Date of Graduation
Building Integrated Agriculture (BIA) aims to reduce the environmental footprint of food production and to improve the human condition. BIA places food producing plants into the everyday working/living environment. This study explored the intersection of the diverse BIA requirements (human, plant, and building) as established by the relevant literature from various disciplines. Kaplan (1992), and Ulrich (1984; 1986; 1992) established the restorative physiological and psychological effects of plants in non-natural settings. Kaplan deemed these settings â€œNear-by Nature.â€ In building interiors, â€œNear-by Natureâ€ is achieved through interiorscaping, a design practice that incorporates plant, building and occupant requirements. This study specifically investigated the implications of considering Building Integrated Agriculture as â€œNear-by Natureâ€ while allowing for the diverse environmental requirements of the plants and building occupants. The environmental requirements considered were light, temperature and relative humidity. A synthesis of the requirements was applied to two theoretical redesigns of the Honors College dormitory at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. This study used a design research approach and fell into the category of design phenomenology. A logical argumentation approach (Groat & Wang, 2002) was used to establish a framework of â€œNear-by Natureâ€ in the context of interiorscapes. Analog simulation modeling was used to test the â€œNear-by Natureâ€ structure in the context of BIA (Groat & Wang, 2002). Analysis of interiorscape images was used to establish the structural framework of â€œNearby-Natureâ€. Required crop yields were established using the U.S. Food Market Estimator developed by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. The existing baseline building and modified BIA version was modeled using Autodesk Revit 2011 software. Photorealistic images of the modified building with approximated crops provided the means to evaluate â€œNear-by Natureâ€. There were two interiorscape categories: those that facilitate movement and those that provide a place for gathering. The â€œNear-by Natureâ€ framework had three technical terms: pace, distinct and contrast. The framework was combined with the Honors Hall dormitory and crop production requirements. The existing dormitory was found unsuitable to provide â€œNear-by Nature and plant production. Concept â€˜Aâ€™ was developed to facilitate movement. The result was an increased occupancy and Gross Square Footage. The vegetables crops created rhythm and established landmarks along the corridors. Concept â€˜Bâ€™ was developed to provide a space for gathering. The result was a decreased occupancy but an increased Gross square footage. The vegetable crops generated rhythm, created a sense of enclosure and controlled vistas. This study established a framework for designing â€œNear-by Natureâ€, developed parameters for further research and design investigations of BIA.
Plyler, William, ""Near-by Nature": A Logical Framework for Building Integrated Agriculture." (2012). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9585.