Carbon vs. cost option mapping: A tool for improving early-stage design decisions

Hannes Gauch, Will Hawkins, Tim Ibell, Julian Allwood, Cyrille Dunant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (SciVal)
1 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a new methodology for cost- and carbon-optimal generation of multi-storey building designs. The methodology features algorithms for automatic optimised design of concrete, steel, and timber frames; established as well as novel decking technologies; and foundation options. Applying the methodology, we illustrate the potential carbon and cost savings unlocked by well-informed early-stage design decisions by means of two test cases: a simple rectangular building and another with more complex geometry. We show that the impact of early-stage design decisions such as column grid, site, frame material, and decking choice have much larger emission saving potential than the choice between optimisation objectives.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104178
JournalAutomation in Construction
Early online date1 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2022


  • Cost
  • Embodied carbon
  • Material efficiency
  • Multi-storey buildings
  • Optimisation
  • Structural frames

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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