Design integration means selecting and building components that work well together under all foreseeable conditions,
making the system resilient to disruptions (power outages, etc.). By its nature, regenerative design requires a systems thinking
Often, resilience implies redundancy - multiple elements in the design providing similar functions. For example, heating
for a building may be provided by passive solar income through windows, by a radiant floor using excess energy from the solar thermal
collectors, AND by a heat pump powered by solar panels. An adaptive control system (or just a savvy resident) can adjust
each system to provide optimum comfort with minimum waste. The system has built-in redundancy that enhance its resilience
should one or more components fail.
Integrated design principles even apply to the landscape for the site, as discussed
in more detail on the permaculture page.
It's also a process thing
Integrated design is also about the process of building
things. It means that the members of the design team - the architects, engineers, consultants and fabricators - all work together
from the beginning of the project to find the best solutions, and to eliminate waste and unnecessary delays. We have worked
on many interdisciplinary teams in the past and always find the experience stimulating and rewarding. Our background in engineering
and science as well as architecture helps us better understand the process as a whole and to work more effectively with other disciplines.
energy diagram for University of Maryland WaterShed project.