A Decision Making System for Selecting Sustainable Technologies for Retail Buildings
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The implementation of sustainable technologies can improve the energy and carbon efficiency of existing retail buildings. However, the selection of an appropriate sustainable technology is a complex task due to the large number of technological alternatives and decision criteria that need to be considered. Also, there exist series of uncertainties that are associated with the use of sustainable technologies, but have to be evaluated to achieve realistic and transparent results. The selection of sustainable technology is therefore most challenging. An earlier study was conducted with UK experienced practitioners including clients/developers, engineers, contractors and suppliers to identify the drivers and barriers for the use of sustainable technologies in UK retail construction. One major barrier identified from the study was the lack of a decision making tool, highlighted by both construction professionals and stakeholders in the retail industry. The large number of alternatives and potential solutions require a decision support method to be implemented. Information data on the economic variables, energy performance and impact on the environment of these systems is presently affected by vagueness and lack of knowledge. To deal with this high level of complexity and uncertainty an evaluation support approach is needed. This paper aims to develop a decision making framework to assist both retailers and construction professionals to define and evaluate the selection of sustainable technological options for delivering retail buildings. The research was carried out through a combination of a critical literature review and a survey-based study using expert opinions of retailers and contractors. The developed framework of decision criteria should provide a sustainable technology model to assist both construction professionals and stakeholders in the retail industry to systematically and effectively select the most appropriate technology. This approach should make the decision progression more transparent and facilitate sustainable development of retail buildings in achieving the carbon targets set by the UK and other governments.
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