Step 1: Assemble a team
Designing an energy-efficient building is a team effort. Before you begin, make sure you have the following members onboard.
Architects are responsible for demonstrating that their designs meet building owners' energy goals, as well as functional and aesthetic requirements. Because energy efficiency no longer depends solely on efficient mechanical and lighting systems, architects can consider a variety of energy-efficient strategies—such as bioclimatic design, passive heating and cooling, daylighting strategies, and renewable sources—to reduce the energy demands of commercial buildings.
A team of engineers can turn designs into comfortable, efficient environments and deliver systems that operate at only the necessary capacity.
A good construction manager will understand that energy efficiency is a priority. He or she will diligently oversee the construction process and take steps to ensure that your project is built according to your specifications.
The building owner or developer understands the functions of the spaces, sets the goals and budget, and will be responsible for the building's operation and management once it’s completed.
The commissioning expert will participate in early meetings to understand the energy performance goals and design intent of the building. Once constructed, the commissioning expert will ensure that the building is operating as intended.
A representative from a future building tenant can help bridge the gap between the design team and the individuals who will later occupy the building. This in turn can help ensure that occupants use building systems properly and efficiently. Tenants can also provide valuable perspectives on occupant needs and space use.