A hierarchical reference-based know-why model for design support of sustainable building envelopes

Marco Scherz, Endrit Hoxha, Helmuth Kreiner, Alexander Passer*, Amin Vafadarnikjoo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In current complex building designs, sustainability assessments are often performed after project completion, with limited impact on building performance which results in missed goals in terms of quality, cost, and time. We address this problem by proposing a hierarchical reference-based know-why model to answer the research question “what is a suitable decision support model to successfully integrate the sustainability requirements in the early design phase of buildings?”. The model presents a process that incorporates a life-cycle perspective and calculates design alternatives based on a defined reference and the DGNB building certification system. The results show that criteria synergies and trade-offs can be identified, leading to improved design by engineers and better building performance. Our findings pave the way for full integration of the model into building information modeling, combined with artificial intelligence. This can help manage the complexity of the sustainable design process on the path to carbon-neutral buildings.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104276
JournalAutomation in Construction
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • Building certification system
  • Building design
  • Building envelope
  • Decision-making
  • Sustainability assessment
  • Sustainable construction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Civil and Structural Engineering

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems


Dive into the research topics of 'A hierarchical reference-based know-why model for design support of sustainable building envelopes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this