There is no prescriptive approach to designing a high-performance, highly sustainable building. It’s not something you can just buy and hang on the side of a project, and there is no magic recipe, silver bullet, or one-size-fits-all solution. Sustainability is a broad concept that can be—and is—interpreted in many ways. In addition, the systems and processes that can lead to high-performance buildings are complex and often get very technical, very quickly.
To truly achieve sustainability, it has to be baked into the project from go. You have to have a strategy from the outset, meticulously design your way through the details, ensure that the construction of the project supports the vision, and then use and operate the building in the manner that will optimize its sustainable attributes. That said, there are some ways to better the chances of ending up with a project that achieves its sustainability goals.