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Buildings, Volume 2, Issue 1 (March 2012), Pages 1-42

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Research

Open AccessArticle Investigating Factors Affecting Material Selection: The Impacts on Green Vernacular Building Materials in the Design-Decision Making Process
Buildings 2012, 2(1), 1-32; doi:10.3390/buildings2010001
Received: 8 December 2011 / Revised: 22 December 2011 / Accepted: 16 January 2012 / Published: 23 January 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (697 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Material selection is a complex and delicate task determined by the immense number of building material options. Likewise, multiple factors are often considered by the architect when evaluating the various categories of building materials. As a result, these sets of factors or variables
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Material selection is a complex and delicate task determined by the immense number of building material options. Likewise, multiple factors are often considered by the architect when evaluating the various categories of building materials. As a result, these sets of factors or variables often present tradeoffs that make the decision process even more complex. To ease the material-selection process, this article examines one aspect of the research objectives: the relevant factors or variables needed to develop a systematic and efficient material-selection system. Through the analysis of frequency data and results of a pilot study, it identifies some of the potential factors that will impact architects decisions in their choice of green vernacular building materials, during the design-decision making process. The application of the criteria for the quantitative evaluation and selection of the best alternative building material, using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) model, are discussed. The aim is to develop a multi-factorial analytical decision support toolkit to assist architects assess their consequences in terms of whether or not the material option is likely to move towards sustainability objectives. An example is included to illustrate the AHP approach. The argument is advanced that the explicit incorporation of sustainability in the material selection process requires the assessment of the social, economic, technical, sensorial and environmental consequences of potential material options. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Potential for the Use of the Occupants’ Comments in the Analysis and Prediction of Building Performance
Buildings 2012, 2(1), 33-42; doi:10.3390/buildings2010033
Received: 7 December 2011 / Revised: 11 January 2012 / Accepted: 16 January 2012 / Published: 27 January 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (381 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The authors investigated the occupants’ perceptions of 47 commercial and institutional buildings worldwide. These investigations involved the personal distribution and collection of a questionnaire survey seeking the occupants' perceptions (scored on a 7-point scale) of some 45 factors: Operational; Environmental (including temperature, air quality,
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The authors investigated the occupants’ perceptions of 47 commercial and institutional buildings worldwide. These investigations involved the personal distribution and collection of a questionnaire survey seeking the occupants' perceptions (scored on a 7-point scale) of some 45 factors: Operational; Environmental (including temperature, air quality, lighting, and noise); Personal Control; and Satisfaction (including design, needs, comfort overall, productivity, and health). Occupants were also invited to comment on nine of these factors. While it has been suggested that in the ideal situation the occupants would have no complaints about their indoor environment, the aim here was to discover the real situation—in particular the proportion of occupants who were prepared to make a comment, the general nature of the comments (positive, negative, or balanced), and whether these correlated with the occupants’ perception scores. On average, 34 per cent of respondents took up the invitation to make a comment. As anticipated, the greater the number of positive comments, the better the perception score, and vice-versa. However, it appears that it only required around 20% of the comments to be positive for the perception score to exceed the mid-point of the seven-point scale, whereas 65% or more of negative comments were needed to go under that point. This paper details the nature of the correlation between the occupants’ comments and the corresponding scores for a range of building operational and indoor environmental factors and speculates on their potential for the analysis and prediction of building performance from the perspective of the occupants. Full article

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