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Design and Diagnostic Problem-solving Approaches – Application to Thermal Comfort and Indoor Air Quality

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Construction Education Topics in Architectural Engineering

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

24.363.1 - 24.363.16



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Paper Authors


Ahmed Cherif Megri North Carolina A&T State University

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Dr. Ahmed Cherif Megri, an associate professor of architectural engineering (AE), teaches capstone, lighting, electrical, HVAC, and energy design courses and is the ABET coordinator for the AE program. His research areas include airflow modeling, zonal modeling, energy modeling, and artificial intelligence modeling using the support vector machine learning approach. Dr. Megri holds a Ph.D. degree from INSA at Lyon, France, in the area of thermal engineering and a ”habilitation” (HDR) degree from Pierre and Marie Curie University - Paris VI, Sorbonne Universities (2011) in the area of engineering sciences. Prior to his current position, he was an associate professor at the University of Wyoming. Before that, he was an assistant professor and director of the AE program at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), where he participated significantly in the development of the current architectural engineering undergraduate and master’s programs. During his stay at IIT, he taught thermal and fluids engineering (thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics), building sciences, the physical performance of buildings, and building enclosure as well as design courses, such as HVAC, energy, plumbing, fire protection, and lighting. He also supervised many courses in the interprofessional projects (IPRO) program.

Dr. Megri's areas of Interest include the zonal-modeling approach, integration zonal models and building-energy simulation models, zero net energy (ZNE) building, airflow in multizone buildings and smoke control, thermal comfort & indoor air quality, predictive modeling and forecasting, energy, HVAC, plumbing and fire-protection systems design, computational fluid dynamic (CFD) applications in building, and the application of BIM and REVIT to architecture and electrical/lighting design systems.

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Problem-solving: new design and troubleshooting approaches – application to thermalcomfort and indoor air qualityThe engineers are usually confronted to two types of problems: new design and troubleshootingproblems. The new design problem concerns the creation of a new product (in our case theproduct is a building components, mechanical or electrical system) and the troubleshootingconsists of fixing an existing product using a sequential diagnostic.It is a logical, systematic search for the source of a problem so that it can be solved, and so theproduct or process can be made operational again. Troubleshooting is needed to develop andmaintain complex systems where the symptoms of a problem can have many possible causes.In this paper, we introduce how these two notions have been introduced to undergraduatestudents through capstone design basis course. Two case studies from building engineering arepresented: thermal comfort and indoor air quality (sick building syndrome) taken from capstonedesign course. A flow chart is presented and discussed for both cases.We discuss the capstone design program from students’ point of view, and the experience earnedin design, experimentation, and also in written and oral communication skills. Future plans toevaluate the effectiveness of the case studies in terms of learning outcomes, as well as plans toevaluate it in undergraduate architectural engineering training are also presented.

Megri, A. C. (2014, June), Design and Diagnostic Problem-solving Approaches – Application to Thermal Comfort and Indoor Air Quality Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20254

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