Rescuing our Resources

12 11 2008

I figured I would take this opportunity to do some research on the topic of sustainable design.  The issue of re-thinking the way we design is frequently enforced in lectures while the importance of sustainable and green building as alternatives is stressed.  What I know about this design practice is that it is an essential factor in deacreasing our use of the earths natural and non-renewable resources.  This topic is large and always evolving, but some point I found interesting are:

1.  It has 3 dimensions

2.

Main Entry:
sus·tain·able           Listen to the pronunciation of sustainable
Pronunciation:
\sə-ˈstā-nə-bəl\
Function:
adjective
Date:
circa 1727
1: capable of being sustained2 a: of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged <sustainable techniques> <sustainable agriculture> b: of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods <sustainable society>
sus·tain·abil·i·ty           Listen to the pronunciation of sustainability \-ˌstā-nə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
sus·tain·ably           Listen to the pronunciation of sustainably \-ˈstā-nə-blē\ ad

3.  By designing Environmentally friendly buildings, we are only solving a part of the large problem of resource depletion.  We have to reconsider the way we live and not just the buildings we live, work, etc in.  Some ways to lead a sustainable life include:
a) Using environmentally friendly cleaning products.
b) Being energy efficient and conservative with water.
c) Changing the way we get from place to place.  (Alternative transportation)
d) Implementing better design strategies into our infastructure and buildings.  Some statistics I pulled from http://www.sustainablebuilding.com/Why_Green.htm:

The Building Sector consumes:

  • 40% of the raw materials used globally each year – over 3 billion tons!

  • 40% of the energy consumed in the world

  • 60% of the world’s electrical consumption

  • 25% of virgin wood

Other Impacts:

  • Building emit about 50% of global C02 through construction and operation

  • Cement production accounts for 8% of global GHG’s

  • A 10% increase in worker productivity would offset all office lease costs

-Vikki Drapeau
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