Integrative Design

Monday, May 08, 2017 8:00 AM | Deleted user

Integrative Design
by Tricia Loe

There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all.  – Peter Drucker

It’s time to take a new look at the way we build green buildings.

The green building movement has been around for 20 or 25 years, and has (almost) come into the mainstream in many building markets. We’re getting pretty good at it, right? But real breakthrough in the way we build buildings will only come about with changes like using the Integrative Design Process. 

For example, many people believe that the best way to build a green building is to add new, usually very expensive, features. Some of these “Gucci” options might include high-end mechanicals or expensive green-labeled finishes. However, adding green technology and products is not always the best way to build a green building. In fact, the added expense may prompt the stakeholders to “value engineer” the green features out completely.

I’m all for new technologies, energy-efficient mechanicals, and sustainably sourced materials. And this strategy is certainly one way to earn a LEED certification. However, in some cases it’s just throwing new features into outmoded building designs. Isn’t it time for a breakthrough in the way we design and build buildings in the first place?

Let’s imagine the alternative. What if the project team designed the building with an energy-efficient envelope, passive design features, and waste energy recovery? And what if these measures reduced the size of the HVAC equipment needed in the first place? Then the project could afford energy-efficient mechanicals because the equipment needed is not so large.

What if the project team rethought the way materials were used, creating a building with simpler finishes that were naturally greener and less expensive?

True Integrative Process takes building systems into account and finds new ways to create buildings. It evaluates the building using new process and tools, early in the design phase, processes and tools that can lead to a better building. The end result is a building that is built right…without skyrocketing costs.

The Integrative Process will be the topic of our upcoming NTX Sustainable Showcase. We invite you to register for Sustainable Showcase and come learn more about designing and building using the Integrative Design Process. Our workshop presenter will be Bill Reed, founding board member of the US Green Building Council and co-author of “The Integrative Design Guide to Green Building: Redefining the Practice of Sustainability”.

If you’re looking for a whole new way of looking at sustainable building design and construction, then Sustainable Showcase and the Integrative Design Process can help you get there.

Interested? Sign up below.

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