I'm an interdisciplinary designer working at the intersection of society, technology and the built environment.

HouseZero AR

Creating an interface for seeing building performance in augmented reality, to enable better research into the future of high-performance sustainability.

Visualize the building performance of HouseZero, the new headquarters of the Harvard CGBC, for researchers and visitors. 

Using Unity and the Microsoft Hololens, create a voice- and gesture-controlled interactive system that allows a user to see and explore external sensor data and CFD simulation model results.
Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities
Yuan Gao, Jiho Song and Spyros Ampanavos, team members

HouseZero opened in April 2018.
Project presented at the KGSD’s Dual Reality: Between Physical and Digital AR/VR Fair at Harvard GSD.


An augmented reality building performance visualization interface, developed for the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities.

The project prepares for HouseZero, CGBC's new headquarters, a retrofit of a small residential building. The interface leverages new hardware and software for augmented reality to create a more immersive and intuitive mode of data visualization. The interface has two goals: help visitors understand the building's innovations toward improved natural ventilation, natural daylighting and net-zero energy consumption, and assist CGBC researchers in monitoring how those innovations perform both historically and in realtime.

The interactive visualization displays near real-time CFD models, simulated to reflect current environmental conditions, as well as information about building sensors and systems. In addition, building performance data is overlaid a user's actual view of the building interior — providing intuitive and immersive understanding of the building.

The project is built in Unity for the Hololens, with dynamic visualization of prototyped data from an Arduino and remote web server. Code available on GitHub. I served as technical project manager and interaction designer for the project: helping to coordinate a team of designers, developers and data scientists at CGBC and the GSD.

Digital methods still begin with visual sketches. I created early wireframes of the AR experience, outlining desired goals for the interface.

The AR interface used Hololens headsets and prototyped sensors.

The AR interface serves as the front-end to a set of servers and databases, tied to the building systems in HouseZero itself.

Headset-recorded videos of the interface in the new CGBC headquarters. Various interactive features can be seen, from mixed-reality displays to full augmented-reality overlays.

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