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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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235 Results : whole building systems

  • About - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...actions that support efficient, healthy buildings and environmentally-responsible purchasing...you care about efficient, healthy buildings and environmentally-responsible purchasing...guidelines, standards, and building rating systems. Project Planning & Development
    https://sftool.gov › home › about
  • GpcProductsXlsx

    Services Schedule 65 II A SIN A-14D Building Finishes Acoustical Ceiling Tiles...332510S Hardware & Tools 332510C Building Finishes Carpet CPG* BioPreferred
    https://sftool.gov › GpcDownload › GpcProductsXlsx
  • System Bundling > 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 Bundling
    https://sftool.gov › explore › green-building › section › 79 › planted-roof › system-bundling
  • Indoor Water Conservation

    ...of federAl hiGh-performAnce Green buildinGS | tAke the wAter quiz | mAin menu...water consumption in a typical office building. Executive Order 13514 sets goals
    https://sftool.gov › Content › attachments › Iswg › iswg-case-studies › Indoor Water Conservation.pdf
  • System Overview > 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 Overview
    https://sftool.gov › explore › green-building › section › 30 › ieq › system-overview
  • 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
  • Interim Report on Evaluation of GSA Total Estimated Cost Impact (TECI) Metrics Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics Carnegie Mellon University May 31, 2019

    Impact (TECI) Metrics Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics Carnegie...Estimated Cost Impact (TECI) Metrics and Building Benchmarking ISWG Presentation October
    https://sftool.gov › Content › attachments › Iswg › iswg-case-studies › GSA CMU TECI ISWG October 2020.pdf
  • water_implementing_instructions.pdf

    ...the water delivery and containment systems that provide this water. ï‚· Agencies...reject water from water purification systems, water reclaimed on site, or water
    https://sftool.gov › Content › attachments › water_implementing_instructions.pdf
  • Federal Government links/Knowledge Portals/Publications - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Federal Government Knowledge Portals Whole Building Design Guide FedCenter National...of Federal High Performance Green Buildings Office of Facilities Management and
    https://sftool.gov › train › about › 591?slug=federal-government-linksknowledge-portalspublications
  • Post Consumer Fiber Paper - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...recycled content as it is to recycle. Whole Building Design Guide | Evaluating and Selecting...engineers, contractors, building owners and building consultants report that
    https://sftool.gov › learn › about › 201 › post-consumer-fiber-paper
  • Guiding Principles for High Performance and Sustainable Federal Buildings and Associated Instructions

    Performance and Sustainable Federal Buildings and Associated Instructions Guiding...Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings and Associated Instructions The Council
    https://sftool.gov › Content › attachments › guiding_principles_for_sustainable_federal_buildings_and_associated_instructions_february_2016.pdf
  • Green Procurement - Federal Requirements - Non-Mechanical Heat Transfer Systems - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...category Non-Mechanical Heat Transfer Systems Product Details Details Legal Requirements...Optimization System for Chiller Plants Control Optimization System for Chiller
    https://sftool.gov › greenprocurement › green-products › 24 › hvacmechanical › 126 › non-mechanical-heat-transfer-systems › 0
  • Support Area - Details View - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...abilities. Use signage to educate building occupants regarding sustainably. Provide...abilities. Use signage to educate building occupants regarding sustainably. Provide...strategies and compare materials for that system Prev Next Additional views Support
    https://sftool.gov › explore › green-workspace › 87 › support-area
  • Submetering - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...comprehensive uses and benefits of submetering systems by type. You can also mark which benefits...already attained in an already installed system and print or export a customized list...type Electrical Circuit Electrical System Electrical - End Use Device Gas Water...comprehensive uses and benefits of submetering systems. Use the wizard to learn about submetering
    https://sftool.gov › plan › submetering › water
  • Submetering - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...comprehensive uses and benefits of submetering systems by type. You can also mark which benefits...already attained in an already installed system and print or export a customized list...type Electrical Circuit Electrical System Electrical - End Use Device Gas Water...comprehensive uses and benefits of submetering systems. Use the wizard to learn about submetering
    https://sftool.gov › plan › submetering › gas
  • Submetering - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...comprehensive uses and benefits of submetering systems by type. You can also mark which benefits...already attained in an already installed system and print or export a customized list...type Electrical Circuit Electrical System Electrical - End Use Device Gas Water...comprehensive uses and benefits of submetering systems. Use the wizard to learn about submetering
    https://sftool.gov › plan › submetering › electrical---end-device
  • Submetering - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...comprehensive uses and benefits of submetering systems by type. You can also mark which benefits...already attained in an already installed system and print or export a customized list...type Electrical Circuit Electrical System Electrical - End Use Device Gas Water...comprehensive uses and benefits of submetering systems. Use the wizard to learn about submetering
    https://sftool.gov › plan › submetering › electrical-circuit
  • ISWG

    Performance Green Building: Lessons Learned about the Building/Occupant Interface...of Federal High Performance Green Buildings Interagency Working Group July 18
    https://sftool.gov › Content › attachments › Iswg › iswg-case-studies › 13 Judith Heerwagen - EPA Denver Demonstration Project.pdf
  • Spatial Equity - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...ability to work elsewhere in the building. Mobile work also reduces the time...strategy appropriately illuminates the building space without subjecting occupants
    https://sftool.gov › learn › about › 245 › spatial-equity
  • Health - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...post-occupancy research on six federal buildings shows improved well-being in the...strategy appropriately illuminates the building space without subjecting occupants
    https://sftool.gov › learn › about › 244 › health

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