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The value of energetic analysis in architecture as an example for data sharing


The process of construction of an ancient building can be broken down into a series of steps, and analysed using tools such as the chaîne opératoire. This methodology permits one to explore the process, allowing for its disarticulation and a more complete understanding. It cannot, however, explore the temporal, material or energetic ‘cost’ of these steps. One can derive sets of cost-calculation-algorithms which can be applied to ancient architecture through 3D models which define the volumes of built material.

Such analyses can be applied to structures in any pre-industrial society, and, because of their nature, cross-cultural comparisons can be as meaningful as intra-cultural studies. Open-Context enables such studies by providing access to data needed for energetic analysis. Linking data in Open Context with cost-calculation-algorithms allows greater reproducibility, while modular cost-calculation-algorithms enable the exploration of diverse choices. By making these cost-calculation algorithms open-source, we make parameters explicit, contestable, and reusable.

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