Guide to Sustainable Design for Architecture, Engineering & Construction

Operate & Maintain

Commission, operate, and resell cost-effective, energy-efficient buildings and infrastructure.

Sustainable design is, by definition, a design that endures. So buildings and infrastructure should continue to serve the community usefully over a long life span while leaving a minimal environmental footprint. The integrated building information modeling (BIM) workflow enables key stakeholders to use digital information to design, simulate, visualize, and manage projects before they are built and to monitor performance, improve usefulness, and extend the useable life.

Design DecisionsHow ToAutodesk Tools


  • Ensure systems perform as designed once the building is in operation and prior to occupancy.
  • Train building operators on how to maintain building systems.

Document necessary energy-efficient building information to obtain desired certifications, such as LEED®.

System Maintenance
Refer to the building information model for operation, maintenance, and renovations.

Measurement & Verification
Measure and verify that systems work according to plan 12 months following occupancy.

Post-Occupancy Evaluation
Interview building occupants to determine how well the building is performing.

Energy STAR Certification
After a full year of operation, enter annual electric and fuel use into the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR® system for benchmarking and certification with trained auditors.

Tenant Improvement Analysis Model
Ensure the use of an energy and water analysis model for all tenant improvement projects.

Employ the digital record of the building, enabled by the BIM process, to improve a project’s energy efficiency, reduce waste, and lower operating costs over the building life cycle.

  • Consult paperless as-builts
  • Use building model for energy and water analysis
  • Review how BIM solutions enable building owners and operators to better foster efficiencies, sustainability, and quality improvements throughout the building life cycle

Consult Resources

  • Building Commissioning Association
  • USGBC LEED NC Reference Guide
  • IPMVP Volume III
  • ASHRAE 55-2004
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR

Autodesk Buzzsaw
Create a central repository for all project documentation with more secure, on-demand access.

Autodesk Constructware

• Automate business and reporting processes.
• Monitor performance and project status.
• Address changes and more accurately forecast completion costs.

Autodesk Revit Architecture
Design, document, and visualize the physical and functional characteristics of a project.

Autodesk Green Building Studio
Conduct whole-building energy, water, and carbon-emission analyses.

Autodesk Revit MEP

  • Perform calculations to help determine peak heating and cooling loads.
  • More precisely measure the impact of varying amounts of outside air, level of filtration, and other HVAC analyses natively.

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