Integrated Design Process

by Matt Ball on October 15, 2007

I was encouraged to read the following statement in a story on the changing practice of architecture, “In the design of sustainable buildings, the integrated design process (IDP)–in which all stakeholders, designers and consultants participate synchronously in one space–is being recognized as essential for successful sustainable design.”

I’m highly encouraged by this statement and the research work that is outlined in this feature. The article describes the integrated design process as well as the various software tools that are being developed at several top Candian architecture schools. Read The Changing Face of Practice in Canadian Architect for more details on this effort.

I read more about IDP on the Whole Building Design Guide website. There the group that’s mentioned is an all-inclusive set, including code officials, cost consultants and engineers of all types. There are details from design development, contract documents, construction and post-occupancy evaluation.

At last year’s Autodesk Press Day, a memorable presentation was given by Patrick Leary, CEO of HOK, a global architecture and engineering firm. He described a broken system where they spend a great deal on lawyers during and after the construction process. Their use of integrated design and BIM software leads to cost savings before, during and after design and construction.

Integrated design should also marry BIM technology to GIS for any projects of significant scale. Spatial tools should be used to analyze a buildings place within a city’s infrastructure and the environment. I love the vision for an integrated design process and look forward to further integration of software tools so that all disciplines  become involved.

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