Integrative Design Process - A Building Cost Saving Primer

Bill Reed, Integrative Design Collaborative and Regenesis
David Baggs, ecospecifier global,

1.0 Introduction

design guide.png

Figure 1: The Integrative Design Guide to Green Building book by 7Group and Bill Reed (2009) is the seminal text in the industry on IDP.

Further Info:


In thinking about how we design and construct in ways that enhance the sustainability outcomes of projects, i.e. delivering the 'green' communities, development and buildings, it is important we focus on what we mean by and the implications of, thinking and acting more sustainably.

In considering the implementation of sustainable buildings, a frequent  responses of many clients and building industry professionals who practice Business as Usual (BaU) development, design and construction when someone suggests that they should consider the benefits that sustainable buildings deliver is 'But they cost more, why should I bother?' The short answer is they needn't cost more. In the USA a number of leading 'Platinum' rated buildings have been built at lower than average market rates using a number of key integrative design concepts and processes.

While the topic of Integrative Design Process (IDP) is dealt with in highly useful detail in the seminal text by co-author Bill Reed and the 7Group (see Figure 1), this primer seeks to introduce readers to the key concepts, strategies and techniques that enable the parallel goals of enhanced sustainability outcomes, reduced costs and streamlined construction programs to flow from changing a project design process from a BaU approach, to an integrative model and all that involves.

Rethinking the Design Process - Today's increasing focus on specialization, set within a process of isolated decision-making and conventional practice methods, under the demanding speed of the contemporary real estate development cycle, all conspire to prevent optimization of most every system engaged when communities or buildings are developed.   Without amore integrated design process entire systems are over-designed, or more commonly function in conflict with one another.  As a result opportunities for system synergies - the ability to work more effectively together  are lost.  This translates to unnecessary dollars spent on increased material requirements and operating implications for costs of operation, use of energy and water.

Definition of the Integrative Design Process - Cross-disciplinary teamwork early in the design process is essential to achieve the successful integration of community systems in a design.  In this context systems are manmade or natural elements that are combined "to form an integral whole and to function, operate, or move in unison."  (Webster's New International Dictionary, 2ndedition, 1951).The Integrative Design Process or IDP,is meant to address living and built systems in a way that results in seamless linkageof all parts that form the whole.

The distinction between the linear (conventional) design processwith an Integrative Design Process requires more than a holding a workshop or 'charrette'.  IDP is about aligning the entire development, design team, and construction team around broader objectives and a more whole way of working.

2.0 Sustainability - what is it?

key purpose.pngThe essence of sustainability is sustaining life.  Life is not static "thing", it is an evolving process.  A static condition is dead.  Sustainability is not a "thing" nor does the process of sustainability have an end point.  Achieving a sustainable condition requires us to engage with life on its own terms - as a living, evolving, interconnected, and mutually supportive enterprise.

Sustainability is a progression toward a functional awareness that all things are connected; that the systems of commerce, technology, building, society, geology, habitat, soil, and other earth systems are really one system of integrated relationships; that these systems are co-participants in the evolution of life.

When we design for sustainability, we must be cognizant of these issues and design in a way that allows the interconnectedness of systems to be recognised and responded to by our built environments in ways that enhance life and respond to change in a systemic and integrated way. In approaching the design of built environments in this an integrative way we not only enhance the sustainability potential of our buildings, but we also increase the potential of the resultant communities and built environments within them to be more ecologically benign, liveable and more cost efficient.

3.0 The importance of interconnectedness

sustainability do achieve.pngAn integrative design process, by definition, will address living and built systems in a way that helps us understand and link the parts of the whole; the whole process of all sub systems that make up the processes of life.  There are no boundaries that limit the scope of integration other than the boundaries we assume.

Moving towards sustainability means that we need to move towards more complex system awareness.  This way of approaching problems helps us address and make use of many more issues and systems than we typically address when working within a conventional framework.

While this might seem a challenging concept for those well versed in current construction and design practices, it is important for these experienced practitioners to apply a 'willing suspension of disbelief' and be open to the potential benefits that changing towards integrative design practices can deliver.

By far, most successful sustainable projects (i.e., projects that achieved the high environmental goals they originally set out to achieve, within budget) have done so, not by adding green technology and products to the building, but because they had the willingness to focus on the environmental issues - the invisible and critical connections - as essential to the success of the design.  They asked many questions about the potential beneficial relationships between ALL the systems in the building, site and region and explore the many different ways to reach toward better ecological integration.  The environmental concerns were not secondary, nor were they dominant, just an integral part of the design.  The usual "right" answers were never assumed (or extrapolated from previous projects) and they were always questioned. Integrated, whole systems analysis and resolution using integrative design processes deliver budget and time saving synergy. In this way, with practice, diligent teams can deliver leading edge sustainability outcomes, within budget and on time.

