Peter Von Buelow

Peter Von Buelow
University of Michigan | U-M · Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

Dr.-Ing.

About

68
Publications
76,574
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796
Citations
Introduction
Professor von Buelow does research on methods for performance optimization in the area of architectural design. Together with doctoral students at Taubman College, he has developed a Non-Destructive Dynamic Population Genetic Algorithm (NDDP-GA) in a system they call ParaGen.
Additional affiliations
September 2001 - present
University of Michigan
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • Taubman College
September 2001 - present
University of Michigan
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • teach the undergraduate structures courses and graduate courses in wood structures and frame structures
Education
April 1996 - June 2001
Universität Stuttgart
Field of study
  • Engineering

Publications

Publications (68)
Article
This paper presents a computational design exploration method called GA+TRIZ, which aids designers in defining the design problem clearly, making a parametric model where pertinent variables are included, obtaining a series of suitable solutions, and resolving existing conflicts among design objectives. The goal is to include the designer's qualita...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study addresses the relationship between the geometry and structural performance of branching columns using an example case based on a square grid shell supported by four branching columns. The branching columns are configured with three levels of members, bifurcating into four members as each member branches upwards. A range of solutions is p...
Article
In this work, a computational interdisciplinary design approach is used to integrate assessment of the structural and environmental performance of perforated concrete shell structures. Design parameters that co-exist in these disciplines and relevant performance criteria are identified. Questions result: how do these design parameters affect perfor...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
ParaGen is a method that has been developed over the past several years at the University of Michigan's Taubman College. ParaGen combines both a GA and a SQL database for solution exploration and performance optimization. Multi-performance optimization has been successfully demonstrated on numerous problems using stochastic algorithms like GAs. But...
Conference Paper
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LIMB is a project recently started at Taubman College at the University of Michigan to explore the potential use of natural tree bifurcations as a new joinery method in heavy timber construction. This research studied the natural occurrence of branch bifurcations in different wood species to develop practical concepts for design and fabrication of...
Conference Paper
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LIMB is a project recently carried out at the University of Michigan, Taubman College to explore the potential use of natural tree crotches as bifurcation elements in the construction of a reticulated, wooden shell. The use of these natural tree elements offers advantages of both economy in using waste material (the crotches) as well as an aestheti...
Conference Paper
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Felix Candela designed and built one of the simplest and most practical shells: umbrella shells. Among his built umbrellas, only a few are perforated, including the High Life Textile Factory. This Factory consists of aggregated umbrella shells with distributed perforations. Although the shells are tilted towards north to create a saw-tooth cross se...
Conference Paper
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LIMB reconsiders historic heavy timber construction across cultures to develop new joinery methods by focusing on the natural occurrence of branch bifurcation in different wood species. Because of its low value, often the crotch of a tree is not harvested for commercial purposes. This project uses this vital element to design connections that repla...
Conference Paper
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This research assesses structural and daylighting performance of perforated shell structures. By employing computational design tools and performance assessment methodologies, an array of generated topologies of perforated shell structures spanning the two extremes is studied. These generated topologies are coupled with structural and daylighting p...
Conference Paper
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Architecture problems are by their very nature multivariable. Evolutionary algorithms have been shown to be an effective way to explore solutions to multivariable problems. But what is the most effective way to search for high performing solutions using evolutionary algorithms? In population based search methods, the selection of parents has a dire...
Conference Paper
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ABSTRACT In this research a computational method is developed to study the form-finding process of non-standard reciprocal systems with 2D elements based on the current methods on the morphology of reciprocal systems with 1D elements. The developed form-finding methods will be used in a performance based form exploration process for geometrical and...
Conference Paper
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Henry Kamphoefner's opening for Mario Salvadori's talk reveals a key historical shift in considering structures in the education of architects. He points to the Beaux-Arts school of thought and its emphasis on buildings as pictures and rendered drawings, and highlights that as students they were told by their teachers to ignore the structure, that...
Conference Paper
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We describe our work on providing support for design decision making in generative design systems producing large quantities of data, motivated by the continuing challenge of making sense of large design and simulation result datasets. Our approach provides methods and tools for multivariate interactive data visualization of the generated designs a...
