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A New Software Tool for Design Intent Documentation

Dale Sartor, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


As the field of energy management in high-tech facilities matures, there is an increasing understanding that it is not sufficient to simply specify energy-efficient technologies in order to achieve significant energy savings. Efforts to improve efficiency are often thwarted by the absence of explicit direction from the owner, misunderstandings and different visions among members of the design team, and ambiguities imposed by the lack of measurable savings targets. The lack of clarity created by these problems in turn hampers the post-construction commissioning and measurement & verification processes.

A more comprehensive and holistic approach can be described as "Design Intent Documentation". This is the first step in a process that previous work has referred to as building lifecycle information systems. There are at present no tools expressly designed to accommodate this need. This presentation describes the development of a new Design Intent Tool. The core of the Tool is a record-keeping framework in which the design intent can be described in terms of Objectives (overall goals), Strategies (specific means of achieving the Objectives), and Metrics (measurable performance targets). The Tool is supported by a variety of Internet links including those to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) Design Guide for Energy-Efficient Laboratories.


Dale Sartor, P.E., heads the LBNL Building Technologies Applications Team, which assists in the transfer of new and underutilized technology through project-focused multi-disciplinary teams. Mr. Sartor has an A.B. in Architecture, and a Masters in Business Administration. He is a licensed Mechanical Engineer, and a licensed General Building Contractor. He has over twenty five years of professional experience in energy efficiency and renewable energy applications including ten years as a principal of an architecture and engineering company, and seven years as the head of LBNL's In-House Energy Management Program. Mr. Sartor is an active volunteer in professional organizations and lectures extensively.

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