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Multiattribute Decision Analysis Method for Evaluating Buildings and Building Systems.


pdf icon Multiattribute Decision Analysis Method for Evaluating Buildings and Building Systems. (9325 K)
Norris, G. A.; Marshall, H. E.

NISTIR 5663; 86 p. September 1995.

Available from:

National Technical Information Service
Order number: PB96-158670

Keywords:

decision analysis; additive weighting methods; analytical hierarchy process (APH); building choice; building economics; capital budget allocation; hierarchy; multiattribute decision analysis; multiple criteria decision analysis; multiobjective decision analysis

Abstract:

Multiattribute decision analysis (MADA) method consider non-financial attributes (qualitative and quantitative) in addition to common financial worth measures when evaluating project alternatives. The building community needs MADA methods to evaluate building and building-related investment alternatives where non-financial attributes are important. The report reviews 14 classes of methods for performing MADA. It summarizes their usefulness for screening, ranking, and choosing among projects; their data input requirements; and how each method scores project alternatives. Two methods - the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) and non-traditional capital investment criteria (NCIC) - are described in detail. Assumptions, procedures, strengths, and limitations are described for each. AHP was selected for detailed description because of four important strengths: it is well-known and well-reviewed in the literature; it includes an efficient atrribute weighting process of pairwise comparisons; it incorporates hierarchical descriptions of attributes, which keeps the number of pairwise comparisons manageable; and most of all, its use is facilitated by available software. A case study of a hypothetical company choosing a new headquarters illustrates AHP in choosing among building alternatives. NCIC was selected for detailed description because of four strong points: it was designed to address some of the criticisms of AHP which have appeared in the literature; it includes pairwise comparisons for efficiency; it incorporates hierarchical descriptions of attributes to keep the number of pairwise comparisons manageable; and most of all, it develops "scores" for alternatives which are denominated in monetary terms, making otherwise implied valuation of attributes explicit and allowing the results to be incorporated into traditional economic worth analyses. A case study of a hypothetical company selecting the location of a new branch office illustrates NCIC. Detailed descriptions of some typical building-related decisions - choosing among office buildings, residences, building components, and building materials - provide additional examples of possible MADA applications. A list of 15 building-related attributes, with complete definitions, helps decision makers customize a MADA model for making a building choice. Although the report focuses on buildings, MADA methods apply equally to the evaluation of non-building capital budgeting decisions.