There are 3 key characteristics to ensuring that the costs of green buildings are minimised:

  1. Use SYSTEMS THINKING to look at communities, developments and building as nested systems of integrated wholes, (not a series of elements in isolation or a collection of individual systems), to find and drive synergy;
  2. Clients and experienced design teams should COMMIT TO SUSTAINABILITY TARGETS (they will achieve) and stretch targets  (they would like to achieve) with the overall philosophy of the highest level sustainability outcomes at best cost. By doing this in combination with the above activities, they will manage find synergistic benefits to drive costs down. This has been called 'Tunnelling  through the Cost barrier'.
  3. Use an INTEGRATIVE DESIGN PROCESS (IDP) to work together to find ALL the benefits and drivers of SYNERGY, amend the design of the building and systems to realize the benefits of the synergy in all relevant systems and fully cost them as a whole;


Figure 2: Roadmap for the Integrated Design Process,
Source: Prepared by Busby Perkins+Will, Stantec Consulting, developed For BC Green Building Roundtable

3.1 Systems Thinking

While most architects and engineers feel they are "systems designers" by the nature of their work in delivering complex buildings - they usually are not.  Sustainable design requires a different mindset or mental model.  This model is able to look at systems in a more complex way.  Instead of looking at just the physical elements of the building, the invisible connections between the elements need to be understood.  These invisible connections and patterns, for example, may be manifest in the downstream impact of toxins in building materials, the multiple efficiency and cost relationships between the many variables in an HVAC system and the building envelope, or the impact on social systems due to logging practices or any raw material extraction.  This level of analysis requires a rigorous level of enthusiastic and early engagement from the participants and an understanding of tools used to make these evaluations.  Since no one has all of this knowledge themselves, the role of the team takes on great importance; the role of questioning takes on an equal importance in order to elicit answers beyond the conventional.

3.2 'Tunnelling through the cost barrier'

In their 1997 book 'Factor Four: Doubling Wealth, Halving Resources', Amory Lovins and Ernst Weizsäcker first used the term, 'Tunnelling through the cost barrier' as an introduction to how to pursue a process of assessing and costing sustainability initiatives to ensure all costs and benefits are being captured and the true cost picture exposed. This process is also sometimes called integrated life-cycle costing.

This is not the 'life cycle cost' argument that many developers decry as being of no interest to them because the 'whole of life' benefits flow to the ultimate occupants rather than the developer, it is about finding the actual lowest first cost. It is about one of the 'systems thinking' techniques needed to break through the conventional thinking outcome of increased green building cost that result from  sustainability outcomes being 'bolted' onto a BaU design and construction process.

While some clients, developers or builders might be tempted to take the savings and not commit to trading these off against systems with extra costs attached, they will quickly realize the benefits only flow from an integrated package of initiatives.

3.3 Integrative Design Process

An IDP is best started right up the front of a project even before pen is put to paper for a design. The further down the design and documentation path IDP is engaged, the fewer options are available and the higher eventual costs will be. One thing can be guaranteed, if you follow a BAU approach to delivering Sustainability or any other type of rated green building and just 'chase the points' by buying green technology 'add ons', your built costs WILL be higher, considerably higher. On the other hand, lowered costs are achievable by experienced consultants, working with committed clients in a sustainability focused IDP driven to find synergy (and the consequent savings) within and between integrated systems in projects and natural systems.

For teams to embrace this process a different mindset or mental model is required; a mindset that has the desire to change the way things are done.  A mental model that is open and willing drives the successful integration of green design. The first steps as noted above are systems thinking and integrated cost allocation, both of which depend a collaborative approach.  The very strength of the integrative approach has in it a potential weakness - it depends on collaboration from the key players - the client, architect, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, facilities managers etc.  Fostering and working within a collaborative framework is hard because we have been trained to be "experts".  The client expects it and the design team members feel they need to exhibit it. This 'expert' mode needs to be relaxed and participants be willing to be involved in issues outside their core expertise and often Comfort zone.

As almost every team member's discipline has an impact in every key sustainability deliverable somewhere, every team member needs to be willing to participate in every aspect of the discussion to the best of their ability even if they think their contribution might put them at risk of seeming 'silly' or less than fully informed. Indeed, feeling slight insecurity about your contribution is viewed by experienced IDP facilitators that the process is working properly. Clients and financial decision makers need to be willing to submit to participating equally in this process also and be willing to suspend judgement of their team co-members.

