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Constraint-Based Design: Two-Dimensional Insulating Panels Configuration

Started on : 01/09/2013 Defended on : 20/09/2016 Download the thesis
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The research presented in this thesis falls within the problem of supporting the design of thermal insulating envelopes for the renovation of collective residential buildings. These insulating envelopes are composed of rectangular multi-functional panels, configurable and prefabricated in the factory. Their design is based on the following five characteristics. First, the number of panels needed to design an envelope and their size are not known at the beginning of the renovation (but their size is however bounded). Second, because of manufacturing constraints, every window and every door present on the façade to be renovated must be inserted into one and only one panel. Third, panels are attached to specific areas of the façade strong enough to support their weight, called supporting areas. Fourth, neither holes (uncovered area) or overlapping between panels are allowed. Fifth, to ensure efficient thermal insulation while minimizing cost, envelopes should be composed of a minimum number of panels. In view of the complexity of this problem, we restrict our research to rectangular façades with rectangular joinery and supporting areas.

Given the five stated characteristics and the assumption of rectangular elements (panels, façades, joinery, supporting areas), the envelopes design is both a two-dimensional cutting and packing problem as well as a configuration one. This problem is formalized and treated as a constraint satisfaction problem and aims to support the design of such insulating structures. As such, the thesis presents two major contributions. Given the original features of the building renovation problem, its description and its formalization as a constraint satisfaction problem are the first contribution of the work. Second, constraint-based algorithmic solution's are our second contribution. In particular, the thesis presents two manual and three automatic solutions for the design problem of insulating envelopes.

Keywords: Constraint satisfaction problem, Configuration, Layout synthesis, Decision support system, Building renovation, Civil engineering

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Publications related to the thesis

  • Building renovation adopts mass customization: Configuring insulating envelopes

    References :
    Andrés Felipe Barco Santa, Élise Vareilles, Paul Gaborit, and Michel Aldanondo. « Building renovation adopts mass customization: Configuring insulating envelopes ». In: Journal of Intelligent Information Systems 49.1 (Aug 2017). pp. 119--146. ISSN: 0925-9902, 1573-7675. DOI: 10.1007/s10844-016-0431-6.
    This work is motivated by an industrial need of manufacturing façades insulating envelopes in order to reduce energy consumption in residential buildings. An insulating envelope is a configuration of a set of rectangular panels that respects a set of limitations. Due to the number of façades to be renovated and the number of possible configurations for a single façade, the envelope configuration is both a mass customization problem as well as a combinatorial one. The paper then introduces a decision support system based on the framework of constraint satisfaction, as it fits neatly the constrained nature of the problem. Two configuration tasks have been identified as prerequisite to envelopes configurations: (1) the configuration of a questionnaire for information inputs and (2) the configuration of a constraint satisfaction problem for each one of the façades to be renovated. The system architecture promotes maintenance, modularity and efficiency as different configuration tasks are divided into web-services. Conception and implementation of the massive building thermal renovation are then supported.