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Building and Environment 45 (2010) 10061015

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Building and Environment

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Use of system dynamics as a decision-making tool in building design and operation

Benjamin P. Thompson*, Lawrence C. Bank
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, University of WisconsinMadison, 1415 Engineering Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA

a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history: Received 3 June 2009 Received in revised form 29 September 2009 Accepted 13 October 2009 Keywords: Decision-making Buildings Terrorism System dynamics Building information modeling

a b s t r a c t
This paper presents a decision-making tool based on the system dynamics method for building design and operation, and demonstrates the use of the method for the analysis of a building subjected to a bioterrorist attack. A literature review of prior uses of the system dynamics method, focusing mainly on historic uses within civil and environmental engineering and related disciplines is rst presented, to make the case for the applicability of the system dynamics method as a decision-making tool for building system design, retrot, and operation. A proof-of-concept system dynamics model is presented for modeling of an elementary building system subjected to a bioterrorist attack. The proof-of-concept model includes evaluation of modications to the building and its defenses. The results of the model simulation are presented and compared with previously published data. Use of the output data to improve decision-making in building design, retrot, and operation is discussed. A method to link an electronic building information model (BIM) of the building to enable the electronic capture of the relevant building features in the system dynamics model is also discussed and demonstrated. Finally, future development of the model and other potential areas of applicability for the modeling methodology are discussed. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction The design of a building requires the participation of many different professional disciplines including, for example, structural, mechanical and electrical engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, security design professions, and law enforcement. In addition, the design for unpredictable, anthropogenic hazards such as terrorism includes recognizing that these design-drivers are difcult to accurately quantify. During its operation, a buildings performance is a function of its components (sub-systems) working together in a complex fashion. The actual performance of a building or its sub-systems is not accurately known until long after a design decision is made. Other performance measurements of a building system require that trade-offs be made among options that are difcult to compare in terms of a single metric (for example, building sustainability). Therefore, traditional sub-system specialized analysis, modeling and simulation tools used by building designers (e.g., for architectural design, structural design,

* Corresponding author at: Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, University of WisconsinMadison, 1415 Engineering Drive, Room 1203, Madison, WI 53706, USA. Tel.: 1 608 262 1262; fax: 1 608 262 5199. E-mail address: (B.P. Thompson). 0360-1323/$ see front matter 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2009.10.008

mechanical design) should be augmented by tools that enable the interaction of the different discrete sub-system models. This can be accomplished by using the system dynamics method that allows the building to be modeled as a feedback system to simulate the interactions amongst the various building sub-systems. It is applicable to building system simulation because it is well-suited to situations where the system to be modeled is extremely complex, highly dynamic, or contains a large number of feedbacks. A system dynamics model is focused on fundamental attributes of a system and allows for highly uncertain variables to be included. The representation and simulation of a building in a single, integrated systems model is challenging due to the large number of sub-systems and components in a building and the complex interactions among these components [1]. Currently, building models separately represent performance attributes such as energy, light, sound, temperature, re, safety, and air quality, or physical attributes such as space, structure, mechanical systems, electrical systems and building envelopes. A major goal of the building simulation community is the integration of these discrete models into a single building model, and the optimal use of the results of these models in decision-making [1]. A system dynamics model can provide a framework for integrating these separate models into a decision-making process, as illustrated in Fig. 1.

B.P. Thompson, L.C. Bank / Building and Environment 45 (2010) 10061015


Architectural Model

Structural Model
HVAC Energy Use room volume ~ airflow drop from filter filter efficiency exhausted air filter efficiency rating airflow velocity

Budget Model

baseline airflow electrical system HVAC Power Demand capacity

detection design response time exhaust fraction

Available Energy

airflow speed volume per time outside air intake

HVAC response tim

Power Provided

Other non HVAC Power Demands lighting efficiency factor Lighting Power Demand lighting occ occupancy type factor type

SD Model
Number of Occupants

typical exhaust fraction

exhaust fraction Incident Bioagent Level

Energy Model


Mechanical System Model

Indoor Air Quality Model

Fig. 1. Using SD to link building simulation programs.

