Kyle Steinfeld

Open Graphic Evaluative Frameworks

A Climate Analysis Tool Based on an Open Web-Based Weather Data Visualization Platform

Steinfeld, Kyle, Stefano Schiavon, & Dustin Moon

This paper presents a web-based framework that enables the production of user-generated visualizations of weather data.

Buildings are the world’s largest consumer of energy, accounting for 34% of total use. In the United States residential and commercial buildings are responsible for 72% of electricity use and 40% of CO2 emissions. In order to reduce the impact of buildings on the environment and to utilize freely available environmental resources, building design must be based on site climate conditions, e.g. solar radiation and air temperature.

The Open Graphic Evaluative Framework (Open GEF) was developed using the Graphic Evaluative Frameworks (GEF) approach to authoring design-assistant software, which is more appropriate than the now dominant ‘generalized design tool’ approach when supporting design processes that require a high level of calibration to the cyclic and acyclic shifting of environmental resources. Building on previous work that outlined the theoretical underpinnings and basic methodology of the GEF approach, technical specifi cations are presented here for the implementation of a Java driven web-based visualization platform. By enabling more nuanced and customizable views of weather data, the software offers designers an exploratory framework rather than a highly directed tool. Open GEF facilitates design processes more highly calibrated to climatic fl ows that could reduce the overall impact of buildings in the environment.

Read the full paper here.