dynamic building program

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Typical building programs rest on assigning a certain amount of square footage per function or space type. Years of architectural research have concluded to some general attributes and characteristics that provide the groundwork for such an approach. Architects have been practicing this method, creating in many cases their own ‘interpretation’. While the aesthetics of their buildings differ significantly, every solution is closely related to the surface distribution and the design principles directed by the seminal work of Ernst Neufert.

We introduce the concept of the "Dynamic Building Program" as a tool to address the aforementioned issues and moreover to include time as a factor that can greatly affect the spatial requirements of any building program. This new method regards human activity as a basic component, based on the fact that it has scarcely been noted to present an 'average'. Since the surface and volume requirements within a structure are changing over time, the qualities a building must uphold could not be secured through a single value as time passes by (day or season). Manifested through a digital application, the presented process is controlled by the designers and allows them to identify the critical parameters for their scheme, to follow them in time and to create a visual representation of how the building program requirements change over time. The application incorporates all the parameters that affect a building both quantitatively and qualitatively and simulates their fluctuations based on the designer’s observations and input.

getting started


setup google calendar

First setup a new public google calendar, for this you will need a Google account of course. For details on how to operate Google calendar refer to Google’s documents.

The DBP application expects discrete events (not continuous) that have a starting and ending time and as an event name a sentece of the format “ACTIVITY AMOUNT_OF_PERSONS”. The supported activities are “cooking, sleeping, working, socializing, reading and leisure”


Finally after filling the calendar with your activities click the drop down button on the right side of the calendar’s name on the left part of the Google calendar screen. There click on Calendar Settings. Scrolling down on the Settings page search for the label Calendar Address, and locate the Calendar ID (a string of alphanumerics like 8cril4fdd9vcjecngrkr062g24). The calendar feed url is the following:


the app interface

the events panel

After clicking the calendar load button, the events described in the google calendar will appear in the events panel. At this point you are sure the events’ entry was correct as the system checks each one for validity. If you can’t see any events check your spelling in the events’ entry.

You can scroll left and right and zoom in the events panel freely to examine closer events that get truncated in this zoom level.

the simulation panel

Finally click the play button to run the simulation. In the simulation pane you can zoom freely and drag the view to examine different parts of the activities network.

By clicking on a node you can see this event’s simulation info appearing on a floating panel on the left. By holding and dragging a node you can rearrange it on the canvas and it will behave in an elastic way.
On the right you can see an open node info panel where you can examine the simulated space properties of the selected activity.

For further details on the displayed info of the different space qualities you have to refer to the theory behind transformable architecture as explained in the work of M.Liapi and K.Oungrinis.

the simulation report

The most important tool of the DBP application for your analysis is definitely the Generate Report tool which you will find under the Simulation dropdown menu. This tool provides a sophisticated space/time/quality graph which will enable you to observe the trends of the different space qualities through time. Play with the different view modes (Stacked, Stream, Expanded) and enable or disable activities or qualities by clicking on the respective legend label. Conveniently, if you want to observe only one activity or quality just click its colour on the graph and the others will hide. By clicking once more everything reappears on the graph.

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