Information can ow back and forth between the system dynamics model and the various building sub-systems models. Information from the sub-system design and simulation models can be used to populate a system dynamics model to aid in making decisions related to building design, operation or retrot. In addition, a system dynamics model can be used in conjunction with various simulation models to determine preferred values of parameters to use in a design model to achieve an overall system-wide performance objective. Additional building performance complexity is caused by the interaction of building occupants with the various building subsystems during the operation and use phase of a building. The interaction between buildings and their occupants has been studied using agent-based simulations of occupants, mostly in the area of egress analysis and crowd dynamics [2,3]. Agent-based simulations differ from system dynamics in that an agent-based model tracks every agent (for example, each building occupant exiting the building). System dynamics models, on the other hand, aggregate agents in groups and represent these groups with specic values (for example, the group of occupants in a room or the group of occupants leaving a room). Another complicating factor is that often key design decisions must be made early in the building design process, when information about the nal design and operation of the building or building system is unavailable, but the ability to affect cost is the greatest. The challenge is thus nding a method to use detailed simulation tools even during the early stages of design when values for many of the variables for the buildings technical sub-systems are not yet available [4]. This requires nding ways to provide a designer with feedback on the buildings performance prior to its construction. However, even combining all the existing building sub-system models into a single mega-model will not provide an entirely integrated view of the building as a system, unless the feedbacks amongst the sub-system models are included in the combined model. Heller asserts that many infrastructure systems follow patterns that result, yet are not analytically predictable from, dynamic, non-linear, spatio-temporal interactions among a large number of components or sub-systems [5]. The same is true of a building, as a geographically small, but complex aggregation of sub-systems into an essentially self-contained environment which has interactions with its surroundings. Heller also discusses the key

information that must be assembled to manage the life cycle of civil infrastructure systems, including the need to capture, clarify, and predict the complex behaviors and interdependencies of infrastructure systems, to maximize day-to-day efciency while minimizing the vulnerability to catastrophic extreme events, and to determine which measures of performance characterize the performance of the building as a whole [5]. A system dynamics model allows for more effective trade-off analyses among different design options needed to achieve specic building performance characteristics, such as security, energy consumption, or productivity. By utilizing user-modiable weighting parameters it is possible to compare the effects of different building design variables that are traditionally viewed as not comparable. The true value of using a system dynamics method to model building design, operation, and retrot problems before implementation is the opportunity to examine what-if scenarios before allocating scarce time, budget, and personnel resources to solve the problem. Utilizing a system dynamics model to assist in making building design and operations decisions allows the user to perform trade-off analyses among various courses of action, and to predict the effects of a course of action or modication in one of the building sub-systems on the overall performance of the building. In what follows, a review of the use of the system dynamics method, with a focus on prior uses in the civil engineering discipline, is presented. Following this review, a proof-of-concept system dynamics model developed to make decisions regarding building design and operation to minimize the effects of a bioterrorist attack is presented and future work to develop the model is discussed. Finally, the possibilities for future uses and additional developments of such a system dynamics model are presented.

2. Background System dynamics (SD) is a modeling method that allows a system (in this case a building) to be represented as a feedback system. It is based on the original work of Forrester, who dened it as the investigation of the information-feedback character of industrial systems and the use of models for the design of improved organizational form and guiding policy [6]. The model is an interlocking set of differential algebraic equations developed from a broad spectrum of relevant measured and experiential data [7]. The equations are represented by a diagram, shown schematically in Fig. 2, consisting of three element types: (1) stock (or level) elements (also called state variables); (2) ow elements; and (3) auxiliary variables and constants [8]. SD models depend on the structure of the model, time lags, and amplication, which occurs through feedback [6]. An SD model allows examination of the longterm behavior of complex systems [9]. System dynamics is a direct descendant of the general systems theory [10], which is a holistic philosophy of science and engineering based on the principle that reducing a system to multiple small, individual pieces for study will cause the underlying behavior of the system to escape notice, but

auxiliary variable

Stock Inflow Outlfow

Fig. 2. Schematic of a system dynamics model.


