Design for sustainability: a comparative study of a customized modern method of construction versus conventional methods of construction

Poorang Piroozfar, Hasim Altan, Olga Popovic-Larsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Emergent methods of construction are believed to have achieved higher standards, thereby delivering improved building performance. Added to the higher living standards however, this sometimes proves to be very difficult to evaluate. In addition, the state-of-the-art strategies and methods applied elsewhere, if employed in the construction industry, might not prove as environmentally friendly as they might need to be. This has been used as our core discussion to evaluate new buildings against refurbishment with reference to environmental performance. This article investigates an offsite construction method offering customization against its conventional counterpart in a fairly controlled context. The comparison has been normalized to guarantee most realistic results. We start with a brief introduction to the two educational buildings, followed by a brief overview of customization strategy. We will then argue why the new building can be accounted for as a mass customizable system. The data was collected, collated and analysed, and the environmental impact of two buildings was measured using two different open-source applications. The result shows that despite the higher standards required by law, which in return increases the environmental impacts, the new school building is performing significantly better with a slightly lower environmental impact compared to the old building.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-75
Number of pages21
JournalArchitectural Engineering and Design Management
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2012

Keywords

  • Carbon footprint
  • environmental impact
  • mass customization
  • modern methods of construction
  • off-site production
  • personalization
  • sustainability

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