MULTI-CRITERIA DECISION TECHNIQUES IN CIVIL ENGINEERING EDUCATION. COMPARATIVE STUDY APPLIED TO THE SUSTAINABILITY OF STRUCTURES

V. Yepes , A.J. Sánchez-Garrido , I.J. Navarro

Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
Traditionally, technical degrees have focused on promoting the functionality and durability of designs, orienting the capacities of their students towards the optimization of economic aspects. The challenges that have recently emerged regarding the future of the construction sector and new cities require a paradigm shift in the conventional teaching of civil engineering and architecture. New training trends have been detected in higher education programs through the introduction of new concepts, such as sustainable design. According to UNESCO, "Education for Sustainable Development promotes competencies like critical thinking, […] and making decisions in a collaborative way". In the postgraduate course "Models of prediction and optimization of concrete structures", taught in the Master of Concrete Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, students are instructed in research methodologies that allow the evaluation of sustainability through different multi-criteria decision techniques in the selection of the best structural typology considering economic, environmental and social aspects. In this paper, a comparative study is made and the application of the different tools taught in the course for the decision making with multiple criteria, namely SAW, COPRAS, TOPSIS, VIKOR, AHP, MIVES and ELECTRE. The asses offers a transversal vision, with the characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of these multi-criteria techniques that are commonly used in the field of sustainability, applied in this case between three design alternatives for the structure of a single-family residential building.