Based on the design decision making process from an architect’s point of view, a related literature review, theoretical analyses, and inductive inferences, this thesis proposes a new interpretation of high-performance building (HPB), translates/maps criteria issues related to building environmental assessment (BEA) tools for key design decision making elements, and identifies sources of inspiration for HPB designs. This thesis intends to propose an integrated conceptual model for the design of HPBs to provide direct knowledge-based decision making support to architects in the early design phase. Studies on key design decision making elements, sources of inspiration, and building information modeling are integrated into this genesis of conceptual design.
The concept of the HPB proposed in this thesis emphasizes comprehensive sustainable building performance in environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects. The concept takes the view that HPBs should be aesthetically attractive, socio-culturally adapted, safe, healthy, and comfortable, and should operate at a high level of environmental, resource, and economic efficiency throughout their life cycle. This thesis discusses the topics of the necessity, benefits, and design principles of HPBs.
An analysis of the characteristics of BEA tools and HPB design decision making revealed their relationship: the consequence of goals and the mismatch of practices. BEA tools provide the basic information (such as framework, content, evaluation methods, and processes) related to decision making to promote a holistic HPB design at a practical level. However, given the mismatch of practices between BEA tools and HPB design decision making, most such tools are still used for testing and verifying the design results and do not consider the design decision making process. Existing BEA tools primarily guide or indirectly affect the design work but, in practice, play a limited role in directly helping architects make early decisions regarding HPB design.
First, for a detailed comparison, this thesis identified the common criteria issues for the three existing BEA tools: SBTool 2012 (maximum version), LEED NC-v3, and the Chinese Evaluation Standard for Green Building (ESGB). A total of 51 common/similar criteria issues were identified and such issues were found to be primarily allocated in the energy and resources, indoor environmental quality, environmental loads, and site areas. SBTool 2012 contains the widest range and most comprehensive criteria issues of building performance, whereas the LEED NC-v3 and ESGB frameworks poorly cover social- and economic-related issues. Second, this thesis separated the criteria into whether they relate to decision making factors or building performance factors. Third, this thesis mapped HPB criteria issues into HPB
design decision making elements.
This thesis establishes a framework for key design decision elements for Chinese residential buildings by selecting a residential building type in China as a case study for the mapping approach application. The optimum criteria issues for Chinese residential buildings contain 10 primary criteria issues and 35 sub-criteria issues that cover aspects within the entire sustainable performance range and that correspond to key design decision making elements in this framework.
This thesis also proposes two fundamental support approaches to creative design for HPBs: rational technical support and irrational divergent inspirational support. Based on practical design examples, three major types of irrational sources of inspiration in an architect’s design for HPBs have been identified: previous empirics, nature objects and phenomena, and advanced science and technologies.
Finally, a new integrated conceptual model to support an architect’s early design decisions is established based on the BIM platform. The model contains two main aspects of the work: an initial building information model and an optimal building information model for HPBs during the early design stage. This conceptual model is presented as a generic approach that can be customized for different designers and project conditions. The model can also be used as a framework for providing knowledge-based creative support for decision making related to HPB design.
In summary, this thesis intends to provide both a theoretical base and feasible measures for better HPB design and references for developing design decision making support tools for architects to use during the early HPB design process.
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. , 154 p.
High-performance building (HPB); sustainable performance; design decision making; building environmental assessment (BEA) tools; architects; design decision elements; sources of inspiration