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Building as an Organism: Understanding the Integrative Process Credit in LEED v4

GBCI: 0920000585

LEED Fellow John Boecker describes what the IP credit means, how to take advantage of its opportunities, and engage in a process yielding better building performance than conventional means.
Eligible for 1 CE HOUR.
  • 1 CE

  • LEED Green Associate
  • LU/HSW

LEED version: v4

Published on: July 17, 2014

Average: 4.9 (10 votes)


If you’re new to Integrative Process, how to get started
The Integrative Design Process is different from the conventional, or linear, design process. 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.

You will learn:
• Details for how the overall time frame for integrative design process from project inception to the delivery of bidding documents can remain the same as for traditional design process—but the allocation of effort becomes redistributed
• Why 70% of environmental impacts are made during the first 10% of the design process
• How to begin with research and analysis on four key subsystems—site, water, energy and materials—prior to a goal-setting charrette
• How to get input from all key stakeholders and members of the design team before schematic design begins
• How the front end loading of analysis allows for the CD phase to be significantly reduced and utilized for documenting earlier design decisions

Already doing Integrative Process, a.k.a Integrated Design? Here’s how to document it for LEED
• How the LEED v4 IP credit focuses on water and energy, and leverages documentation you’re probably creating already
• Tools to explore your energy and water options
• Compliance and documentation strategies for the IP credit
• How the IP credit can help you to achieve other LEED energy and water credits
• This webcast features real-world examples of integrative design processes, cost savings and superior outcomes
• How one project team persuaded a developer to invest in high-performance windows—allowing for the elimination of perimeter heating and downsizing of the HVAC system
• How a water input and output analysis for a mixed-use development in the arid west enabled major reductions in long-term demand on the area’s aquifer
• How one simple question to a project team’s mechanical engineer led to huge first cost and operational savings


  1. Explain why integrative design is the key to cost-effective, high performance green buildings and LEED projects.
  2. Understand how to obtain input from key stakeholders and members of the design team before schematic design begins.
  3. Convey the importance of integrating technology with natural systems rather than superimposing it on natural systems.
  4. Recognize how all the above joins with the Integrative Process credit.
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Created by

BuildingGreen, Inc.
Brattleboro, VT
United States


John Boecker

Founding Partner 7group, LLC
USGBC Education Partners are leaders and trusted voices and reputable providers of green building and sustainability education. Learn more
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14 commentsLeave a comment

Capital Improvement Program Officer, Prince Georges County Public Schools

This course can be modified to be 1.5CE because of the significant detail of information provided.


Energetic and engaging.

Water Resources Engineer, CH2M HILL

Great case studies and inspiration. Thank you!

Senior Lead Engineer, Booz Allen Hamilton

Johan Boecker's depth of knowledge combined with his experience in pioneering the concept of integrated design, is evident in this excellent course,

Senior Lead Engineer, Booz Allen Hamilton

Johan Boecker's depth of knowledge combined with his experience in pioneering the concept of integrated design, is evident in this excellent course,

Senior Architect, Dar Al-Handasah

Great one :)

Commissioning Engineer, Leidos

Everybody interested in LEED should view this presentation!

I know Integrative Design works as Mr. Boecker describes it here because I was doing it back in the late 1990s, too, with nearly identical results. We observed a phenomenon that John did not mention: Building occupant satisfaction and productivity were way higher in ID buildings, and absenteeism was lower. This was more valuable to our clients than energy and water savings. I'm amazed that, nearly 20 years later, most design teams are still not using the integrative team process. Kudos to LEED contributors for finally making it a credit. If I were the King of LEED, Integrative Design Process would be a prerequisite.

Congratulations to John Boecker for an outstanding summary that is convincing and instructional.

Project coordinator, The Walsh Group

I agree with most commentators, the presentation is excellent! It is clear, passionate, to the point and convincing. It gives you a good overview on how to work within an integrated team more efficiently, what to expect from participants and how to avoid possible scepticism and blocks.

Virtual Design and Construction Manager, Balfour Beatty Construction

Really, really interesting. Nice to think of these things in a systems thinking sort of way. After all, no one is an island.

Associate Director and Chartered Professional Engineer, Meinhardt (Singapore) Pte Ltd

An interesting presentation and topic. I liked how the presenter introduced a 'healing' point of view to make the viewer think of the holistic issues that all need to be brought together. However, I did note the comments regarding civil engineers that the presenter made in relation to the concrete lined storm water discharge channel shown towards the beginning of the presentation. The flow discharge channel shown was typical of how civil engineers might have designed outflow solutions 15 years ago; however it should be noted that current best practice is to design storm water outflows with naturally lined (planted out) containment and treatment basins where water can be naturally treated before discharge. Often, we also now design such discharges so that the volumes of output do not exceed the pre-development levels. Its also normal practice for such channels to be naturalised at construction. Hopefully then, civil engineers are becoming part of the solution too.

This was by far the best learning module i have ever seen regarding the integrative process in LEED and project execution by far.

I learned a lot.

THanks John

Environmental Engineer, LEED AP, USGBC Faculty, Jain Engineering Consultants Intl.
Pro Reviewer

This course truly explains how the Integrative Design Process is different from the conventional design process. and highlights the impact of going through the integrative process on project budget by providing actual project examples and case studies including cost analysis. the most important key lesson learned from this presentation is that sustainable doesn’t necessarily mean expensive.

Director of Sustainability, Jones Design Studio, PLLC
Pro Reviewer

Johan Boecker is brilliant. His detailed case studies and cost analysis are exactly what we need to help build the case for sustainable construction. This is common sense information that we all need to have on hand and be able to use to advance the AEC industry. You will have tremendous ROI on your time spent viewing this presentation!

Founder & Principal, Green Group, Sustainability Consulting
Pro Reviewer

Great introduction on how the Integrative Process credit works!!!. The class conveys the importance of integrating all the key elements of building and environment, and gives an overall understanding on how to implement the process. A course to take even though you haven't started working on LEED v4!

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