The evolving nature of the green building sector means that it can be confusing not only trying to keep abreast of the latest developments but also trying to keep the wider public informed. Even with the development of the LEED certification program, confusion can still reign, buildings can still underperform and greenwash can still plague the sector.
Ever-improving technologies and concepts mean that energy efficiency and last minute renewable energy technology additions are no longer the best-performing options. Modern green leaders are going back to the design stage to implement a holistic design model that incorporates measures that promote energy efficiency, relies on renewable technologies and incorporates passive design features wherever possible.
In light of this, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has created a new guide titled An Architect’s Guide to Integrating Energy Modeling in the Design Process.
Developed by a wide range of industry experts, the new guide outlays step-by-step protocols that enable design-based energy reduction strategies and redefine ‘present baseline best practices’ in US building energy performance.
The energy modeling guide also explains the importance of a collaborative industry approach, with the guide expected to increase communication efforts between engineers, architects, builders and clients.
“Energy modeling is fast becoming a more useful means to better inform major design decisions early and often throughout the building design process,” says AIA president Jeff Potter. “It can provide a roadmap to help practitioners lead their clients toward energy efficiency goals, green code compliance and building certification programs. It is imperative for the entire design and construction industry to be cognizant of the energy use implication buildings have, in terms of limited resources, climate change, and rising utility costs. This guide provides the energy modeling fundamentals that can serve the client’s high expectations and ultimately reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.”
The guide will take the mystery out of green developments and make performance estimations of these green buildings far more realistic.