Research
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In order to reduce undesirable wind effects and structural responses in tall buildings, there are two main solutions: architectural and structural. Architects can mitigate the wind effect on tall buildings by designing the form aerody- namically, or at least by using tapering and setbacks. Structural engineers can reduce wind effects by choosing an...
Article
In this paper we describe our work on providing support for design decision making in generative design systems producing large quantities of simulation data. The work is motivated by the continuing challenge of making sense of large design and simulation result datasets. Our approach is to provide methods and tools for multivariate interactive dat...
Article
Full-text available
In the realm of tall buildings, to reduce wind effect and structural response, there are two main solutions: Architectural and Structural. Architects can mitigate wind effect on tall buildings by designing the form aerodynamically or at least by utilizing aerodynamic modifications such as tapering and setback. Structural engineers can reduce wind e...
Research
Full-text available
1st Runner-up award in the DIVA Day student competition 2014 presented at DIVA Day (http://diva4rhino.com/)
Conference Paper
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This paper presents a study on timber-based plate-shell domes with a set base diameter and a variety of topologies using different combinations of perforation ratios. Using a combination of geometry generation and performance optimization, parameters of folds, depth of folds, height of dome and the effect of perforations on structural efficiency, i...
Conference Paper
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Currently, in the conceptual envelope design of sports facilities, multiple engineering performance feedbacks (e.g. daylight, energy and structural performance) are expected to assist architectural design decision-making. In general, it is known as Building Performance Optimization in the conceptual architectural design phase. Essentially, it tends...
Conference Paper
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Copyright © 2014 by Peter von Buelow. Published by the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) with permission. Abstract: Heuristic methods, including genetic algorithms (GAs) have been used and improved for many years in the design and optimizations of complex structural systems. In recent years an additional modification...
Conference Paper
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Shading screens have been used as daylight control systems, which also play a role as design elements of transparent facades. A façade’s configuration can be an explicit representation of its functions. There are multiple functions within a building and sometimes a dominant function imposes one configuration to the whole system; in this case, a rep...
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This research explores the applicability of a performance oriented design approach for form exploration of double skin tower structures inspired by cellular morphologies. Taking advantage of computer aided design and simulation this paper explores the structural and environmental potentials of using Voronoi space divisions in conception of double s...
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Abstract This paper investigates the ways in which interdisciplinary integration and performance optimization of a self-standing skin can be synthesized and systematized to efficiently generate and evaluate a diverse range of design options. This research project presents a multi-objective optimization model which is used for form exploration that...
Conference Paper
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The main objective of this research is to develop a form exploration technique based on parametric form generation using concepts of Formex algebra and evolutionary optimization based on ParaGen approach. Accordingly, the design process of the lattice towers with polygon bases is studied. The focus of this research is to demonstrate the ability of...
Article
Full-text available
This paper illustrates the use of a computational form-finding method called ParaGen which aids the designer in the exploration of arrays of good solutions. Although the method is guided by a multi-objective optimization program, the goal is to promote the exploration of the solution space based on designer selected combinations of performance obje...
Conference Paper
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The main objective of this research is to demonstrate a form exploration technique based on parametric form generation and evolutionary optimization. Accordingly, the design process of a truss bridge is considered, and two types of form-finding methods are presented, numer-ical modeling with computational analyses on one hand versus physical modeli...
Conference Paper
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This research explores well-performing forms of mid-rise buildings which use cellular morphologies as perimeter bracing of the structure. The study is based on structural performance under earthquake loading. The geometry of the structure is created by parametric modeling following the principles of cellular space division. Optimization software is...
Conference Paper
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This research explores well-performing forms of mid-rise buildings which use cellular morphologies as perimeter bracing of the structure. The study is based on structural performance under earthquake loading. The geometry of the structure is created by parametric modeling following the principles of cellular space division. Optimization software is...
Conference Paper
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The products of generative design are ever more commonly explored and refined through evolutionary search techniques. Genetic algorithms (GAs) belong to this class of stochastic procedures, and are particularly well suited for the way designers investigate a problem. GAs search through mixing and matching different parts of a solution (represented...
Conference Paper
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Generative Design coupled with associative parametric modelling is proving to be a successful tool for many designers particularly in the early phases of design. The wealth of design solutions which can be rapidly generated certainly help in expanding ideas and exploring possibilities. But simply having the capability to generate different solution...
