Multi-criteria design methods in façade engineering: State-of-the-art and future trends

Simona Bianchi*, Charalampos Andriotis, Tillman Klein, Mauro Overend

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Façade engineering is facing an era of extraordinary challenge to meet the surge in demand for buildings that are environmentally sustainable and enhance occupant wellbeing. Facades, also known as building envelopes, play a major role in the resource-efficiency of buildings and the quality of its indoor environment. Consequently, the development of effective design approaches is crucial for generating appropriate façade solutions. Façade design is complex and multi-disciplinary involving several and oftentimes conflicting performance criteria. Systematic and holistic design procedures are, therefore, required to achieve optimal trade-offs. Over the last decades, researchers in this field have used computational tools and power to address this challenging problem within the context of multi-criteria design approaches. This paper reviews the existing research in this field, and presents the state-of-the-art review from simple to advanced decision-making procedures currently used at the early design stages, where decisions have a disproportionally large impact on the façade performance. The paper provides a complete description of the design variables and objectives typically involved. Alternative multi-criteria design methodologies regarding discrete decisions and automated optimization are reviewed, each with salient pros/cons, and overall conclusions are drawn. Finally, the paper discusses ongoing trends and research needs, namely, the development of uncertainty-based procedures to enable more informed decision-making; the inclusion of structural/seismic safety considerations in the design process to achieve higher socio-economic benefits; the integration of smart building information modeling and processing technologies to facilitate smarter design decisions; and the adoption of integrated design approaches to promote climate-adaptive solutions that enhance resilience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111184
Number of pages19
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2024


This study has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie SkłodowskaCurie grant agreement No. 101029605 (H2020-MSCA–IF–2020 - SAFEFACE - Seismic SAFety and Energy efficiency: Integrated technologies and multi-criteria performance-based design for building FACadEs) for Dr. Bianchi. Dr. Andriotis would further acknowledge the support by the TU Delft AI Labs program.


  • Decision-making
  • Façade design
  • Multi-criteria
  • Multi-objective
  • Optimization
  • Performance-based


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