The Development of an Approach and Decision Support Tool to Inform Sustainable Roof Selection

  • Philip Hampshire

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Engineering (EngD)


Despite the importance of roofs, improved roof selection has not been explored in significant depth. Therefore this research explores the possibilities that roofs offer to improve the value and sustainability of buildings. It is concerned with the roof as a system, explicitly connected with the building and their impacts on wider society.This research, develops and tests techniques to better understand what constitutes value and sustainability for a building project’s context through action research. The sustainability and value themes output through the use of such techniques are then considered as a basis for the selection of roof attributes through Keeney’s value focused thinking approach. Once the roof performance attributes have been established, designers and clients then require quantitative data to decide which roof type represents the highest value / most sustainable option. Thus the research also collates and maps peer reviewed quantitative performance data on the performance of roofing systems in relation to climate type as well as providing information from leading modelling packages for different roof options. An approach for selecting the most appropriate data is then developed. This allows the practitioner to be able to access reliable peer reviewed information and utilise leading modelling techniques to quickly gain information regarding the performance of various roof systems for use in the project context. An approach is developed to bring this information together with the important sustainability considerations for the project to inform sustainable roof selection. This combines the different types of roof performance with the relevant decision attributes early in the design process, to provide insight into which roof option represents the best overall economic, environmental and social value and therefore the most sustainable roof option.The primary contribution to knowledge presented in this thesis is the development of a pragmatic realist approach to sustainable roof selection.
Date of Award29 Jun 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorPaul Goodwin (Supervisor) & Theo Tryfonas (Supervisor)


  • sustainability
  • decision analysis
  • stakeholder engagement
  • roof

Cite this