B.P. Thompson, L.C. Bank / Building and Environment 45 (2010) 10061015

studying only the macroscopic behavior of a system while ignoring the details of the components will cause a lack of understanding of the fundamental causes of the models behavior [11]. 2.1. General applications of system dynamics The system dynamics method has been used in a wide variety of applications, both in the social sciences and in engineering. It has been used to model topics as diverse as political instability [12], conict management [13], organization in the U.S. space program [14], historical trends in world architecture [15], building material resource availability [16], land reclamation in the mining industry [17], sustainable cement production [9,18,19], energy and power systems [20], coastal ecosystem dynamics [21], aviation systems [22], solid waste forecasting [23], agenda setting and public policy making [24], and industrial engineering applications, such as supply chain management (e.g., ref. [25]). The system dynamics method has also been widely used for modeling environmental systems. Ford [26] includes examples of salmon migration, sheries management, wildlife population dynamics, air pollution, vehicle emissions, and environmental policy. Meadows et al. [27], and Randers [28] used SD as a method to model the impact of human population on the earth and the effects of population on resources. Another area of wide application is in health systems. For example, Koelling and Schwandt [29] reviewed and summarized SD literature on health care, addressing topics such as organization of health systems, clinical research, delivery, disease prevention, epidemiology, and dentistry. Modeling of the interactions of health risks, responses, affected populations and government policy has also been undertaken using SD models [7]. Use of the method is also growing for military and defense modeling. This includes subjects like preparedness and training [3032], and capital equipment management [33]. Smith makes the case that SD methods could and should be used for counter-terrorism simulations [34]. Allocation of nite resources has also been addressed in the SD literature. For example, Bjornsson et al. [35] modeled allocations in a road maintenance budget using SD and Linard et al. [31] examined defense budgets. System dynamics has already been used in research focused on natural disasters and terrorist attacks. The idea of modeling a system and then introducing a disruption has also been studied. Deegan [24] modeled decision-making and agenda setting for response to natural disasters, with the intent of using the model, to nd points of leverage in the system, where policy efforts can be more effective, preventing future damage rather than just clearing current damage and to develop a tool that administrators and policy analysts can use to understand the sources of opposition to different policy solutions [24]. This model addressed a perceived disconnect between how problems are identied, how solutions are arrived at, and how policies are implemented based on the solutions. This work was extended to combine policy analysis research and policy process concepts [36]. Brown et al. also used a SD method to examine natural disaster assessment and response during a disaster event [37]. Little and Weaver [38] used three social and policy sciences tools to develop an indicator for level of safety, a threshold for that indicator to be used in setting policy, and a regulatory environment that responds to changes in that threshold: (1) judgment analysis; (2) a Taylor Russell diagram; and (3) a SD model. The resultant methodology attempted to recognize the difference and importance of both technical and social elements in analyzing the risk of terrorist threats. The rst two tools were used to arrive at inputs to the SD model, which was then used to determine how changes in threshold levels for action affect security policies. For instance, as buildings become safer, the public will demand higher levels of safety. The model included the legal and political regulatory

structures that affect the policy threshold to allow different regulatory environments to be tested (e.g., penalties for non-compliance, avenues for complaints, community values outcomes, and predictive quality of the indicator). The study concluded with a suggestion that a similar system could be used for natural disasters, such as when to offer warnings or require evacuations for hurricanes and tsunamis [38]. Sim et al. [39] used SD to model a network of chemical manufacturing plants and associated infrastructure. The model was then used to examine effects of potential disruptions in the network or its associated infrastructure. A general model template was used for initial modeling of the plants. The most critical components were identied through this initial step, and these components were then focused on in greater detail in subsequent steps [39]. 2.2. Civil and environmental engineering applications of system dynamics System dynamics modeling has also been used in a variety of applications related to civil and environmental engineering. The area of civil engineering that has most commonly used the SD method is construction project management, where it has been used, for example, to study performance enhancement of a construction organization [40], effects of project personnel changes [41], delay and disruption claims [42], error and change management [43], quality management [44], rework [45], the design-build process [46,47], conict management [48,49], and road maintenance budgeting [35]. Sustainable construction has also been studied using SD modeling. Shen et al. developed a SD model to assess the sustainable performance of projects using a triple bottom line of: (1) economic; (2) social; and (3) environmental performance [50]. An area of early and continued application of SD modeling was in urban planning, development, and land use. One of Forresters early works in the SD area modeled urban growth and decay [51]. The earliest reference to SD located in the Civil Engineering literature discussed issues related to urban planning [52]. Later, Drew created a model to illustrate interactions among four major civil systems: (1) socio-technological; (2) water; (3) energy; and (4) transportation-land use [53]. Water resources and systems are also a growing area of application. One early study applied Forresters methodology to urban water supply problems and developed a case study of the Fort Collins, CO water system [54]. More recent studies have been undertaken to study water quality [55], water resource availability and use [56], water resource systems [57,58], ood management [59], and the response of residents to a ood in their area [60]. Car-following models to assess the impact of different intelligent transportation systems technologies or controls on safety and trafc ow have also been developed using SD methods and software [61]. Analyses using SD methods have also been used to study infrastructure systems, as well as disruptions to those systems. Infrastructure systems, such as transportation and water supply and treatment systems were modeled by Drew [53]. Chasey et al. examined highway management [62], and de la Garza et al. studied budget allocation policies for highway maintenance programs using an SD model [63]. The National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC) at Sandia and Los Alamos National Labs1 has used SD methods to improve planning simulation and decision support for critical infrastructure analyses. Specically, NISAC was established to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the interactions between the various infrastructure systems, in addition to the

