A Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Method for Solar Building Design
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The background for this thesis is based on the assumption that the success of solar buildings relies on the assessment and integration of all the different design objectives, called criteria. These criteria are often quite complicated to deal with (e.g. environmental loading) and may be conflicting. The different design issues and the many different available energy technologies call for different areas of expertise to be involved in the design of solar buildings. This makes it difficult to evaluate the overall “goodness” of a proposed design solution. Also, the communication between design professionals and the client becomes complicated. The goal of this work was therefore to produce a means for the design team and clients to be able to better understand and handle holistic solar design. A first hypothesis was that a structured approach for evaluating design alternatives might be a means to this end. In order to specify an approach that would fit into the building design process, an analysis of design process theory and building design practice was carried out (chapter 2). Also, special solar design issues were investigated. This analysis resulted in the following conclusions: · Most building design processes start out with no clearly defined goals or criteria of success. The design criteria are refined and discovered through evaluation and feedback on alternative design proposals. · Design involves a lot of subjective value judgements, and decisions are often based on experience, “gut feeling”, or intuition. Design options are evaluated based on quantitative and qualitative performance measures. There exists no objective optimal design solution. · It is possible to identify some main activities that are common to most design processes. These are categorized into 4 main tasks: problem formulation, generation of alternatives, performance prediction and evaluation. The activities are very much overlapping and dependent on each other. · Decision-making in design happens mainly through evaluation of proposed design solutions.