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Whole Building Systems Thinking

Unlike conventional design processes, where components and disciplines are treated separately, sustainable design requires an evaluation of whole systems. When retrofitting an office, consider the space as a whole. This means thinking not only about the lighting, the flooring, the windows, the HVAC system, and the furniture as separate components, but also thinking about the relationship between each of these components and the ways that those relationships create the space, and how that fits with sustainability goals.

Check out the Whole Building Systems section in Explore for information on building systems, their relationship to one another, and the integrated design team necessary to reach sustainability goals.

For example, if a project’s goal is to save energy from lighting and improve occupant comfort, it should think not only about the type of lighting fixtures needed, but also how the space will be used by the occupants, the amount of sunlight streaming through the windows at different times of year, how that light gets bounced into the space, how the light levels are controlled, and even the colors of the walls. By thinking holistically about the lighting system, rather than simply about the lighting components, a more comfortable, efficient, healthy and productive space can be created. In addition, the project “system” is nested within larger systems, such as a watershed, an air shed, a forest, a neighborhood and city, and so forth; these larger systems should also be considered. 

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19 Results : Whole Building Systems Thinking

  • LCA in Building Standards and Certification Systems - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Life Cycle Perspective (Life Cycle Thinking) Life Cycle Assessment Conducting...Assessment and Buildings LCA in Building Standards and Certification Systems LCA Example
    https://sftool.gov › plan › 628 › lca-building-standards-certification-systems
  • Life Cycle Assessment and Buildings - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Life Cycle Perspective (Life Cycle Thinking) Life Cycle Assessment Conducting...Assessment and Buildings LCA in Building Standards and Certification Systems LCA Example
    https://sftool.gov › plan › 403 › life-cycle-assessment-buildings
  • What is Sustainability - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...designing, constructing and operating buildings and facilities must be identified...Topics Benchmarking To benchmark a building is to measure and rate the performance
    https://sftool.gov › learn › about › 41 › sustainability
  • Integrative Design Process > Planted Roof - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...the table to think about and integrate the planted roof system with the architecture...architecture and other systems of the buildings....Waste Submetering System Overview Integrative Design Process System Impacts Resources...Resources Human Behavior Financial O&M System Bundling Mandates / Standards Resources
    https://sftool.gov › explore › green-building › section › 77 › planted-roof › integrative-design-process
  • Keys to Success - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Life Cycle Perspective (Life Cycle Thinking) Life Cycle Assessment Conducting...Assessment and Buildings LCA in Building Standards and Certification Systems LCA Example
    https://sftool.gov › plan › 250 › keys-success
  • Life Cycle Assessment - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Life Cycle Perspective (Life Cycle Thinking) Life Cycle Assessment Conducting...Assessment and Buildings LCA in Building Standards and Certification Systems LCA Example
    https://sftool.gov › plan › 400 › life-cycle-assessment
  • Integrative Design Process - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Life Cycle Perspective (Life Cycle Thinking) Life Cycle Assessment Conducting...Assessment and Buildings LCA in Building Standards and Certification Systems LCA Example
    https://sftool.gov › plan › 261 › integrative-design-process
  • Buildings and Health - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...Buildings and Health What is Health? Table of Contents Site Selection and Construction...Health & Wellness Standards and Rating Systems Resources Case Studies Health, as
    https://sftool.gov › learn › about › 576 › buildings-health
  • Life Cycle Perspective (Life Cycle Thinking) - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Life Cycle Perspective (Life Cycle Thinking) Life Cycle Assessment Conducting...Assessment and Buildings LCA in Building Standards and Certification Systems LCA Example
    https://sftool.gov › plan › 399 › life-cycle-perspective-life-cycle-thinking
  • Best Practices & Case Studies - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...make the case for high-performance building innovations is to point to others'...employed. Return to Agency Green Building Practices Resources government wide
    https://sftool.gov › learn › agency-practices › 446 › iswg-case-studies
  • Child Care Centers - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Child Care Centers Components Whole Building Classroom Toilet Area Kitchen Laundry...HVAC Location Parking Lot Entrances Building Materials and Finishes Service/Support
    https://sftool.gov › learn › about › 502 › child-care-centers
  • recommendations_on_sustainable_landscaping_practices.pdf

    ...2009 focuses on the area beyond the building footprint and any built landscape...million acres of land 2 and 429,000 building assets, comprising 3.34 billion square
    https://sftool.gov › Content › attachments › recommendations_on_sustainable_landscaping_practices.pdf
  • Project Guidance - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Interiors Gut Rehab Project Building Systems Upgrades Building Operations and Maintenance...SF Interior Gut Rehab Building Systems Upgrades Building Operations and Maintenance
    https://sftool.gov › plan › 263 › project-guidance
  • LCA Key Terms - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Life Cycle Perspective (Life Cycle Thinking) Life Cycle Assessment Conducting...Assessment and Buildings LCA in Building Standards and Certification Systems LCA Example
    https://sftool.gov › plan › 630 › lca-key-terms
  • PowerPoint Presentation

    Sustainable Building Study Using Whole- System and Life-Cycle Thinking 2012 REPORT...for Sustainable Existing Buildings. Rate the buildings using the LEED EBOM (version
    https://sftool.gov › Content › attachments › Iswg › iswg-case-studies › Sustainable Building Study Using Whole-System and Life-Cycle Thinking - JParisi, Nov. 2012.pdf
  • Project Team - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Life Cycle Perspective (Life Cycle Thinking) Life Cycle Assessment Conducting...Assessment and Buildings LCA in Building Standards and Certification Systems LCA Example
    https://sftool.gov › plan › 586 › project-team
  • PowerPoint Presentation

    Analysis *Includes the co-hosted Better Buildings Summit 4U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY...Implementation Optimizing Building Management & Maintenance 5. Building Optimization Essentials
    https://sftool.gov › Content › attachments › Iswg › iswg-tools › 2 - EEx19 Overview ISWG - 12.05.19.pdf
  • Here's the problem…

    ...of the BTO Cybersecurity Related Buildings Project January 12, 2017 2 Increasing...Vulnerability & DOE Buildings Role “The nation's buildings are increasingly relying
    https://sftool.gov › Content › attachments › Iswg › iswg-case-studies › 2 - Overview of the BTO Cybersecurity Related Buildings Project.pdf
  • Korn Ferry - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Strategy Budget and Financial Management Building Effective Teams Coaching and Mentoring...Pricing COR Training Program Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Defining the Business
    https://sftool.gov › train › about › 637?slug=korn-ferry

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