Building a new building presents numerous opportunities to incorporate energy efficiencies at little or no incremental first cost in order to realize substantial operational cost savings over the life of the building. Putrelo Building Enterprises recognizes the importance of whole building design in achieving maximum energy and environmental savings and supports the designing and building of more efficient commercial and public buildings through its High Performance Building Program. If you have a state-funded building project, you may be required to conform with the High Performance Certification Program policy adopted by the Office of State Architect. To further explore savings opportunities for individual commercial building systems, you are encouraged to explore the Commercial and Public Building Energy Savings Guides. The answers to the questions below will outline some of the benefits of the whole building design approach, along with tips for getting started.
Benefits of Designing a High Performance Building
- It is far more cost effective to design your building right in the first place to maximize life cycle energy savings than to try to retrofit systems at a later date. The Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Program outlines the main reasons:
- Whole building design not only considers all building components, materials and systems but also examines their interactions to achieve the optimum design. The whole building approach considers the interrelation of the project site, energy consumption, materials, indoor air quality, acoustic and natural resources and requires the frequent interaction of architects, engineers, prospective building owners and occupants, and individual building system specialists.
- As an example, a well-designed building that uses extensive daylighting can reduce the requirements of the lighting system. In turn, a more efficient lighting system reduces the indoor heating load, allowing for a smaller heating, ventilating and air conditioning system to be installed, saving both upfront capital costs and operational energy costs.
Whole building design can reduce energy use by 50% or more while lowering maintenance and capital costs, improving employee productivity, enhancing occupant comfort and health, and reducing environmental impacts.