For over three decades, Innovative Design has focused on sustainable design. Because of our expertise, we are now considered by many to be the country's leading firm in green school design. Our successful track record of implementing (under budget) numerous green strategies in over a billion dollars in school construction is unmatched. We have a particularly high level of expertise in both daylighting and rainwater harvesting.

Key to our success is our in-house energy modeling capability. Unlike most other architectural firms, we conduct our own DOE-2 energy simulations, daylighting analysis, and rainwater harvesting optimization. We feel that this has provided us with a significant advantage in selecting the best energy and water saving options. To insure cost effectiveness, we start our detailed computer analysis early in schematic design, when changes are easy and impacts are big.
Innovative Design uses the following analytical tools to ensure the most productive design:

Utilizing eQUEST, we model the overall building performance to determine the impact of numerous design options including the building shell's mass, insulation levels, color of surfaces, different lighting strategies, and mechanical system options.

In this software, annual illuminance profiles are coupled with user occupancy data to predict the annual use of electric lighting in a building zone depending on the lighting and blind control strategy.

TRNSYS (Transient System Simulation Tool)
Innovative Design also utilizes TRNSYS in situations where it is critical to accurately simulate building performance in conjunction with complicated industrial process loads and/or cascading solar energy opportunities. The program allows us to simulate the transient performance of thermal energy systems.
Developed by Innovative Design for the NC Energy Office, the RainCatcher design tool was created to help designers properly size rainwater harvesting systems across the country. Utilizing rainfall averages and extremes, the program optimizes the tank size and collection area relative to student size, use patterns and irrigation demands.

Our firm has extensive experience in solar thermal system design, with hundreds of projects incorporating solar water heating, space heating systems, and solar driven absorption cooling systems. To properly size our systems and determine output, we utilize the industry standard RETScreen software, which accounts for facility-specific loads, collector efficiency, hydrology and climatic differences, and collector tilts and orientations.
850 West Morgan Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27603 I Tel. 919.832.6303 Fax. 919.832.3339
EnergyPlus is another whole building simulation tool that we utilize to determine the impact of various design options. EnergyPlus allows Innovative Design to optimize our buildings and gives us the ability to test the performance of our innovative solutions.