Title: A decision-making framework for enhancing client’s well-being – when designing windows and blinds
Subject: Forestry industry production systems
Faculty: Faculty of Technology
Date: Thursday 12 December 2019 at 9.30 am
Place: Room Newton (C1202), building C, Växjö
External reviewer: Professor Peter Schild, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway
Examining committee: Doctor of philosophy in science Eva-Lotta Kurkinen, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden
Associate professor Vahid Nik, Lund University, Sweden
Professor Folke Björk, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Chairperson: Professor Johan Bergh, Department of Forestry and Wood Technology, Linnaeus University
Supervisor: Professor Jimmy Johansson, Department of Forestry and Wood Technology, Linnaeus University
Examiner: Associate professor Åsa Rydell Blom, Department of Forestry and Wood Technology, Linnaeus University
Spikning: Monday 18 November 2019 at 11.30 am at the University library in Växjö
The current state of window and blind design moves beyond evaluating a single function, such as energy consumption, to include a human perspective in architectural design approach to create value. A current thought among architects and design professionals is that the highest value outcomes can be obtained when any architectural design contributes to enhanced well-being. Previous studies show that an individual’s well-being is determined by five main life domain factors: health, economy, personality, demographic variables and behavior variables. However, the life domain factors health and economy show stronger and more positive correlations to well-being. At this point, value creation within architectural design context, including window and blind design, can be seen as an attempt to enhance well-being by improving health and providing economic benefits for clients. Clients can represent i) owners who own a built asset, ii) investors who commit capital and expect to obtain financial return, or iii) occupants who live or work in the building every day. In the context of owner-occupied buildings, the value creation process is mainly seen as an attempt to enhance well-being for one entity by improving health and providing economic benefits. When considering investment properties or assets held for sale, the value creation process is mainly translated into an attempt to enhance well-being for several entities by improving health for occupants and providing economic benefits for owners and/or investors.
Selecting a window and blind design to enhance client well-being remains a challenging task due to three main difficulties. The first difficulty relates to the contradictory effects of windows and blinds on visual and thermal comfort, energy consumption and life cycle cost. The second difficulty is the availability of a variety of window and blind designs in different sizes, positions and forms, making the selection of windows and blinds an intricate decision challenge for architects and designers. The third difficulty involves decisions about the selection of windows and blinds that should include all criteria and their interactions simultaneously.
To resolve the abovementioned difficulties, this research applied the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) as a multi-criteria decision-making method to select a window and blind design based on a trade-off between visual comfort, thermal comfort, energy consumption and life cycle cost. The analyses of results show the capability of AHP in resolving difficulties, however its application is mainly limited to a small number of designs. To overcome this limitation, a decision-making framework was developed based on integration between non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm-II (NSGA-II) as an optimization algorithm and AHP. The strength and limitations of the decision-making framework were later tested by employing it in window and blind design practice. To investigate further benefits from the implementation of the framework, it was expanded by evaluating additional building envelopes, i.e. windows as well as external walls, roof and floor constructions, which made it possible to select a trade-off construction solution. The analyses of results show the framework’s ability to resolve difficulties and locate a trade-off design in a relatively short period of time. However, the decision-making framework only allows the analysis of the objective criteria for evaluating visual comfort, thermal comfort, energy consumption and life cycle cost. This is because it is necessary to rely on the creativity of the architects and designers when designing windows and blinds in order to consider subjective issues.
The decision-making framework can be used either by design teams or customer service experts in window manufacturing companies. A literature study was therefore conducted to extend the technology acceptance model and thereby investigate the determinants of framework user acceptance of the decision-making framework. The results showed that organizational, individual, technological and environmental characteristics were the most influential external variables when investigating determinants of framework user acceptance of the framework. Organizational characteristics included top management support, training, organizational culture, and organizational size, while individual characteristics included the users’ previous knowledge and experience. Technological characteristics embraced information quality and system quality, meanwhile environmental characteristics comprised fulfillment of regulations and competitiveness.