Research Papers

Hierarchical Decomposition and Multidomain Formulation for the Design of Complex Sustainable Systems

[+] Author and Article Information
Anas Alfaris

 MIT Engineering Systems Division, Building E40-261, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139anas@mit.edu

Afreen Siddiqi

 MIT Engineering Systems Division, Building E40-261, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139siddiqi@mit.edu

Charbel Rizk

 MIT Engineering Systems Division, Building E40-261, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139charbelr@sloan.mit.edu

Olivier de Weck

 MIT Engineering Systems Division, Building E40-261, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139deweck@mit.edu

Davor Svetinovic

 MASDAR Institute of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 54224, Abu Dhabi, UAEdsvetinovic@masdar.ae

J. Mech. Des 132(9), 091003 (Sep 16, 2010) (13 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002239 History: Received January 02, 2010; Revised July 06, 2010; Published September 16, 2010; Online September 16, 2010

Designing a large-scale complex system, such as a city of the future, with a focus on sustainability requires a systematic approach toward integrated design of all subsystems. Domains such as buildings, transportation, energy, and water are all coupled. Designing each one in isolation can lead to suboptimality where sustainability is achieved in one aspect but at the expense of other aspects. Traditional ad hoc allocations of design parameter precedence and dependence cannot be used for cases where new (instead of only mature) architectures are to be explored. A methodology is introduced for addressing design problems of complex sustainable systems that is comprised of, on the one hand, a hierarchical decomposition that includes multilevel abstraction and design parameter identification, and on the other hand, a multidomain formulation, which includes parameter dependency identification, design cycle identification and decision structuring, and scoping. The application of the methodology for the design of a new urban development, Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, with over 220 different form and behavior parameter sets is shown.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topics: Design , Cycles
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Figure 1

Sustainable building design with water reuse and treatment with clean energy

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Figure 2

Methodology overview: hierarchical decomposition and multilevel formulation

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Figure 3

OPM decomposition template

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Figure 4

OPM decomposition for sustainable building design example

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Figure 5

A MDM for the sustainable building design example

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Figure 6

Dependency relationship between five elements in graphical and DSM format

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Figure 7

MDM with design cycle grouping—note mixing of parameters from various domains in cycle 1 and 2

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Figure 8

Grid-based layout of Masdar City at completion, approximately 2016. The enclosed area is approximately 6 km2 and houses 50,000 people. Design of the city to meet high level sustainability targets is an ongoing design challenge.

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Figure 9

Hierarchical decomposition of the Masdar Building System: L1: city level, L2: domain level, and L3: component level

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Figure 10

Building and transportation MDM for Masdar City

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Figure 11

DSMs and DMMs within the building and transportation MDM. The Ratio indicates the density of dependencies within each submatrix.

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Figure 12

DSM of building system and V matrix of building system

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Figure 13

Masdar City—building and transportation MDM with design cycle grouping

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Figure 14

π/δ ratio for building system from matrix B, B2, and V

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Figure 15

π/δ ratios for building-transportation DMM




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