A pragmatic value-driven approach to design with applications to energy-conscious buildings
Lee, Benjamin David
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Within the design community, a growing number of researchers have shown interest in extending the value context to include design, such that designers focus on maximizing the 'value' of the product or service, rather than simply satisfying a set of requirements. Thus, by applying a value-driven approach to design, the design community hopes to show that the magnitude of cost and schedule overruns may be reduced, or even eliminated. However, a common criticism of value-driven approaches is that they are difficult to implement, and not sufficiently pragmatic to be used for large scale engineering problems. Further, some argue that less rigorous methods appear to provide reasonable results in practice, and so rigor is not necessary. To reconcile these disparate viewpoints, it must be shown that value-driven approaches contribute to the design process, and can be implemented in practice at a reasonable cost. In response, I propose that the cause for the lack of practicality in value-driven approaches is attributable to the lack of well established and verified methods and tools. This dissertation presents research that attempts to address this deficiency by first developing a better understanding of effectiveness for methods that seek to enable value-driven design. This investigation leads to a concise set of desired characteristics for methods for guiding the development of value-models which then motivate the creation of a Systematic Method for Developing Value Models (SMDVM). To evaluate the SMDVM, it is applied to the design and retrofit of buildings for energy efficiency. A simulation workbench is developed as a tool to automate the development and analysis of value models for building design and retrofit contexts. The workbench enables architects, engineers, and other practitioners to easily incorporate uncertainty into analyses of building energy consumption, as part of a value-driven approach to design and retrofit.