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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

  • Space Reconfiguration, Renovation, and Construction - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Renovation, and Construction Building Systems Upgrades Building Operations and Maintenance...Federal Buildings. Consider commercial building certification systems and standards
    https://sftool.gov › plan › 265 › space-reconfiguration-renovation-construction
  • Net Zero Examples - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Net Zero Examples Net Zero Energy buildings are possible. Many are already in...but also renovations to existing buildings. Current examples represent the vanguard
    https://sftool.gov › plan › 422 › net-examples
  • Mandates / Standards > Submetering - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Planted Roof 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 › 90 › submetering › relevant-mandates-and-rating-systems
  • Mandates / Standards > Planted Roof - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    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 › 80 › planted-roof › relevant-mandates-and-rating-systems
  • O&M > Submetering - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Planted Roof 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 › 95 › submetering › o-m-impact
  • Financial > Submetering - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Planted Roof 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 › 94 › submetering › financial-impact
  • Mandates / Standards > Solid Waste - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Roof 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 › 65 › solid-waste › relevant-mandates-and-rating-systems
  • Mandates / Standards > IEQ - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Roof 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 › 34 › ieq › relevant-mandates-and-rating-systems
  • Stories - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    GSA's High-Performance Buildings High-performance buildings of the U.S. General...satisfied occupants compared with typical buildings. In short, they deliver cost savings
    https://sftool.gov › apply › stories
  • Site Map - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Biophilic Design Building Selection Building Energy Storage Buildings & Health Circadian...Energy & Atmosphere Energy Management Systems (EnMS) Enhancing Health with Indoor
    https://sftool.gov › home › sitemap
  • Green Procurement - Federal Requirements - Roof Coatings - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Guiding Principles GPs Building Insulation Building Insulation Cement and Concrete...and Asphalt Cleaners Epoxy Systems Epoxy Systems Erosion Control Materials Erosion
    https://sftool.gov › greenprocurement › green-products › 1 › construction-materials › 1635 › roof-coatings › 0
  • Human Behavior > 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 › 83 › planted-roof › human-impact
  • PowerPoint Presentation

    GSA's Green Building Advisory Committee About GSA's Green Building Advisory Committee...of Federal High Performance Green Buildings Develops findings & recommendations
    https://sftool.gov › Content › attachments › Iswg › iswg-policies-strategies › Coming Attractions from GSA GBAC.pdf
  • Sustainability Program Development - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Sustainability Programs incorporate all building stakeholders into the design process...management systems. GSA's Green Teams engage all stakeholders in the building, and
    https://sftool.gov › learn › about › 481 › sustainability-program-development
  • Climate Adaptation and Resilience Planning Examples - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    ...climate change considerations into building design and renovation processes for...office layouts to building materials, mechanical systems and furnishings, which
    https://sftool.gov › plan › 432 › climate-adaptation-resilience-planning-examples
  • Sustainable Response to COVID-19 - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Guide is the product of GSA's Green Building Advisory Committee (GBAC) Sustainable...COVID-19 Task Group. The decision guide builds on existing guidance to enhance sustainability
    https://sftool.gov › learn › about › 625 › sustainable-response-covid-19
  • Green Procurement - Federal Requirements - Roofing Materials - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Guiding Principles GPs Building Insulation Building Insulation Cement and Concrete...and Asphalt Cleaners Epoxy Systems Epoxy Systems Erosion Control Materials Erosion
    https://sftool.gov › greenprocurement › green-products › 1 › construction-materials › 231 › roofing-materials › 0
  • Resources / Case Studies > Submetering - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Planted Roof 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 › 91 › submetering › resources-and-case-studies
  • Leasing Specialist > User Guides - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings Explore federal requirements as they...they pertain to specific system upgrades, such as lighting or water View language
    https://sftool.gov › green-guidance › for › 3 › leasing-specialist
  • Sustainability Topics - GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool

    Energy Management Systems (EnMS) Energy Management Systems (EnMS) are a set of...Continue reading: Energy Management Systems (EnMS) Circadian Light Circadian rhythms
    https://sftool.gov › learn › 1 › sustainability-topics

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