Application of Evolutionary Algorithms on a near Off-Grid Home

Constructing Excellence

Working at the request our clients Mr and Mrs Kelly and Lathams Architects, Ollio conceived and implemented the zero-energy, near off-grid, strategy for this P79 home at Sydnope near Two Dales in Derbyshire.

The new home was designed to specifically meet the challenging National Planning Policy Framework Paragraph 79 (P79) criteria to include excellence in design coupled with state of- the art innovation in zero carbon building performance for all homes built on greenfield sites.

To enhance the narrative for the home we were aware that the site near Sydnope was an area frequented by Charles Darwin, especially where his uncle Francis Scheverell Darwin was once the owner of Sydnope Hall. Using this as an advantageous piece of serendipity we used Evolutionary Algorithms (EA) analysis, a form of Artificial Intelligence (AI) analysis, to find an optimal zero energy solution for the new property. In doing so the home at Sydnope became the first of its kind in the UK to achieve its planning permission using the EA technique for thermal modelling outcome optimisation.

It is little understood that Evolutionary Algorithms were the mathematical concepts handed down from classical mathematicians Plato and Socrates. Darwin based his theory of Evolution in his seminal work “The Origin of Species” not on a biological principle, but a mathematical one. A mathematical one that engineers can use. Now at land previously owned by the Darwin family, Ollio where using those same mathematical principles to find the strongest mutated variant of a zero energy home with the lowest conceivable invested capital cost.

Using EA allowed us to uncover a series of previously unimaginable yet effective new zero energy outcomes. The process concluded with a solution that was 7% lower annual energy use than Passivhaus but was achieved 30% reduction in cost.


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