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A green home decision-making tool : Sustainability Weighting Assessment for Homeowners (SWAHO) Li, Peixian


Homeowners, the largest group of stakeholder in the building sector, are often under-served and suffer from difficulty in pursuing a green home. Few sustainability assessments and decision-making tools were created for nonprofessionals. This research adopted the Design Science method to create an integrated path for green renovation to make it easy for homeowners to make sustainable renovation decisions. The author proposes a new path of green renovation, where a tool named SWAHO (Sustainability Weighting Assessment for Homeowners) plays a central role. SWAHO is supposed to enable tradeoffs among renovation actions and renovation products based on the homeowner’s perception of sustainability. In the conceptual model, SWAHO could integrate all the tasks in green renovations, from decision-making on renovation actions to ordering products on e-commerce websites. In addition, the author developed a prototype tool that enables decision-making on renovation actions to demonstrate the concept of SWAHO. A list of 48 renovation actions and a list of 12 sustainability criteria were incorporated into the prototype tool after a thorough literature review and practice review. The knapsack problem was used as the mathematical model for SWAHO. Weighting scheme and 5-star rating were used for scoring. A user evaluation consisting of surveys and meetings reported very positive feedback on the concept of SWAHO. Testers also provided many suggestions on the user interface design. A self-evaluation on 144 scenarios showed that all the results of SWAHO were reasonable, meaning that the mathematical model of SWAHO was effective. The two evaluations reveal that the proof-of-concept SWAHO is a good approach for green renovation.

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