Modified on Wed, 10 May 2023 at 02:49 PM

How does TESSA generate Design Options?

The process of designing a building is governed by various rules and conventions including Building Regulations, physical and structural constraints, design logic, and user-defined criteria.  

Building Regulations are legally binding and vary based on local authority. They guarantee the comfort and safety of the occupants. TESSA supports building regulations in the UK. Physical and structural constraints are inherent to the Modulous Kit of Parts and universal laws, such as gravity, are hard coded into the software. 

Design logic describes the process architects typically follow to create appropriate, efficient site layouts and functional buildings. To replicate this logic, TESSA uses pre-defined apartment layouts [unit types]. For the site and non-residential parts of the building, the TESSA algorithms have been developed to ensure Design Options generated are in line with industry expectations. 

User-defined criteria are used to tailor the Design Options generated via Brief Definition. TESSA offers a range of user-input parameters to control the number of buildings on site, their heights, podium and service area requirements, and the unit mix. In the future, the algorithms will allow users to set objectives such as a target number of units, land coverage, or residential efficiency. 

Planning Policies are closely related to site context. TESSA currently includes map layers to visualise neighbouring massing and topography lines to assist the user in understanding the context of the site. The list of map layers available to the user will be updated over time, but local context-driven policies are not currently automatically applied to Design Options generated.


GEA, GIA and NIA are calculated as follows:

  • GEA (Gross External Area): This is the total area of the building, measured from the external face of the external (façade) wall, summed for each floor of the building. The GEA at ground floor is called the Building Footprint.

  • GIA (Gross Internal Area): This is the total internal area of the building, measured from the internal face of the module walls adjacent to the external (façade) wall on all floors. The GIA includes residential, communal and service areas.

  • NIA (Net Internal Area): The sum of all units fixed NIA areas, as defined below. The NIA only includes residential areas.
    • 1B2P - Scarlet 100: 54.00m²
    • 1B2P - Scarlet 101: 53.40m²
    • 2B3P - Scarlet 200: 61.20m²
    • 2B3P - Scarlet 201: 70.38m²
    • 2B4P - Scarlet 202: 63.54m²
    • 3B5P - Scarlet 300 : 92.97m²
    • 3B6P - Scarlet 301: 105.21m²

Was this article helpful?

That’s Great!

Thank you for your feedback

Sorry! We couldn't be helpful

Thank you for your feedback

Let us know how can we improve this article!

Select atleast one of the reasons

Feedback sent

We appreciate your effort and will try to fix the article