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Opening the black box: Enhancing community design and decision making processes with building performance simulation

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conference contribution
posted on 12.06.2017, 13:21 by Christina Hopfe, Rob McLeod, Toby Rollason
It is widely acknowledged that faced with diverse future impacts (including climatic changes, economic instability and energy supply vulnerabilities) buildings and communities’ worldwide need to become increasingly resilient. The work presented in this paper investigates how Community Design and Decision Making (CDDM) processes can be enhanced through the use of design thinking techniques involving Building Performance Simulation (BPS). The research presented is based on findings from a real-world case study project involving the design of a mixed-use zero carbon community welcome centre planned for the Findhorn Eco-Community, in Scotland, UK. Throughout the conceptual and early design stages the community played a crucial part in the decision making process. Extensive consultation and community engagement exercises formed the basis from which initial design concepts were produced and evaluated. BPS results and in particular the use of sensitivity analysis (SA) techniques played a major contributing role in establishing a multicriteria evidence base from which to inform the CDDM process.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Building Simulation 2017


HOPFE, C.J., MCLEOD, R.S. and ROLLASON, T., 2017. Opening the black box: Enhancing community design and decision making processes with building performance simulation. Presented at the Building Simulation 2017: The 15th International Conference of IBPSA, San Francisco, August 7-9th.




AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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San Francisco, US

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