Integrated design is an holistic method of design (especially applied to buildings) which emphasizes management empathy to promote innovation from synergy by exploiting different skills to enhance the technology dynamics of the final deliverable product (or building).
A building can be considered as merely a machine to assist with living or working chores. Conventional building design usually involves a series of compromises between owner and the architect, without much reference to the uses the end user(s) actually intend.
The conventional planning process therefore does not fully take into account the needs, areas of expertise or insights of the people who will occupy the spaces within the building. In some cases, using the conventional method, incompatible elements of the design are not discovered until the process is advanced or complete, when it may be expensive or impossible to make changes to improve efficient use of the structure.
In contrast, the integrated design process requires multidisciplinary collaboration, including key stakeholders and design professionals similar to the end to end networking principle from project conception to building 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