Evidence Based Design

Do sustainable buildings have to cost more than traditional buildings? We argue - no - at least not in CAPEX terms. They require more creative thinking and planning, but not necessarily more money. In all technical endeavours, costs are saved through an insight and understanding, by simplifying solutions rather than making them complex. Efficient buildings are no different.

Key objectives for sustainable buildings include: occupant comfort, commercial sustainability and environmental sustainability.

Integrated and evidence based design sets out performance criteria and the methodology of achieving these objectives. It is the process of quantifying outcomes of design decisions; where solutions are validated by practical experience as well as building modelling and simulation. This approach results in a built environment outcome reflecting innovative blend of design and technology solutions which satisfy a project’s environmental objectives within its commercial constraints.

Evidence based design attempts to achieve an overall optimal built environment outcome. It examines the interaction and interdependence of design and technology choices, rather than celebrating individual solutions at the expense of the overall final solution.

Integrated design is at the heart of evidence based design philosophy. It considers the whole building rather than its individual elements in isolation. It evaluates the interaction of these elements and their impact on the overall sustainability outcome, in particular the energy efficiency and the indoor environment quality. For example, comprehensive consideration of passive design solutions at the earliest stages of concept development often opens up opportunities for the application of simpler and cheaper climate control technologies. The Wangaratta High School case study illustrates high level of integration between building design and the renewable energy based climate control strategy. This approach resulted in achieving exceptional environmental and commercial outcomes.

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Friday,
August 26, 2011
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A good design is a sustainable design
If we define a good design as an efficient design which minimises the use of materials and resources during construction and operation, while achieving the desired outcome, then we are on the way to achieving sustainable design. Sustainability will be further enhanced by maximising the use of renewable/recyclable materials and resources.

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1 comment

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