Architectenweb symposium: parametric design for a more sustainable built environment

A healthier urban environment with buildings that materialize more efficiently, that are built faster through prefabrication, that use less energy and that bring people together? Parametric design can help us provide firmer answers to today’s biggest challenges. We will show how it looks in practice at the symposium that we are organizing together with INBO on Wednesday afternoon, 1 February 2023.

“I had expected the parametric model to come with a stepped building volume, but it came with a kind of twisted vase on top of a podium,” says the architect Patrick Koschuch from Koschuch Architects about the design of the residential tower Elements in the Amstelkwartier in Amsterdam. The parametric model aimed in particular at a strong reduction of wind nuisance in the terrain and at a lot of daylight on the facade – both for the residents and for the PV panels integrated in the facade.

With the sensational design, Koschuch Architects won the tender, in which a wide team participated, and construction of the residential tower has now begun. At the symposium, architect Patrick Koschuch will show exactly which measures it has taken together with Arup to achieve this result.

Solving complex problems through parametric design
The fact that the parametric model came up with such an aberrant form in this case shows its very power as far as Koschuch is concerned. Within a complex force field of demands and desires, new clarity can be found through parametric design. It’s a fundamentally different way of designing, and the results may surprise you.

“Sometimes a slanted or curved line is more effective than a straight line,” says the architect Lennaert van Capelleveen from ArchiTech Company on. According to him, it is important as an architect to open up this new idiom. In its parametric models, the ArchiTech Company can control building physical performance, as well as the CO2 load of the constructions to be built. Specially designed facades can provide major savings in energy consumption and material consumption, emphasizes Van Capelleveen. Due to the advent of computerized production, this custom facade does not need to be more expensive than a standard type. In his presentation at the symposium, he will explain step by step the design of different facade designs.

The same intelligent approach can also be applied to the load-bearing structure of buildings. The wooden support structure of the Monarch IV office tower in The Hague is located in the facade and takes the form of a diagrid. By not, as usual, calculating the load-bearing structure per floor, but for the building as a whole, it was possible Royal HaskoningDHV design a much more efficient construction and save no less than 30% material. In his presentation, architect Gijs Joosen how it works. Parametric design changes the design process, but also the architect’s role in it, sees Joosen. Parametric models offer possibilities, but it is up to the architect to indicate their spatial quality and steer them in the right direction as a moderator.

Healthier urban environments through parametric design
Parametric design can also be used on an urban scale. For example, data on noise pollution, air quality and green areas can provide direction for better informed proposals for neighborhood improvement or densification. The start-up in Rotterdam AREA develops software with which residential areas can be outlined and calculated in a short time using the mentioned parameters. How many homes can be accommodated with what type of access? What consequences does this have for the radiation, for the wind? At the symposium Andreja Andrejevic van OMRT demonstrates the software it is working on and, together with VORM, shows how it can create a more sustainable living environment.

“Parametric design can help us technical design more sustainable buildings and urban environments.” Josine van Gulik from INBO. “But it is at least as interesting if we also succeed in using parametric design social to give sustainability a boost”, continues Van Gulik. “Can this technology help us enable users and residents to live healthier lives and stimulate encounters between people?” Lars van Vianen researched for INBO on how parametric design can help realize a healthier urban environment. His ‘health-driven design’ tool combines RIVM research data with BAG data for combined value landscapes that provide dynamic insight into choices.

The Architectenweb Symposium ‘Parametric Design for a More Sustainable Built Environment’ will take place on Wednesday afternoon 1 February 2023 at INBO Amsterdam (Koningin Wilhelminaplein 29, 1062 HJ Amsterdam).


14.30-15.00 – Walk-in

15:00–15:45 – Presentations by Josine van Gulik (INBO), Patrick Koschuch (Koschuch Architects) and Lennaert van Capelleveen (ArchiTech Company)

15.45-16.00 – Break

16.00–17.00 – Presentation by Gijs Joosen (Royal HaskoningDHV), Andreja Andrejevic (OMRT), together with VORM, Lars van Vianen (INBO) followed by a debate with all speakers and the audience

17.00–18.00 – Networking drinks

Moderator: JaapJan Berg

Register now for free for the symposium (Eventbrite)

All participants in the event will be announced in good time, so that new contacts can be effectively made this afternoon.

Architectenweb symposia
Architectenweb organizes various symposia during the year, each time around a different current theme. For example, symposia have previously been organized around the hybrid city quarter, design in virtual reality and modular construction in wood.

The networking events are free for architects, builders and consultants. Regarding the manufacturing industry, the arrangements are exclusively available to Partners of Architectenweb. We ask suppliers in the construction industry who would like to participate in the network events, but are not yet Partners in Architectenweb, to contact us.

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