The Whole Building and nothing but the Whole Building : BIM


When speaking of the Built Environment, many people, including myself take an economic impact view of the building, that is existing buildings take up the majority of resources so how can we design/retorofit these things to be more efficient, more efficient means less consumption, means less operating costs all good things.  So being late August and having the opportunity to read exciting things like, The Case Study of CALSTRS Headquarters, West Sacramento CA you are reminded of the more holistic approach to building design.  The building was awarded LEED Gold and is in the process of qualifying for LEED EBOM (Existing Building Operating and Maintenance) so they compare it to other buildings in energy performance, however, also taken into account were the following factors:

 

Thermal comfort and overcooling

Speech privacy

Occupant controls for energy and comfort

Operator/building controls

Constituent input Landscaping

So how about taking into account the comfort and happiness of the occupants.  I have to say “speech privacy” was not in my list of concerns until I read it about it here, but noticing that “the CalSTRS building has a smaller amount of square footage per occupant than the average for office building(s)” in this survey I guess it should not come as a surprise. There was also a complaint of  ‘over air conditioning’ on the North Side of the building.  I would have to imagine that controls are in place to manage North/South orientation and the design of HVAC systems, if not that would seem to be glaring oversight during the design of the system and building since they would essentially be two different environments.  However, it seems to me if you can quantify happiness, can you build it into design software?  Honestly, with the advent of software, any software, it’s not only to automate tasks, but also get the knowledge of users into the software, hence making everyone more productive.  So if you can put variables in like # of occupants into the design, assigning them SF can we have software suggest break out room for speech privacy, maybe this stuff is automated and in software and I am too dense to have discovered it, hell for all I know it’s a sub menu in Revit I have not discovered but automating what could be common sense, now that would be something.

“Hey Jim what’s up with putting a smiling cow image on this blog post?”

A)  That’s a very cool picture

B) I was thinking happy environment, happy people and in this case happy environment, happy cow.

The study was conducted and published by the folks at the aptly titled, CBE (Center for the Built Environment) at UCAL Berkeley.

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