An early-stage design decision-support tool for selecting building assemblies to minimise a building’s life cycle energy demand

  • YEAR
    Crawford, Robert H
    Czerniakowski, Isabella
    Fuller, Robert
    2015 Conference Papers
    Built Environment Performance Assessment
    Conference Papers


The significant effects of the building industry on the natural environment are well documented and improving the environmental performance of buildings is an on-going challenge. This is particularly the case for projects with restrictive budgets and timelines and because many existing environmental assessment tools are designed to be used too late in the design process. The use of tools during the early design stages may assist in achieving greater improvements in a building’s environmental performance. However, user-friendly tools with the ability to comprehensively compare environmental information between various building assemblies and materials, which can be easily adopted during the early design stages of a project, are not readily available. This paper presents the progress to date in developing a tool which supports building designers in identifying and selecting preferred building assemblies with the aim of minimising a building’s life cycle energy demand. The tool is based on comprehensive energy performance data for a broad range of building assemblies across all Australian climate zones. Allowing for adjustments to a set of pre-defined and user-defined assemblies the designer is able to see how assemblies perform in relation to each other. This provides valuable information to support decision-making relating to minimising the life cycle energy demand of buildings.


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