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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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419 Results : whole building systems

  • Federal Requirements - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...increase the efficiency of products, buildings, and vehicles, to promote research...for excerpts relevant to Federal buildings at DOE or view full text at GPO.gov
    https://sftool.gov › learn › 2 › federal-requirements
  • Additional Resources - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...research focuses on both improving building systems and influencing occupant behavior...Facility New Buildings Institute (NBI). Path to Zero-Energy Buildings Blog NewBuildings
    https://sftool.gov › plan › 423 › additional-resources
  • Keys to Success - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Assessment and Buildings LCA in Building Standards and Certification Systems LCA Example... constructing, and operating our buildings and facilities. A few keys to success
    https://sftool.gov › plan › 250 › keys-success
  • - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Agency Sustainable Building Practices Federal agencies have discovered many...effective practices to make their buildings sustainable. Many share policies
    https://sftool.gov › learn › 10129 › agency-practices
  • Department of Defense (DoD) Sustainable Product Purchasing - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...or in the natural and manufactured systems that support it. DoD embraces sustainability...Sustainable Workspaces and Whole Building Systems. Sustainability Sustainability
    https://sftool.gov › learn › about › 435 › department-defense-dod-sustainable-product-purchasing
  • MaterialDetails - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...forced air systems to chilled beam assemblies. See the HVAC Section in Whole Building...Building Systems for more information. Tips O+M Tips Dust with micro fiber cloth
    https://sftool.gov › material › 1997 › overhead-air-distribution
  • Human Behavior > IEQ - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Roof Submetering System Overview Integrative Design Process System Impacts Resources...O&M System Bundling Mandates / Standards Resources / Case Studies System Impacts
    https://sftool.gov › explore › green-building › section › 49 › ieq › human-impact
  • Living Architecture: Green Roofs for Public Buildings

    Architecture: Green Roofs for Public Buildings White Paper AMY PEVZNER Energy &...ARCHITECTURE: GREEN ROOFS FOR PUBLIC BUILDINGS A Strategy for Smarter Roofing Decisions
    https://sftool.gov › Content › attachments › Living_Architecture_Green_Roofs_for_Public_Buildings.pdf
  • FMI Courses Reviewed and Public Comment - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...are expected for superior building design and system operation Assure employers...development Offer an easy-to-apply process. Building Commissioning Association (BCxA):
    https://sftool.gov › train › about › 596?slug=fmi-courses-reviewed-public-comment
  • Tools & Training - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Training This section covers and links to systems, methods, databases, calculators,...high-performance building goals. Return to Agency Green Building Practices Resources
    https://sftool.gov › learn › agency-practices › 445 › iswg-tools
  • Building Systems Upgrades - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Renovation, and Construction Building Systems Upgrades Building Operations and Maintenance...Maintenance Services Building Systems Upgrades Table of Contents Electrical Mechanical
    https://sftool.gov › plan › 267 › building-systems-upgrades
  • Helpful Tools - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Sustainable Workspaces and Whole Building Systems. Green Procurement Compilation
    https://sftool.gov › learn › about › 574 › helpful-tools
  • Flexible Workplace Design - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...floor data, power and conditioning systems make it easier to transform the workspace...distribution or adjustable ceiling system to enable user controlled ventilation
    https://sftool.gov › learn › about › 243 › flexible-workplace-design
  • O&M > Planted Roof - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Waste Submetering System Overview Integrative Design Process System Impacts Resources...O&M System Bundling Mandates / Standards Resources / Case Studies System Impacts
    https://sftool.gov › explore › green-building › section › 85 › planted-roof › o-m-impact
  • Water Efficiency - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Water Efficiency Buildings are significant users of the Earth's freshwater supply...supply. The goal of a responsible building operator should be to encourage a
    https://sftool.gov › learn › about › 45 › water-efficiency
  • Occupant Comfort - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...reduction goals for federal office buildings may sometimes conflict with comfort...be informed of how much energy the building is consuming so that they can adjust
    https://sftool.gov › learn › about › 242 › occupant-comfort
  • Enhancing Health with Indoor Air - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Office of Federal High-Performance Buildings, and the Wellbuilt for Wellbeing...health, comfort and performance. Building systems help keep indoor air clean so
    https://sftool.gov › learn › about › 626 › enhancing-health-indoor-air
  • 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
  • FEMP Facility Related Control System Cyber

    Related Control System Cyber FEMP Facility Related Control System Cyber Sri Nikhil...related control systems (FRCS) & industrial control systems (ICS) Why is OT
    https://sftool.gov › Content › attachments › Iswg › iswg-tools › FEMP FRCS Overview Training Deck 2020-10-22.pdf
  • ESPC ENABLE PROGRAM

    ...intended for Federal facilities with buildings under 200,000 square feet  Project...clothes washer, etc. Heating/Cooling system improvements (cooling towers, once
    https://sftool.gov › Content › attachments › Iswg › iswg-tools › ISWG.ESPC ENABLE Jan 21 2016_final.pdf

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