B.P. Thompson, L.C. Bank / Building and Environment 45 (2010) 10061015


Complete SD model for overall building (chosen systems)

Simulate disruption to overall system (terrorist attack, natural disaster, power blackout, etc).

Examine baseline performance of the building in response to disruption

Economic/ Security/ Social Trade-offs

Determine subsystems/components that have the greatest impacts on mitigating effects of the disruption.

Alter pre-selected building variables to determine their effects

Fig. 3. Model use methodology

existing knowledge that has been used to model individual systems in the past. The NISAC has identied key pieces of infrastructure that must be protected or backed up, but is also working to improve normal functioning of the infrastructure systems. Smith used the term critical service sustainment rather than infrastructure protection [64]. However, buildings are notably lacking from the list of critical infrastructure sectors and systems. In this Critical Infrastructure Protection Decision Support System (CIP/DSS) Project being undertaken at Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories, an SD simulation method was used to conduct risk analyses and consequence assessments with the intent of assisting

decision-makers in prioritizing infrastructure protection measures under budget constraints. The SD model interacted with a database and a decision support computer program to determine the effectiveness of each alternative, which was measured with respect to six categories: (i) sector-specic; (ii) human health and safety; (iii) economic; (iv) environmental; (v) socio-political (perceived risk, public condence, trust in government sector-specic effects, and market condence); and (vi) national security [65]. The model used a base case, which was then compared pairwise with various scenarios (policy or resource changes) involving a disruption to the infrastructure to measure the effectiveness of each scenario. The

Fig. 4. SD building model air system sector.


B.P. Thompson, L.C. Bank / Building and Environment 45 (2010) 10061015 Table 1 Simulation of baseline scenario Kowalski data.

AR = (TA * (1 OA)) * c * F + (TA * (1 OA) * c * (1 F )) * U

Time (h CminD) (1) 0.00 0.02 0.03 0.05 0.07 0.08 0.10 0.12 0.13 0.15 0.17 C0D C1D C2D C3D C4D C5D C6D C7D C8D C9D C10D

Microbes released (cfu) (2) 0 18,000,000 18,000,000 18,000,000 18,000,000 18,000,000 18,000,000 18,000,000 18,000,000 18,000,000 18,000,000

Microbes in building (cfu) (3) 0 18,000,000 35,646,624 52,946,808 69,907,356 86,534,933 102,836,078 118,817,198 134,484,576 149,844,373 164,902,625

Where: AR = Bio-agent removed through recirculation TA = Total airflow (cfm) OA = Outside air (%) Agent Remov ed C = bio-agent concentration (cfu/m3) Through Recirculation F = Filter removal rate (%) U = UVGI (ultra-violet germicidal irradiation) removal rate (%)

Building concentration (cfu/m3) (4) 0 286.74 567.85 843.44 1113.62 1378.49 1638.17 1892.75 2142.33 2387.01 2626.88

Microbes exhausted (cfu) (5) 0 353,376 699,815 1,039,453 1,372,423 1,698,855 2,018,880 2,332,621 2,640,204 2,941,748 3,237,371

Fig. 5. Sample variable from air system sector

project has moved into the sensitivity analysis phase. One portion of the CIP/DSS being developed at Sandia National Laboratory uses economic costs and potential savings to rank alternative preventative measures by running multiple versions of the model. The goal is to investigate and understand the non-equilibrium, nonlinear dynamics of the system during a disruptive event [66]. Economic impacts of disruptive events are estimated using the SD simulation model, which is then used to examine how secondary economic impacts are generated in interdependent infrastructures. The model is divided into various sectors, and, Each sector models the broad capabilities of the infrastructure and is not intended to be a stand-alone, detailed model. Instead its strengths lie in the representation of rst order interactions between sectors and the ability to model/show how a simple disruption in one sector can propagate to others and disrupt the entire system of critical infrastructures [66]. 3. System dynamics applied to building design and simulation Although SD has been used in a wide variety of disciplines, its use in the design of buildings has been very limited. However, it has been applied to some problems related to buildings. Shen used an SD program to simulate the evacuation of a building by its

