considered not only wasteful but also irrelevant for transforming rural communities keeping the value, culture, heritage at the core of the development cycle. In the bottom up planning, empirical data at the grassroots level activities play a pivotal role. In this research, significance of the data-driven planning coupled with the strong data-analytics is demonstrated as one of the most critical elements supporting the planning and development of rural communities under the auspice of Smart Villages. Based on a case study conducted across 37 villages in the river island Majuli in Assam located in the north eastern part of India, the research highlights the functionalities and efficacies of a Smart Data Platform used for evaluating real-time data analytics and supporting context specific planning and development of a large area comprising 2300 plus households. The concept is further highlighted to signify the need for central data-centric Research and Development center for supporting policy making within the public governance.
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    Decision-making of municipal urban forest managers through the lens of governance
    Ordonez, C ; Threlfall, CG ; Livesley, SJ ; Kendal, D ; Fuller, RA ; Davern, M ; van der Ree, R ; Hochuli, DF (ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2020-02)
    Awareness of the benefits of urban trees has led many cities to develop ambitious targets to increase tree numbers and canopy cover. Policy instruments that guide the planning of cities recognize the need for new governance arrangements to implement this agenda. Urban forests are greatly influenced by the decisions of municipal managers, but there is currently no clear understanding of how municipal managers find support to implement their decisions via new governance arrangements. To fill this knowledge gap, we collected empirical data through interviews with 23 urban forest municipal managers in 12 local governments in Greater Melbourne and regional Victoria, Australia, and analysed these data using qualitative interpretative methods through a governance lens. The goal of this was to understand the issues and challenges, stakeholders, resources, processes, and rules behind the decision-making of municipal managers. Municipal managers said that urban densification and expansion were making it difficult for them to implement their strategies to increase tree numbers and canopy cover. The coordination of stakeholders was more important for managers to find support to implement their decisions than having a bigger budget. The views of the public or wider community and a municipal government culture of risk aversion were also making it difficult for municipal managers to implement their strategies. Decision-making priorities and processes were not the same across urban centres. Lack of space to grow trees in new developments, excessive tree removal, and public consultation, were ideas more frequently raised in inner urban centres, while urban expansion, increased active use of greenspaces, and lack of data/information about tree assets were concerns for outer and regional centres. Nonetheless, inter-departmental coordination was a common theme shared among all cities. Strengthening coordination processes is an important way for local governments to overcome these barriers and effectively implement their urban forest strategies.
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    Association between network characteristics and bicycle ridership across a large metropolitan region
    Beck, B ; Pettit, C ; Winters, M ; Nelson, T ; VU, HL ; Nice, K ; Seneviratne, S ; Saberi, M (Taylor and Francis Group, 2024)
    Numerous studies have explored associations between bicycle network characteristics and bicycle ridership. However, the majority of these studies have been conducted in inner metropolitan regions and as such, there is limited knowledge on how various characteristics of bicycle networks relate to bicycle trips within and across entire metropolitan regions, and how the size and composition of study regions impact on the association between bicycle network characteristics and bicycle ridership. We conducted a retrospective analysis of household travel survey data and bicycle infrastructure in the Greater Melbourne region, Australia. Seven network metrics were calculated (length of the bicycle network, betweenness centrality, degree centrality, network density, network coverage, intersection density and average weighted slope) and Bayesian spatial models were used to explore associations between these network characteristics and bicycle ridership. We demonstrated that bicycle ridership was associated with several network characteristics, and that these characteristics varied according to the outcome (count of the number of trips made by bike or the proportion of trips made by bike) and the size and characteristics of the study region. These findings challenge the utility of approaches based on spatially modeling network characteristics and bicycle ridership when informing the monitoring and evaluation of bicycle networks. Further efforts are required to be able to quantify network characteristics that reflect the myriad of factors that influence comfort and safety for people of all ages and abilities.
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    Place and Parametricism
    Roudavski, S ; Lee, V ; Burry, M ; Taylor, M ; Malpas, J (Real/Material/Ethereal: The 2nd Annual Design Research Conference, 2019)
    This project contributes to a broad range of design fields, especially architecture. The overarching project, also called Place and Parametricism, looks at qualitative and quantitative ways to represent and manage places. Within this theme, the focus of this exhibition is on the analysis of digitally held information and on design-research methods that can advance such research. The project: 1) develops an account of place that is useful in concrete design situations; 2) conducts a systematic examination of computational approaches to place; 3) creates and tests computational design tools that can advance place-oriented design; and 4) demonstrates the effectiveness of this toolkit. The exhibition specifically focuses on the demonstration of the methods and tools. In response to these aims, the project has conducted a range of design experiments. The investigators used these outputs for theory construction in collaborative multidisciplinary settings. The project has produced multiple outputs including contributions to theoretical understanding and practical design approaches. It produced novel teaching and learning strategies, demonstrated how computing can be used to unify multidisciplinary knowledge on place and disseminated the toolkit within relevant communities of practice. This recorded work has been selected for the exhibition within the Real/Material/Ethereal: The 2nd Annual Design Research Conference in 2019, the leading disciplinary research forum in Australia. The work is supported by the ARD DP170104010 grant and co-created with leaders in their fields. The publications are forthcoming, and the team are in an active discussion with the curators at the National Gallery of Victoria where this work will form a part of a major exhibition. The themes presented in the exhibition have been discussed in peer-reviewed publication, presented at conferences, and won awards for the excellence in research.
