Integrated design

What does integrated design mean?

Integrated design is fundamental in the management of complex issues such as the design of buildings with high energy and environmental performance.

This approach is based on collaboration between the members of a multidisciplinary team. Following a precise planning of the objectives and systematically monitoring the phases of the entire process.

In the initial stages, the possibilities of positively varying the performance of a building are considerable, while the costs and inconvenience deriving from any design changes are minimal.

From Integrated Energy Design to Integrated Design

The concept of ‘Integrated Energy Design’ in buildings aims to minimize the use of exhaustible and environmental resources required by a building to perform the functions for which it is built or renovated.

This is implemented through the adoption of a multidisciplinary, collaborative design process that extends to all stages of the building process, from conception to construction.

In recent years, European policies have tried to counter the effects of climate change and in particular, the European directives addressed to the construction sector have more specifically pursued the objective of reducing emissions of climate-changing gases through the provision of a gradual introduction into the construction market for so-called ‘Nearly Zero Energy Buildings’ (nZEB).

A zero-energy building is, according to Article 2 of the recast of the European directive on the energy performance of buildings, “a building with a very high energy performance […]. Very low or almost zero energy needs should be covered to a great extent by energy from renewable sources, including
energy from renewable sources on site or nearby “.

If the current challenge is to address the issues of climate change, in addition to complying with the obligations of the European directives on nZEB, it is necessary to consider a wider range of environments.

Therefore the ultimate goal of the design of a should aim to reduce the global environmental impact, taking into account all the factors that co-participate in the generation of climate-altering gases. A possible and useful way to support designers in this complex challenge can be the use of a system for assessing the environmental impact of the building, taking into account its construction, operation and decommissioning.

However, managing the complexity of these objectives requires the adoption of a holistic and collaborative approach: Integrated Design.

The adoption of an integrated design approach becomes fundamental not only to conceive and construct buildings with high environmental ambitions, but also to face many other challenges. In fact, the design of modern buildings must acquire an increasing number of requirements and, to face this challenge, it becomes necessary to involve a growing number of professionals with many specifications.

At the same time, a precise evaluation of the objectives and communication between all the actors involved in the building process becoming increasingly important for the construction of buildings that do not respond optimally to the needs for which they are built.

Why use integrated design?

Integrated Design is not a new concept, it is rather a new and better way of conceiving the design process of a building that is becoming more and more complex. Underlying this concept there is evidence that it is easier and more convenient to intervene on the project during the first design phases, rather than during the last ones.

Making changes and improvements to the project during the construction of the foundations of a building or while you are already starting to prepare all the documents necessary to process the administrative procedures can cause a delay in time and above all an increase in costs that can result in lost profits. due to the accumulated delays.

Furthermore, if action is taken only in the last phases of the project, the extent of the improvements will be modest and typically obtainable only at a high cost.

For this reason Mor Studio Associato operates following basic models that allow you to save precious time on all those repetitive operations of the procedural process. The time saved in this phase is therefore used to adapt the model to the specific case, integrating it with the collaboration of any external technicians.

The advantages of Integrated Design

Energy performance

More preliminary studies allow to optimize the shape of the building, to choose the correct orientation, to evaluate more carefully which materials to use. These and other considerations, if carried out in the preliminary phase by a multidisciplinary team, allow to reach high energy standards with the minimum economic effort.

Less energy incorporated

Prioritizing the optimization of the building envelope reduces the need for active systems and advanced monitoring mechanisms. This allows to save a significant amount of absorbed energy, being able to avoid the installation of expensive plant components.

Indoor climate optimization

The building envelope and plant systems contribute to ensure a comfortable indoor environment, characterized by a sufficient level of air quality, satisfactory thermal conditions and good integration of daylight lighting combined with effective solar control.

Less costs and mistakes

Simple technical systems are more advantageous, requiring lower production and installation costs and ensuring significant savings in management and maintenance. Organized planning also makes it possible to minimize errors by avoiding unpleasant disputes.