occupants during a re [67]. In this model, each room was a stock, with ows being the passages between rooms. SD methods are also nding uses in life cycle assessments of buildings. These assessments have been performed for embodied energy, CO2 emissions, and life cycle costs [68]. The opportunity to combine this decisionmaking tool with the expanding digital building information that is embodied in a building information model (BIM) presents a great opportunity for improving the building design process. 3.1. Use of system dynamics to model a building In the research study presented in this paper, the SD method was used to provide a means of simulating a building system and its interactions in a broad, whole-building fashion. While a large amount of data can be simulated or collected for the design of a building, the ability to effectively integrate all these data into a framework for making trade-offs and decisions in the design of the building is, unfortunately, still lacking. The SD model enables the utilization of all of the building design information in a holistic decision-making framework. The SD modeling method is especially


breathing rate

agent concentration

ingress fraction

Dose Ingress Rate Dose Rate


fatalities % Egress Rate egress fraction LD 50 total fatalities

Fig. 6. SD building model infection sector.

B.P. Thompson, L.C. Bank / Building and Environment 45 (2010) 10061015



14000 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 0 100 200 300 400 Time (min) 500 600

Baseline Case

80% Filter Efficiency Case

Fig. 7. Filter efciency comparison of two cases from the SD building model.

1.6E+07 1.4E+07

the basic structure of a system, allowing for highly uncertain variables to be included. It is useful for identifying key leverage points through use of sensitivity analyses [28]. It allows for simulation experiments to be conducted on hypothetical buildings or retrots, and is well-suited to policy analysis [47]. Another advantage of the SD method for simulating buildings is that it enables modeling of the interactions between building systems and building occupants, and allows for incorporation of soft factors that help to capture human behavior in the model [11]. Incorporation of these soft factors is important in a building system model to address the occupants perceptions of and reactions to risks and events. A model constructed using the SD method is transparent to users [8], and easily manipulated. Users do not need to be system dynamics experts to use a model or to make changes to the parameters in the model. A SD model allows a building system model to be initially constructed with approximate values for parameters, as long as its structure is well-dened. This initial model can be used to determine the overall behavior of the system. Using sensitivity analysis it is possible to determine parameters that have the greatest impact on the model behavior [8]. Thus, even with incomplete data, it is possible to determine appropriate policies, or to rank alternatives.

Agent Concentration (cfu/m 3)

Agent Removed (cfu)

1.2E+07 1.0E+07 8.0E+06 6.0E+06 4.0E+06 2.0E+06 0.0E+00 0 100 200 300 Time (min) 400 500 600

4. A building system dynamics model In what follows, the development and use of a SD model to determine the feasibility of using an SD model of a building to set priorities for upgrades to defend the building against a bioterrorist attack [69] are described. Bioterrorism presents building design engineers with new challenges. Very little data or experience exists to guide building designers and decision-makers on how to mitigate this unpredictable hazard [70]. The output of this model is a prototype policy decision tool to help decision-makers with these challenges, along with a methodology for expanding and enhancing the tool, and for applying it to additional areas within the building systems context. Fig. 3 shows a graphic of the methodology used to develop the SD model of the building system. As indicated in Fig. 3, after constructing the SD model for the overall building system, a model sector is added to simulate a disruption to the system (in this case, a bio-terrorist attack). The output of the simulation with the added disruption provides a baseline building performance. Thereafter, building variables representing possible design upgrades or building retrots are added to the model. With these building variables included, additional simulations are carried out.

