Whole System Design and Evolutionary 21st Century American Buildings + Infrastructure

By Anna Franz, Shahram Sarkani and Thomas A. Mazzuchi.

Published by The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study explores whole system design and evolutionary 21st century American buildings + infrastructure. Since the introduction of the theory of ecological design in the mid-1970s, whole system design, based on collaboration, research, new technologies and iterative value management, has been increasingly applied to drive sustainable and more innovative solutions. While this systems engineering approach for achieving substantial environmental and economic benefits is more commonplace today, it is theorized that evolutionary buildings + infrastructure are achieved through an expanded model of whole system design. This model integrating whole system design (integrated design) with project management, systems engineering process models and radial innovation drives design innovation, promotes change in the built environment and prompts new market opportunities for the Architect Engineer and Construction industry. Understanding critical success factors for producing such distinguished projects is key to sustaining architectural and engineering practice and the building industry. Through quantitative measurement and qualitative case study analyses, the study using winning projects from Engineering News Record’s Best of the Best 2011 Project Awards examines four questions: 1) what are critical success factors for producing evolutionary 21st century buildings + infrastructure? 2) does whole system design enable project success? 3) do systems engineering process models enhance whole system design? and 4) is radical innovation critical for producing evolutionary American buildings + infrastructure? The study indicates that significant evidence exists to support prior research for factors related to people, project activities, barriers and success, and that whole system design, as implemented through systems engineering process models, and radical innovation additionally are important factors. Case study information suggests that buildings + infrastructure evolve through design innovation, enhanced by an expanded model for whole system design aligning goals, vision, whole system design and outcomes. The study informs professionals and students about design innovation and effective project delivery strategies strengthened through systems engineering.

Keywords: Critical Success Factors, Whole System Design, Systems Engineering, Radical Innovation

The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.19-48. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.143MB).

Anna Franz

Director, Planning and Project Management, Architect of the Capitol, Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Anna Franz, AIA, LEED AP, Anna Franz is the director of planning and project management at the Architect of the Capitol. Since 2006, she has led a central service organization providing planning, architecture and engineering design, historic preservation, capital and project and construction management, sustainability and energy management, computer aided facilities management and in-house construction services to the U.S. Capitol, House office buildings, Senate office buildings, Library of Congress, U.S. Botanical Garden and other agency facilities. Her 26 year federal career in facilities, capital projects and program management includes positions at the U.S. Navy Department of Civil Engineer Corps, Department of Justice, Smithsonian Institution and the National Institutes of Health. She received a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin and is a doctoral candidate in The School of Engineering and Applied Science at The George Washington University. She is a registered architect in Virginia and a member of the American Institute of Architects. She is Vice Chair of the Construction Industry Institute and has received numerous awards, including an Architect of the Capitol Citation Award, General Services Administration Honor Award in Preservation and Conservation, National Institutes of Health Merit Award, Attorney General Special Commendation Award.

Dr. Shahram Sarkani

Academic Director, Program Advisor, Professor of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, The George Washington University, USA

Shahram, Sarkani, P.E., Ph.D., Academic Director, Program Advisor, Professor of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, The School of Engineering and Applied Science, The George Washington University, USA.

Dr. Thomas A. Mazzuchi

Chair of Dept of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, Program Advisor, Professor of Engineering Mgt and Systems Engin & of Decision Sciences, Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, The George Washington University, USA

Thomas A. Mazzuchi, D.Sc., Chair of Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, Program Advisor, Professor of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering and of Decision Sciences, The School of Engineering and Applied Science, The George Washington University, USA.