Engaging the need to better understand the problems of high performance energy design in AEC collaborative practices and delivery methods, this study tested a schema that differentiated between the micro level of everyday design decisions, the meso level of project organization that guides project delivery, and the macro level of institutions—professions, disciplines, and firms— within which AEC practice takes place. Based in observations and interviews of two large projects in a U.S. architectural firm, we used a comparative case study to develop a series of analytical themes that located where issues of meso and macro level forces impacted micro level energy design decisions. This study found that the architect’s disciplinary vision and project management styles were very influential over energy design accomplishment, while firm attitudes promoting high performance design had little effect. Overall, we found no example of micro level design decisions that did not implicate some type of meso or macro level influence. This suggests that industry guides emphasizing technical solutions achieved at the micro level are not adequate for the needs of evolving AEC integrated practices.
Monson, Chris, Carrie Sturts Dossick, Gina Neff, Laura Osburn, and Heather Burpee. “Finding Connections between Design Processes and Institutional Forces on Integrated AEC Teams for High Performance Energy Design.” Cle Elum: Engineering Project Organization Conference, 2016. http://www.epossociety.org/EPOC2016/papers/Monson_et%20al_EPOC%202016.pdf.