Publications in Scientific Journals:

A. Mahdavi, S. El-Bellahy:
"Effort and effectiveness considerations in computational design evaluation: a case study";
Building and Environment, 40 (2005), 1651 - 1664.

English abstract:
Computational building evaluation tools have the potential to provide an effective means to support informed design decision making. Computational modeling, however, comes with a cost. Thereby, the most important cost factor is not software acquisition, but the time needed for learning and using the software. The extent of required time and effort is believed to be one of the main hindrances toward the pervasive use of computational building performance assessment tools by designers: Currently, modeling applications are mostly used, if at all, in the later stages of design and by specialists, rather than architects. However, few studies have explicitly dealt with the ascertainment and quantification of the actual effort needed to undestand, master, and apply computational building evaluation tools. Thus, little factual information is available as to the cost and burden of computational building evaluation and its effectiveness in building design support. In this context, the present paper describes a case study, whose motivation was to estimate the time and effort needed by novice designers to computationally evaluate the performance of building designs. A group of senior architecture students participated in the study, learning and using a software application to assess the energy performance of six project submissions for a school building design competition. The outcome of this study (time investment ranges for various components of the modelling activity) was evaluated and further extrapolated to estimate the effort needed for a more comprehensive computational assessment of the environmental performance of these designs.

Created from the Publication Database of the Vienna University of Technology.