Baseline Case

80% Filter Efficiency Case

Fig. 8. Agent removed through recirculation comparison of two cases from the SD building model.

applicable to building system simulation because it is ideal for situations where the system to be modeled is extremely complex, highly dynamic, or highly non-linear (containing large numbers of feedbacks) [47]. The SD method is also well-suited for focusing on

Table 2 Simple SD building model output data and comparisons with Table 1. Time (min) Agent in SA (cfu) Agent in zone (building) (cfu) Agent concentration (cfu/m3) Agent in EA (cfu) Difference from Kowalski (2003) data (%) (3) vs (8) (6) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 (7) 18,000,000 18,000,000 18,000,000 18,000,000 18,000,000 18,000,000 18,000,000 18,000,000 18,000,000 18,000,000 18,000,000 18,000,000 (8) 0 18,000,000 35,646,764 52,947,225 69,908,178 86,536,286 102,838,080 118,819,964 134,488,217 149,848,993 164,908,326 179,672,131 (9) 0 286.62 567.62 843.11 1,113.19 1,377.97 1,637.55 1,892.04 2,141.53 2,386.13 2,625.93 2,861.02 (10) 0 353,236 699,539 1,039,047 1,371,892 1,698,206 2,018,115 2,331,747 2,639,224 2,940,667 3,236,195 3,525,923 (11) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 (4) vs (9) (12) 0.00 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 (5) vs (10) (13) 0.00 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04


B.P. Thompson, L.C. Bank / Building and Environment 45 (2010) 10061015

airflow Agent in Zone

Agent in supply

Agent in Exhaust

total airflow

Agent Removed Through Recirculation

UVGI removal rate

agent concentration in minutes outside air %

Fig. 9. Variable changed in 80% lter efciency case.

filter removal rate

By examining the performance of the system across a spectrum of these building variables, the user can determine which building variables have the greatest impact on mitigating the effects of the disruption. By combining this information with cost information for various mitigation measures, it is possible to determine appropriate methods for allocating resources for cost-effective increases in security, both in new buildings during the design process and in existing buildings by retrot and operational adjustments. 4.1. Model structure The pilot SD building model studied is composed of two primary model sectors: (1) the air system sector; and (2) the infection sector. Fig. 4 shows the model of the buildings airow system, modeled using STELLA software from isee Systems [71]. This model was developed to simulate a single-zone building, with an airborne release of a biological agent into its ventilation system. Each variable in the model represents a linear differential equation. An example of a ow variable from the model (agent removed through recirculation) is shown in Fig. 5 with its associated differential equation denition. Fig. 6 shows the infection sector of the SD building model. This sector includes an elementary egress model, comprised of an inow rate, an outow rate, and a stock of occupants currently in the building. It includes a dose rate model to calculate the level of infection experienced amongst the building occupants. The SD building model was run through a short, 12-min simulation of a scenario where a biological agent is released downstream of any passive defensive measures (lters, UVGI, etc.) over time into the air handling unit of a single-zone building. This scenario is laid out in Chapter 9 of Kowalski [72]. This scenario was chosen to yield a model which could be compared with published results of a sample building. 4.2. Preliminary model results/testing The model for the air system of the building, combined with a sub-model to calculate infection amongst the buildings occupants has produced results that are consistent with a published spreadsheet simulation [72]. When run with the published values of building variables, the pilot SD building model provided essentially an exact replication of Kowalskis output. This is shown

numerically by comparing Table 1 (data from Kowalski [72] for the rst 10 min of simulation) with Table 2 (data output from the SD building model). Columns (1)(5) in Table 1 correspond to columns (6)(10) in Table 2. Columns (11)(13) in Table 2 give the differences between the SD model output data and the Kowalski [72] data. Column (11) gives the comparison of columns (3) and (8), column (12) gives the comparison of columns (4) and (9), and column (13) gives a comparison of columns (5) and (10), respectively, as a percentage of the Kowalski [72] data. Once the SD building model was created, it was possible to easily adjust building variables to determine their effectiveness at mitigating the effects of a bioterrorist attack. An example of this is given in Figs. 7 and 8. In this scenario, two cases are examined: (1) a baseline case; and (2) an 80% lter efciency case. The baseline case includes no air ltration, and the second case includes a lter that is 80% effective at removing bioagent particles from the recirculated air. For this simulation, it was assumed that the bioagent was released downstream of the air handling units lters; thus no agent is removed by the lters until the air is re-circulated. These scenarios were simulated for 10 h each. As expected, Fig. 7 shows that the agent concentration falls signicantly in case (2), as compared to the baseline case with no lter. Fig. 8, also as expected, shows that the amount of agent removed increases in the case with a lter as compared to the case with no lter. Fig. 9 highlights the variable in the air system sector that was changed in the second (80% lter efciency) case. 4.3. Building variables Building variables are chosen to represent the potential upgrades to a building that would mitigate the effects of a bioterrorist attack (e.g., lter removal rate, egress rate). Building variables are chosen to span various disciplines that have an impact on building security. The leverage points for effective protection are found from a subset of these building variables. These variables are sufciently diverse such that that there is no other single subsystem design model able to incorporate the entire set. This interdisciplinarity of the SD model is its strength. In this SD model, three major categories of building variables are studied: (1) performance of the air handling system; (2) physical building security modications; and (3) occupant behavior modication. These three types of variables interact mainly with the

