UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A probabilistic model framework for holistic life-cycle design of buildings Chui, Seadon


The goal of the research described in this thesis is to develop a program that assists designers in designing highly efficient buildings. Rts is a model framework software that performs holistic life-cycle analysis and contains algorithms and data used to calculate relevant costs. Compatibility with building information models allows Rts to interface with other design software, while model interchangeability allows for the application of new relevant research. Holistic life-cycle cost assessment is useful for quantifying various outcomes of a building design, such as construction cost and environmental impact. It allows for single-objective optimization by weighing these multiple outcomes objectively. Different costs have been categorized and are calculated in different models, with the existing models reviewed in this thesis. New models for construction cost, based off costing data, and concrete maintenance, using carbonation theory, have been developed. A parametric study was performed to make preliminary observations and verify the accuracy of the models. It was found that operating costs contribute a major portion, 33%, of the total direct cost of a building, in agreement with existing literature. Furthermore, environmental impacts, particularly those resulting from emissions during operation, also contribute a large portion of total cost, at 36%. Additionally, transporting construction materials from overseas results in a dramatic increase of the environmental cost of construction, and renewable energy sources lead to a much lower total life-cycle cost. Other variables studied include the depth of concrete cover, and the influence of the discounting rate and design building life.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International