Standard Active Last Updated: May 10, 2023 Track Document
ASTM E1765-16(2023)

Standard Practice for Applying Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to Multiattribute Decision Analysis of Investments Related to Projects, Products, and Processes

Standard Practice for Applying Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to Multiattribute Decision Analysis of Investments Related to Projects, Products, and Processes E1765-16R23 ASTM|E1765-16R23|en-US Standard Practice for Applying Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to Multiattribute Decision Analysis of Investments Related to Projects, Products, and Processes Standard new BOS Vol. 04.11 Committee E06
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Significance and Use

5.1 The AHP method allows you to generate a single measure of desirability for project/product/process alternatives with respect to multiple attributes (qualitative and quantitative). By contrast, life-cycle cost (Practice E917), net savings (Practice E1074), savings-to-investment ratio (Practice E964), internal rate-of-return (Practice E1057), and payback (Practice E1121) methods all require you to put a monetary value on benefits and costs in order to include them in a measure of project/product/process worth.

5.2 Use AHP to evaluate a finite and generally small set of discrete and predetermined options or alternatives. Specific AHP applications are ranking and choosing among alternatives. For example, rank alternative building locations with AHP to see how they measure up to one another, or use AHP to choose among building materials to see which is best for your application.

5.3 Use AHP if no single alternative exhibits the most preferred available value or performance for all attributes. This is often the result of an underlying trade-off relationship among attributes. An example is the trade-off between low desired energy costs and large glass window areas (which may raise heating and cooling costs while lowering lighting costs).

5.4 Use AHP to evaluate alternatives whose attributes are not all measurable in the same units. Also use AHP when performance relative to some or all of the attributes is impractical, impossible, or too costly to measure. For example, while life-cycle costs are directly measured in monetary units, the number and size of offices are measured in other units, and the public image of a building may not be practically measurable in any unit. To help you choose among candidate buildings with these diverse attributes, use AHP to evaluate your alternatives.

5.5 The AHP method is well-suited for application to a variety of sustainability-related topics. Guide E2432 states when applying the concept of sustainability, it is necessary to assess and balance three dissimilar yet interrelated general principles—environment, economic, and social—based on the best information available at the time the decision is made. Use AHP for pairwise comparisons among environmental attributes, among economic attributes, and among social attributes, and for establishing relative importance weights for each attribute and for each of the three general principles to which the attributes are attached. Use the AHP-established relative importance weights to select the preferred project/product/process from among the competing alternatives.

5.6 Potential users of AHP include architects, developers, owners, or lessors of buildings, real estate professionals (commercial and residential), facility managers, building material manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, product and process engineers, life cycle assessment experts, and agencies managing building portfolios.


1.1 This practice presents a procedure for calculating and interpreting AHP scores of a project’s/product’s/process’ total overall desirability when making capital investment decisions.3 Projects include design, construction, operation, and disposal of commercial and residential buildings and other engineered structures.4 Products include materials, components, systems, and equipment.5 Processes include procurement, materials management, work flow, fabrication and assembly, quality control, and services.

1.2 In addition to monetary benefits and costs, the procedure allows for the consideration of characteristics or attributes which decision makers regard as important, but which are not readily expressed in monetary terms. Examples of such attributes that pertain to the selection among project/product/process alternatives are: a construction projects’s building alternatives whose nonmonetary attributes are location/accessibility, site security, maintainability, quality of the sound and visual environment, and image to the public and occupants; building products based on their economic and environmental performance; and sustainability-related issues for key construction processes that address environmental needs, while considering project safety, cost, and schedule.

1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.4 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 04.11
Developed by Subcommittee: E06.81
Pages: 20
DOI: 10.1520/E1765-16R23
ICS Code: 03.100.50; 91.010.99