B.P. Thompson, L.C. Bank / Building and Environment 45 (2010) 10061015


Fig. 10. Linking BIM model with system dynamics building model.

dispersal of the bioagent, the vulnerability of the building to attack, and the exposure of the occupants, respectively, although there are interactions amongst the three types of variables, as well. The simulation of the interactions and effects of these three sets of diverse variables provide a means to make logical decisions about the appropriate use of resources in the design of the building for bioterrorism security. A number of these variables, particularly those related to the air handling system, are relatively easy to model because data exist to determine their relationships to the system. However, other variables related to physical security and occupant behavior are more difcult to quantify. These variables also have interactions with each other. Since many of these types of variables are difcult to quantify, they need to be varied over a range of reasonable values to determine which variables have the greatest effects on the outcome of the simulations. The outcomes are measured in terms of a calculated building security index, based on casualties (fatalities), costs (damages), and occupant perceptions of security. 4.4. Integration of BIM model with system dynamics model In order to populate the SD building model with the data necessary to represent the building, a link with a building information modeling (BIM) program has been explored. Specically, a building model created with Autodesks Revit Building2 program [73] was linked to the SD decision-making model. The link was accomplished by creating appropriate schedules within the Revit Building model, modifying these schedules as needed to match the input requirements of the SD model, and exporting the data from these schedules to a spreadsheet. Once the data were in the spreadsheet, they were imported to the STELLA SD building model. Currently the BIM-SD link is manual, but the possibility exists of creating an application programming interface (API) to move data directly from a BIM software to a SD software as well as

to return data from the SD model back into the BIM model. Examples of data that are linked into the SD building model from the BIM model include:     room dimensions; doorway maximum ows; room maximum occupancy limits; and initial number of occupants.

Fig. 10 illustrates this procedure graphically. 4.5. Model potential As the SD building simulation method becomes widely applied and more data are produced, it may be possible to develop classes of buildings, grouped by their most important characteristics as determined by the identication of leverage points in the simulation model. Using a set of generic building models, these building classes could then be used as the basis for developing a performance-based design methodology for building security. This SD methodology could also be applied to other aspects of building design, retrot, operations and maintenance. For example, this model, integrated with the sustainable development ability model [50] could be modied to simulate a building in terms of environmental sustainability. This simulation would work in an analogous manner to the security model presented in this paper, in that it would be possible to determine how to cost-effectively create a building that performs in an environmentally sustainable manner. This simulation could also be developed into a type of performance-based analysis, which would allow various possible schemes to be compared and ranked in terms of their environmental sustainability. 5. Conclusion This paper described the use of the system dynamics method for making decisions related to building design, operation and retrot.

The latest release of the program is called Revit Architecture.


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Previous uses of the method have been reviewed, and the case laid out for why this method could be applicable to building design. Furthermore, a simple system dynamics building model has been developed and described in this paper. It has been tested for proofof-concept, and the testing has thus far given positive results. The pilot SD building model, as described above, has been used to simulate a building subjected to a bioterrorist attack [69]. The SD model has been used to simulate a small, relatively simple case study building, adding building variables that will mitigate the effects of a biological release in the building, and allowing different buildings and different building congurations to be compared in terms of their performance in the event of a bioterrorist attack. The system dynamics building model will continue to be developed and improved, and will eventually be expanded to include various types of building disruptions or terrorist attacks, and be useful for nding the most effective leverage points across a multi-hazard spectrum in the design of a building. The concept of directly linking a BIM model with a system dynamics decision-making model has also been introduced. In addition, the authors anticipate that the system dynamics method will nd a wide range of other uses in the eld of building design and operation. Foremost among these uses will be the concept of developing a system dynamics building model suitable for analysis of a building in terms of sustainable design. Acknowledgement This research was supported by the United States Department of Homeland Security through the National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) under grant number 2007-ST-061-000001. However, any opinions, ndings, and conclusions or recommendations in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reect views of the United States Department of Homeland Security. References
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