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Computer Application

What are computers used for in planning and constructing modern housing units?
What are four basic categories of computer applications in the housing field?
What are the benefits of computer application in housing?
What is computer simulation?
What is the most impressive part of virtual reality models?
What does the computerized symbols library used for?
7 What does computer applications of structural analysis focus on?
a significant impact   outside forces    
  three dimensions   ultimate result    
a software program   to save time    
labor intensive   easy-to-use    
to meet a need   aging feature    
water treatment   energy-efficient    
careful planning   virtual reality cost estimates    
standard appliances  



The four basic categories computer applications in the housing field are: design and analysis, selection of construction elements and processes, service to clients and customers, and project management.

Design and analysisThis category includes four primary areas: computer-assisted drafting and design; plot, site, and landscape planning; kitchen and bath design; and energy analysis. The number and type of software programs for these topics are rapidly increasing.

Computer- Assisted Drafting and Design. The largest and most familiar area of computer application in housing is computer-assisted drafting and design.CADD is a computer program that can automatically draw objects to scale or exact measurements. By being able to retrieve standard components or drawings from the computer's memory, the designer is able tosave tune and improve accuracy. Previously, traditional drawings were done by hand, which is very labor intensive and costly for large-scale projects. Another benefit of CADD is its computerized symbols library. Inserting standard symbols and shapes is quick, easy, and accurate. For example, symbols for trees, furniture, doors, windows, etc. are usually included in an architectural symbols library. When inserting an image in a document, it can be enlarged, reduced, or rotated to a different angle to meet a specific need.

Plot. Site, and Landscape J Planning. These plans are required for most homes and apartment buildings. The plot plan shows the sitc and location of the buildings on the property A site plan includes a complete description of the shape, size, and important features on the site. The landscape plan shows all the plants on the site as well as paved areas, fences, and other landscape elements. Some landscape programs even have anaging feature to show how the landscape will change over time as plants mature. Other computer applications used in plot, site, and landscape planning include:

design and evaluation of water treatment systems . water surface profile analysis

- calculation of the volume quantities of earth that must be removed from the site or

brought in for fill . automated contour mapping.

Kitclien and Bath Design. Kitchens and bathrooms are two of the most expensive areas per square foot in the home. Both require careful planning to achieve maximum efficiency. As a result numerous software programs have been developed to assist in designing these rooms and selecting standard appliances, cabinets, and fixtures. These programs allow users to select specific units and place them on a floor plan.

Energy Analysis. Since energy costs today are so significant, a complete energy analysis should be performed for most planned structures. Using these programs, the designer is able to analyze all aspects of energy efficiency and plan energy-efficient structures. Other computer applications of energy analysis include: 1) performance analysis of mechanical and lighting systems

· evaluation of thermal and economic aspects of solar energy systems

· evaluation of energy reflection and transmission from various surfaces.

Selection of construction elements and processes The design process frequently involves one or more areas not generally included in typical CADD software. These include: structural component analysis and selection and preferred techniques for construction. Application-specific software is available to aid the designer in making decisions that will improve the use, function, efficiency, or safety of a design.

Structural Analysis allows the designer to design building components able to withstand the building's own stress and weight plus the impact of outside forces. Most nontraditional building designs require structural analysis to ensure design integrity. An architect uses descriptive analysis to calculate stress forces in unique residential structures and structural elements. Other common computer applications of structural analysis focus on the following:

· strength and elastic stability of building materials

· heat transfer

· pipe rapture and fluid-flow analysis

· conditions that exert force and strength.

Structural Component Selection. Great assurance is required that the structural components have enough strength to support the intended loads. Many of these structural components are available in new engineered-wood products, which are unfamiliar to many designers and builders. As a result, both do-it-yourselfers and professionals are turning to application- specific software programs to help them select components of the proper size and type for a particular application.

Some common computer programs related to analyzing and selecting structural components focus on the following areas:

· fixed arches and other supports

• steel-structure design

' structural members of frames, including cables, beams, and columns.

Computer Simulation. One of the more useful junctions of the computer is its ability to simulate, or illustrate, results before the structure or system is built. For example, by changing the layout and/or mixing cabinets of different dimensions, the kitchen can be tailored to satisfy the client s needs. A wide variety of computer simulation applications are available to show the ultimate results of changing various materials, designs, and systems affecting the home is interior and exterior.

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