As urban populations increase worldwide and more demands are placed on infrastructure and buildings, the topic of adaptable building design has experienced increased interest as a way to embed adaptability into the urban building stock and avoid unnecessary demolition and waste. Evaluation tools for judging building adaptability based on physical characteristics have recently been proposed. The most common approach for these tools is to use a weighted-sum of scores for different criteria. The primary purpose of this paper was to compare a weighted-sum measurement approach against a more rigorous, less abstract measurement that involved judgements about simulated adaptation projects (called an example-based approach). These measurements were performed through expert elicitation and an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) survey, where participants evaluated the relative adaptability of four case study buildings from the Clemson University campus. The results showed significant correlation between the weighted-sum approach and the example-based approach, supporting the reasonableness of using weighted-sum approaches to evaluate the adaptive potential of building designs. In addition, a separate group of experts rated adaptability of the case study buildings by providing qualitative reasons for their rankings. Unlike the other approaches, this group was not given a specific tool to guide their ratings. The qualitative data provided additional context for understanding results from the quantitative approaches.

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