Architects of today face a common task that defies intuition – how to balance building performance and strict carbon targets against cost. Sustainability in design is certainly a worthy and necessary goal, but the amount of options can be overwhelming and the costs prohibitive, especially in the eyes of owners. How can designers best convince their clients to integrate sustainability into a project? Keeping costs low and backing up decisions with fact-based analysis are solid first steps. Asking good questions of consultants and software in the early stages of design can generate interesting design prompts that yield beautiful, well-considered architecture that is respectful of the planet. To keep on track, architects need to focus on high impact questions and drive decision making in the data-rich environment of today’s modern practice. Continue reading for a discussion of some of the big picture questions that come up on every project and examples of how best to address them in terms of both efficiency and cost.
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