Date of Original Version
Copyright © College Publishing
Abstract or Description
Designs which address sustainability requirements are becoming increasingly desirable, as the objectives of sustainable design reduce resource depletion of energy, water, and raw materials; prevent environmental degradation caused throughout their lifecycle; provide safe, comfortable and healthy living environments. Currently, sustainability in the building domain is judged against standards codified in rating systems. That is, design choices are validated, by measuring design performance against criteria specified by the rating system. Advances in building technologies, design and evaluation tools, and government policies together with tools to benchmark sustainability have created the momentum which fuels an increasing trend towards sustainable building design. However, certification is expensive. It is labor intensive, involving large volumes of data aggregation and information accounting, which, despite the best of intentions, often become a deterrent to designers and the design process. Compliance with a sustainability rating system is not mandatory; increasingly, it is becoming a goal that many designers and authorities would like to achieve. In turn, this demands a cost lowering improvement to the certification process. Since designers mainly tend to employ commercial design tools, it becomes imperative to create a general approach that utilizes information already available in digital form and combine it with rating system information requirements. The challenge lies in identifying informational requirements from rating systems, representing them in computable forms, mapping them to information available from a commercial design tool and evaluating the performance of the design. In this paper we present an overall framework for organizing, managing, and representing sustainability information requirements; to demonstrate an approach to integrating sustainability evaluations in a design environment. We employ a commercially available building information modeler and a sustainable building rating system to develop a process that bridges sustainability assessment requirements with information from the model for pre-evaluation prior to submission for certification. This will enable designers, owners, contractors and other professionals to communicate strategies and make informed decisions to achieve sustainability goals for a project.
Journal of Green Building, 8, 1, 151-176.