Lifecycle multi criteria decision analysis of buildings using generalized expected utility

Authored by: Umberto Alibrandi , Khalid M. Mosalam

Routledge Handbook of Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138306875
eBook ISBN: 9781315142074
Adobe ISBN:


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In this chapter, a framework of lifecycle analyses under uncertainty for sustainable and resilient building design is presented. Lifecycle economic and environmental metrics are considered. They include initial stage of construction as well as post-hazard repairs. As developed in recent research, the lifecycle economic analysis includes a complete cost model. The optimal design alternative is determined through the Generalized Expected Utility (GEU), which allows, if needed, to model the risk aversion of the decision maker and his/her perception toward extreme events. This is a broadly general framework, which includes as particular decision criteria the maximization of the expected utility and the minimization of the expected cost. The quantification of the uncertainties is developed through the Performance-based Engineering (PBE) approach, giving rise to the extended framework PBE-GEU. In PBE-GEU, the statistical characterization of the random quantities is obtained through the Kernel Density Maximum Entropy Method (KDMEM) which provides the least biased and most honest distribution given the available information. The framework is applied to a hypothetical building office, located in California. The analyses show that design by resilience means design by sustainability, since the more resilient design provides less environmental impact along the lifecycle; interestingly, it is also more advantageous from an economic point of view.

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