Open Master’s and Semester projects

The list of currently open projects proposals can be found below. Please click on the corresponding links to find more information about each project.

All listed semester projects are eligible for the IDEAS minor as ENAC semester projects.

Full project description (PDF)

Blind usage in buildings has a profound impact on daylight access and solar gains in a building. Greater understanding of how people operate blinds is thus vital to building energy-use simulation and daylight performance assessments. In this project, we shall harvest images from google street view of occupied residential buildings across Switzerland to gather blind openness factor (Nezamdoost and Van Den Wymelenberg 2017) of multiple households. Each building façade image shall allow us to observe differences (or similarities) in occupant behaviour based on their unique condition such as their floor level and window orientation.

Blind usage patterns have been studied quite extensively in office buildings using techniques such as time-lapse photography from the building exterior (Van Den Wymelenberg 2012). Residential building based studies however are few and far in between. Also most existing studies are structured as longitudinal studies conducted in a single building that try to link outdoor and indoor environment’s physical conditions to blind usage, in addition to other factors such sensitivity and preferences of the occupants. By carrying out a cross sectional study covering several buildings, where we are also able to evaluate each building’s physical features, we have the opportunity to link building design features to blind usage.

Full project description (PDF)

Rapid advances in design technology, including innovative façade systems, have provided additional potential to architects and engineers in the achievement of high levels of building energy performance without disregarding their overall aesthetic appeal. Nevertheless, building design (including envelope design) and occupant satisfaction and interaction with the indoor environment, are sometimes considered as disjointed aspects of the building procurement process. One of the consequences is that new constructions can be seen to perform poorly in meeting user needs and environmental performance thresholds, contrary to expectations. For this reason, there is a growing interest in measuring the performance in practice of new building components and innovative design strategies, taking into account also users’ satisfaction. Post-occupancy evaluation (POE) is a process of systematically evaluating the performance of buildings from the perspective of the people who operate and inhabit them. POEs have the potential to lead to a better understanding of how feedback loops in the building design process can be completed in order to enhance continuous improvement in building design and construction, and support occupants’ satisfaction towards the built environment.

The study will be mainly focused on the analysis of data collected in a POE conducted on different Minergie buildings located in Switzerland. The student will investigate people’s comfort and perception in their workplace in relation to different façade design. In particular, he/she will identify possible “forgiveness factors” that can affect the overall satisfaction of the building occupants. He/she will also have the opportunity to observe how Minergie buildings perform in meeting user’s comfort requirements and bring his/her insights on strengths and weakness of sustainable design choices.