Using integrated design to achieve net-zeroConsulting-Specifying Engineer, March 27, 2014
With the emergence of nationally established building performance targets and rising concerns over climate change, the push to design and construct net-zero energy buildings (NZEB) is stronger than ever. To achieve this ambitious goal, teams must eschew traditional design practices and use an integrated design process that seamlessly combines architectural elements, site features, and engineered systems as a cohesively operating whole.
This article aims to summarize some of the key components of the integrated design process and highlight the Hood River Middle School (HRMS) Music and Science Building that was designed using this concept. The building opened in the fall of 2010 and was constructed by Hood River (Ore.) County School District using funding from the May 2008 construction bond. The building houses a music classroom, music practice rooms, a new science lab with an attached greenhouse, and associated offices and support space. The building has been operational now for 3 years and has achieved net-zero energy.