The use of Integral Theory to evaluate architectural sustainability – a case study

    Roetzel, Astrid
    Fuller, Robert
    Rajagopalan, Priyadarsini
    Luther, Mark Brandt
    Built Environment Performance Assessment
    Conference Papers


DeKay’s concept of Integral Sustainable Design (ISD) is based on Integral Theory, a framework proposed by the American philosopher, Ken Wilber. It offers four simultaneous perspectives (represented by quadrants) which each take a different view of the problem. The ‘experiences’ quadrant focuses on individual human experiences. The ‘behaviours’ quadrant looks at environmental performance. The ‘cultures’ perspective focuses on the collective interpretation of meaning, symbolism and worldviews and the ‘systems’ quadrant investigates the response and interaction with context. Integral Theory can act as a reminder for architects of the different perspectives that a sustainable building should address. In order to evaluate ISD, the Waterfront Campus Building of Deakin University has been used as a case study. The building, its performance, impact and perception, has been evaluated using both quantitative and qualitative data. Two surveys have been conducted to gather qualitative data to: (i) determine the experience of building users (staff and students) and (ii) the perception of non-users (Geelong residents and tourists). Data from building services and a site analysis has enabled quantitative assessments to be made. These inputs have been analysed, guided by ISD, to evaluate the usefulness of ISD as a sustainability assessment tool.


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