Integrated Design Process


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Schematic Design


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many cases, the desire to be compatible with existing development patterns takes precedence over other factors. The challenge is to integrate the environmental parameters into the overall equation.

The first rule of green design is to reduce demand through passive systems, then provide the smallest and most efficient active systems possible. Passive strategies include using the structure's thermal mass to store and radiate heat in the winter; designing building forms and spaces to maximize cross-ventilation for summer cooling; and using air buoyancy (hot air rises) to pull fresh air into and out of the building. Active systems should then be integrated with the passive systems to provide any additional heating, cooling, or ventilation needed.

The building materials themselves, both structural and finish products, should interact efficiently with the major building systems to promote energy efficiency, remove excess moisture, and prevent exposure of the occupants to environmental toxins. Finally, the building must be operated in a way that delivers the benefits intended by the design. This means regular maintenance of systems, upkeep of building materials, and preventing the introduction of new toxins in the form of cleaning or repair products.

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