Conference Paper
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Summary: In this paper we describe the research of the best combination of construction, material and typology for structures with bending moments constructed with fabric formwork. The results are inflated three dimensional (open cell) structures rigidized with foam and structurally optimized. The structure is 40% lighter as conventional beams of t...
Article
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Spatial structures often embody generative systems. Both analog (physical modeling) as well as computational methods have been uses to explore the range of design possibilities. Whereas many of the favored physical modeling techniques, such as soap films or catenary nets, inherently generate forms based on certain performative properties, many of t...
Conference Paper
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This paper treats applications of cross-laminated timber (CLT) in structural systems for folded façade solutions. Previous work on CLT-based systems for folded roofs has shown a widening range of structural possibilities to develop timber-based shells. Geometric and material properties play, however, an important role also for the enclosure, and cl...
Article
In this paper we discuss the benefits derived by combining parametric modeling and genetic algorithms to achieve a performance oriented process in design, with specific focus on architectural design. The key role played by geometry in architecture is discussed in relation to performance oriented design, in which evaluations based on engineering cri...
Conference Paper
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This paper presents an explorative study on applications of cross-laminated timber (CLT) elements in shell structures. Previous studies of plate tensegrity, folded plate roofs interacting with stabilising steel-based systems and studies inspired by origami show a widening range of possibilities to develop timber-based shells. Steadily rising int...
Conference Paper
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ParaGen is a tool, or more accurately a method, developed over the past several years at the University of Michigan, Hydra Lab. The method uses a genetic algorithm (GA) to search for well performing geometric solutions to architectural engineering problems. The geometric solutions, which are generated with associative parametric design software,...
Article
The performance-oriented design of large roof structures for semi-outdoor spaces is investigated with the aim to integrate performance evaluations in the early stages of the design process. In particular, daylight and thermal comfort are improved under large structures by exploring passive solar strategies that reduce the need for imported energy....
Conference Paper
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In this paper we address performance oriented design applied to adaptive architecture in order to satisfy the performance requirements for changing contextual conditions. The domain of adaptive architecture is defined and specific focus is given to form-active architecture, in which geometric changes occur as a means of adaptivity during the use of...
Article
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The approach demonstrated in this paper uses Evolutionary Computation (EC) to enhance and modify structural form based on biological micro structures.The forms are modified to conform to new boundary conditions associated with architectural structures.The process is based on a Genetic Algorithm (GA) which visually exposes for the designer a range o...
Conference Paper
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The paper addresses the design of large roof structures for semi outdoor spaces through an investigation of a type of performance-oriented design, which aims at integrating performance evaluations in the early stages of the design process. Particularly, aiming at improving daylight and thermal comfort under large structures, the paper focuses on th...
Conference Paper
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Different methods using evolutionary computation (EC) have been successfully applied to structural form optimization for many years. A well known limitation of these methods is the computational effort required to analyze significantly large and complex systems. As a result most examples have been limited to simple truss forms or smaller aspects of...
Conference Paper
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In this paper we discuss the support provided by parametric modeling and genetic algorithms to performance oriented design processes; the topic is discussed and exemplified with specific reference to modular wide span roofs. First, the paper introduces the concept of performance oriented design and describes potentials and limits of parametric m...
Article
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The work described in this paper aims at developing the interrelation and overall effects of interaction between a folded plate roof structure and a system of branching column supports. In the context of architectural performance it is of interest to discuss the effects of the material on environmental conditions. The current study is complementary...
Article
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In this paper we address the design of large roof structures by integrating interdisciplinary performance evaluations in the early stages of the design process. Specific focus is given to structural and solar energy related performances. Geometry is stressed as a key interface between the different disciplines. Parametric modelling is used to autom...
Article
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p. 999-1010 The theme of this paper is interaction between and within plate-based roof structures braced by branching columns and tensile members. Interaction of cross-laminated timber plate structures and branching column systems have been investigated in a previous paper [1] by utilising physical models and Genetic Algorithms. Based on this study...
Conference Paper
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In contemporary architectural design new and experimental forms are constantly searched for and in the interaction between structural and architectural design a readable structural function adding to the architectural experience can be of interest. Cross-laminated timber plate elements show a high stiffness to weight ratio, and provide a wide range...
