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What is Whole Building Design?

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When you think about design and construction, you make think of it in separate sections. Foundation, windows, plumbing, etc. But this is not how modern buildings are designed and built. They first go through a rigorous design process known as whole building design.

What is whole building design?

The idea behind this process is to create one cohesive building system that works to make the most productive environment while using the least effort. This system works to maximize efficiency and minimize waste of energy in the building.

 

For example, instead of having just a heating and cooling system, specialized windows and fixtures could be used to help regulate temperature year-round.

Who is involved in whole building design?

The design process for these extremely efficient buildings can rigorous and involve many professions, depending on the complexity of the building. And, there are other important influences, such as location, availability local resources, and local weather conditions.

 

Each of these factors needs to be taken into account by the any architects, developers, researchers, engineers, and builders that are involved. Many details are thought through and reviewed by this team–like roof angles, window placement, paint color, renewable energy use, and building shape–in order to maximize the synergy of a building.

What’s the benefit of whole building design?

The obvious benefit of whole building design is its energy efficiency and low environmental impact. However, there are many other long lasting effects. Careful and thoughtful planning result in low maintenance cost and extended equipment life. Other results may include “certifiable” bragging rights from organizations like Passive House, Net Zero Energy, Living Building Challenge, or LEED.

 

Check out this DOE video!

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