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(Session F) Synthesizing Open Data as a Driver for Design

Start Time: 1:00 PM

Length: 60 Minutes

Speaker: Dominique Davison, Founding Principal, DRAW Architecture + Urban Design

Learning Objectives:
1. Define the many aspects of sustainable design, where these resources are referenced, and why it is important for practitioners to calculate building impacts as early in the process as possible.
2. Understand the importance of Open Data in each region and how this can be a powerful engine for increasing efficiency, community participation, and increased integration of sustainable design strategies in the planning, design and development process.
3. Define the benefits of using Open Data in the design and planning process, related to energy and water use, connectivity, ROI, greenhouse gas, density, quality of life, and stormwater retention.
4. Identify how emerging industry tools can transform the design and planning process to: be more efficient, intelligent, and iterative; yield a higher-quality product; improve building and site performance; improve the quality of life for building users and neighbors; and better make a case for investing in sustainable solutions.

Description: In the US alone, more than $930 billion was spent in the building and construction industry in 2013. Those investments have an enormous impact on our grid’s energy, our use of material resources, water, clean air and open space. Within the typical design process, critical decisions affecting building and site performance and long-term environmental impacts – including energy consumption, water use, stormwater retention, and greenhouse gas emissions – are made very early in the design process, before reliable performance calculations can be made using currently available tools. In this design process, calculations for impact areas such as stormwater runoff and water usage are not made until the design refinement stages, if at all. This current process is expensive, time consuming and inefficient, yet demand for improved building and site performance is on the rise, propelled by federal and local government mandates, more rigorous building energy codes, incentive programs, owner goals, and industry-led initiatives, such as the Architecture 2030 Challenge.

Open Data has the potential to significantly disrupt this process and help practitioners meet the rising demand for sustainable solutions and performance. A growing number of cities and other organizations are making certain data sets available for public access, enabling the development of a new generation of design tools designed to synthesize an aggregate of data and scalable perspectives on numerous facets of building and site performance. Even more important, this data is accessible at the earliest stages of design and planning. Widespread use of these tools within the design and planning community has the potential to significantly decrease the negative impacts that the building industry has on the environment.

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