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Title: A semiotic framework for buildings performance assessment
Author: Ma, Yu
ISNI:       0000 0004 2723 6670
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2011
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Human beings are facing the unprecedented challenges of energy sustainability. A major part of the challenge is due to increasingly demands of an improved built environment arising from both the construction industry and building users. An increasing number of countries and organizations have a strong desire to find solutions for the construction industry to mitigate the negative impact on the built environment and to provide a higher quality of workplace. Many construction concepts have emerged, e.g. Intelligent Buildings (IBs), Green Buildings (GBs), Bio-Hornes, which intend to offer human beings enlightening methods and a passport to getting through the new construction generation in new buildings and refurbishments. All of these construction concepts focusing on improved energy efficiency for buildings, whilst improving the built environment's effect on well-being, are commonly recognized across the world as 'sustainable development' or 'sustainability'. To measure the degree of the 'performance' of buildings, various building assessment methods have been developed as the building environmental performance assessment methods. Building environmental performance assessment methods can provide good ways to reach the improvements in the building energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, to benefit the building users' productivities, as well as the business performance of the organizations. Building performance has to be measured and compared against best performing practices in the construction industry. However, most current building performance assessment methods are pre-defined environmental standards with the perspective of limited stakeholders. It is doubtful that the existing building assessment methods can have a comprehensive and objective set of Performance Indicators (PIs), to present the changing built environment and changing building stakeholders' expectations and requirements. This leads to failing to address identification and integration of multiple perspectives. Therefore the performance assessment method increasingly requires a comprehensive and objective approach, which is geared to both the stakeholders' requirements and sustainable development. In the construction industry, the understanding and selection of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in building environmental performance assessment has a significant III impact on the assessment result and improvement practices. There are many environmental assessment methods currently being used globally, most of them address certain pre-defined environmental standards and requirements, which have inevitably been developed with some constraints and limitations. However, many questions are raised on how these performance indicators were selected and how these indicators were used to measure the rate of building performance improvement. The KPIs to be used in existing building performance assessment are usually decided upon by senior managers and building experts (designers, developers, contractors, etc.), and this leads to a subjective assessment result. Thus KPIs should be determined for each building process area and given weightings by expert groups to display their importance and relevance within construction organisations. A semiotics-based framework for assessing building performance is established in this research, which aims to provide an innovative approach for generating construction project KPIs from listed PIs, that deal with an increasing number of requirements from the construction industry and building users. This research will use the semiotics six layers framework and lead to the use of affordances as a method of generating KPls according to the built environment and stakeholders' requirements. It will define the PIs from building's affordances in the six semiotic layers, then range from physical properties and functions to social value. The proposed framework takes a more scientific and systematic approach to the building performance assessment. This research is an attempt that has been made to the semiotics theory for generating KPls in building environment performance assessment methods. Further practical implementations will be suggested by describing each PI using affordances as the application of the method of semiotics. IV.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available