Ten Key Steps to Integrated Design
The following ten steps are the key process steps that form the organizational framework for a project. We recommend that these be used to guide an integrated team approach to sustainable design.
Step One: Project Definition
Owner, client representatives, and design team leaders should establish and clearly embed sustainable design tasks in the scope of work, document these in the contract agreement, and coordinate these with the project schedule.
Step Two: Team Building
Seek design team members who are experienced and committed to sustainable design and working collaboratively. Assemble the full design team and identify sustainable champions for the owner and the design team.
Step Three: Education and Goal Setting
Engage team in discussion of sustainable issues and opportunities, including cost and schedule impacts. Then, hold a sustainable goal session with all team members to set broad goals and measurable outcomes, such as a LEED target. Review design criteria and standards and challenge those that work against integrated sustainable solutions.
Step Four: Site Evaluation
Analyze the site to identify constraints and sustainable opportunities. Evaluate the microclimate and macroclimate to determine solar and wind availability and orientation, potential thermal sinks, and rainfall. Inventory plant and animal species and their habitats. Identify transportation networks, and cultural and/or historical resources that should be preserved.
Step Five: Baseline Analysis
Develop baseline energy and water analysis; establish budgets and compare with benchmarks and project sustainable design goals. Explore potential for renewable energy, financial incentives, and/or utility rebates for energy efficiency, water, and renewables.
Step Six: Concept Design
Use an integrated and collaborative design process to embed sustainable strategies within a design concept that is responsive to the project site and the regional ecosystem.
Step Seven: Design Optimization
Explore, test and evaluate a broad range of solutions to discern those with greatest potential. Engage the entire design team in a multidisciplinary approach to seek synergies in the development and refinement of building and site systems.
Step Eight: Documents and Specifications
Carefully document all project requirements. Update and improve contract documents and specifications to ensure that sustainable goals, including materials, systems, and other requirements, are being incorporated.
Step Nine: Bidding and Construction
Engage design team, contractor and owner in a collaborative approach to bidding, buyout, procurement, construction, and commissioning to deliver a healthy, environmentally responsible facility that meets project sustainable design goals.
Step Ten: Post-occupancy
Engage design team and building users in discussion to discover ways to improve building operations, maintenance, and occupant satisfaction. Undertake a post-occupancy evaluation to evaluate hard and soft metrics, and identify lessons learned.