GSD team announced first-place winner of international student energy modeling competition

A team of Harvard GSD students is announced first-place winner of an international student energy modeling competition as a part of the 13th International Conference of the International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA), held in Chambery, France in August 2013. Team members include Apoorv Goyal (MDesS ’14), Arta Yazdanseta (MDesS ’14), Keojin Jin (MDesS ’14), Saurabh Shrestha (MDesS ’14). The team was advised by Assistant Professor Holly Samuelson and Diego Ibarra (DDesS Candidate). The competition challenged students to design an energy-positive home using computerized simulation.  This technical competition generally caters to engineering students; however, the GSD team approached it through an architecturally driven simulation/design process. The team’s strategy was to start by framing the questions that would inform the decision-making processes for both integrated design solutions and comfort inside the building. They used simulation to answer only the very specific questions that would be too difficult to answer in any other way. They repeatedly examined the simulation results, verifying that the data was accurate via hand calculations coupled with common sense.