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Sustainability assessment model for heritage buildings

Abobakr Al-Sakkaf (Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Concordia University, Montréal, Canada) (Department of Architecture and Environmental Planning, College of Engineering and Petroleum, Hadhramout University, Mukalla, Yemen)
Ashutosh Bagchi (Concordia University, Montréal, Canada)
Tarek Zayed (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, China)
Sherif Mahmoud (Department of Architectural Engineering, Military Technical College, Cairo, Egypt)

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment

ISSN: 2046-6099

Article publication date: 9 September 2021

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023




The purpose of this research is to focus on the evaluation of heritage buildings' sustainability. BIM modeling was necessary for the design of the sustainability assessment model for Heritage Buildings (SAHB). Using ArchiCAD®, energy simulations were performed for two case studies (Murabba Palace, Saudi Arabia, and Grey Nuns Building, Canada), and the developed model was validated through sensitivity analysis.


Heritage buildings (HBs) are unique and must be preserved for future generations. This article focuses on a sustainability assessment model and rating scale for heritage buildings in light of the need for their conservation. Regional variations were considered in the model development to identify critical attributes whose corresponding weights were then determined by fuzzy logic. Data was collected via questionnaires completed by Saudi Arabian and Canadian experts, and Fuzzy TOPSIS was also applied to eliminate the uncertainties present when human opinions are involved.


Results showed that regional variations were sufficiently addressed through the multi-level weight consideration in the proposed model. Comparing the nine identified factors that affect the sustainability of HBs, energy and indoor environmental quality were of equal weight in both case studies.


This study will be helpful for the design of a globally applicable sustainability assessment model for HBs. It will also enable decision-makers to prepare maintenance plans for HBs.



Al-Sakkaf, A., Bagchi, A., Zayed, T. and Mahmoud, S. (2023), "Sustainability assessment model for heritage buildings", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 105-127.



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