Optimizing selection of existing building upgrades to maximize their sustainability

M. Abdallah, K. El-Rayes

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Existing buildings are often in urgent need for upgrading to improve their performance in terms of energy and water consumption, as well as carbon emissions. Building owners and operators often allocate budgets to upgrade their buildings and they always seek identification of building upgrades to improve performance of their buildings and achieve green certification. This paper presents the development of an optimization model that is capable of identifying building upgrades to achieve green certification for existing buildings. While several green certification programs are currently available for existing buildings, this paper focuses on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system for existing buildings. The optimization model is developed in three main steps, including model formulation step that focuses on model decision variables, objective function, and constraints; computational step that focuses on selecting optimization algorithm and implementing the model calculations; and evaluation step that focuses on testing and refining the model performance. A case study of an existing building is used to demonstrate the model capabilities. The optimization model was able to identify the optimal selection of buildings upgrades to achieve LEED certification for existing buildings with minimum upgrade budget or maximize the sustainability of the building within a specified budget. The optimization model is expected to support decision makers, building owners, and operators to identify optimal selection of upgrades to improve performance of existing buildings and achieve sustainability certification programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2019
Event2019 Canadian Society for Civil Engineering Annual Conference, CSCE 2019 - Laval, Canada
Duration: Jun 12 2019Jun 15 2019


Conference2019 Canadian Society for Civil Engineering Annual Conference, CSCE 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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