4.0    10 Summary aspects of an Integrative Design Process

The whole team shares their respective roles as joint 'Designer' and co-learners: An interdisciplinary team who drop their roles as 'discipline experts' and become co-learners, co-researchers and co-testers before the architect even puts pen to paper. The integrated design process should create time for true interactive dialogue to allow change to occur. Therefore, achieving the greatest effectiveness in cost and environmental performance requires that every issue and everybody be brought into the project at the earliest point.

  • Everybody equates to all consultants representing the key areas of design.
  • Early in the process means as early as possible - even before the site is selected if possible
  • Every issue requires developing an understanding of the essential patterns to address "whole systems."

Engage those with a willingness to learn, be flexible and open to change. At the first workshop, let the design team know that they are the best people for the job or they wouldn't have been hired.  It is useful to communicate something to the effect, "Now, let's pack away our egos, we know you are good at what you do, or you wouldn't be here.  The purpose of getting everybody to work as a team is so we can teach each other; none of us know it all, we all have a lot to learn about how we can work with and improve the environment."

1.       Develop up-front a Core Purpose, shared Project Vision and Set Goals: Align team around the essential, deepest, and core purpose of why the project is proposed.  Before the design process begins, understand the health generating patterns of place.

  • What are the forces and relationships that made this place, what has degraded it, what keeps it healthy?  There are typically only a few "key systems" that function as health generating leverage points.
  • Address how human activities and aspirations can move into alignment with earth system functions.

So what is a Core Purpose? The core issue is rarely what is on the surface.  Of course we are designing a community or buildings and we want the development to be profitable.  What we are doing and the money earned are necessary, but these are not the 'core.'  The core purpose requires some deeper level of thought and values to be brought to the surface.  The process of getting the team to think into these deeper reasons for why and what we are doing can open up a whole range of discovery and care.  This can bring a more complete and deeper level of engagement and passion to the project.  This is what 'alignment' among the team is meant to address.

Then use a 'backcasting process' to set a project 'Vision'.  Set goals that are measurable and that are 'Commitments' that will be achieved. Then also set aspirational or 'stretch goals', i.e., measurable things you would like to achieve if possible economically and practically within project timeframes. It is important the team to have a shared mental model of what they are trying to achieve and a 'Vision setting' workshop or 'charette' as it is sometimes called delivers what is needed.  Then work backwards from the vision, step by step to the current time working out how to get from the vision to where the project is;

2.       Involve the whole team:
An IDP should involve all members of design team including client and, in particular, the financial decision maker. Everyone has some impact on most ecological impacts of development and many affect healthy indoor environment conditions. They all bring different pieces of the puzzle to the table and to work without some in key processes might result in missing important synergy and cost savings;

3.       Map the Design Process
Managing this process in a way so that every person is not around the table at every meeting can be challenging.  However, each project is unique, so every project requires a roadmap (see Section 6) to make sure that assignments are accomplished and addressed by having the right people present at the right time.  Sometimes, people may not have a lot to contribute but will benefit in their ability to implement future decisions by participating.  While some may think having operations staff is unnecessary in early design stages, their experience can help avoid design mistakes that negatively impact long term operating costs.  In the case of marketing staff, their understanding of the core principles and thinking behind early design or environmental decisions can become powerful tools in communicating the project's differentiating aspects later to buyers and tenants.  Management of this design process is critical if money is to be used efficiently, long-term value is to be created, and the energy of team members is to be maintained.

The basic structure for the integrative design process of communities and large-scale land development has four basic parts:

A. Discovery
B. Design and construction
C. Sales and disposition
D. Occupancy, operations, and performance feedback.

4.   'Tunnel  through the cost barrier': don't  lightly 'try' and end up retreating by:

  • costing sustainability initiatives fully, ensuring that all implications for all changes are fully considered  by the  relevant consultants and whole project (including life cycle cost) benefits reported also;
  • Using whole-building and/or whole site energy modeling and water balance models to test different scenarios and optimise the building design progressively throughout the research and design processes from very first pre-design stages and then redefine and refine strategies adding increasing detail as more information becomes available during progressive stages. It is important to use simple 'box' or 'massing' based energy model simulation to multi-scenario test different window/wall ratios, window and wall types, insulation levels, orientation options (if the site is large enough) building shape etc. All can be done before concept design to inform the architects design and building image.
  • Use systems thinking to look at options, look 'outside the box' to consider whole systems benefits and options rather than looking only at the obvious.

