Ecological Architecture: A Dialectical Vision
Mihaly, Rachel Vaccaro
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ABSTRACT Title of Document: ECOLOGICAL ARCHITECTURE: A DIALECTICAL VISION Rachel Vaccaro Mihaly, M.Arch, 2014 Directed By: Professor, Garth Rockcastle, Architecture How do architects improve building design to increase harmony and reduce disassociation from our natural world and adapt beneficial natural systems that will result in better alignment with the environment? In order to improve experiential outcomes for re-association with the surrounding environment, this thesis is focused on two key areas: optimizing design to specific climatic factors through better integration into the natural ecosystem for improved building performance, and by using architecture as a catalyst to improve our understanding of our environment and the surrounding ecosystem. To provide a more rigorous testing of the proposed design process detailed in this thesis, I selected two extreme climates for placing environmental living and learning center on each site. The two sites with extreme climates provide useful comparisons that highlight key lessons learned by applying a consistent process to the design. My primary focus was to improve building performance by realigning the relationship between humans and nature for improved environmental outcomes. By selecting two environmentally divergent sites, I developed a design process that can be applied for improved ecological design.