The Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) Industry today is falling short of its potential to generate high performance buildings. Precedent-based and even point-based design strategies are proving inadequate. Evolving and emerging advanced strategies create the need for methods to measure the guidance they enable toward energy efficiency for specific design challenges. We define design guidance as the relative impact of strategy on exploration for a given design challenge. As strategies are implemented or proposed, the need arises to measure and compare the guidance provided by competing strategies on different challenges to support their selection and improvement towards achieving high performance designs. Design theory lacks precise definition and metrics for design processes and the guidance achieved. This research addresses the questions:
How can we measure the Guidance of a design process? More specifically, how can we assess the challenges addressed, strategies implemented, and explorations executed?
We use building energy-efficiency as the domain of the study. The larger opportunity is to provide greater guidance across objectives. This research illuminates the multidimensional relationships between challenge, strategy and exploration. It provides evidence that guidance can be assessed. The power of this research is to demonstrate that DEAM is an effective method to measure and compare the guidance provided by various strategies for energy efficient design. The generality is that DEAM works across various design challenges and strategies, and is not domain specific. Initial findings support the development and selection of advanced strategies since they are shown to provide better guidance economically. The value of information generated by strategies, however, varies across challenges. This finding makes different strategies more or less effective relative to the challenge addressed. This research motivates further work to develop greater understanding of the relationships and relative value of individual strategies to specific challenges.