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Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.
Throughout the pandemic, long-term care (LTC) facilities have repeatedly been identified as the location of some of the most infectious and deadly outbreaks of COVID-19. As specialized facilities where mostly elderly residents are housed and cared for in congregate settings, LTC communities are more vulnerable to infectious diseases as many residents are frail and live with chronic illnesses and comorbidities. This thesis examines the relationship between COVID-19 outbreaks and infections within LTC facilities in British Columbia (BC) seeking out possible building design factors that might have influenced risk of exposure or severity of COVID-19 outbreaks. The study first assesses the impact of COVID-19 on global LTC facilities, identifying suspected determinants of COVID-19 infections and mortality rates. The disparities of LTC systems are then discussed through the concept of a ‘syndemic’ which suggests that pre-existing crises in within LTC such as funding, staffing, and crowding exacerbated the impact of COVID-19. The historical design and aesthetics of LTC architecture are then scrutinized, tracing lineages from eldercare and healthcare architecture through the rise of modernism and postmodernism. Through historical analysis and photographic comparison, the study considers how the progenitors of LTC have influenced the design and reputation of contemporary facilities. Turning to the built conditions of LTC facilities in BC, satellite imagery and Streetview remote site visits are used to classify BC’s LTC facilities into typologies according to building footprints and massing to observe trends within the spatial arrangement of floorplans. Lastly, the investigation undertakes a regional cohort analysis of BC’s 355 LTC facilities by linking administrative survey data from BC Office of the Seniors Advocate and COVID-19 outbreak data from the BC Centre for Disease Control’s weekly pandemic reports. Timelines and data graphs are used to illustrate the course of the pandemic as it occurred in BC’s LTC facilities during the observation period of March 5, 2020-Feburary 9, 2022. BC’s LTC facilities are sorted according to chronology, regional health authorities, resident population size, repeat outbreaks, highest infection rate, and legislative compliance to assess the influence of building design on occurrence of outbreaks and resident attack rates.
Today, buildings with excessive energy consumption for heating, cooling, and lighting of indoor spaces have led to fundamental environmental problems, such as climate change, global warming, and air pollution. However, for more than billions of years, ecosystems and living organisms have adapted to environmental changes without disturbing the natural balance. Due to the perfect performance of nature's systems in adapting to environmental changes, the purpose of this research is to investigate a bio-inspired building envelope system based on Vancouver climate to reduce building energy consumption for indoor heat and light controls. According to the specific conditions of the project, after studying several organisms, the Rheum Nobile plant has been selected as the natural source of inspiration, which has been able to adapt to the freezing Himalayan climate with its unique features in controlling sunlight and temperature. In the proposed design approach, the natural adaptive solutions have been tested through a series of light simulations to ensure good light quality in the space. The final design version is a dynamic system consisting of three postures, inflated, deflated, and partially inflated, in which the system is activated by temperature and light sensors. As a result of this design, the proposed biomimetic building envelope breathes like a living plant, which dynamically adapts to ambient temperature and sunlight to provide a comfort indoor condition for its occupants.
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