KCAP Computational Design: Integrating Methodologies for Sustainable Cities

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Recently, KCAP presented a proposal for a new climate-adaptive city district in Bratislava. To be able to create a sustainable and resilient concept, we integrated several computational methodologies that aided in the design of the 210.000 sqm mixed-use waterfront project. We use these processes to ensure highly sustainable, nature-inclusive, comfortable and socially engaging living environments. Our data-driven methods are integrated into the design process in the form of algorithms that help us optimize the shape of the buildings. This way we can guarantee continuous sunlight in every apartment, providing beyond the minimum requirements set by regulations. This not only enhances spatial quality but also promotes self-sustainability; by reducing each apartment's energy use.

In addition, the urban structure is the result of an iterative design process towards mitigating sound pollution. We used parametric design to generate thousands of options and employed our in-house acoustic algorithms to find the best possible building arrangement to ensure quiet public spaces. Alejandro Fuentes Arias, KCAPs computation designer: 'Sound comfort, even at an urban scale, is crucial to create livable and ecological cities since it also influences the perception of other environmental factors. When there is excessive noise pollution, it can create stressful situations and even affect how people perceive temperature, increasing the feeling of the urban heat island effect.' Sound, however, has also implications beyond public space comfort. When building near noise-intense infrastructures, façade elements would typically need to be increased to mitigate noise pressure on windows. Our noise mitigation-driven design reduces the need for special façades, resulting in lower building costs.

The angling of the floorplans resulted from our continuous efforts to ensure significant views from every housing unit. We achieved this by measuring the façade access to the River Banks and Bratislava's historical landmarks. With computational design, we ensure that our designs are tailored to the social and environmental context desired.