Optimal trade-offs between housing cost and environmental performance

Aslihan Karatas, Khaled El-Rayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Housing units in the United States account for 18% of the total greenhouse gas emissions and 58% of public-supply water consumption. These negative environmental impacts of housing units can be reduced by integrating green building measures and fixtures, such as geothermal heat pumps and water-saving plumbing fixtures. The integration of these green measures often leads to an increase in the initial costs of the housing units, and therefore decision makers need to study and optimize the potential trade-offs between the environmental performance of housing units and their initial costs. This paper presents a multiobjective optimization model that is capable of optimizing housing design and construction decisions to generate optimal trade-offs between maximizing the environmental performance of housing units and minimizing their initial costs. The model was designed to maximize housing environmental performance during its operational phase by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption. The model was developed in two main phases that formulated and implemented the model with the use of multiobjective genetic algorithms to provide the capability of generating Pareto optimal trade-offs between housing cost and environmental performance. Analysis of an application example is presented to demonstrate the use of the model and its capabilities in identifying Pareto optimal configurations of housing design and construction decisions. The primary contributions of this research to the body of knowledge include its comprehensive set of metrics and novel methodology that can be used to measure and quantify the impact of the design and construction decisions of housing units on their environmental performance, including greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption, and its novel multiobjective optimization methodology that is capable of generating Pareto optimal trade-offs between the environmental performance of housing units and their initial costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04015018
JournalJournal of Architectural Engineering
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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