5.       Assemble of Core team of wise or SEE2R consultants:
Consultants who drive to find Synergy, are Enthusiastic, Educated, Experienced with direct Expertise about and in sustainability and who are willing Risk managers not risk avoiders and who are willing to iteratively develop ideas and optimize systems through the design process.

6.       Commit to a SEE2R sustainability consultant:
Ensure that particularly during the final documentation and construction stages (when the core team is not meeting as often) all major decisions pass through the 'sustainability screen' using an experienced sustainability consultant to ensure that green commitments are not being adversely affected when key consultants 'Don't know what they don't know' and make decisions unaware of the sustainability ramifications. Maintain a dual focus on sustainability - local and planetary impacts and enhancements.

7.        Don't be afraid of Innovation: innovative products, technologies and systems can often be your winning synergy edge and result in major whole-project cost benefits that are worth the risk.

8.        Manage don't avoid risk: Experienced project and construction managers know how to manage or externalise risk. In doing this it is possible to use innovative technologies that drive synergy and costs down to offset other increased costs and make high performance green buildings a low or no cost option.

9.       Experience is needed: to achieve these outcomes with IPD, don't expect to do it in one project- unless your team is already experienced in IDP. BUT if not, at least make a start. Start small and work up to larger projects with experienced team members moving from smaller to larger projects;

10.      Iterate the process and Provide Feedback

Iterate: While it might seem that all this process will take more time and cost more in fees, experience around the globe has shown, done properly, the extra up-front costs are easily saved in less re-doing and mistakes down the track and faster more efficient construction processes.

Feedback: To continue to achieve this end over time after completion feedback is needed, Communities and buildings are organisms; they depend on a complex web of inter-relationships to work effectively.  All human-made and living organisms require monitoring in order for the system to respond to weaknesses or damage. Living organisms are self-regulating, the whole system of life responds -e.g. when there is not enough food in the ecosystem, the animal population reduces the number of offspring When a building or community is using too much energy relative to the ability of the power distribution system to provide more, or a mechanical system is not working efficiently due to a damaged valve, for example, it is necessary to respond.  Building operators need to respond with a reduction in power demand or to repair the damaged part so the system will operate more efficiently.  Or if there is a leaking irrigation pipe, there needs to be a meter and measurement point so that the community or building owners are aware of the wasted resource and money.  This process of monitoring performance over time is called feedback.  It is necessary to set up a metering or observation system to measure and monitor the performance of Key Performance Indicators over the life of the project.

5.0    Detailed Integrative Design Process (IDP)

5.1 Linear vs. Integrative Design Structure

The Integrative Design Process is different from the conventional, or linear, design process.  Achieving the greatest effectiveness in cost and environmental performance requires that every issue and everybody be brought into the project at the earliest point.

The linear process is shown in the bottom diagram, while the integrative process is shown in the top line. Note, they both take the same time.


5.2   The IDP can be described simply as:

research icon.png

RESEARCH / ANALYSIS - Individual expert team members initially develop a rough understanding of the issues associated with the project before meeting - ecological systems, energy systems, water systems, material resources, skill resources.  This is occurs so the design process can begin with a common understanding of the base issues.

workshop icon.png
WORKSHOP - These team members come together with all stakeholders in the first workshop (charrette) to compare ideas, to set performance goals, and to begin forming a cohesive team that function as a consortium of co-designers.  By being in relationship to each other, each team member allows the issues associated with the system for which he or she is responsible to come into relationship with all others, so that a more integrated and optimized project results.

research analysis icon.png

RESEARCH / ANALYSIS - Team members go back to work on their respective issues - refining the analysis, testing alternatives, comparing notes, and generating ideas in smaller meetings.

workshop icon.png
WORKSHOP - The team reassembles for a deep discussion of overlapping benefits and opportunities - how best to utilize the "waste" products from one system to benefit other systems.  New opportunities are discovered, explored and tested across disciplines, and new questions are raised.

research analysis icon.png

RESEARCH / ANALYSIS - Team members go apart again to design and analyze with more focus and potentially with greater benefits accruing.  New ideas are uncovered.

workshop icon.png
WORKSHOP(S) - The team reassembles once again to further refine the design and to optimize systems being used (building and mechanical systems) and to integrate systems connected with the project (sun, water, habitat, materials, etc.)