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    Do-It-Together Habitats for Arboreal Wildlife: Materials and Installation
    Parker, D ; Soanes, K ; Roudavski, S ( 2023)
    This project creates and installs fully functional prosthetic-habitats structures from innovative materials. Community-based participation is significant for environmental restoration in many contexts. Existing designs, such as nest boxes, are accessible to humans with different levels of expertise and can provide crucial habitat-structure for arboreal wildlife. However, conventional manufacturing techniques result in geometric and material limitations which constrain deployment, utilisation, and long-term use. Alternative approaches, such as computationally designed hollows, provide novel design opportunities. However, to date, these approaches are not feasible within community-led projects. There is a need for more advanced designs that can use better geometries and materials while encouraging diverse human participation in siting, specification, manufacturing, and deployment. In response to this need, this project asks: what materials and installation techniques can best suit community-based design and making of prosthetic hollows? To test this hypothesis, this project designs, manufactures, and deploys prosthetic hollows in Moonee Valley, Melbourne. The project produced: geometric and material prototypes, hollows installed on site and outcomes of the process comparisons. The benefits of the project will include improvements to the design and making of prosthetic hollows for wildlife as well as approaches that support making of artificial hollows in communities. This project contributes to the development of new best practices for prosthetic hollows within local communities. It benefits the Moonee Valley community and produces novel, reusable knowledge that is applicable to other sites and species.
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    Do-It-Together Habitats for Arboreal Wildlife: Design and Making
    Parker, D ; Soanes, K ; Roudavski, S ( 2023)
    This project extends develop participatory-design approaches in application to prosthetic habitat-structures for urban wildlife. Community-based participation is significant for environmental restoration in many contexts. The involvement of human communities in the case-study of prosthetic hollows is an illustrative example with broad implications. Existing designs, such as nest boxes, are accessible to humans with different levels of expertise and can provide crucial habitat-structure for arboreal wildlife. However, conventional manufacturing techniques result in geometric and material limitations which constrain deployment, utilisation, and long-term use. Alternative approaches, such as computationally designed hollows, provide novel design opportunities. However, to date, these approaches are not feasible within community-led projects. There is a need for designs that can use better geometries and materials while encouraging diverse human participation in siting, specification, manufacturing, and deployment. In response to this need, this project asks: what materials, forms and techniques can best suit community-based design and making of prosthetic hollows? We hypothesise that combining techniques of advanced digital fabrication and do-it-yourself/do-it-together manufacturing can both improve and democratise the design of prosthetic hollows. To test this hypothesis, this project (1) designs, (2) manufactures, and (3) deploys prosthetic hollows in Moonee Valley, Melbourne. The project produced: (1) geometric and material prototypes, (2) hollows installed on site, and (3) outcomes of the process comparisons. The benefits of the project include improvements to the design and making of prosthetic hollows for wildlife and approaches that support making of artificial hollows in local communities. This project contributes to the development of the new best practice for the implementation of prosthetic hollows within local communities. Participants included local residents, environmental groups, council workers, Indigenous rangers, school representatives, and others.
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    The Endless Interior: (& The Biography of the Emigre)
    Pert, A ; Goad, P ; Maver, J ; Blankley, T (Melbourne School of Design, 2023)
    The exhibition comprises two parts: ‘The Biography of the Émigré (Object)’ is an ongoing curatorial collaboration between researcher Jeromie Maver and Professor Alan Pert. Assembling a collection of never-before-seen furniture pieces and objects gifted from private collections across Melbourne, these “émigré objects” tell the story of forced migration, antipodean exile, and new beginnings. Through engagement and interaction with these pieces, awareness of their value and merit – paired with biographical insight into their makers and designers - dialogue forms around notions of attribution and recognition. Archival assemblages in themselves, these biographies of object and maker reiterates interdisciplinarity that emerged between architects, artists, designers, cabinetmakers, and clients. Concurrently, their individual approaches legitimise issues of research into making, provenance, exhibition history, preservation, conservation, and reception. Many crucial pieces of émigré interiors are still to be found, elevated or even rescued from auction houses, mid-century stores and online marketplaces – an exercise in itself as endless as the interior Kiesler referred to. ‘From Austria to the Antipodes’ is an exhibition intesifying significant material culture from this crucible of modernity seen in ‘The Biography of the Émigré (Object)’ informing exploratory artefacts produced by Melbourne School of Design students in Critical and Curatorial Practices in Design. This subject creates a curatorial laboratory testing new interpretations of émigré practice. Through these dual forces, this exhibition aspires - as a biographical exploration into émigré and object – to introduce our audience to the origins of ideas, the hidden histories of objects and the role and relationships of their makers and designer. We hope to stimulate new forms of research, exploration and dialogue by giving the object an opportunity to speak for itself and the audience a place in the narrative.
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    Unreal … a Typology for Learning from Virtual Site Visits
    Tregloan, K ; Thompson, J ; Holland, S ; Song, H (Informa UK Limited, 2023-01-01)