The Integrated Design Process

T

    he Integrated Design Process is a design method for high-performance buildings that has its basis on cross-disciplinary collaboration. The main benefits are found in energy efficiency, costs and overall performances.

Experts of different disciplines, such as architecture, energy consultancy, indoor climate, HVAC systems, structures (the more, the better), concur together on the common design goals and criteria, avoiding conflicts and sharing their knowledge to find holistic answers to complex problems.

The integrated approach emphasises early-stage design: up to 70% of the design choices are taken in the first 10% of the design process. The main advantages of early-stage decision making are the high impact and the low costs arising from changes in the project.

An integrated approach is iterative, rather than linear, allowing for multi-disciplinary inputs and early spotting of problems. Synergy is the keyword: with an Integrated Design Process the disciplines of architecture and engineering are no longer a limit to each other, but a reciprocal answer and solution to common problems and goals.

Traditional Design

 

Linear approach

 

More decisions made by fewer people

 

Systems considered in isolation

 

Emphasis on up-front costs and benefits

 

Less time and collaboration in early stages

Integrated Design

 

Whole systems approach

 

Cross-disciplinary team 

 

Systems considered in relationship to others

 

Emphasis on life-cycle costs and benefits

 

Front-loaded time and early collaboration