Building systems integration for enhanced environmental performance
This paper will provide a summary of ongoing research funded by the US Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Post-secondary Education (FIPSE). This research has two significant aspects. The first is the development of interactive digital media through which to teach sustainable design. The primary focus of this paper will be on the second aspect of this research which is the analysis of specific building system integration strategies and how these strategies are related to environmental performance. This is done by the development of a series of examples presented as three dimensional models of well integrated building systems. Each model is composed of two paired integrated systems analyzed with full graphical display, text, analytical drawings, graphs, and tabulated values, to demonstrate the models’ performance in a particular environment. A performance metrics provided for each model serves as a basis to evaluate the sustainability of the system based on its performance in the thermal environment, luminous environment, acoustic environment and its ability to address life safety issues. This research intends to serve as a manual for assessing the performance of integrated systems in the conceptual building design stage. The particular focus on the interaction of two paired main building systems aims to filter out the extraneous information and bring coherence to the environmental performance aspect of the systems. This is achieved through explicit presentations of six paired building systems. The pairing is based on four primary systems of structure, envelope, mechanical and interior systems which were identified as sufficient to completely describe a building in the Building Systems Integration Handbook. This book, published by the American Institute of Architects more than two decades ago, pointed out that although there are clearly many more than four systems in the contemporary building, these four are sufficient to completely describe a building and provide a concise starting point for the analysis of combinations.