Dr. Juntae Jake Son
Dr. Juntae Jake Son
<b>Department: </b>Construction Management and Interior Design<br><b>Research Area: </b>Biomimicry ideas to save building energy consumption <br>

Department: Construction Management and Interior Design

Research Focus: Let's find out biomimicry ideas to save building energy consumption!

  • Biomimicry (Connect biomimicry ideas into the built environment)
  • Building Energy (How to reduce/save building energy adopting the biomimicry ideas?)
  • Simulation (Assess/predict building energy consumption)
  • Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality (Create virtual environment/space using 1) Game Engine or 2) 360

Potential Student Project(s):

Current Problem! Why do we do this research?

The problem of climate change that humans currently have, and its main cause, the indispensable use of energy, arises from an inefficient energy design of buildings. Due to the radical increasing building energy, climate change is emerging as a result. In 2017, about 40% of total U.S. energy consumption was consumed by the residential and commercial sectors (U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2018). The solution using biomimicry is an applied science that derives inspiration from nature. This research is particularly relevant in the development of technology to replace the use of fossil fuels in the built environment. Therefore, it will investigate a novel way to reduce energy consumption.

On-going Project 1: Finding a Novel Biomimetic Solution and Its Impact on Building Energy Consumption

Occupants are heavily dependent on artificial lighting. In addition, since the probability of solar heat entering the room is low, the buildings consume a large amount of energy using HVAC systems to fit the thermal comfort for the occupants. In order to solve this problem, this research will investigate a novel way inspired by strategies from nature to bring daylight into buildings. Possible strategies can be found in animals living in the polar regions (e.g. polar bears, penguins, and sea otters), reptiles, plants, ants, and/or bees.

In this research, the Applied Technology Building at Ball State University will be used as a test model. Using a simulation program, called DesignBuilder, a 3D model of the building will be created and the input variables, such as building materials and climate conditions, will be based on realistic data, otherwise the comparison of energy consumption data might be under or overestimated. After reviewing all possible strategies from nature, a comparison will be made between energy consumption data based on the current layout of the building and new energy consumption data based on the new biomimetic design is applied.

On-going Project 2: Biomimicry in the Built Environment: Occupants’ Experience in Virtual Environment with a Novel Biomimetic Window System

This research is a continual improvement project following my previous study, “Finding a Novel Biomimetic Solution and Its Impact on Building Energy Consumption”. This study intends to investigate the enhancement of occupants’ satisfaction in virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality environment with the biomimetic window system in the AT building. Since the proposed biomimetic window system is not an existing system, a VR or AR experiment needs to conduct to see how the satisfaction of the occupants changed.

Attributes/skills/background sought in undergraduate:

  • Biomimicry
  • Interior Design & Architecture Background
  • Sustainability (Recommend to take my IDES 114 Course!)
  • Building Energy and Energy Simulation
  • Auto CAD, Revit, Energy Simulations, VR and AR

Mentoring Plan:

  • Student commits to a total of 5 hours a week on the projects. Learn what Biomimicry is. Learn why sustainability is important. Learn how to do Literature Review. Create 3D models using computer software. Create VR or AR environments. Simulate building energy consumption.
  • Meet one-on-one remotely and/or in-person 1 hour a week Debrief/review project deliverables.
  • Collaborate with the student researchers on the projects with clear expectations and outcomes that are achievable within a time commitment Submit to a peer-reviewed conference and write a peer-reviewed journal article with students.