Systems Thinking involves looking at the big picture to understand how products or buildings are made, used and disposed of. This can help to identify where environmental and social impacts occur, and make changes to improve the design.
When entire systems are examined rather than individual parts, the overall effectiveness can be increased.
Systems view allows systems’ communication with the ecosystem surrounding them.
The best opportunities for saving resources like materials and energy can often be uncovered early in the design process by identifying the most important problems to solve. Whole systems thinking can lead to new design inspirations by helping expand the problem definition and uncovering solutions to reduce environmental impacts.
Systems thinking is an essential part in a green development. This sustainable development aims to provide environmental (environmental responsiveness, resource efficiency, community and cultural sensibility) as well as economic benefits (reduced capital cost, reduced operating cost, marketing benefits, valuation premiums, reduces liability, health and productivity, staying ahead of regulations, new business opportunities).
In order to achieve whole system thinking Integrative Design is an important component in the design process of a high-performance building.
The Integrated Design Process is characterized by early significant collaboration in the design to ensure that all issues that can be foreseen to have a significant impact on sustainable performance are discussed, understood and dealt with. It starts at the very beginning of the project and all team members have input on design decisions during the entire cycle of design.
It is a collective process and the project demands a multi-disciplinary design team. It requires also the involvement of community groups, local government, land conservation organizations, existing residents, potential consumers to provide local knowledge, perception, and cultural context.