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High Performance Building Design Principles

University of Florida is committed to the use of green design principles for both design guidance, assessment, and to evaluate the overall quality of the design effort. The design effort shall seek integrated design solutions that provide the best value for the university, and do not increase the overall cost of the project beyond the available budget for the project and the Operation & Maintenance funding for the building. Green design principles include:

1. Optimize Site Potential: Creating sustainable buildings starts with proper site selection. The location, orientation, and landscaping of a building affects the local ecosystem, transportation methods, and energy use.

2. Minimize Energy Consumption: A building should rely on optimizing system efficiencies and employing conservation measures. Renewable energy technologies should be used in new construction and renovation projects whenever feasible and cost effective.

3. Protect and Conserve Water: Since fresh water is becoming an increasingly scarce, water conservation is a must. The university has taken steps to conserve water including adopting about 100% reclaimed water irrigation and using water efficient fixtures. A sustainable building should reduce, contain, control or treat site runoff via Low Impact Development (LID) design. Use water efficiently, and implement all Best Management Practices.

4. Use environmentally preferable products: Buildings should be constructed of materials that minimize lifecycle environmental impacts such as, resource depletion, global warming, and toxicity. In a materials context, life cycle includes raw materials acquisition, product manufacturing, packaging, transportation, installation, use and ultimate disposal.

5. Enhance indoor environmental quality (IEQ): The IEQ of a building has a significant impact on occupant health, comfort, and productivity. Among other attributes, a building should optimize daylighting, be well ventilated, control moisture, and avoid the use of materials with high-VOC emissions.

6. Optimize Operational and Maintenance Practices: Buildings should be designed to take into account the energy and environmental impacts of operating and maintaining the buildings. Designers are encouraged to specify materials and systems that reduces maintenance requirement.