by Scott D. Butcher, FSMPS, CPSM

Adapted from a presentation at the Central Penn Business Journal’s Real Estate & Development Symposium.

Whether you are building new or undergoing a major renovation, this should be music to your ears: embrace Whole Building Design.

This approach to project delivery integrates the project team from the very early stages of a project.  But why would you want to do that?

Doing so significantly increases the probability that there will be an interrelationship between all of the building systems and design disciplines:

  • HVAC
  • Architecture
  • Insulation
  • Windows
  • Building siting
  • etc.

It is important to think of a building “holistically,” rather than as a sum of its parts.

For example, JDB Engineering was involved with a project to renovate a century-old building and convert it for office use.  While it would have been easy to just say, “You need a new mechanical system, and here’s the latest and greatest…,” we didn’t look at the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning in a vacuum.  Instead, the engineers worked closely with the building architects to study the impact of replacing the windows and adding insulation throughout the building.  Our team looked at more than sixteen HVAC options and combinations – what if windows are kept or replaced, or if 1” or 2.5” inches of insulation are added?  Ultimately, we analyzed the life cycle costs for eight of those alternatives.  The whole team decided that by replacing 185 windows with energy efficient thermal windows, and adding 2.5 inches of spray insulation to the roof and walls, we could significantly reduce the size of the HVAC system and provide an energy efficient solution with a much better payback than if we had worked in a vacuum!  Lower first cost + lower operating costs were made possible by embracing the Whole Building Design approach.

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•    The Energy Symphony: We Don’t Need No Education
•    The Energy Symphony: Call Mac, Maybe
•    The Energy Symphony: Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto
•    The Energy Symphony: Phantom of the Opera (& Office)
•    The Energy Symphony: The Futures So Bright…I Gotta Wear Shades
•    The Energy Symphony

Next: They Paved Paradise & Put Up a Parking Lot


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