As a principal of an architecture and urban design firm, with 20 years of experience in the industry, I have guided my various clients through some very important and expensive investment decisions. However, we face some of the biggest challenges around advising on sustainability and long term operational cost decisions.
- “What HVAC systems should we consider for better efficiency?”
- “Does it make sense to use a cistern to collect water and offset irrigation needs?”
- “How does our site layout affect stormwater impact?”
These were just a few of the questions I couldn’t easily, accurately or affordably answer for my clients. And these decisions can have enormous impact to a project’s life cycle costs, as some buildings’ operational costs over time can be up to 50 times what they cost to build!
When I started asking my colleagues, they were experiencing the same challenges and concerns around benchmarking and performance assessment, not truly being able to weigh the environmental and financial impacts of their designs.
They needed better answers. That’s why our team developed PlanIT Impact.
Electricity and natural gas are the two dominant energy sources in the commercial buildings sector. Together, electricity and natural gas accounted for about 93 percent of total energy consumed in 2012, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
PlanIT Impact provides the actionable information you need, when you need it, by culling through and crunching the data for you using our machine learning algorithms. Accuracy is not a property of our algorithms, but an input variable—and cost is the main metric. If your building doesn’t satisfy the accuracy limits, we generate more data to improve the intelligence of the algorithms.
Our goal is to reduce resource use cost-effectively because energy and resource efficiency is not just an informed design decision but a return on investment.
Fast and Easy Collaboration
From the architects to the engineers to the sustainability consultant—Our industry is inter-disciplinary and requires many areas of expertise. We understand engineering and architecture firms are under a lot of pressure to meet schedules and budgets, which is why PlanIT Impact plays well with the tools you are already using to enhance—rather than disrupt—your existing design flow process.
Working collaboratively to study options in real time improves efficiency and leads to better outcomes. By bringing all parties to the table from the inception of the project, PlanIT Impact allows project stakeholders to collaborate early and often without fear of wasting time and money.
Providing Data and Value You Need
We have seen first-hand how engaging clients can help them understand the impacts of their projects and make better design decisions. Return-on-investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO) are major factors in the decision-making process for building owners, and they want to know what their savings will look like over the course of the next decade, not just the next year. PI can help you save dollars up front that will pay off in the long-run, revealing options that are sustainable for both the environment and your bottom line.
Everyone wants to do the right thing. We all care about the planet, but we also care about making smart financial decisions. By providing the key answers the industry needs to succeed—integrative collaboration, fast and easy iteration, and using data to lean into the discussion on potential costs—we can together revolutionize the building industry.
Visit our website to learn how PlanIT Impact can help you with your next project.
Dominique is the founder and CEO of PlanIT Impact Inc, as well as principal of DRAW Architecture + Urban Design, an award winning practice based in Kansas City, Mo. She is an author and frequent national speaker in the sustainable and smart city space.