Optimal Conceptual Design of High-Rise Office Buildings


Design of a high-rise office building, like any engineering design, is a complex multidisciplinary process with the objective to discover, detail and construct a system to fulfill a given set of performance requirements. The success of this process is highly dependent upon fue cooperation taking place between the members of the design team. Although present-day engineering computer technology allows for precise analysis and design of the different subsystems of an high-rise building, it does not readily provide insight for choosing among alternatives of these subsystems to arrive at the best overall design. This research study presents a computer-based computational method for optimal cost-revenue conceptual design of high-rise office buildings. Specifically, a Multi- criteria Genetic Algorithm (MGA) is applied to conduct Pareto optimization that minimizes capital and operating costs and maximizes income revenue for a given building project, subject to design constraints imposed by building codes and fabrication requirements. The conceptual design process involves fue coordinated application of approximate analysis, design and optimization. To commence the design process, a population of different alternative designs are generated. Using approximate analysis and design based on pre-developed data bases, the values of the conflicting cost-revenue objective criteria are established for each design. Then, a MGA is used to explore the design space and find improved designs having enhanced values of the objective criteria. The results, for a given building project, is a set of Pareto-optimal conceptual designs that define the 'trade-off' relationships between the three competing objective criteria to minimize capital cost, minimize operating cost and maximize income revenue. The corresponding three-dimensional criteria space is populated by feasible conceptual designs that are 'equal-rank optimal' in the sense that each design is not dominated for all three objective criteria by any other feasible design possible for the building. Life-cycle costing is introduced to investigate the profit potential of building designs ayer time. The conceptual design of four example office buildings are conducted from a variety of viewpoints to illustrate the capability of the computational procedure to create comprehensive computer-generated colour graphic representations of optimal cost- revenue trade-off relationships for arrice buildings taking into account architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical systems. While this study focuses on office buildings and corresponding cost-revenue criteria, the proposed computer method for conceptual design is directly applicable to any type of artifact and related objective criteria.