Construction Engineering Australia: The design phase is key to sustainability but without real time data, designers are flying blind
Many people want to live in houses that are energy efficient, comfortable and don’t harm the environment . . .
Yet even with the best intentions, and clear directives to achieve such objectives, the final product doesn’t always meet these expectations. That’s because these environmental considerations often fall by the wayside during the design phase. One reason is that it’s difficult to calculate on the fly how things like overall energy use, upfront carbon footprint or even extreme weather resilience will influence the building process.
In fact, not all architects and builders are well-versed in energy efficiency, upfront carbon and other environmental concerns. For those that are, communicating these technical details to clients comes with its own set of challenges. This becomes even harder as plans are continually fine-tuned – rooms are added and removed, windows enlarged or scrapped altogether – making it virtually impossible to stay up-to-date on the forecasted environmental performance of the design.
Fortunately, a new generation of digital design technologies are making it much easier to monitor the performance of buildings as they progress through the design phase.