PoSip - Potentials of Site and Proximity


Physical properties of a building site such as solar radiation, air flows, and visibilities are key factors to achieve human comfort and an emission-free and energy-efficient employment of technologies in buildings. A better understanding of these properties and their distribution in the urban space-time allows to identify specific potentials of a building site. Once identified, such potentials can be included in the conceptual design process supporting architectural and urban concepts that consider the site-specificity of the local resources. 

This research project introduces a set of new analytic and visualization methods which allow the quantification and representation of the physical properties of a site. The methodology, entitled Volumetric Site Analysis (VSA), is based on the discretization of the urban site into a volumetric grid of points. For each of these points different physical properties such as solar radiation, airflow, and visibility are computed. Subsequently interactive visualization techniques allow the observation of the site at a volumetric, directional and dynamic level making visible information that is typically invisible.

Several case-studies in development demonstrate how this allows to obtain suggestions for example for the definition of the form of a building or for the definition of its surfaces. This approach aims at developing a conceptual design process that allows the fusion of active technologies, passive methods, and expressive aspects, in cohesive concepts able to embrace and exploit the specificity of an urban site.

This research is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation.


 >  Related publications:

  • Volumetric Insolation Analysis, Michele Leidi and Arno Schlüter, Cleantech for Sustainable Buildings (CISBAT) Conference 2011, Lausanne.
  • Formal and Functional Implications of Dynamics-Related Solar Design Schemes, Michele Leidi and Arno Schlüter, Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) Conference 2012, San Francisco. Related Images 1  2  3
  • Exploring Urban Space, Volumetric Site Analysis for Conceptual Design in the Urban Context, Michele Leidi and Arno Schlüter, International Journal of Architectural Computing, Volume 11, Issue 2, June 2013. Related Video Related Images 1  2  3  4  5  6
  • Conceiving Design Schemes of Urban Architecture trough Volumetric Site Analysis, Michele Leidi and Arno Schlüter, Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Computer Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia CAADRIA, Kyoto, 2014. Related Poster Related Video