Whole Building Design
The "whole building" design approach is a way of designing buildings by looking at the building structure, systems and surroundings together, and considering how all these systems work best together to save energy and reduce environmental impact.
Generally considered are:
- Heating, cooling and ventilation
- Insulation, windows and lighting
- Heat gain (how the building might take on unwanted heat)
- Building orientation, siting, and landscaping
- Innovative building materials.
For a further discussion of whole building design, see DOE's Buildings Web site.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and DOE collaborate on the Energy Star program, a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Energy Star Web site provides useful information on thousands of these products, including new homes and commercial and industrial buildings.