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Title: A framework for the evaluation of quality of dwellings
Author: Correia de Paiva, Anabela Goncalves
ISNI:       0000 0001 3464 2907
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 1995
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The house-building industry should evolve towards the production of dwellings of higher quality standards. Minimum standards are required to ensure that all new homes will be structurally sound, comfortable and have a long and reliable life. The notion of quality does not just concern the dwelling itself, but also the immediate and wider environment, namely the proximity of schools, shopping and leisure areas (theatres, cinemas, sport centres, playgrounds), accessibility (roads, railway lines, underground, buses) and views. To achieve higher quality standards better design quality evaluation and inspection schemes are needed In this thesis a new approach for the evaluation of the quality of dwelling designs named QDF (Quality Dwelling Framework) is proposed. In order to develop QDF a parallel between the form of a dwelling and the form of a human body is drawn. This is justified by the fact that the human body is a most sophisticated and highly developed form. The methodology behind QDF is the systems approach. In QDF, a dwelling is organised, in a hierarchical way, into systems, subsystems and components. Each of the elements in the hierarchy is both a system and apart of a larger system, i. e. a holon. Holons are modelled as software objects, in the sense of object-oriented programming. QDF is an important contribution in the direction of raising dwelling quality standards (quality is used here in the sense of fitness for purpose). It provides a comprehensive framework to implement and develop different quality evaluation methods, adapted to different countries and cultures. No specific parameters are imposed for quality evaluation of each system, and so dWerent quality evaluation schemes may be implemented The parameters are dependent on several factors, namely: the climate, the habits of the users and the development of the construction industry in the relevant country. QDF is a generic framework, within which different evaluation methods can be implemented and adapted to different situations. It has been designed so that it can help all parties involved in the residential building industry, namely users, builders, architects, engineers, property developers, bankers, building societies, state agents and politicians, to agree upon quality standards tuned to the national or regional realities. A strategy for the corroboration of QDF has been proposed, based on Popper's philosophy of scientific knowledge and on an extension of this theory proposed by Blockley in the context of risk analysis. QDF can only achieve a high degree of corroboration by testing it in practice in the long term, i. e. users will use the system, make decisions, live in a house; and then provide feedback as to whether the evaluation turned out to be dependable or true (i. e. decisions correspond with the facts). The process of evaluating QDF has been initiated by using a prototype system, developed in the programming environment KAPPA, to evaluate different dwelling designs as well as different alternative solutions for the same dwelling design. QDF is compared with product models of buildings, namely the BATAS product model and the AEC building systems model. The QDF prototype system implements the quality evaluation for a thermal system (the metrics have been developed by Paiva and are based in the Portuguese thermal regulations), an electrical system (the metrics used are defined in the Qualitel method) and a close environment system (the metrics used are defined in the SEL method). The development and use of the prototype indicates that the complexity of modelling a dwelling in a comprehensive way calls for advanced computer techniques which provide high storage capacity and fast processing. As QDF is a naturally parallel system, this could be achieved in future by using parallel computer architectures, which are adequate for the developed model, based on the object-oriented paradigm.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Housing quality