Article
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Extended abstract for IASS-IACM 2008 International Conference in Ithaca, NY (Cornell University) Over the past two decades there has been an increasing interest in using what has come to be called Evolutionary Computation (EC) in the analysis and optimization of structural systems. These methods include Genetic Algorithms (GA), Evolution Strategies...
Article
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Finding creative solutions to design problems depends heavily on a fruitful exploration in early phases. Many aspects of evolutionary computation (EC) and in particular genetic algorithms (GA) make them highly suited as computational tools for discovering good solutions. This paper discusses specific aspects of the GA method which parallel traditio...
Article
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Topology optimization of engineering structures has long been a topic of research scrutiny. Many methods have been successfully developed for the determination of continuum structures. Some of these techniques, for example the homogenous method, have also been adapted for use with discrete structural frames or trusses. Most commonly the topology op...
Conference Paper
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Branching structures are based on geometric systems that expand through bifurcation without returning to form closed cells. In this sense, branching structures resemble the structure of trees that branch continually outward. In architectural engineering, these forms can be used either as tension or compression systems. Numerous built examples have...
Article
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ADVANTAGES OF EVOLUTIONARY COMPUTATION USED FOR EXPLORATION IN THE CREATIVE DESIGN PROCESS Peter von Buelow College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA In early phases of design a wide exploration of the design space is crucial to the development of creative solutions. In this regard, Evolutiona...
Thesis
Full-text available
This dissertation proposes a new class of computational tool, an Intelligent Genetic Design Tool (IGDT), intended for use in the area of conceptual design of architectural and civil engineering structures. As a computer design aid the IGDT is innovative in its intelligent interaction with the designer. The IGDT allows the user to explore a solution...
Article
Full-text available
A branching column design for the tree house is proposed to provide structural support for carrying the load of the house. The geometry of the tree house was also determined based on the restrictions of the site. Part of the house structure is nested among the branches of the living maple tree. The branching columns's foundation had to be placed to...
Article
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The Craig VanLaanen Treehouse and Woodland Retreat is for children requiring ventilator assistance and who often need wheelchairs. The unique parameters considered in designing a space for these children gave rise to the concept of super-mobility. Working together with a team of volunteer professionals, the designers developed the concept of super-...
Article
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A Tree for a House Designing for Super-Mobility The Craig VanLaanen Treehouse and Woodland Retreat is for children requiring ventilator assistance and who often need wheelchairs. The unique parameters considered in designing a space for these children gave rise to the concept of super-mobility. Working together with a team of volunteer professiona...
Chapter
In engineering fields, accomplishing an objective with a minimum of effort, either in terms of material, time, or other expense, is a basic activity. For this reason it is easy to understand the interest designers have in different optimization techniques. Mathematical as well as model-based tools have traditionally been employed for such optimizat...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes the application of an Intelligent Genetic Design Tool (IGDT) in the design of architectural, structural elements. As a computer design aid an IGDT is innovative in its intelligent interaction with the designer. By always submitting multiple solutions for review by the designer, it is less likely to cause design fixation than ot...
Article
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This paper considers the distinction between exploration and traditional optimization as methods of form finding in structural design applications. Although optimization is usually a component of exploration, a distinction is made between the goals of the two. Optimization usually implies the search for one single best solution, were as exploration...
Article
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Tree columns and branching structures have been known for many years and have found increasing application in both architecture and civil engineering structures. This article reviews some earlier work with these structures and describes techniques which have been used for form finding. Using a specific design example of a tree house which was build...
Article
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This book explores design tools based on evolutionary computation (EC), oriented primarily toward conceptual design of architectural and civil engineering structures. EC tools are well suited for exploration in a way which promotes creative design. The multiplicity of solutions generated by EC techniques is less likely to cause design fixation, and...
Article
Thesis (M.S.)--University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1991. Vita. Includes bibliographical references (leaves [88]-90).
Article
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p. 577-588 Parametric modelling software is being employed in architectural design exploration with increasing frequency. Examples of systems used in architectural design include Generative Components (Bentley Systems), Grasshopper (Robert NcNeel), Digital Project (Gehry Technologies - Dassault Systemes) and others. All of these systems are basical...