The key to an effective integrated design process is the design team. A well-chosen team provides good planning, focused leadership and professional expertise required to produce a highly energy-efficient building.
To be comprehensive, the best practice is to include representatives from every aspect of the project. We have compiled a table below summarizing the major roles and responsibilities of the key stakeholders typically involved in an integrated design process. The size, complexity, and specialization of the project will suggest the kinds of additional experts you may require. Like all contributors to the integrated design process, their suggestions and requirements should be incorporated at the earliest phases of design. Ideally, team members should be experts in their fields with experience in energy-efficient building design, but also be able to see beyond their own areas and see how all systems are inter-related.
Key players in an integrated design process
|Building owner or representative||This can be the owner but in most cases is a consultant hired by the organization who is commissioning the building or an employee of the organization.|
|Construction manager||As a best practice, your construction manager should be involved with the project. This person can be an architect, a general contractor, or a consulting construction manager. Their main role is to determine the logistics and costs of the construction process.|
|Architect||The architect is often responsible for hiring the subcontractors. Architects have an array of duties not limited to coordinating sub-contractors, soliciting and championing the program, soliciting community feedback (when required) and assuring compliance with the budget.|
|Commissioning agent||The commissioning agent represents the client's needs throughout the project and ensures that the project team has met design and operational goals. A commissioning agent will also ensure pre-functional testing as well as correcting for any deficiencies.|
|Civil engineer||It is essential that this expert - usually hired by the building owner in advance of the design team - plays a key role early in the process. Civil engineers are responsible for understanding the land, soil, and regulatory requirements of your construction project.|
|Landscape architect||Sometimes it is an independent consultant, or part of the civil engineer's team. The landscape architect is another key player that should be involved early in the process. The landscape architect is responsible for addressing and assessing natural systems that will be impacted by the building project.|
|Consulting structural, mechanical, and electrical engineers||These engineers are charged with the responsibility for a building's structural, heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems. They also oversee the power, signal, and illumination aspects of the project.|
|Energy modeller||An energy modeller helps to identify and quantify energy solutions. An integrated design process generally follows a performance path to energy code compliance. It is important to have an energy modeller on your team to help with the modelling that will prove your building's compliance. The Canadian Chapter of the International Building Performance Simulation Association and Canada Green Building Council's Experienced Modellers List [PDF - 172KB] can help you find a suitable energy modeller for your project.|
|Specialized consultants||These may include specifications writers, materials and component specialists, code officials, sustainability consultants, artists, environmental graphic designers, and technical experts in specialties like kitchens, audio-visual systems, materials handling, and parking.|
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