Conventional building design usually involves a series of hand-offs from owner to architect, from builder to occupant. This path does not invite all affected parties into the planning process, and therefore does not take into account their needs, areas of expertise or insights. In some cases, using the conventional method, incompatible elements of the design are not discovered until late in the process when it is expensive to make changes. In contrast, the integrated design process requires multidisciplinary collaboration, including key stakeholders and design professionals, from conception to completion. Decision-making protocols and complementary design principles must be established early in the process in order to satisfy the goals of multiple stakeholders while achieving the overall project objectives.
In addition to extensive collaboration, integrated design involves a “whole building design” approach. A building is viewed as an interdependent system, as opposed to an accumulation of its separate components (site, structure, systems and use). The goal of looking at all the systems together to make sure they work in harmony rather than against each other.
Integrated design has evolved in conjunction with the rise of multidisciplinary design firms and sustainable design. It frequently begins with a charrette or eco-charrette, an intensive design workshop, in which many stakeholders gather to set goals and identify strategies for achieving the desired outcomes.
- Building Technologies Program, U.S. Department of Energy, 2005.
- Integrated Design Curriculum, Parsons The New School for Design, 2007.
- Integrated Project Delivery, American Institute of Architects, 2008.
- ccc gfgdesignprocess.com , information on the C-2000 Canadian project
- Integrated Design Process Guide, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Book: Integrated Design - MITHUN. published by Ecotone Publishing