Saturday, August 13, 2016

Book Review: Fundamentals of Integrated Design for Sustainable Building, 2nd Edition

Are you renovating an existing building, or creating something new? Then this is a must-have resource.

Depending upon your team, this book will either help you understand the language and thinking of your architects, engineers and designers, or be a resource for encouraging them to design with sustainability if they don't already. Either way, read it before you get too far into the process, then keep it on hand for reference as you go.

Fundamentals of Integrated Design is an easy-to-digest textbook, and quite a complete one. It has a glossary in the back, and very helpful diagrams and images. There are the expected chapters contributed by experienced practitioners in:

  • energy efficiency and modeling
  • indoor air quality
  • water efficiency and use
  • chemicals 
  • materials choices and product certifications
  • waste management in construction
  • landscaping
It has very helpful sections as you establish an approach to and principles for your building project:

  • the historic evolution of green building practices
  • the importance of integrated deign teams
  • different rating systems
  • life cycle analysis
I found the new sections on Net Zero Energy and Resilient Design to be useful introductions. These two concepts - where buildings generate as much energy as they consume in a year, and designing to improve "the ability to adapt to changing conditions and to maintain or regain functionality and vitality in the face of stress or disturbance" (Alex Wilson, 2006) - are the next frontier for building evolution. Both are incredibly relevant in museum design and both are most likely to be overlooked or considered too far-reaching for a museum project.  They're not; they're about to be the new normal. 

Our buildings can be our greatest assets - after staff and collections - and they can be our albatrosses. If you're designing or changing your building, you must do it so that it lessens your burdens while serving your community. Integrated design for sustainable buildings is the best way to do that. 

No comments:

Post a Comment