UCL Energy Institute


A systems paradigm for integrated building design


1 January 2014

This article points out a number of key failures of existing practice for building design and then promotes a new approach based upon advances made in the modelling of complex systems and systems engineering. This new approach involves the identification of building functions and modelling techniques to evaluate the performance of a building with respect to a range of criteria in different domains (e.g. spatial, structural, social, environmental, cognitive, organizational, and operational). A systems approach to building design has received limited acceptance to date but can be used to highlight inherent hierarchies and interdependencies between building subsystems, which have traditionally been viewed as being independent. There is currently little agreement as to how the design of different building subsystems should be best integrated in order to satisfy a large range of diverse building functions. Treating the building as a complex system, whereby the interaction of entities produces emergent behaviour that can be evaluated with respect to such building functions, can help to optimize building performance by considering how a change in one domain affects performance in another. The integrated approach described here increases potential added value through technological and information interoperability.

A systems paradigm for integrated building design. Intelligent Buildings International, 6 (4), 201-214. 

Baudains, P., Bishop, S., Duffour, P., Marjanovic-Halburd, L., Psarra, S., Spataru, C. (2014)

The full text of this article is not available through UCL Discovery.