Institute of Environmentology, Research and Education for Sustainability or Sustainable Development, Kazutoshi Fujihira

Sustainable Housing Research

Institute of Environmentology >> Sustainable Housing Research

Two-step preparatory work for sustainable home design

In the research on sustainable housing design, first of all, we have conducted “two-step preparatory work for sustainable home design,” utilizing the “two-step method for smooth control system design,” shown in “Research on Designing Control Systems.” In this case, the first step is “determining the relationships between the standard home and sustainable development,” and the second step is “sustainability checkup on a home as an object.”

In the first step, considering “home” as the complex of “material elements,” such as framework, exterior, interior and piping, and “spatial elements” such as rooms and areas, we have selected important elements of homes. After that, we have identified each element’s variables and set their desired values.

Control system for promoting sustainable home design


Utilizing the “basic control system for sustainable development” and “two-step preparatory work for sustainable home design,” we have formed the “control system for promoting sustainable home design” (Fig. 1).


control system for promoting sustainable home design


In this control system, “sustainable design guidelines” and “sustainability checklist” have been derived from the first and second step that have been shown in “two-step preparatory work for sustainable home design,” respectively. “People involved in design” include homeowners, architects, designers, and homebuilders. “Controlled objects” are both “new homes” and “existing homes.” The following illustrates how to use the guidelines and checklist in the process of sustainable housing design, in the order of “new homes” and “existing homes.”


(1) New homes
When objects are new homes, first, information on the desired values reaches “people involved in design” through the “sustainable design guidelines.” They make “drawings and specifications,” so that the variables of home’s elements can attain their desired values as much as possible. At important steps in the design process, people involved in design check the drawings and specifications, by referring to the “sustainability checklist.” After the construction is finished, the newly built home can be also evaluated against the “sustainability checklist.”


(2) Existing homes
When existing homes are the objects, the design process begins with “inspection” on the home as an object. The “people involved in design” measure or estimate each element’s variables of that home by referring to the “sustainability checklist.” Next, they compare the measured or estimated variables with their desired values and assess the comparison results.


After the inspection, the “people involved in design” usually make “drawings and specifications” for improvement, so that controlled variables satisfy their desired values as much as possible. When “people involved” consider that improvement is technically difficult or costly, they can choose reconstruction instead of improvement. Similar to the cases of new homes, they check the drawings and specifications for improvement or reconstruction against the “sustainability checklist.” Furthermore, sustainability of the actually improved or reconstructed homes can be evaluated against the checklist.


Characteristics of the methodology


The first characteristic of the methodology is “visualization of the whole picture for promoting sustainable home design.” Fig. 1 concisely shows processes for promoting sustainable design on both new and existing homes with the guidelines and checklist. We expect that this diagramming itself helps people concerned to easily understand that whole picture.


The second characteristic is “user-friendliness.” The material and spatial elements shown in “sustainable design guidelines” and “sustainability checklist” are equivalent to real parts of homes. Therefore, the system users smoothly design, check, evaluate, and inspect the home, by easily comparing the drawings or real home with the guidelines or checklist.


The third characteristic is “adaptability to regional differences and changes over time.” The structure of “element – variable – desired value” in the guidelines and checklist originally has a mechanism of easily adapting to such differences and changes. Accordingly, system designers can easily draw up or revise the guidelines and checklist, adjusting to regional differences or changes over time.



Related publications

Sustainable Home Design by Applying Control Science

Written by Fujihira, K., InTech, December 2017

Chapter 4
Methodology of Applying Control Science to Sustainable Housing Design

Chapter 6
Discussion and Conclusion: Effectiveness, Characteristics and Future Prospects of the Methodology


Complex Systems, Sustainability and Innovation

Edited by Thomas, C., InTech, December 2017
[Research paper included in this book] Written by Fujihira, K.

System Control for Sustainability: Application to Building Design


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