Early stage decision support for sustainable building renovation – A review

Anne Nørkjær Nielsen, Rasmus Lund Jensen, Tine Steen Larsen, Søren Bülow Nissen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


Decision support tools for building renovation are important as assistance to professional building owners when setting goals for sustainability, and for making sure that the objectives are met throughout the design process, both when renovating a single building or choosing renovation actions within a building portfolio. Existing literature on decision support tools applicable in the pre-design and design phase of renovation projects have been reviewed, with the aim of providing a state-of-the-art overview. The paper categorizes the tools into six areas in which they can support the decision makers in the renovation process: in setting sustainability goals, weighting criteria, building diagnosis, generation of design alternatives, estimation of performance, and in the evaluation of design alternatives. These six areas are unfolded throughout the paper, along with examples and discussion of the applicability of the tools in the corresponding areas of the renovation process. The study presents perspectives on the future development of decision support tools in renovation projects, including the aspect of renovating multiple buildings. Areas for future research are suggested, such as emphasizing the aspect of choosing and weighting sustainability criteria, providing explicit guidelines for screening the existing building(s), and prioritizing renovation actions within a building portfolio.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBuilding and Environment
Pages (from-to)165–181
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Decision support tools
  • Multi-criteria decision-making
  • Sustainability assessment
  • Existing buildings

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