USGBC's Live with LEED Fellows webcast series wrapped up for 2018 in September, with a discussion of the value of an integrative process in LEED. If you missed the live webcast, you can now view a recording of the event, along with bonus resources.
Once again, we received more questions that we could cover in 30 minutes. As a bonus, our lineup of LEED Fellows answered a few more questions that were submitted during the webcast.
Questions for LEED Fellows
"How does the integrative process relate to regenerative design?"
Ralph Bicknese: An integrative design process is necessary to control costs and optimize performance in regenerative design. The goal of regenerative design is for the acts of design and building to be positive; to leave conditions better than they were when they started and to help assure they can continue on. That is a tough order to fill across the board. The greatest success in achieving that is to utilize the collective creativity and intelligence from all disciplines—to look for synergies between systems and ideally to develop the project to operate as an integrated system made up of a series of systems working together.
Nature provides the ideal model. Nature relies on solar income, provides habitat and fresh air, cleans water, eliminates waste (all "waste" becomes food), is resilient, etc. Nature is one fully integrated system made up of multiple integrated systems. Buildings can do some of these things now, but we still have far to go. Imagine, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if a building could heal itself?” To get there, architects, engineers, product manufacturers, contractors, biologists, sociologists, IT specialists, policymakers and others will have to work together.
As an example of a regenerative system, let’s take a net-positive energy building—a building that produces more energy than it consumes on an annual basis. To achieve that, a lot of systems need to be integrated, and a lot of people need to be involved in planning how they will work together to meet performance goals and the budget, in executing the installation and in eventual effective and efficient operation. Some of the systems included would be the building envelope (which itself is made up of a series of systems), daylighting, electric lighting, ventilation (natural and/or mechanically forced), heating, sometimes cooling, perhaps finish materials, lighting and HVAC controls, monitoring systems, renewable energy systems, communications and graphic systems for user interface (and possibly, for education).
But regenerative buildings involve a lot more than just net-positive energy. They would also include regenerative water systems, positive materials systems and, for instance, equitable social impact, to name a few other regenerative systems.
Peter Doo: Regenerative projects are even more demanding than a typical LEED project. Design integration is even more critical here. Getting each member of the design team to think about the interdependencies of their scope of work and the environmental impacts of their efforts and to collectively seek solutions makes the IDP paramount.
"Although the term 'Integrated design process' is most often applied to new project, how effective it is if compared to its application for existing buildings?"
Ralph Bicknese: The Integrative Process can be very effective for a renovation or addition. Recently, we followed the Integrative Process LEED credit for the renovation of January Hall at Washington University in St. Louis, a LEED v4 Commercial Interiors project. The project was fast-tracked, which in this case means that design was still under way as demolition and construction began. The contractor was on board early. The process was very helpful, especially regarding energy performance. The university facilities department has been working this process into their normal project management approach.
Peter Doo: The process is the same. The design challenge is slightly different, and you may need other stakeholders at the table. Others may play a more significant role—such as the structural engineer.
"How do you compare integrative design to design-build?"
Peter Doo: Design-build is a project delivery process. IDP is a project development process. I think IDP is perfectly suited for design build and CM projects where the CM or contractor is involved early.
Ralph Bicknese: The integrative process can be used in a variety of design and construction delivery methods, including design-bid-build, design-build, with or without a contractor/construction manager with preconstruction services and other methods. Typically in design-build, the contractor has design authority—which can come from in-house staff or a separate architect contracted directly to the contractor. Both are separate from the Integrated Delivery Methodology, which is another form of construction procurement that brings the contractor into the process early. We value the input of a contractor early in the process, as early as schematic design, but it is not a requirement of the integrative process.