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A visual analytics based decision support methodology for evaluating low energy building design alternatives

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The ability to design high performance buildings has acquired great importance in recent years due to numerous federal, societal and environmental initiatives. However, this endeavor is much more demanding in terms of designer expertise and time. It requires a whole

The ability to design high performance buildings has acquired great importance in recent years due to numerous federal, societal and environmental initiatives. However, this endeavor is much more demanding in terms of designer expertise and time. It requires a whole new level of synergy between automated performance prediction with the human capabilities to perceive, evaluate and ultimately select a suitable solution. While performance prediction can be highly automated through the use of computers, performance evaluation cannot, unless it is with respect to a single criterion. The need to address multi-criteria requirements makes it more valuable for a designer to know the "latitude" or "degrees of freedom" he has in changing certain design variables while achieving preset criteria such as energy performance, life cycle cost, environmental impacts etc. This requirement can be met by a decision support framework based on near-optimal "satisficing" as opposed to purely optimal decision making techniques. Currently, such a comprehensive design framework is lacking, which is the basis for undertaking this research. The primary objective of this research is to facilitate a complementary relationship between designers and computers for Multi-Criterion Decision Making (MCDM) during high performance building design. It is based on the application of Monte Carlo approaches to create a database of solutions using deterministic whole building energy simulations, along with data mining methods to rank variable importance and reduce the multi-dimensionality of the problem. A novel interactive visualization approach is then proposed which uses regression based models to create dynamic interplays of how varying these important variables affect the multiple criteria, while providing a visual range or band of variation of the different design parameters. The MCDM process has been incorporated into an alternative methodology for high performance building design referred to as Visual Analytics based Decision Support Methodology [VADSM]. VADSM is envisioned to be most useful during the conceptual and early design performance modeling stages by providing a set of potential solutions that can be analyzed further for final design selection. The proposed methodology can be used for new building design synthesis as well as evaluation of retrofits and operational deficiencies in existing buildings.

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2013

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Surgical instrument reprocessing in a hospital setting analyzed with statistical process control and data mining techniques

Description

In a healthcare setting, the Sterile Processing Department (SPD) provides ancillary services to the Operating Room (OR), Emergency Room, Labor & Delivery, and off-site clinics. SPD's function is to reprocess reusable surgical instruments and return them to their home departments.

In a healthcare setting, the Sterile Processing Department (SPD) provides ancillary services to the Operating Room (OR), Emergency Room, Labor & Delivery, and off-site clinics. SPD's function is to reprocess reusable surgical instruments and return them to their home departments. The management of surgical instruments and medical devices can impact patient safety and hospital revenue. Any time instrumentation or devices are not available or are not fit for use, patient safety and revenue can be negatively impacted. One step of the instrument reprocessing cycle is sterilization. Steam sterilization is the sterilization method used for the majority of surgical instruments and is preferred to immediate use steam sterilization (IUSS) because terminally sterilized items can be stored until needed. IUSS Items must be used promptly and cannot be stored for later use. IUSS is intended for emergency situations and not as regular course of action. Unfortunately, IUSS is used to compensate for inadequate inventory levels, scheduling conflicts, and miscommunications. If IUSS is viewed as an adverse event, then monitoring IUSS incidences can help healthcare organizations meet patient safety goals and financial goals along with aiding in process improvement efforts. This work recommends statistical process control methods to IUSS incidents and illustrates the use of control charts for IUSS occurrences through a case study and analysis of the control charts for data from a health care provider. Furthermore, this work considers the application of data mining methods to IUSS occurrences and presents a representative example of data mining to the IUSS occurrences. This extends the application of statistical process control and data mining in healthcare applications.

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Date Created
2014

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Regression tree-based methodology for customizing building energy benchmarks to individual commercial buildings

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According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, commercial buildings represent about 40% of the United State's energy consumption of which office buildings consume a major portion. Gauging the extent to which an individual building consumes energy in excess of its

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, commercial buildings represent about 40% of the United State's energy consumption of which office buildings consume a major portion. Gauging the extent to which an individual building consumes energy in excess of its peers is the first step in initiating energy efficiency improvement. Energy Benchmarking offers initial building energy performance assessment without rigorous evaluation. Energy benchmarking tools based on the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) database are investigated in this thesis. This study proposes a new benchmarking methodology based on decision trees, where a relationship between the energy use intensities (EUI) and building parameters (continuous and categorical) is developed for different building types. This methodology was applied to medium office and school building types contained in the CBECS database. The Random Forest technique was used to find the most influential parameters that impact building energy use intensities. Subsequently, correlations which were significant were identified between EUIs and CBECS variables. Other than floor area, some of the important variables were number of workers, location, number of PCs and main cooling equipment. The coefficient of variation was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the new model. The customization technique proposed in this thesis was compared with another benchmarking model that is widely used by building owners and designers namely, the ENERGY STAR's Portfolio Manager. This tool relies on the standard Linear Regression methods which is only able to handle continuous variables. The model proposed uses data mining technique and was found to perform slightly better than the Portfolio Manager. The broader impacts of the new benchmarking methodology proposed is that it allows for identifying important categorical variables, and then incorporating them in a local, as against a global, model framework for EUI pertinent to the building type. The ability to identify and rank the important variables is of great importance in practical implementation of the benchmarking tools which rely on query-based building and HVAC variable filters specified by the user.

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Date Created
2013