Arriving at a consensus in design decisions is challenging owing to the presence of diverse and multidisciplinary stakeholders with multiple design objectives. The literature on AEC design decision making have reported Analytic Hierarchy Process and Choosing by Advantages as two commonly used multi-criteria decision-making techniques for evaluation of design alternatives. However, the existing literature has mainly focused on choosing between material or technology and the comparison of the two techniques to assess the suitability for their application to non-spatial aspects of AEC design problem. The current work seeks to investigate the suitability of CBA and AHP to a layout design problem. A decision-making exercise involving a hypothetical case of evaluation of three classroom layouts was conducted. A set of criteria for design evaluation which was derived based on a previous study on stakeholder design values was used in the exercise. Conclusions were drawn based on the operationalization of the two techniques rather than a direct comparison of the results obtained from the two techniques. The findings from the study indicate that CBA aids in defining a robust set of design criteria, sub-criteria and attributes and facilitates a collaborative decision-making process. On the other hand, AHP provides a structured approach for eliciting individual participant judgments. The benefits and limitations with respect to the operationalization of the two techniques are discussed in detail.
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