Whole-Building Integration for Residential and Commercial Buildings
Whole-building integration is very similar to the process used in the production of automobiles. Every part is designed and manufactured to work together to optimize car performance. Whole-building integration works the same way, only it creates ultra high-performance buildings. The process begins with computer simulated design to analyze building components and systems and their impact on the energy load of the building and then it integrates them so that the overall building performance is optimized. Example systems and components that need to be designed to work well together are building orientation, heating and cooling systems, insulation, lighting, and windows. A systems integration approach enables advanced technologies to function more efficiently while still meeting the challenging reliability and cost requirements for buildings. Used in retrofit application, these technologies provide one of the best opportunities to increase energy efficiency in existing buildings.
System integration uses an integrated building design process, which is a collaborative, integrated planning and design process that uses a "project team" rather than one person (i.e., architect) to make decisions in all stages of a project's planning and delivery, starting with design and ending with commissioning. Whole-building integrated design establishes performance goals right from the start for siting, energy, water, materials, and indoor air quality along with other comprehensive design goals. It ensures incorporation of these goals throughout the design and lifecycle of the building. It also considers all components of the building's operation and maintenance in the design stage, including site selection, construction, materials, energy consumption and durability.
Verdae also focuses on improving building integrated solar systems and addressing barriers to integration of advanced solar PV and hot water systems in ultra high performance buildings to create zero net energy buildings that are cost effective and eliminate dependency on fossil fuel. Verdae believes that only buildings built to ultra high performance building standards that also have enough solar power capacity to be zero net energy will be affordable over time.