Environment Systems and Decisions

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 261–271

Sustainable roofing technology under multiple constraints: a decision-analytical approach


  • Z. A. Collier
    • U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center
  • D. Wang
    • Carnegie Mellon University
  • J. T. Vogel
    • Contractor to U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center
  • E. K. Tatham
    • Contractor to U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center
    • U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center

DOI: 10.1007/s10669-013-9446-5

Cite this article as:
Collier, Z.A., Wang, D., Vogel, J.T. et al. Environ Syst Decis (2013) 33: 261. doi:10.1007/s10669-013-9446-5


Recent efforts in the private and public sectors to move toward enhanced sustainability in the built environment have prompted the need to quantify and assess trade-offs among relevant sustainability metrics. Within the US military, for instance, many technological improvements are available to facilitate the achievement of net-zero goals for installations. These technologies must be assessed based on numerous performance criteria, and these technology selection decisions are difficult to make unaided. This paper seeks to demonstrate the use of decision-analytical techniques in which sustainable roofing technology alternatives (reflective, vegetated, or solar roofs) can be properly framed and assessed while evaluating the trade-offs between multiple performance criteria. Multi-criteria decision analysis methods are used to assess the impact of technology alternatives on sustainability framed within the popular concept of the triple bottom line (economic, societal, and environmental concerns). The framework developed in this paper can be applied to other sustainability technologies (energy, water, waste) or portfolios of numerous technologies.


Sustainability Triple bottom line Multi-criteria decision analysis Vegetated roof Reflective roof Solar photovoltaic

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2013