A Proven Tool, A New Problem: Integrated Design Meets Multifamily Electrification
Kimberly Vermeer heads out to the National Home Performance Conference
By KIM VERMEER
Putting Sustainable Development at the Forefront
Green building is not a static object, but rather, an active process. The green building process navigates the dynamic relationship between energy and climate, health and well-being, and resources and environment, to find mutually beneficial solutions.
In Blueprint for Greening Affordable Housing, Revised Edition, Walker Wells, my co-author and I identified climate resilience, decarbonization, and electrification as a trend. The push to fully electrify multifamily housing is coming fast. But how does electrification impact design and cost? What are implications for owners and tenants? For affordable housers, it’s time to embrace this new step – but how to meet the challenge?
An integrated design approach can help teams plan effectively to adopt new electrification methods. As we wrote in Blueprint, the integrated design process is an iterative approach that creates project goals and aligns the development team’s values with fundamental design decisions. This approach is the heart of green building. An integrated design process ensures that early decisions are thoughtful and supportive of green building goals such as electrification.
Working out the Problem
At the Building Performance Association’s 2022 National Home Performance Conference in Nashville, I’ll be leading an interactive session: A Proven Tool, A New Problem: Integrated Design Meets Multifamily Electrification.
A fundamental goal of integrated design is to bridge between disciplines to arrive at more impactful outcomes. So, using a Boston project as a case study, participants will work in small groups to apply integrated design principles to identify design options for electrification. Then, we’ll come back together to share ideas and explore how integrated design can increase the odds for success. We’ll consider the technical feasibility of electrification, benefits provided, cost implications, and operation issues.
I’m looking forward to this engaging session – and hope to see you there!