. . .  and this pattern continues until iterative solutions move as far as the team and client wish.  Simply stated, good integration is a continuously dynamic iterative process.   All issues need to be kept in play so that the connections and relationships can be optimized.  A linear process approaches each problem directly and separately, while an integrated process approaches each problem from the varied viewpoints of multiple participants and the issues they represent.  It is an iterative or continuous circling process, one that encourages exploration in order to ensure discovery of the best opportunities, while permitting continuous adjustments as more understanding emerges.

Three to five charrettes are the typical number of large meetings required to move integration forward, in conjunction with many additional sub-meetings.  When and how team members interact is the responsibility of the project manager or integration facilitator.  Nevertheless, unless the project team meets with some level of intentional integration (and updated analysis) at least every two weeks, the momentum of exploration will diminish.

The foundation of an Integrative Design Process is the Discovery Phase.  An understanding of the invisible relationships between the basic systems of a project needs to be gained before the design of any tangible, physical relationships can begin.

These basic systems are the aspects and relationships that are engaged within and around a specific project.  Every key issue needs to be brought into play - the more the better.  This requires that the client, the design and construction team members, the community, and other stakeholders representing key issues and interest, be brought into a relationship with each other so that co-discovery can take place.

The design process should begin by determining, as best as possible, how to increase the beneficial interrelationships between human, biotic, technical, and earth systems.  This understanding becomes the foundation for any design aimed at saving resources, restoring the health and benefits of natural system processes, and engaging humans in an understanding of these functions, so that they can serve as effective stewards.  Participants in the design, construction, and operations phases of the project must actively seek to optimize the interrelationships between these systems over time - in other words, making sustainable (and best) use of resources, both technical and natural.

The IDP process for projects that embrace the larger systems of which they are a part, can be summarized with the "Three E's" - Everybody engaged, Every issue considered, Early in the project.

The trick here is managing this process in such a way that every person is not around the table at every meeting.  Each project is unique, so every project requires a roadmap to make sure that assignments are accomplished and addressed by having the right people present at the right time.  Management of this design process is critical if money is to be used efficiently and if the energy of team members is to be maintained.

6.0   Practice Suggestions and Template

- To achieve an Environmentally and Cost Effective Integrated Project

6.1 A Suggested Process - Three-Part Structure

To aid understanding of the basic structure necessary for implementing the integrative design process we have subdivided the process into three basic parts: A. discovery; B. design and construction; and C. occupancy, operations, and performance feedback. Each of these parts is then further subdivided into a series of stages. Following a brief description of these three parts, the remainder of this chapter is devoted to an integrative design Implementation Process Outline, which describes the tasks associated with each stage in Part A.

Part A: Discovery

We find that discovery is the most important aspect of integrative design, and in a sense it can be thought of as an extensive expansion of what we currently call predesign. It is unlikely that a project's environmental goals will be achieved cost-effectively-or at all, for that matter-if this phase is not engaged with rigor and perceived as an explicitly defined phase-and as a new way of thinking about the design process.

Regardless how you may choose to implement the stages described in Part A (below) or in what order you choose to engage this analysis, the key is that everything described in these Part A stages needs to be accomplished before "putting pencil to paper"-in other words, before beginning schematic design, this discovery work needs to be done.

Part B: Design and Construction

The design and construction phase begins with what we currently call schematic design; as such, it more closely resembles conventional practice in its structure, but it expands and enlivens the process by folding in all of the work and collective understanding of systems interactions reached in discovery.

Part C: Occupancy, Operations, and Performance Feedback

Examining the occupancy, operations, and performance, feedback phase in any comprehensive way is beyond the scope of this primer and likely requires an additional book to give it its full dimension; however, Part C must be considered while engaging parts A and B, since without feedback the relationships between building occupants and their environment do not come alive. In other words, without such post-occupancy feedback, we have no means to assess the degree to which parts A and B successfully addressed their challenges.partA discovery.png

A.1.0      Prepare Proposal A

  • Establish scope and fees for initial Goal-Setting Workshop

A.1.1      Fundamental Research for Workshop No. 1

  • Site selection: Assess optional sites (if not already selected)
  • Context: Identify base ecological conditions and perform preliminary analysis of the four key subsystems:
§  Habitat
§  Water
§  Energy
§  Materials
  • Stakeholders: Identify key stakeholders-social and ecological
  • Program: Develop initial functional programmatic requirements

A.1.2      Principles and Measurement

  • Select rating system and performance measurement criteria

A.1.3      Cost Analysis

  • Prepare integrated cost-bundling framework template

A.1.4      Schedule and Fees

  • Develop a scheduling template-a Road Map-for assigning tasks
  • Prepare Agenda for Workshop No. 1.

