Time, Cost and Environmental Impact Analysis for Sustainable Design at Multiple Building Levels

Peeraya Inyim, Florida International University

Availability Article

This submission is to ask for another formatting review for my digital file prior to the submission of my FINAL ETD.


Construction projects are complex endeavors that require the involvement of different professional disciplines in order to meet various project objectives that are often conflicting. The level of complexity and the multi-objective nature of construction projects lend themselves to collaborative design and construction such as integrated project delivery (IPD), in which relevant disciplines work together during project conception, design and construction. Traditionally, the main objectives of construction projects have been to build in the least amount of time with the lowest cost possible, thus the inherent and well-established relationship between cost and time has been the focus of many studies. The importance of being able to effectively model relationships among multiple objectives in building construction has been emphasized in a wide range of research. In general, the trade-off relationship between time and cost is well understood and there is ample research on the subject. However, despite sustainable building designs, relationships between time and environmental impact, as well as cost and environmental impact, have not been fully investigated.

The objectives of this research were mainly to analyze and identify relationships of time, cost, and environmental impact, in terms of CO2 emissions, at different levels of a building: material level, component level, and building level, at the pre-use phase, including manufacturing and construction, and the relationships of life cycle cost and life cycle CO2 emissions at the usage phase. Additionally, this research aimed to develop a robust simulation-based multi-objective decision-support tool, called SimulEICon, which took construction data uncertainty into account, and was capable of incorporating life cycle assessment information to the decision-making process. The findings of this research supported the trade-off relationship between time and cost at different building levels. Moreover, the time and CO2 emissions relationship presented trade-off behavior at the pre-use phase. The results of the relationship between cost and CO2 emissions were interestingly proportional at the pre-use phase. The same pattern continually presented after the construction to the usage phase. Understanding the relationships between those objectives is a key in successfully planning and designing environmentally sustainable construction projects.