Design Tools and Strategies
New Sustainable Design Tool from the US General Services Administration (GSA). The tool is aimed at office buildings and commercial spaces, and allows comparison of best practices for renovations. Enjoy a 3-D interactive walk-through of office interiors and material comparisons, where it prompts the user to consider multiple aspects of office performance.
Recognized Green Building Programs
Benchmarking tools provide evidence that projects have implemented specific sustainable building strategies. Commercial projects in Seattle can use a variety of tools to demonstrate performance accomplishments, including:
Successful green building design requires a different approach to the way decisions are made. Check out our Quick Guide to Green TI's series for tips on tenant improvements.
Conventionally the design process begins with the architect and client agreeing on a design concept, consisting of general massing, orientation, fenestration and selection of basic materials. Mechanical, electrical and structural engineers are then asked to implement the design and suggest appropriate systems. Contractors provide estimates and bids for the completed design, often but not always requiring major design adjustments to fit the owner’s budget. The traditional process is mainly linear due to the successive contributions of the members of the design team. There is limited opportunity for optimization during the traditional process, while optimization in the later stages is often troublesome, expensive or even impossible.
Green building requires breaking down the barriers that often exist between disciplines in order to permit greater communication and collaboration between parties, by involving all the players responsible for design to work together as a team from the outset. This enables a variety of strategies to be quickly developed for consideration and testing, problems and inconsistencies to be pinpointed, and incompatible decisions to be identified and resolved early in the process.
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