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Over recent years, it has become increasingly apparent that there is a growing need for so-called green buildings with a lower environmental impact over the whole building life-cycle. The construction industry demands strategies that support a drastic change of the way we develop, construct and maintain buildings. However, new building concepts represent too much of an evolution of traditional building systems, which does not necessarily lead to the intended shift towards green transformable buildings. The research aims to acquire knowledge about the impact of specific design characteristics on the complete building lifecycle, develop possible scenarios to create green transformable buildings, determine how the various strategies relate to the building lifecycle and to create knowledge about how to measure the effectiveness of the chosen strategies. The expected result of this research is a decision support model for building concepts. The model should lead towards a better understanding of innovative green solutions for buildings and therefore provide a better opportunity to create innovative new building concepts. This paper describes the research design, which will address the goals.
Theme: Green Buildings and Architecture
Keywords: Conceptual Building, Building Lifecycle, Life-cycle Strategy, Measurement, Decision Support Model


The traditional building methodology is no longer suitable. The construction industry puts a high burden on the environment, while governments try to reduce the global carbon footprint. Buildings are made for one single purpose, while the society is changing, and the user requirements change more frequently and more drastically than ever before. This new trend craves for more flexibility while buildings seem to be more and more tangled up. This asks for more suitable, more sustainable solutions. This invoked a lot of reactions in the forms of rules and legislations, assessment tools, and design methodologies. Although they all aim for a better future, there are a lot of differences between them. Combining most of today’s leading responses resulted in a rough outline of a field which defines sustainable building. This field consists of seven categories; Environment, Indoor Climate, Life Cycle Economics, Management, Materials, Usability, and Visual Quality. They are all defined based on the triple top line philosophy. IDF Building is one of the latest building methodologies, and tries to learn from the past by incorporating the strong points of other models. The IDF building methodology incorporates the whole life cycle of the building and its materials. Within IDF the focus shifts to; Industrial Production to manufacture high quality products and reduce the need for craftsmanship; adaptation of building to individual use requirements during its use phase to lengthen the useful life of a building; use of Cradle‐to‐Cradle and Triple Top Line approach to answer for the need for sustainability; and focus on a Design for Disassembly approach to create flexible systems that could be replaced, reused, reconfigured and whose materials could be up‐cycled after its useful life. The main goals of the IDF Building Methodology can be summarized by: High Quality, High Usability, Buildings with Unique Identities, Low Environmental Impact or Positive Impact, and Economical Feasibility considering the whole building and material life cycle. To reach these goals the IDF Building Methodology has four main strategies: Industrial Production, Design for Individual Identity, Sustainable Design, and Flexible Buildings. To define the IDF Building Methodology the four main strategies are linked to main criteria. Industrial to Organisation and Production, Individual to Adaptability, Environment to Energy, Materials, Pollution, and Water, Flexible to Building Hierarchy, Functionality, Interfaces, Material Levels, and Reusability. For all these main criteria, sub‐criteria and determining factors are defined. For all the determining factors are options and scores defined to create the model. To put the model to the test two test cases are performed, one on a building level with the ‘Passend Wonen’ concept, one on a system level with the ‘Plug’. The results gave useful feedback for the building concept, system and last but not least for the model itself. ‘Passend Wonen’ could make some improvements in the Industrial and Environment categories, but scored very high on Individual and Flexible. For the ‘Plug’ the three concepts all seem feasible, however before choosing one concept based on the IDF Model a normalization would be desirable. Future improvements for the model may lay in the next options: Integration of the possibility to choose the kind of system, this allows normalization and defining of the set of determining factors, detailed research into the social and industrial aspects, defining relations between determining factors, implementing of more possible strategies, determining of different levels of IDF Building, and lastly economic and strategic feedback.