stage a2.png

A.2.1      Visioning Workshop No. 1: Tasks and Activities

  • Introduce participants to the fundamentals of the integrative design process and to systems thinking
  • Elicit client's deeper intentions and purpose for the project - the 'vision'
  • Engage Touchstones exercise to elicit stakeholders' values and aspirations
  • Determine key tasks as to the process by which the vision might be implemented, backwards from the vision to current day;
  • Clarify functional and programmatic targets and stretch targets ( apply willing suspension of disbelief in setting these and then ultimately apply integrated cost bundling analysis to determine which are able to be achieved within budget and program) relating to achieving the vision
  • Establish initial Principles, Metrics, Benchmarks, and Performance Targets for the four key subsystems:
§  Habitat
§  Water
§  Energy
§  Materials
  • Generate potential strategies for achieving identified Performance & Stretch Targets
  • Determine order of magnitude cost impacts of proposed strategies
  • Provide time for reflection and feedback loops from client and team members
  • Develop an Integrative Process Road Map that identifies responsibilities, deliverables, and dates
  • Initiate documentation of the Owner's Project Requirements (OPR)

A.2.2      Principles and Measurement

  • Document Touchstones, Principles, Metrics, Benchmarks, and Performance Targets and Stretch Targets from Workshop No. 1

A.2.3      Cost Analysis

  • Document order of magnitude cost impacts of proposed strategies to reflect input from Workshop No. 1

A.2.4      Schedule and Next Steps

  • Adjust Integrative Process Road Map to reflect input from Workshop No. 1
  • Distribute report from Workshop No. 1

stage a3.png

A.3.0      Prepare Proposal B

  • Develop Proposal B: confirm scope and fees based on Workshop No. 1 scope refinement

A.3.1      Research and Analysis Activities: First Iteration

  • Explore and identify a wide range of opportunities and possible strategies before collapsing into solutions
  • Expand the analysis of the four key subsystems:
§  Habitat
§  Water
§  Energy
§  Materials

A.3.2      Principles and Measurement

  • Evaluate design concepts against Performance Targets and Stretch Targets

from Workshop No. 1

  • Commissioning: Prepare conceptual phase OPR

A.3.3      Cost Analysis

  • Apply unit cost estimates to the integrative cost-bundling template

A.3.4      Schedule and Next Steps

  • Update Integrative Process Road Map in preparation for Workshop No. 2
  • Prepare Agenda for Workshop No. 2.

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A.4.1      Workshop No. 2: Activities

  • Assess the findings from Stage A.3 (Research and Analysis) of the four key subsystems:
§  Habitat
§  Water
§  Energy
§  Materials
  • Generate conceptual site and building design concepts from:
§  Touchstones and Principles
§  Site forces
§  Community and watershed living-system patterns
§  Functional program
§  Breakout group working sessions
  • Confirm alignment with Touchstones, Principles, Metrics, Benchmarks, Performance and Stretch Targets
  • Review integrative cost-bundling studies in progress
  • Review and adjust the Process Road Map
  • Provide time for reflection and feedback loops from client and team members
  • Commissioning: Review Owner's Project Requirements (OPR)

A.4.2      Principles and Measurement

  • Document adjustments to Performance Targets and Stretch Targets to reflect input from Workshop No. 2
  • Commissioning: Adjust OPR to reflect input from Workshop No. 2

A.4.3      Cost Analysis

  • Update any required integrative cost-bundling templates to reflect input from Workshop No. 2

A.4.4      Schedule and Next Steps

  • Update Integrative Process Road Map to reflect input from Workshop No. 2
  • Distribute Workshop No. 2 Report

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A.5.1      Research and Analysis Activities: Explorations within individual disciplines and smaller related groups

  • Test Conceptual Design schemes from Workshop No. 2 within the realities of the program and guiding principles relative to the four key subsystems:

§  Habitat
§  Water
§  Energy
§  Materials

  • Coalesce findings and bring analysis to a reasonable conclusion before beginning the Schematic Design phase

A.5.2      Principles and Measurement

  • Confirm and solidify Metrics, Benchmarks, Performance and Stretch Targets
  • Commissioning: Develop Basis of Design (BOD)

A.5.3      Cost Analysis

  • Put a price tag on every strategy and subsystem, then aggregate them into integrated cost bundles  [once they've been aggregated, they're integrated rather than integrative]

A.5.4      Schedule and Next Steps

  • Update Integrative Process Road Map in preparation for Workshop No. 3
  • Prepare Agenda for Workshop No. 3

stage b1.png

B.1.1      Workshop No. 3 Activities

  • Present sketch concepts, supporting data, and discoveries from Stage A.5 Research and Analysis
  • Develop site-and-building-configuration sketch solutions by evaluating flows and exploring interrelationships between the four key subsystems:

