A Simplified Method for Evaluating Building Sustainability in the Early Design Phase for Architects

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With society turning increasingly to sustainable development, sharper demands are being made concerning energy efficiency and other properties that mean reductions in the negative effects of the building on the environment and people. This means that architects must have a suitably adapted solution already in the early design phase, as this has the greatest influence on the final result. Current tools and methods used for this are either focused only on individual topics or are too complex and not adapted for independent use by architects. The paper presents a simplified method for evaluating building sustainability (SMEBS) which addresses these needs. It is intended as a tool to aid architects in the early project planning phases as it allows a quick evaluation of the extent to which the demands of sustainable building are fulfilled. The method was developed on the basis of a study of international building sustainability assessment methods (BSAM) and standards in this field. Experts in sustainable construction were invited to determine weights for assessment parameters using the analytical hierarchy process (AHP). Their judgments reflect the specific characteristics of the local environment.