Sustainable building envelope design by considering energy cost and occupant satisfaction

Mickey H. Wu, Thomas S. Ng*, Martin R. Skitmore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


The built environment is a major contributor to the world's carbon dioxide emissions, with a considerable amount of energy being consumed in buildings due to heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, space illumination, use of electrical appliances, etc., to facilitate various anthropogenic activities. The development of sustainable buildings seeks to ameliorate this situation mainly by reducing energy consumption. Sustainable building design, however, is a complicated process involving a large number of design variables, each with a range of feasible values. There are also multiple, often conflicting, objectives involved such as the life cycle costs and occupant satisfaction. One approach to dealing with this is through the use of optimization models. In this paper, a new multi-objective optimization model is developed for sustainable building design by considering the design objectives of cost and energy consumption minimization and occupant comfort level maximization. In a case study demonstration, it is shown that the model can derive a set of suitable design solutions in terms of life cycle cost, energy consumption and indoor environmental quality so as to help the client and design team gain a better understanding of the design space and trade-off patterns between different design objectives. The model can be very useful in the conceptual design stages to determine appropriate operational settings to achieve the optimal building performance in terms of minimizing energy consumption and maximizing occupant comfort level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-129
Number of pages12
JournalEnergy for Sustainable Development
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


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