Every project comes with its own set of constraints that drive the design. In order to maximize performance, these constraints should be factored into strategy identification at the beginning of the design process. The Performance Wheel is designed to help with this. Divided into the three categories of the sustainability triple bottom line — economic,environmental and social – the wheel enables you to quickly and easily define your project’s goals and priorities. If these strategies are identified out of context, they are less likely to succeed in bringing value. It’s essential to start by identifying your climate, sector and values for the project before selecting the most relevant strategies.
Identifying the climate zone you are working within is a crucial step in designing an efficient project, as climate can dictate the appropriate design strategies and result in energy savings and improved human comfort, often without any additional cost. There are several classification systems for determining your climate zone. ASHRAE, the most common for the built environment, defines climate zones based on temperature. The climate information provided here gives a brief overview and general design suggestions based on general climate classifications, but response to your local microclimate should also be considered. An international map can be found in ASHRAE Standard 169-2013 or you can follow this guide to manually determine your climate zone.
Cold climates include those known as the tundra, taiga, or alpine. These climates are typically found close to the poles and include the majority of Canada, northern Europe, and Northern Asia.
Hot and dry climates, also known as deserts or semi deserts, are the transition areas between the humid tropical climate and the warm moderate climate.
Mixed, dry climates experience seasonal temperature variations and typically experience all four seasons. Season length and level of extremity vary by location. These regions typically receive less than 20 inches of rain annually.
Mixed, humid climates experience all four seasons, however season length and level of extremity vary by location. These regions receive more than 20 inches of rain annually. The average winter temperature typically drops below 45° F during the winter and summers can be extremely hot and humid. Many of these regions will experience some snowfall and icing during winter months.
Marine climates are temperate climates found on the coast. These areas typically do not have extreme seasons and temperatures remaining relatively mild year round due to the high heat capacity of water. Marine climates only experience two seasons, summer and winter. Summer months are dry, while winter can be very wet.
Every building type, or sector, comes with its own unique needs to create a functional and efficient building. For each sector, there are different benefits that can be gained from green building. For example, daylighting a workplace interiors environment can result in higher productivity. Knowing these possible benefits and the programming constraints will allow you to select relevant sustainable strategies that will not only work well, but will also create the value that is most desirable for that sector. Select the sector that is most relevant to your work to learn more.
For office tenants, the business case for green building is compelling. For developers intending to attract premium tenants, “green” office buildings generally enjoy higher property value, rents, and occupancy rates.
Since healthcare facilities often serve populations that are already vulnerable to health risks, design decisions affecting health are even more impactful.
Benefits of green residential design can include higher rents, renewals rates, occupancy rates, and market value, lower energy consumption and operating costs, healthier interiors, happier tenants, and stronger communities.
The most recent studies show that a growing majority of retail owners and operators are incorporating green building strategies. Designing for the most pleasing environment through optimal IEQ strategies could significantly boost sales well above average.
PDD reflects an understanding that every project is unique and driven by specific needs set out by the client. For this reason, you can enter the Performance Wheel at the point (or points) most relevant to your project. From there, you can optimize your ability to address those needs through the strategies identified by The DART.
Similar to environmental value, sustainability as it relates to economic value can be defined as using resources in ways that are efficient and will provide immediate needs as well as long-term benefits. The only difference is that the “resources” in this case are monetary in nature.
In order for the environment to be sustainable, it must be able to support the needs of all life on this planet for perpetuity. This means that the climate must remain consistent and livable, the habitats must continue to support plant and animal biodiversity, and the resources must not be depleted over time.