Computational Law

Building Codes

Recall the Portico system described in an earlier assignment. The system allows you to load a previously created building design; it presents a three-dimensional rendering of the design; and it allows you to modify the building in a few ways, e.g. making it larger, making it taller, and moving the building around on the parcel. As you make changes, the system assesses the compliance of the design with regulations on footprint, height, setbacks, and shadow lines; and it automatically updates its assessment as the user makes changes. When asked, the system provides explanations for its assessments. Click below to access the system.


In that earlier assignment, you were ased to use the system to answer the following questions. (1) What is the tallest you can make the building while remaining compliant with the planning standards? (2) What is the largest you can make the building? (3) What is the furthest left you can move the building without changing its size or height? (4) What is the furthest left you can move the building if you are allowed to change its height?

Your goal in this assignment is formalize the planning rules needed to answer these questions. First of all, create a suitable ontology to describe the size, area, and placement of a building. Select conditions - a zone and choose whether the parcel is a flaglot, whether it is of substandard size, and whether it is in a floodzone. Write rules defining the illegality of a building in terms of your ontology for any parcel that satisfies your chosen conditions. Describe a sample building as a dataset in Sierra. Add your rules to the Library. Use the Compute tool to check legality of your building. Save and submit a configuration.