By John-Michael Wong

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Most design methods work on the basis of level 1 ambiguities. They serve as a problem solving algorithm that provides reasonable values for each of the important variables. However, one problem is that many design methods assume a point-based solution by only allowing expression of variable values to a high degree of precision. Identifying the precision tolerances on these variables would leave set exploration more open. 3 Maturity Maturity is the characteristic of design information that it has developed into a stable form, close to its final value, and has enough precision needed for construction.

1). This consideration of structural performance in all project phases is "performance-centric" design. This chapter walks through the various phases of a project and points at places where current research on design methodology can contribute. 1: Project phases. 1 Concept phase The concept phase is where the general function, purpose, and use of a structure are determined. This is where structure performance must be first considered because this phase establishes the general direction for a project.

The documentation of successful case studies of structures (mostly buildings) has provided insight into the factors that make projects successful. The concept phase is the appropriate time for choosing the target performance of a structure beyond service-level loads. This includes performance during earthquakes or other hazard events. Determining the target performance requires adequate pre-event planning in order to incorporate the constraints on the designs and construction processes, and indicate the appropriate needs for the operation phase.

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