Authors: Richard Draper, Prem Attanayake

We identify decision points in standard engineering work processes where adjustments should be made to assist design teams to evaluate climate change related design impacts. Early in the project, design options should be evaluated to optimize the combined greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction benefits of interfacing building systems. In the conceptual design stage, GHG emission reducing alternatives can be evaluated and incorporated into the design. In addition, sustainable GHG reducing engineering, procurement and construction approaches should be evaluated and adopted early in the project for cross-functional benefits to the project and to the client

In the preliminary engineering phase emission monitoring and control of greenhouse gases may be considered. Closed-loop processes may also be considered to minimize potable water use and wastewater generated. In this design phase, future site climatic conditions should be considered, in addition to developing criteria based on historical norms. In the final design phase, when specifications and material requisitions are developed, they should include GHG reducing requirements for high performance building systems including: energy efficient HVAC, lighting and building envelope systems; water conserving utility systems and processes; recycled or rapidly renewable materials content; and fuel efficiency standards for construction site vehicles.

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