Promoting new solutions and design methods in the building industry can be a challenge. Generally, the building industry today is developing through experience-based knowledge, which means that changes are applied in a slow and time-consuming way. Such learning curves are in great contrast to the fast changes following from the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), according to which EU Member States are facing new, tough challenges when moving toward new and retrofitted nearly zero-energy buildings by 2018 and 2020.
The increasing demand for sustainable buildings sets up new requirements for the ways in which we cooperate in the building industry and how the design process is operated. Therefore, the study of the design processes is important. In general, knowledge about the decision-making and design process is important for us to constantly improve our design approaches and design buildings on a more qualified foundation, resulting in higher quality.
When describing the process of today you could claim that the design process runs in two parallel tracks: 1) The conventional design process (CDP), which concerns architecture and digital models e.g. BIM (the Building Information Modelling); and 2) The sustainability assessment process (SAP), which concerns the design and optimization of the building through a sustainability certification scheme. Many practitioners in the building industry still consider sustainability certification as an extra layer of unnecessary documentation and costs. Could it be a vision to develop a more efficient, sustainable design process through integration of CDP and SAP, perhaps by an interoperability between the BIM model and the design tools for sustainable buildings?
The paper exemplify the challenges through experience from praxis and shows that topics like LCA and LCC is to a very little extend considered in the initial design stages. The paper further highlight the current work of developing and testing better LCA tools for the initial design phases without sacrificing the accuracy of the results too much.
Only the future will show, but the industry is ready for more sustainability, and the number of certified buildings in Denmark is increasing rapidly, so the road for more sustainability in the sector seem pawed. Our challenge is just to make the journey more smoothly and easier to take.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIndoor and Built Environment
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)869-872
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Sustainability assessment
  • Design Process
  • Evaluation tool
  • Design tool
  • Integrated Design Process


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