In architecture there is a simultaneous acceptance of default spaces like plenums and mechanical rooms and a reaction against additional renewable high performance systems affecting design. It is time to reframe the role of building systems in the design process. A holistic view integrating disciplines is needed. An informed perspective that understands more than just energy balances is needed; one that pushes the limits of design through appropriate consideration of temperature and comfort using exergy. Through these ideas of intelligent integration and the low exergy design paradigm, systems can become part of the building fabric thereby achieving high performance while simultaneously expanding design freedom (PV as functional walls/roof). Basic building performance theory along with some new low exergy technologies and examples of novel system integration from Switzerland and Singapore will be presented along with new ideas currently being developed at Princeton.