§  Habitat

§  Water

§  Energy

§  Materials

  • Assess the realistic potential for achieving Performance Targets and Stretch Targets and review commitment to Touchstones and Principles
  • Identify the systems that require more extensive cost-bundling analysis, including life-cycle-cost impacts
  • Commissioning: Identify where the Owner's Project Requirements (OPR) and Basis of Design (BOD) will need refinement based upon new discoveries
  • Provide time for reflection and feedback loops from client and team members

B.1.2      Principles and Measurement

  • Document adjustments to Performance Targets to reflect input from Workshop No. 3
  • Commissioning: Adjust OPR and BOD to reflect input from Workshop No. 3

B.1.3      Cost Analysis

  • Update any required integrated cost-bundling templates to reflect input from Workshop No. 3

B.1.4      Schedule and Next Steps

  • Refine and extend forward the Integration Process Road Map tasks and schedule into future phases to reflect input from Workshop No. 3
  • Distribute report from Workshop No. 3

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B.2.1      Research and Analysis Activities: Schematic Design

  • Engage a more informed schematic design process and develop building form solutions from conceptual sketches produced in Workshop No. 3.
  • Iterate, iterate, iterate, with meetings, conference calls, etc., to integrate the four key subsystems with building form

§  Habitat
§  Water
§  Energy
§  Materials

B.2.2      Principles and Measurement

  • Test building performance in detail and evaluate results against Performance Targets and Stretch Targets
  • Commissioning: Adjust the OPR and BOD to reflect proposed schematic design

B.2.3      Cost Analysis

  • Refine integrated cost-bundling numbers to ensure that proposed schemes, systems combinations, and cost scenarios can be evaluated with increasing accuracy

B.2.4      Schedule and Next Steps

  • Adjust and prepare Integration Process Road Map for team review to include tasks and schedule impacts that have emerged from schematic design discoveries
  • Prepare Agenda for Workshop No. 4.

stage b3.png

B.3.1      Workshop No. 4 Activities

  • Present schematic design solutions from Stage B.2 Research and Analysis and verify that the ranges of Performance Targets and Stretch Targets are being met for the four key subsystems:

§  Habitat
§  Water
§  Energy
§  Materials

  • Verify that schematic design solution meets building program requirements and environmental performance objectives
  • Commit to building form, configuration, and systems interrelationships that will be analyzed in further detail for optimization during Stage B.4 Research and Analysis
  • Identify the systems components variants that will require more detailed cost-bundling analysis
  • Identify Measurement and Verification (M&V) methods and opportunities for providing continuous performance feedback
  • Commissioning: Identify where the OPR and BOD require updating

B.3.2      Principles and Measurement

  • Document adjustments to Performance Targets that reflect schematic design solution
  • Commissioning: Adjust OPR and BOD to reflect schematic design solution

B.3.3      Cost Analysis

  • Expand any integrative cost-bundling templates to reflect input from Workshop No. 4

B.3.4      Schedule and Next Steps

  • Verify and refine and extend forward the Integration Process Road Map tasks and schedule through Design Development
  • Distribute Workshop No. 4 Report

stage b4.png

B.4.1      Research and Analysis Activities: Design Development

  • Engage detailed analysis of systems interrelationships with continuous iterations between disciplines
  • Validate achievement of Performance Targets and start firming up or eliminating Stretch Targets for specific components of the four key subsystems

§  Habitat
§  Water
§  Energy
§  Materials

  • Obtain input and feedback from builder on all systems, if not already engaged

B.4.2      Principles and Measurement

  • Document in detail and validate building-performance results against Performance Targets
  • Prepare draft M&V Plan
  • Commissioning

§  Invite the Commissioning Authority to review design progress and identify opportunities for further optimization and potential conflicts

§  Identify the preliminary list of systems to be commissioned

§  Prepare preliminary Commissioning Plan

B.4.3      Cost Analysis

  • Utilize integrated cost-bundling templates to optimize value and performance-true-value engineering-to conclude cost analysis for all major systems

