Processing "fuzzy" materials sets for environmental impact analysis of buildings
Processing technical and environmental data on building materials, components, and systems has become more important during the last few years. Increased sensitivity towards environmental and energy problems has lead to the demand for simulation and evaluation of the long term behavior of buildings. The results of such simulations are expected to enable architects and engineers to develop a broader, interdisciplinary understanding of the impact of their products (buildings) on the environment. However, conducting such evaluations is currently hampered by the lack of comprehensive, up-to-date, and ecologically relevant data on building materials, components, and systems. To address this problem, this paper proposes an approach to deal with the absent or uncertain attributes of building materials, components, and systems. In the past, various information systems have been developed to provide data on a limited set of building materials, including precise values pertaining to some of their characteristics, such as availability, manufacturers, costs, etc. These traditional information systems have difficulty in dealing with uncertain, incomplete and sparse data. However, uncertainty and incompleteness characterize the nature of most of the available and environmentally related characteristics of materials, components, and systems. In this paper, a fuzzy-logic-based augmentation of traditional information systems is proposed towards providing management, utilization and manipulation of incomplete and uncertain data.