Focus topics

  • central design concept
  • beauty and delight
  • integrated process

What is the big idea behind this project—and how did the approach toward sustainability inform the design concept? Describe the project, program, and any unique challenges and opportunities. Specifically explain how the design is shaped around the project’s goals and performance criteria, providing utility, beauty, and delight. How does the project engage all the senses for its users, and connect people to place? What makes this building one that people will fight to preserve? Give examples of how individual design strategies provide multiple benefits across the full triple bottom line of social, economic, and environmental value.

Central design concept

  1. Write a Vision Statement that resonates with the design team, the investors, the operators and managers, the users, the community, and the client. A shared direction that all stakeholders can rally around will set the stage early for positive outcomes.
  2. Understand and take full advantage of everything the site has to offer. This can include community amenities, local climatic conditions, or a unique history. Wrap these opportunities into a big-picture design concept that can incorporate sustainable design best practices from the other nine measures.

Beauty and delight

Take inspiration from architectural history. The buildings we revere today provide lessons for the aesthetics or concepts that future generation will want to keep around.

Integrated process

  1. Incorporate lessons from other disciplines—such as psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience—to appeal to universal biological proclivities and culturally specific values.
  2. Diagram the relationship between the design concept and how sustainability measures are integrated and complementary to the project’s goals for beautiful design.

Additional information

This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered.It is published and distributed with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering professional services.  If professional advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought.

Image credits


Tim Griffith