Building a Green Team
Green building follows a design process that is fundamentally different than that practiced in conventional design. Architects, builders and developers in the field know it as the whole-systems thinking or the integrated-design process. The integrated-design process begins with team formation and a shared goal, and through a series of decision-making meetings, benefitted by materials and systems-research and modeling-cost estimates, produces schematics and then final plans and specifications that have been crafted through an iterative process to create the greatest value for the most affordable price.
Team members understand the relationship of interdependent systems and how any alteration to the building in one area will impact other elements and systems. The team will:
- assess acquisition, title, easements, utilities and water issues
- research tax exemptions, incentives, sponsorship, and grant funds for green building.
- alter the design or scope for best configuration on the site re: topography, views, traffic patterns for the occupants, and orientation and massing, to take advantage of passive solar, wind, ventilation and thermal heating and cooling so that demands are reduced on mechanical systems
- incorporate green-building measures, including contingencies for researching and analyzing multiple options, into the budget
- evaluate energy, envelope, water and wastewater systems, weigh arguments and develop bid alternates
- research new products, systems, materials and methods of installation to determine what elements and systems lend themselves best to addressing more than one project need
- use RFQ and RFP process to require contractors to demonstrate their green-building qualifications and experience and their willingness to share in the mission
- allocate time for testing and commissioning into the project schedule
The nucleus of the team is the owner, developer, project coordinator, architect, the general contractor and systems designers, but they draw from a wider circle, including city or county planning, local utilities, a green consultant, a landscape architect, major subcontractors, mechanical, structural and civil engineers, suppliers, lenders, foundations, service providers, tenants and management.
The team must have:
- a dedicated project coordinator or green-building consultant from the earliest stages of design through occupancy to ensure that the team meet its priorities, that all systems are installed correctly and tested, and that owners, managers and tenants understand how the green features work and how to maintain them
- an architect experienced in green building
- engineers and contractors familiar with the project's green features and systems and the requirements of installation and operations, and who are willing and able to do research on unfamiliar aspects
Green-building guidelines and rating systems can help focus the discussion around measurable outcomes and performance standards for operations and maintenance.
Energy analysis-modeling software is available for systems and the building envelope. Use modeling to help determine the best combination of systems, and determine initial costs and recovery for the developer and lenders.
Provide mandatory training for performance maintenance to keep the building functioning at its highest efficiency.
Building A Green Team
Green Case Studies
» Adaptive Reuse
» Brownfields Cleanup
» Ecological Restoration
» Industrial Development Bonds
» Infill Development
» Sustainable Community
» Transit Oriented Development
» Capital Building Projects
» Tax Credits
» Sustainability and Implementation Plans
» More Projects
Cost And Benefits
Janet Myles, Independant Consultant
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