UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Evaluating skyscraper design and construction technologies on an international basis Abo Moslim, Saad Allah Fathy


Design and construction functions of skyscrapers tend to draw from the best practices and technologies available worldwide in order to meet their development, design, construction, and performance challenges. Given the availability of many alternative solutions for different facets of a building’s design and construction systems, the need exists for an evaluation framework that is comprehensive in scope, transparent as to the basis for decisions made, reliable in result, and practical in application. Findings from the literature reviewed combined with a deep understanding of the evaluation process of skyscraper systems were used to identify the components and their properties of such a framework, with emphasis on selection of categories, perspectives, criteria, and sub-criteria, completeness of these categories and perspectives, and clarity in the language, expression and level of detail used. The developed framework divided the evaluation process for candidate solutions into the application of three integrated filters. The first filter screens alternative solutions using two-comprehensive checklists of stakeholder acceptance and local feasibility criteria/sub-criteria on a pass-fail basis to eliminate the solutions that do not fit with local cultural norms, delivery capabilities, etc. The second filter treats criteria related to design, quality, production, logistics, installation, and in-use perspectives for assessing the technical performance of the first filter survivors in order to rank them. The third filter evaluates the financial performance expressed in terms of Net Present Value of a skyscraper project over its life cycle as a function of system solutions being considered, and involves treatment of all major cash flow streams (revenues and expenditures), and their timing. Product and process models are developed to provide the cash flow model with the required scope and time information. The most preferred solution is recommended on the basis of filter two and three results. Efficacy of the developed framework and each filter were assessed through their application to many case studies and through interviews with construction professionals. Findings show that the framework addresses the deficiencies identified in the existing literature and can improve the quality of the decision-making process when selecting preferred solutions for building a specific skyscraper in a specific geographic area.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International