Date of Award

5-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Civil Engineering

Advisor

Klotz, Leidy

Committee Member

Heine , Ulrike

Committee Member

Kurz , Mary Beth

Abstract

Sustainable practices and strategies in the construction industry are increasingly encouraged because of their environmental, economic and social benefits. However, the cost of their implementation can be minimized only if they are planned for during the initial phases of the project. Hence, engineering tools that allow the stakeholders in a construction project to assess and analyze the impact of their decisions on the project in terms of sustainability are needed to advance sustainable practices.
The goal of this study is to investigate a selected decision making problem and identify the leverage points in the decision process for making environmentally, economically and socially sustainable choices. Multi-Attribute Utility Theory is the framework used to analyze the decision making process in selecting the heating, cooling and air condition system of a new sustainable building. The elements of the decision problem including the attributes and alternatives are identified based on the current literature and project specifications, respectively. Social sustainability indicators are shown to have a higher potential than the other indicators in promoting sustainability. Future research will investigate the application of these results to decision making problems in more complex systems of decisions with interacting attributes.

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