Building as an Organism: Understanding the Integrative Process Credit in LEED v4 | U.S. Green Building Council
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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: 4.6 (52 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


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    John Boecker made 1 contribution in the last 6 months

John Boecker

Founding Partner 7group, LLC
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Total 57 commentsLeave a comment

Lecturer, Prince Sultan University

It was a great information!

Senior Estimator, Balfour Beatty Construction

Excellent information on how engaging all design parties early can help incorporate design improvements and downsize many systems, with a net savings on the project.

Associate Principal, AECOM

Profession needs to address the building as a whole. This describes how all our buildings should be designed.


Great speaker,
Great content and explanation of it.

Financial Facilities Business Unit Leader, Clayco, Inc. / Forum Studio Architects

A deeper dive into what we have been doing as design/builders for years. Very good insights into how to have an even greater impact.

Architectural Designer, AECOM

Excellent course focused on integrative design process.

Contractor Sales, Total Lighting Concepts

Informative and helpful.

Principal, Dunn Architecture Studio

Lots of great stuff here

Vice President, Trammell Crow Company

Great overview of integrative process (IP) credit. IP takes cues from complexity theory. Design solutions that emerge from tightly integrated A/E/C/O teams are likely to be better all around than those solutions than evolve from a traditionally linear design-bid-build process.

Sr. Design Project Manager, Lendlease

Very smart and usable information, well done.

Facility Asset Strategies
Pro Reviewer

This excellent presentation embraced both conceptual issues involved in project integration processes, and tangible examples for greater effectiveness in terms of energy and water systems.

Architect, Lavallee/Brensinger P.A.

Informative with good examples.

Technical Director , Gensler

this seminar is to the point and effective. The presenter knows the material and presents it very well.

architect, deMx Architecture

It was interesting and informative to hear all the backstory leading to the Integrative Process Credit!

Executive Director, USGBC Massachusetts Chapter

Really engaging course, and went deep enough that I think I learned a few new things. Thank you John!

Commissioning Consultant / Mechanical Engineering Technologist, Stantec

Everyone should watch this

Caldwell Associates Architects, Inc.

Great course material—Examples of previous projects was EXTREMELY helpful to make lecturer's point. (only tech issue was usgbc website would not download video, I have poor internet speed so the audio would hiccup and pause) Course was outstanding


Great/inspiring graphics; more case studies/examples

Project Architect

very informative and lively presentation. thanks!


Collectively accurate to real world

Designer/Project Manager

Good overview/introduction.

Planner, Buildings Group, Mead & Hunt, Inc.

Demonstrates the importance of beginning the integrative design process early.

HDR, Inc.

very engaging speaker

Architect , Dar Al-Handasah

Great presentation to make a good and clear vision of Integrative Process.

Architect, Mike Binder - Architect

Is a good introduction to the process and the LEED documentation requirements.

Gordon & Greenberg Architects

Excellent presentation and in depth explanation of integrated design process.

Serena Sturm Architects, Ltd

Great course.

Director, Sazan Building Analysis & Optimization, Sazan Group, Inc.

Good summary of IDP and its relationship to the LEED v4 IP credit.

ARCHITECT, Morrison Hershfield

good overview of strategy to use EEM's


Very good presentation and easy to understand.

Energy Efficiency Consultant, The Weidt Group

well-spoken presenter giving real-world examples on how to apply this strategy to projects now.

Community Affairs Associate, Park City Municipal Corporation

Good session: engaging and spoken in plain language. Please offer the slides in a 3-per-page format: this saves paper and allows one to take notes as we go along. It also makes it easier to keep track of the pages since the pages will be numbered. If attendees want to print some of the diagrams out full-page, they can do so from the 1-slide-per-page document.


clear and compelling presentation

Richardson & Associates Architects

Excellent presentation with great ideas!

Architect, GHD

Motivating presentation of "why"; good introduction to "how".


Very good presentation of something that should be common sense.


Very good presentation of something that should be common sense.

Senior Project Manager, STV

This was a very good education for LEED and for reshaping the design process for the better. A pleasure.

Architect, Clark Nexsen Architecture & Engineering

Very informative, interesting and useful. Well presented.

Olson Kundig Architects

This a good one. Presented in very relevant approach to every day project design.

Architect, MHTN Architects

Excellent introduction to integrative design with concrete, built examples that demonstrate the effectiveness of the process.


Great introduction to the process, and especially how the new LEED credit works in relation to the standard.

Full Circle Architecture, LLP

Course was great introduction with relevant examples that are easily transferable to other project situations. Quiz would benefit from more clear wording ... I.e. first cost, total costs, rather than just cost.

Capital Improvement Program Officer, Prince George's 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

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

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.

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