The design process that results in the “greenest” of buildings—buildings that are successful in terms of aesthetics, performance, environmental impact and occupant satisfaction—is a process that is fundamentally different. Building designers, staff and occupants meet with the client as a group on a regular basis. The objective of the “integrated design workshops” is do define the optimum design for each building system while taking into account all view points. The interaction of various professional disciplines results in a more holistic and integrated building design. As an example of the advantage of this approach, the influence of window overhangs (which permit the reduction of cooling system size) would not be appreciated unless the lighting designer, mechanical engineer, client and architect are discussing the building design together.
Enermodal Engineering has considerable experience in leading multi-disciplinary design workshops. Enermodal acts as a “design facilitator,” making suggestions for building features and helping various professionals understand the possible interactions between building systems. Enermodal staff are approved Design Facilitators under the Union Gas/Enbridge Gas Design Assistance Program. Our staff have acted as facilitators for over 100 green building projects. A unique feature of Enermodal’s workshops is the use of “green shopping lists.” Prior to each workshop, Enermodal uses its expertise in computer simulation and green design to develop a list of possible building concept designs. A variety of sustainable technologies are assessed in terms of suitability for LEED credits, including construction costs, annual operating cost savings and payback periods. Workshop participants work through the list, and identify those concepts and technologies that result in the best design at the lowest cost.