International Construction Specialty Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (ICSC) (5th : 2015)

Axiology-based value quantification modeling for buildings Zhang, Lu; El-Gohary, Nora M.


A report published by the National Research Council of the National Academies identified the research on understanding and quantifying the value of our infrastructure systems to their stakeholders and how this value is impacted by the various planning, design, construction, and operation decisions as a “national imperative”. However, there is still a lack of understanding and formalized modeling of what different stakeholders value (e.g., energy conservation, safety, economic growth) in our infrastructure systems and how to valuate (i.e., quantify the worth) our infrastructure systems based on these values. This paper presents the authors’ work in the area of axiology-based valuation modeling of buildings. “Axiology” is a theory of value (worth) that explores questions such as what are the objects that we value and how to measure the value of these objects. In this paper, the authors propose a mathematical value quantification model for quantifying the degree that a building (and its objects) fulfills stakeholder values based on its properties. The proposed model is primarily theoretically grounded in axiology. It builds on two key notions in Hartman’s formal axiology that (1) object valuation depends on its properties, and (2) valuation has systemic, extrinsic, and intrinsic dimensions. The model was initially validated through a case study. The model offers a way to assess the value of our built infrastructure based on stakeholder values; it could facilitate value-sensitive decision making by embodying stakeholder values into project planning and design towards better synergy between human values and the built environment.

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