Decision support technique for sustainable community design, developing a sustainable community design evaluation methodology

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Afolayan, Samuel Sunday
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The meaning of an architectural work is borne out of the whole, from a vision that integrates the parts. It is in no way the sum of the elements. However, because of our limited capacity to retain and process multiple information of 'the whole', it is sometimes disaggregated so that it could be better understood from its parts. Perception and cognition orders our understanding of physical phenomena. Our understanding of the richness of a design lies in the vitality of the images it arouses. If we are to experience architectural meaning and sense in community design, it is vital that the ef ect of the design should find a counterpart in the world of the viewer's experience. Where human spatial experience can be appropriately simulated, the need thus arises to model its impact and record the result in a scientifically consistent and reliable manner in order to appropriately assist decision-making. The determination of consumers' receptivity to sustainable community design alternatives using scientific methods of analysis poses great challenges to researchers in the design profession. Different approaches have been suggested. This research is a contribution to the continuing investigation of an appropriate method for design investigation that will help to inform the quality of design decisions. This research proposes a new approach to analyzing design data for decision support. The paradigm shift involves the decomposition of community design into features that could be formally (scientifically) evaluated using the Fuzzy Group Decision-Making (FGDM) approach. It presents a disaggregate approach to analyzing consumers' receptivity to sustainable community design alternatives. A hypermedia visualization interface based on the creation of 'virtual ' community scenarios is used to present design data to 3 subject-groups for assessment, in both laboratory and Internet environments. An experimental test, using FGDM provided a scientific basis for the evaluation of survey results from larger subject-groups. The framework for a decision model is developed for project-based application. This research demonstrates the use of FGDM as a reliable decision modelling technique using disaggregated design data. The greatest strength of FGDM is that it is appropriate for capturing the inexactness or fuzziness that is inherent in the definition of goals and criteria where variables are defined in linguistic terms.