A Smart Decision Making Framework for Building Information Models
Rapport, 2010

This report describes a systematic approach to evaluate the performance of virtual building designs and processes. The reference for the evaluation is a set of goals critical for the project success. Within the Smart Decision Making Framework (DMF) these goals are captured from the main stakeholders using the concept of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPI evaluations are relative by nature since they base on the deviation of actually measured figures to initially set optimum figures for specific criteria. They can be formulated for objective as well as for subjective criteria. Smart DMF further proposes to discretely define the relation between the tolerance level for deviations and a respective dimensionless rating, using so called utility functions. To incorporate tolerances is necessary since project goals are in praxis often conflictive in their effects on each other; therefore it is generally seldom possible to achieve all goals to 100% at the same time. Since design processes are always characterized by such trade-offs, these have to be reflected by the concept. The following steps summarize the Smart DMF process: Assessment of the critical design values Transformation of the critical values into KPIs using utility functions to describe the relation of model-based measurements and performance ratings Definition of priorities using a pair wise comparison algorithm from the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) Generation of virtual design alternatives or options plus required analysis data Capturing the measurements from the virtual models to calculate the KPI figures and calculating the KPI specific performance Linear calculation of the total ratings for each alternative Visual representation of the evaluation results Chapter 1 in this report explains the context and scope of this research. It also characterizes the requirements of the application objective to an evaluation framework. Chapter 2-4 describe the methods and processes of Smart DMF from the definition of KPIs via constituting priorities to represent the results of the evaluation in an easy to understand way to project team members. With the application scenario in chapter 5 we hope to further explain the framework and its actual use on real-world projects to practitioners. KPI examples and a discussion of various decision making methods in the Appendix A round this report enabling readers to apply Smart DMF within their projects and organizations. Smart DMF combines the concepts of KPIs, Multi-Attribute-Utility-Theory (MAUT) and pair wise comparison taken from AHP in a new way. The result is a framework tailored for the requirements of a model based design process for building design. On the one hand the framework can be used to measure all aspects relevant for the lifecycle of a building. The proof of concept has been shown with the application of Smart DMF on an energy design process. Further examples will be prepared in other InPro projects, such as T.2.4 “Lifecycle design process” and T. 5.3 “Performance Evaluation”. On the other hand, the overall KPI score could be considered as a measure for the overall design performance.








Marcus Schreyer

Pierre Benning

Nina Ryd

Chalmers, Arkitektur

Jan Tulke

Johann Jaeger

Tim Brandt


Building Futures (2010-2018)



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