Visual Quality Integerated Cost Model For Developing Green Neighborhoods: An Optimization Approach

Elbanhawy, Eiman (2011). Visual Quality Integerated Cost Model For Developing Green Neighborhoods: An Optimization Approach. MPhil thesis The American University in Cairo (AUC).



One of the greatest potentials for enhancing the economic return and the sustainability of neighborhood developments is the visual quality. This is determined mainly by the maximizing the access to favorable views and minimizing the visual impact values. Furthermore, improving the visual quality will have a direct impact on the profitability of any neighborhood development project as well achieving points for certain sustainable rating systems such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The visual quality is a function of the carrying capacity or density for a certain neighborhood and influences the pricing strategy of the units in the development. This research aims at maximizing the profitability of neighborhood development projects while enhancing the visual sustainability parameters by determining the best number, location and orientation of the units in the neighborhood development. To achieve this goal, a spatial evolutionary model was developed and related to LEED ND standards. The developed model works on assisting real estate developers in building green neighborhood development and implementing competitive pricing strategy. This model is developed after conducting an experiment to quantify the cost impact associated with the selected visual quality parameters. The optimal layout of the units which optimizes the multi-objective criteria of profitability and visual quality is determined by applying a genetic algorithm. The site boundaries, number of units, and internal unit design, among as treated, as constraints. The developed model named SAT (Spatial Analysis Design Tool) is capable of producing schematic designs, including the arrangement and configuration of the units in the neighborhood development considering the pricing strategy for real estate developers.

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