Research Portal

July 1, 2022

Three Pathways to Highly Energy Efficient Buildings: Assessing Combinations of Teaming and Technology

Homayouni, Hoda; Dossick, Carrie Sturts; Neff, Gina. (2021). Three Pathways to Highly Energy Efficient Buildings: Assessing Combinations of Teaming and Technology. Journal Of Management In Engineering, 37(2).

View Publication


Highly energy efficient (HEE) buildings require a whole-system approach to building design. Scholars have suggested many tools, techniques, and processes to address the cross-disciplinary complexities of such an approach, but how these elements might be best combined to lead to better project outcomes is yet unknown. To address this, we surveyed architects associated with 33 AIA-COTE award-winning projects on the social, organizational, and technological elements of whole-system design (WSD) practices. We then used fuzzy sets-qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to analyze the interdependencies among those elements. We found three distinct pathways for the design and construction of HEE buildings: information-driven, process-driven, or organization-driven. We also found that HEE buildings share some conditions for success, including having shared goals, owners engagement in the design process, and frequent and participatory interorganizational meetings. Our findings can help practitioners strategize and make decisions on incorporating WSD elements associated with their project types. Moreover, these results provide a launchpad for scholars to investigate complementarities among elements facilitating the design and construction process of HEE projects.


Buildings (structures); Construction; Design Engineering; Energy Conservation; Fuzzy Set Theory; Innovation Management; Organisational Aspects; Project Management; Team Working; Whole-system Approach; Building Design; Cross-disciplinary Complexities; Social Elements; Organizational Elements; Technological Elements; Whole-system Design Practices; Fuzzy Set; Distinct Pathways; Hee Buildings; Project Types; Construction Process; Hee Projects; Highly Energy Efficient Buildings; Whole-system Design; Energy Efficient Buildings; Building Information Modeling; Integrated Project Teams; Fuzzy Sets-qualitative Comparative Analysis