Choosing by Advantage: Implementing a Decision-Making Framework for Sustainable Solutions Best Suited to Your Project

Josh Wesloski, CRB
Gordon Handziuk, CRB

Solutions to zero carbon emissions exist today for laboratories and high-tech facilities, but the most advantageous design depends on the priorities of each individual facility and the project team. A choosing by advantage decision-making framework enabled a 150,000 square-foot biotech manufacturing facility to strategically coordinate stakeholder preferences for a zero carbon, fully electrified facility design. Through conversations with project stakeholders and subject matter experts, sustainability metrics were defined and prioritized to rank different designs. The metrics included: cost, space required, future expansion, complexity, resiliency, carbon emissions, and water reduction. Alternative designs were developed with the project team, and the choosing by advantage framework was used to facilitate discussions and compare solutions based upon the previously defined metrics. The result was a central plant design that utilized air-source heat recovery heat pumps, water cooled chillers, a thermal energy storage tank and electric boilers for a fully electrified, resilient facility that minimized energy costs. The choosing by advantage framework allowed for interactive planning with all stakeholders to weigh sustainability metrics and develop a design to meet the project sustainability goals. Learn how this decision-making process can be implemented for any project type and scale to drive toward solutions best suited for your stakeholders and facility.

Learning Objectives

  • Define sustainability metrics and ideate innovative solutions with all project stakeholders;
  • Develop an organizational framework to make critical facility decisions with confidence by weighing and comparing sustainability metrics;
  • Facilitate interactive stakeholder discussions to manage solution tradeoffs, incorporate feedback real time, and drive toward a decision; and
  • Apply best design practices to achieve stakeholder goals, including zero carbon design.


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