Guide to Sustainable Design for Architecture, Engineering & Construction

Detailed Design

Decide on your final design and optimize site, materials, structure, and system details for sustainable use, in keeping with the achievable performance requirements previously decided. Benefit from building information modeling (BIM) for analysis, simulation, and visualization to better inform detailed design decisions.

Use a coordinated, data-rich building information model to enable analysis in the early design phases. Inform a common understanding of design intent and determine achievable performance requirements of various design elements. With this foundation, architects and engineers can more effectively influence the sustainability of the final design. Builders and owners can understand that effective collaboration during the detailed design phase means faster delivery of the final project and more opportunities to reduce waste.

Design DecisionsHow ToAutodesk Tools

Envelope Assemblies
Meet defined performance criteria with the design of envelope-specific assemblies while minimizing embodied measures.

Structural Design & Optimization

  • Minimize embodied measures as you finalize structural element design.
  • Evaluate environmental impact of building materials selection.

Conduct whole-building analysis on design to determine:

  • Energy use and efficiency potential
  • Estimated carbon emissions
  • Structural analysis conducted on the model

Consult Resources

  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) embodied measures
  • Building for Environmental and Economic Stability (BEES)
  • Athena Institute Impact Estimator

Autodesk Revit Architecture
Conduct 3D massing studies and explore floor-area allocation and use assignments at an early schematic design phase.

Autodesk Green Building Studio
Estimate energy use and carbon dioxide emissions for various building envelope designs.*

Autodesk Revit Structure and Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis Professional
Analyze design alternatives and optimize the structure for minimizing material use and waste.

Autodesk Seek
Search for, select, and specify manufacturer-specific building products and associated design files based on relevant performance attributes.

Lighting Design

  • Design lighting while adhering to light level and performance requirements and minimizing embodied measures.
  • Base lighting design on optimized daylighting.
  • Minimize lighting pollution by ensuring indoor lighting does not appear externally, or plan for auto-control lighting for after hours.
  • Optimize outdoor and façade/landscape lighting.

To achieve goals for lighting:

  • Conduct detailed solar, lighting, and daylighting analyses
  • Determine estimated energy use and implement choices to improve efficiency
  • Estimate and look for ways to reduce carbon emissions

Consult Resources

  • IESNA(Illuminating Engineering Society of North America)
  • ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-2004
  • IESNA RP-33

AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite and AutoCAD Architecture
Model, measure, and document complex interior daylighting designs within the standard design environment.

AutoCAD Revit MEP Suite and AutoCAD MEP
Calculate room lighting levels.

Autodesk Green Building Studio
Calculate each room’s glaze factor to help achieve LEED® daylight credits.

Autodesk 3ds Max Design

  • Understand light interaction with exterior surfaces using visualization tools.
  • Conduct simulations and analyses to better understand sun, sky, and artificial lighting.
  • Evaluate light intensity, which is part of the process of analyzing indoor environmental quality LEED 8.1 certification.
Autodesk Seek
Search for, select, and specify manufacturer-specific lighting products and associated design files.

Indoor Air Quality

  • Determine IAQ impact of varying amounts of outside air.
  • Consider the level of filtration and mitigating factors, such as building finishes, outdoor air quality, and demand-control ventilation.
  • Consider night ventilation options and possible indoor/outdoor pollutant issues that might result.
  • Integrate natural ventilation.
  • Design HVAC, security, and natural ventilation control systems.

To achieve goals for indoor air quality:

  • Understand energy required to optimize internal air quality and potential for efficiency improvements
  • Estimate and look for ways to reduce carbon emissions

Consult Resources

  • South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD)
  • Green Seal Standard
  • ASHRAE 52.1-1999
  • ASHRAE 62.1-2004

Autodesk Green Building Studio

  • Estimate the number of hours your design could use outdoor air to cool the building and help determine if mechanical cooling is necessary.
  • Estimate amount of mechanical cooling required.*
  • Identify and size options for on-site renewable energy sources.*

Autodesk Revit MEP
Perform calculations to help determine peak heating and cooling loads and measure the impact of varying amounts of outside air, filtration levels, and other HVAC analysis functions natively.

HVAC Load Calculation Extension for AutoCAD MEP 2009
Measure the impact of varying amounts of outside air and filtration levels and perform other HVAC analysis functions.

HVAC Primary Equipment

  • Size HVAC systems.
  • Select HVAC equipment with highest efficiency ratings that meet or exceed performance requirements.
  • Specify refrigerant equipment with no CFCs or low amounts of HCFCs/HCFs to minimize ozone depletion.
  • Phase out existing equipment that uses CFCs or Halons.

Duct & Pipe Sizing

  • Optimally size systems to meet heating and cooling loads and ventilation requirements with minimal energy use.
  • Minimize embodied measures and eliminate collisions.
  • Design HVAC distribution to minimize pressure-drop and control systems to further reduce energy use.
  • Address potential clash or interference issues.

Use the coordinated, consistent information in the building model to design MEP systems and better inform equipment selection.

Consult Resources

  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) embodied measures
  • Building for Environmental and Economic Stability (BEES)
  • Athena Institute Impact Estimator
  • Manufacturer’s performance specifications

Autodesk Revit MEP
Perform calculations to determine peak heating and cooling loads and measure the impact of varying amounts of outside air, the level of filtration, and other HVAC analysis functions natively within Autodesk® Revit® MEP.

HVAC Load Calculation Extension for AutoCAD MEP
Measure the impact of varying amounts of outside air, the level of filtration, and other HVAC analysis functions.

AutoCAD Revit MEP Suite and AutoCAD MEP
Perform clash and interference detections.

Autodesk Seek
Search, select, and specify HVAC systems based on relevant performance attributes.

Water Supply

  • Size pipe and select material type to meet requirements for potable water use.
  • Design systems for graywater and/or rainwater distribution and storage to minimize potable water use.

Site Planning

  • Design open spaces to encourage walking and physical activity.
  • Limit the disruption of the site’s natural hydrology by minimizing the use of impervious cover.

Stormwater Management

  • Maximize groundwater recharge.
  • Design a stormwater management system including sizing of piping, detention areas, bioswales, and green roofs.
  • Reduce pollution from stormwater runoff by considering designs that capture and treat stormwater runoff and promote increased infiltration.
  • Consider materials for stormwater management that reduce embodied measures.

To achieve goals for water efficiency, estimate potable water and graywater use requirements.

To achieve goals for stormwater management:

  • Evaluate soil types
  • Understand hydraulics and hydrology
  • Analyze the impact of different stormwater best-management practices on reducing pollutant loads

Consult Resources

  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) embodied measures
  • Building for Environmental and Economic Stability (BEES)
  • Athena Institute Impact Estimator
  • The Low Impact Development Center, Inc.

Autodesk Green Building Studio
Estimate water use based on building type and number of occupants. Evaluate measures to help reduce water use.*

AutoCAD Civil 3D
Evaluate how much rainwater can be captured on-site and design retention facilities to store rainwater for later use.

AutoCAD Civil 3D

  • Design and analyze more efficient stormwater management systems.
  • Incorporate GIS data into the design environment.
  • Conduct overlay, network, buffer, and other types of geospatial analysis to help optimize site layout and avoid sensitive wetlands and floodplains.
  • Conduct surface analysis to evaluate various grading schemes and to help identify steep areas prone to erosion.

* This capability provided by Autodesk® Green Building Studio® web-based technology is available with and during the term of your Subscription to Autodesk® Ecotect® Analysis software.