B.4.4      Schedule and Next Steps

  • Extend forward the Integration Process Road Map tasks and schedule through the Documentation phase and begin integrating with the builder if this has not yet occurred
  • Prepare Agenda for Workshop No. 5

stage b5.png

B.5.1      Workshop No. 5 Activities

  • Verify achievement of all Performance Targets and define approved stretch targets or delete
  • Present and verify the integrated performance of the project as an interrelated whole
  • Identify where Specifications will need to be altered to effectively document project performance and integrate the four key subsystems (habitat, water, energy, and materials)
  • Verify final cost-bundling analysis and cost impacts related to all major systems and components
  • Commissioning: Review Commissioning Plan for alignment with BOD and schedule Commissioning review of mid-construction documents

B.5.2      Principles and Measurement

  • Document final Performance Targets
  • Review draft Measurement and Verification Plan
  • Commissioning: Update OPR, BOD, and Commissioning Plan to reflect input from Workshop No. 5

B.5.3      Cost Analysis

  • Document integrated cost implications of final design decisions

B.5.4      Schedule and Next Steps

  • Plan quality control review process of Construction Documents
  • Distribute Workshop No. 5 Report

stage b6.png

B.6.1      Documentation Activities

  • Complete Bidding Documents with thorough Specifications that communicate both performance requirements and project intentions that integrate the four key subsystems
  • Commissioning: Update Commissioning Plan and insert Commissioning requirements into Specifications

B.6.2      Principles and Measurement

  • Finalize performance calculations to validate final design and document results
  • Produce final Measurement and Verification Plan to build performance measurement and feedback loops into project
  • Commissioning: Perform detailed review of Drawings and specifications to ensure consistency with OPR and BOD

B.6.3      Cost Analysis

  • Review unique cost implications with builder and finalize cost estimate

B.6.4      Schedule and Next Steps

  • Schedule quality control reviews of Construction Documents


stage b7.png

B.7.1      Bidding and Construction Activities

  • Explain unique aspects of project and the integration of all systems at the Pre-Bid and Pre-Construction conferences
  • Review with builder's team (all trades and subcontractors) their roles and responsibilities prior to commencing construction regarding:

§  Subcontractors' roles in supporting the integration of their work into the whole

§  Each subcontractor's role in supporting the documentation necessary to demonstrate achievement of Performance Targets

  • Review builder submittals through the unique filters of environmental performance
  • Commissioning: Coordinate with builder's team installation of all systems regarding achievement of Performance Targets

§  Perform site observations
§  Incorporate Commissioning schedule into construction schedule
§  Review submittals
§  Develop construction checklists and functional tests
§  Witness start-up
§  Perform functional tests
§  Verify training of building operations team
§  Prepare final Commissioning report
§  Produce systems manuals

B.7.2      Principles and Measurement

  • Manage the collection of documents that verify achievement of Performance Targets
  • Commissioning: Document pre-functional and functional testing results and prepare Commissioning (Cx) reports and Re-commissioning Plan

B.7.3      Cost Analysis

  • Coordinate with builder to ensure that subcontracts are awarded based upon performance requirements, not just price

B.7.4      Schedule and Next Steps

  • Ensure systematic communication between design and building team


Part C: Occupancy, Operations, and Performance Feedback


stage c1.png

C.1.1      Operations Activities

  • Establish operations team consisting of key stakeholders responsible for continuously monitoring, maintaining, and improving environmental performance
  • Establish and implement standard operating procedures (SOPs) that provide continuous feedback regarding performance of the four key subsystems:

§  Habitat
§  Water
§  Energy
§  Materials

  • Commissioning: Conduct periodic Re-commissioning in accordance with Re-commissioning Manual

C.1.2      Principles and Measurement

  • Document key indicators that serve as proxies for the health of the larger ecosystem
  • Document occupant surveys and reconcile results with building systems performance
  • Implement measurement and verification (M&V) plan continuously over the life of the building
  • Insert results of periodic Re-commissioning into Re-commissioning Manual

C.1.3      Cost Analysis

  • Track economic performance of the four key subsystems

C.1.4      Schedule and Next Steps

  • Implement all of the above forever on every future project.


Further Information:

Refer here for a copy of the Draft Integrative Process Standard: Design and Construction of sustainable buildings and communities, Draft ANSI Consensus Standard 2.0 - 31 December 2010


ANSI/MTS, (2007) ANSI/MTS 1.0 Whole Systems Integrated Process Guide (WSIP)-2007 for Sustainable Buildings & Communities, ANSI, Washington DC. Accessed 5.01.11 at

Busby Perkins+Will & Stantec Consulting (2010), Roadmap for the Integrated Design Process, BC Green Building Roundtable. Accessed 10.01.11 at

Reed, W & The 7 Group, (2009), The Integrative Design Guide to Green Building: Redefining the Practice of Sustainability, John Wiley & Sons, NY. See