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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

  • Pollinator Health Strategy 2015.pdf

    ...resources, and exposure to pesticides. Building on the current state of the science...Practice (BMP) guidance for Federal buildings and designed and natural landscapes
    https://sftool.gov › Content › attachments › Pollinator Health Strategy 2015.pdf
  • Green Procurement - Federal Requirements - Epoxy Systems - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...category Epoxy Systems Product Details Details Building Insulation Building Insulation...Hybrid Solar Systems Photovoltaic-Thermal (PV-T) Hybrid Solar Systems Roof Coatings
    https://sftool.gov › greenprocurement › green-products › 1 › construction-materials › 1787 › epoxy-systems › 0
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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-system
  • 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
  • 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
  • O&M > HVAC - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    These benefits are diminished if the system is not well maintained....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 › 47 › hvac › o-m-impact
  • 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
  • O&M > Lighting - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...can fade away if the new lighting systems are not well maintained....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 › 39 › lighting › o-m-impact
  • 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
  • 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
  • Post Consumer Fiber Paper - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...recycled content as it is to recycle. Whole Building Design Guide | Evaluating and Selecting
    https://sftool.gov › learn › about › 201 › post-consumer-fiber-paper
  • PowerPoint Presentation

    Presentation Sustainable Building Study Using Whole- System and Life-Cycle Thinking...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
  • 2011 Project Review Powerpoint Presentation

    Performance Green Buildings Michael Gartman Rocky Mountain Institute Buildings Practice...Jungclaus Rocky Mountain Institute Buildings Practice Introduction and Context
    https://sftool.gov › Content › attachments › Iswg › iswg-case-studies › Deep Energy Savings Using ESPCs.pdf
  • DoD/Community Zero Waste Innovation

    GSA Leased Building 19 Floors / 760 employees  Major Green Building Renovation...ISO 14001 Environmental Management System  Zero Waste to Landfill / Incinerator
    https://sftool.gov › Content › attachments › Iswg › iswg-policies-strategies › Net Zero Waste ISWG EPA Region 9.pdf
  • Occupancy adjusted EUI

    ...adjusted EUI Influence of Occupancy on Building Energy Use and Use of an Occupancy-Adjusted...occupancy on building energy use and EUI in a “typical” office building, where occupancy
    https://sftool.gov › Content › attachments › Iswg › iswg-case-studies › 4 - EUI_Findings_Presentation_to_ISWG_011017.pdf

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