Balancing Performance and Aesthetic:

Data- Driven Design for Fixed Shading Devices

  • Mark Landis
  • Pravin Bhiwapurkar
  • Ming Tang
  • Amanda Webb


This paper presents a new workflow to optimize a fixed shading device to reduce thermal loads so that performance and aesthetic can be balanced while exploring various shading forms and typologies during any stage of design. The south wall of a prototypical mid-rise office building zone per ASHRAE 189.1 criteria in Albuquerque, New Mexico is studied by extracting annual hourly heating and cooling data generated by Energy Plus. This new workflow is tested against other existing methods of shading device design in terms of performance and aesthetics. The workflow presented in this paper demonstrates the optimization of fixed shading devices for cooling and heating loads without limiting aesthetic options or the shading device typology at the beginning of the process. This workflow produces iterations that perform similarly in terms of energy savings so that a designer can select a shading device based on other criteria such as aesthetic concerns or constructability issues. The user can move between different shading typologies and add their own creative, artistic interpretations, while not being required to run many simulations after each design change. This paper demonstrates a process that is more in-line with the building design process. Foundational works in the field of other shading device design methods are included to provide a point of comparison between existing practice and the proposed workflow.

How to Cite
Landis, M., Bhiwapurkar, P., Tang, M., & Webb, A. (2019). Balancing Performance and Aesthetic:. ARCC Conference Repository, 1(1). Retrieved from