Farias, Francisco (2013-05). Contemporary Strategies for Sustainable Design. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • This exploratory research examined the degree of adoption and impact of the concepts of Building Information Model (BIM), Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), Integrated Design Process (IDP) and Building Energy Simulation (BES) on the design processes of advanced architectural firms when executing sustainable design. Six offices identified by the press for a strong commitment to sustainable design and influence in the design of high performance buildings were selected as cases. In semi-standardized interviews, these firms presented their perceptions of the influence of BIM, BES, and IPD/IDP. The results show that a generalization of sustainable design processes is possible. A design process for sustainability (DEPROSU) model was created by collecting best practices from data gathered from the interviews and the critical literature review. Secondary contributions show that BIM, IDP/IPD and BES have a synergistic effect in sustainable design methods, and that the human resource profile from these firms has evolved towards multi-skilled professionals knowledgeable in BES, BIM, parametric design, sustainability and construction processes. This research provides evidence of commonalities found in the design processes of the selected firms. These commonalities, which have been represented in the DEPROSU model, can potentially be validated as protocols or standards for sustainable design, providing architectural design practices with concrete patterns for improvement and or validation of their design methods.

publication date

  • May 2013