Learning by Playing

  • Title: Simulation Game
  • Date: 30 Aug 2011 - Ongoing
  • Link: Full Paper

Being able to read thermal simulation results and to adapt one’s design accordingly has become an essential skill for graduating and practicing architects. This article proposes and evaluates an innovative way of how this skill can be taught via a 90-min in-class exercise or ‘game’ based on DesignBuilder/EnergyPlus. The game was tested in a class of 47 architecture students who competed to generate the lowest energy use intensity (EUI) for an office building in Boston.

Design upgrades were associated with a cost premium and the overall upgrade budget was capped. The EUIs of the 10 final submissions were 22–31% below the base variant. While student essays revealed a clear preference for game-based learning vis-a-vis conventional teaching methods, the authors further propose that the game nourishes the emergence of an energy modelling ‘culture’ within schools of architecture that may lead to enhanced communication between architects and energy modellers.

Learning by playing

Teaching energy simulation as a game