From form-based to performance-based codes

Dalit Shach-Pinsly, Isaac Guedi Capeluto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The performance of the built environment is an important concern affecting the quality of life and plays a critical role in every urban milieu. However, it generally disappears in the drawing plans. Current planning regulations do not always include performance requirements as part of the planning demands. Additionally, decision-makers lack the methodology and tools to demonstrate the expected performance of the built environment. Therefore, an examination of the performance of the designed area is sometimes neglected in the planning process. Current urban plans focus mainly on technical issues, counting the number of residential units, density measures, etc. The trend of progressive planning regulations, such as Form-Based Code (FBC), aims to coordinate these separated quantitative parameters into one comprehensive 3D plan where the urban form plays as a main integrator. However, these plans still lack the demand for understanding the quality and performance of the built environment through the visualization. This article addresses this gap, the lack of understanding of the performance of the built environment in urban plans and proposes the concept of Performance-Based Codes (PBC). The transition from form-based code to performance-based-design will be demonstrated through the presentation of two performance-based models, the Solar Envelope and Security Rating Index, and the possibility of integrating them into the planning process.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number5657
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number14
StatePublished - 14 Jul 2020


  • Architectural design
  • Building assessment
  • Built environment
  • Performance
  • Planning process
  • Urban evaluation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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