Value Generation in Front-End Design of Social Housing with QFD and Multiattribute Utility Theory: A Social Housing Case Study

Joas Serugga, Michail Kagioglou, Patricia Tzortzopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The design of social housing is a multifaceted endeavor, as are many social projects, such as megaprojects whose expected benefits reach beyond a handful of stakeholders. Understanding the requirements of such projects can be a painstaking endeavor, and without a structured process to guide decision making, such projects often fail to deliver on their intended benefits. This paper examined how the use of utility theory (UT) and quality function deployment (QFD) can serve as a useful basis to support the delivery of such benefits. The research examined a social housing project in Brazil to focus on contextual influences on understanding, structuring, and delivery of benefits. The approach adopted QFD for requirements management, whereas utility theory assessed utility decision making in ranking the housing models on the basis established user requirements and derived design requirements (DRs). A medium-low-income model is preferred; the next preferred models are very low, medium low, and medium high, in that order. The analysis indicated no transitivity in preference from an end-user perspective. The novelty of the paper is in representing quantitatively a process of requirements management that supports the delivery of project benefits on a utilitarian basis in social housing design. The method is able to account for interdependencies between design and user attributes in supporting social housing design decision making in an integrated process. This understanding can be key to the delivery of the correct social projects that reflect context-specific end-user needs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04020019
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management - ASCE
Issue number4
Early online date28 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


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