Use Energy Design Guidance
The conventional design process usually evaluates energy-efficient technologies late in the schematic design or during design development. However, the greatest opportunity for cost-effective energy measures occurs earlier in the design process. The pre-design stage is when the team begins to investigate energy-related design concepts that consider the environment, climate, building orientation, passive strategies, and other features that will impact performance well into the future.
- Conduct a facilitated charrette and include energy objectives pertinent to the design.
- Identify synergies between design concepts and energy use. Develop a plan and adopt a method for delivering a top performing energy-efficient building.
- Develop scope of work, project budget, and schedule, and include energy-efficient strategies and energy target.
Assemble Design Team
Achieving superior energy efficiency requires assembling a multidisciplinary team that works together to set goals from project design to building operation. Team buy-in, experience, and early involvement are vital so that the team can establish and achieve design and energy use goals. They should investigate energy strategies and determine how these strategies can be integrated in the design.
- Select a multidisciplinary team early in the process. Include the building owner, architects, energy consultants, engineers, proposed tenants, State and local government officials, construction contractors, commissioning agent, operations and maintenance (O&M) staff, etc.
- Adopt an integrated design approach and educate the project team on goals, costs, and benefits of the process. Use a front-loaded, research-intensive process to determine strategies for creating buildings that achieve desired energy use goals.
Set Energy Goal
Setting a definitive and measurable energy use target is an important step in designing sustainable buildings that reduce operating and energy costs and prevent CO2 emissions. Set targets commensurate with 2030 goals and achieve ENERGY STAR as a method to communicate the intent of the project.
- Set energy targets for design projects by using EPA's Target Finder—select either an EPA energy performance rating of 75 or higher (designates ENERGY STAR) or a percent energy reduction of 50 or greater compared to the average building (denotes 2030 Goal).
- Use technical design guidance to help choose energy-efficient strategies and technologies that will achieve your target. See Building Design Links.
- Review case studies that demonstrate enhanced energy performance in buildings similar to your project. See A/E Firms + Projects for case studies of design projects that achieved ENERGY STAR and the 2030 goal and profiles of existing ENERGY STAR labeled buildings.
- Visit ENERGY STAR qualified buildings to understand how design and energy strategies were successfully implemented. Review energy use of past projects to inform design strategies and decisions for your new project.
- Consider financial (energy costs) and environmental impacts (CO2 prevented) by using Target Finder and comparing the design energy use to the target.
- Allocate sufficient funds for integrated design approach and achieving energy target.