Impact by
Design
2017

Sustainable Performance,
Environmental Impact,
Design Innovation

Our goal is to promote broader awareness about the environmental impact that buildings have on the world, and contribute to conversations about the leadership role that the architecture, engineering and construction industries can play in global efforts to answer the challenges posed by climate change.

We believe that every Gensler project should contribute to our world by enhancing the experience of people who use the places, spaces and communities that we design. We also believe every project is an opportunity to make a positive impact on our environment.

Impact by Design 2017 is Gensler’s second annual publication analyzing the sustainable performance of our work. In it, we provide a comprehensive look at the energy performance and the carbon impact of our design work, a broad analysis of how new innovations in design, engineering, and technology are improving the sustainable footprint of the global built environment, and recently completed projects that exemplify sustainable design in action, while noting specific strategies or design aspects that have made noticeable differences.

How Buildings
Impact the
Environment

Understanding the
challenges and
opportunities ahead

Measuring
Our Impact

An analysis of the energy
performance of Gensler’s
2016 project portfolio

Guide to
Making an
Impact

Strategies shaping
the future of
sustainable design

At every scale, we must be at once pragmatic and visionary to achieve meaningful change. These analyses are a first step in those discussions, helping to identify "low hanging fruit"—strategies that are underutilized despite high ROI and impact, and should be implemented today—alongside those to watch in the future as ROI timelines shift faster along with technical and design innovation.

City/District

At the city/district scale, strategies with some of the most opportunity to make an impact are:

  • Light colored concrete or permeable paving
  • Increase tree canopy shading
  • District cooling plant efficiency
  • Robust public transportation networks
  • Ecodistricts (tactical sustainable developments aimed at reducing their collective sustainable footprint)

Buildings

At the building scale, strategies with some of the most opportunity to make an impact are:

  • LED lighting
  • Solar water heating
  • Heat Recovery Chillers (capture waste heat and converts to chilled water building cooling.)
  • Real-Time Performance Modeling
  • Solar Chimney (designed stacks that organize a building to induce cool air induction and hot air exhaust to offset internal heat gains)

Interiors

For interior environments, strategies with some of the most opportunity to make an impact are:

  • Demand Dimming
  • Energy Star Appliance
  • Task Lighting
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Real-Time Performance Modeling
  • Demand Response (For example, smart appliances can adjust ventilation patterns during non-working hours)
  • Disaggregation (structural panels that are pre- fabricated with appropriate insulation and vapor barrier technologies)

Sustainability
in Action

Gensler projects that
push the boundaries of
sustainable performance

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2018
IMPACT
by
DESIGN
GENSLER RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Resilience strategies
shaping the future
of cities
2018
IMPACT
by
DESIGN
GENSLER RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Resilience strategies
shaping the future
of cities

Impact by Design 2018 is Gensler’s third annual publication assessing the performance and resilience of our work. As the world’s leading architecture and design firm, we have an unrivaled opportunity to help our clients and communities around the world improve the impact of the built environment.

In this year’s report, we introduce six strategies for positive impact that we believe have the greatest potential to improve the resilience of the environment in the coming years. We hope this report serves as a reminder of the unique ability of the design industry to create real value in people’s lives by adapting to a changing environment.

Download the full report or explore Gensler’s Strategies for Positive Impact in the articles below.

IMPACT BY DESIGN 2018 (PDF)

Strategies for Positive Impact
Six resilience strategies for the built environment

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