Diagrammatic information and environmental parameters: decision making in the early design phases


  • Lucas Raffo Souza
  • Ricardo Cesar Rodrigues
  • Camila Gregório Atem
  • Rovenir Bertola Duarte




design process, energy efficiency, diagram, social housing, land subdivision plan


In the last decades, the initial phase of the design process has been discussed from the point of view of the construction process economy contribution. In this sense, several authors highlight the decisions made at this stage as an impacting point of influence on the direct cost of the building. This concern is repeated in the cases investigated by the ZEMCH (Zero Energy Mass Custom Homes) group in Brazil, which is focused on social housing, consequently, cost becomes a fundamental factor that must be considered on these buildings’ life cycle. Furthermore, ZEMCH’s workshops in Brazil have characterized the initial phase of the design process as a process that requires speed and simultaneous control of a large amount of data by the designers. Over these perspectives, the objective of this work in progress is to verify the potential of a diagrammatic artifact as an intuitive tool of visualizing information and supporting decision making in the initial phase of the urban land subdivision design process, to obtain energy efficiency during the building’s life cycle. Therefore, diagramming information of the environmental conditions into a visualization tool, helps designers to deal with requirements of this phase and cause impact on the operational cost of the building. This research was conducted over the Design Science Research method, and concludes that although visualizing information with the aid of an artifact can play an important role for the practical requirements of the early design phases, the solution can be potentially expanded to other purposes such as teaching, and even for users self-awareness on the operational impact.