Author Archives: brayjl

Project B: Particle Simulation in SimWalk and buildingExodus

The programs we typically use with particle simulations in our major do not properly represent human behavior.  Actually trying to simulate human behavior is nearly impossible. Human behavior is just too complex to merely apply a code to and expect to be accurate. SimWalk and buildingExodus are two programs that try to apply a science behind both normal human behavior and panic-driven behavior with a user-friendly interface.

SimWalk is a flexible and realistic microsimulation software for designers which tries to depict natural human behavior and movement. Professionals that are most likely to obtain SimWalk or some variation such as SimWalk PRO or SimWalk3D, are Urban Planners for designing urban spaces, Transport Engineers dealing with traffic infrastructures, Architects planning the best evacuation route for their buildings, as well as Security and Fire Officials dealing with possible emergencies. Examples of this program in action: and The method of which this program works is actually rather simple. First you import your own CAD file with your current building design, then you use the programs materials to model your building and apply the necessary passenger types. Once that is complete hit play to watch the simulation and experiment with different scenarios which will change your results and analysis. The analysis takes many variables into account which include crowd densities, pedestrian speeds, flow rates, space utilization, route, object capacities, and process capacities. Link to the SimWalk website:

The program developed by the Fire Safety Engineering Group with the School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences at the University of Greenwich is currently being called buildingExodus. Considering its origins it is not surprising that this program is more of a science-based software which breaks down into multiple submodels to allow a variety of options to best represent human behavior.

The movement submodel is the largest and affects the most agents in the programs. This model controls the physical movement of individuals including their current position, their next position, waiting periods, overtaking another occupant, and sidestepping. Breaking that down into the behavior submodel we can determine an individual’s response to both local and global situations based on personal attributes. This would result in the occupants looking for the nearest exit or a familiar exit, which is usually the main one in which they originally entered. The occupant submodel is what actually defines the personal attributes the drive the behavior submodel. Though not all traits are dynamic, here you can adjust variables such as gender, age, max running speed, max walking speed, response time, and agility. The hazard submodel controls the properties of the atmosphere and physical environment. The heat, smoke, and toxins and the functionality of exits are adjusted and regulated here. Finally, moving into the Toxicity submodel which determines how the toxins impact an individual, such as possibly decreasing their max running speed or vision. Each submodel impacts another and adjusts the simulation accordingly to create the most accurate representation of how a real life situation would be handled. Link to the Fire Safety Engineering Group is

Schematic Concept – J. Bray, R. Tobe, S. Luu, A. Dudley

For our design we have been exploring both a cloud design and an interior partition.


Iteration 1A

Iteration 1B

The interior partition was designed to provide extra pinup space and possible acoustic value to the immediate space created by the partition.  We discovered, upon digitally modeling the idea that this partition could also potentially provide storage for printed documents. Currently, we have decided not to pursue this idea further because it lacks in overall acoustic quality. The only space which could benefit is the space immediately around the pinup.

The cloud option we attempted two different iterations.  In both iterations, we took a curve, duplicated it, and offset it in the vertical and horizontal directions.  From this curve we created separate panels that extend up toward the ceiling.  In one iteration, we tried a waffle to help with structure.  For this waffle, we attempted to offset the curves to create a weaving effect.  Upon inspection, we decided that this attempt is not as easy to read as the single-panel system.

p1_Jennifer Bray_01

The ORN8 project was conducted by Gerry Cruz, Spyridon Kaprinis, Natalie Popik and Maria Tsironi and has a specific focus on the analysis and reinterpretation of the Gothic Tectonic System, however, incorporating more contemporary methods, tools, and techniques. The study of a Gothic vault bay was the starting point, but more analysis on the arch, rib, and profile curvatures as well as varying thicknesses and depths they were able to parameterize the vault bay system. The added parametric research took into consideration a study of fabric and frame.

Mixing historical precedents with contemporary methods really leads to quite an eye-catching design and an interesting twist to both styles. This project specifically evokes the style of the Gothic cathedral arch while at the same time, not carbon-printing the cathedral itself. The curves, windows, and fine buttressing that could only be achieved with steel cables should it be built, render this building modern. The inspiration should not be completely lost in the contemporary interpretation nor the contemporary interpretation lacking progress and being lost to the inspiration. There should be a sort of equilibrium between the past and future.

This concept could have quite the impact on our class projects starting point. Like this projects use of the Gothic system, we could use our own agreed upon historical architectural concept as a jumping-off point for basic forms. Continuing only with our own set of parametric rules and guidelines which will give a recognizable project the contemporary twist needed. This type of project also encourages us to look at certain works and how they could be reinterpreted for our current needs and trends. There is no need to start from scratch when we can pull from the past.

Reference website(s):