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Organizational Sustainability Planning & Implementation. Sustainability in Design. Presenter: Jane Ahrens, AIA, LEED AP Date: April 19, 2010. Client Awareness - Sustainability. No consensus definition Brundtland Report definition Ecosystem definition.

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Sustainability in Design

  • Presenter: Jane Ahrens, AIA, LEED AP

  • Date: April 19, 2010

  • Client awareness sustainability
    Client Awareness - Sustainability

    • No consensus definition

      • Brundtland Report definition

      • Ecosystem definition

    Four system conditions of sustainability
    Four System Conditionsof Sustainability

    • In the sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing…

      …concentrations of substances extracted from the Earth’s crust;

      ….concentrations of substances produced by society; or

      ….degradation by physical means

      And that in society….

      ….human needs are met worldwide.

    Source: The Natural step for Business:

    Eco efficiency vs eco effectiveness

    • Eco-efficiency

      • Incremental improvements in resource consumption, waste generation or pollution, but still violate 4 system conditions

    • Eco-effectiveness

      • Activities that work within natural systems and do not violate the four system conditions

    Eco-efficiency vs.Eco-effectiveness

    Source: Cradle to Cradle

    Resource funnel
    Resource Funnel


    Source: The Natural step for Business:

    Wealth, Ecology and the Evolutionary Corporation

    Sustainability schematic
    Sustainability Schematic

    • Least effort spent

      • philosophical

    • Most effort

      • actions

    Source: Dancing with the Tiger: Learning Sustainability Step by Natural Step

    Four central strategies

    • Radical Resource Productivity

    • Biomimicry

      • Nature as model, measure and mentor

    • Service and Flow Economy

      • Provide the service, not the product

    • Investing in Natural Capital

      • the stock of natural ecosystems that yields a flow of valuable ecosystem goods or services into the future

    Four Central Strategies

    Source: Natural Capitalism


    • Life cycle assessment – LCA

    • Design for the Environment – Dfe

    • Ecological Footprinting – EF

    • Green Procurement Guidelines

    • EONS – Economic viability, Operational Efficiency, Natural Resource Conservation and Social Responsibility

    • Environmental Management Systems – EMS

    • ISO 14001 standards

    • Ecological and social accounting

    • LEED, Energy Star, Architecture 2030

    • Sustainability Management Systems – SMS


    Sustainability plan vs ems
    Sustainability Plan vs. EMS

    • EMS is NOT a Sustainability Plan

      • A plan full of eco-efficient endeavors will not make an organization's actives sustainable.

    • A Sustainability Plan can be implemented with an EMS

    Conflicts in design process

    • Process focus vs. system thinking

      • Using LEED as a strategy rather than a process

    • Commitment to incremental improvements vs. sustainability

      • Eco-efficiency vs.

      • eco-effectiveness

    • Isolating design team to single process rather than a fluid movement through the sustainability schematic.

    Conflicts in design process

    Sustainability schematic1
    Sustainability Schematic

    Source: Dancing with the Tiger: Learning Sustainability Step by Natural Step

    What does an efficient building cost what does an efficient car cost
    What does an efficient building cost?What does an efficient car cost?

    Down and dirty

    Hensley FieldOperations Center, Dallas, TXLEED NC v2.1 GOLD 780-acre site that previously housed the Dallas Naval Air Station reassumed by the City of Dallas, the property is being converted into both public and private use for industrial/aviation use.

    Raised Floor(No added cost)existing uneven 8” – 12” slabno way to feed electrical in an open office environmentquick connect electrical rather than hard wiring saves money and time in future churnsstaining concrete raised floor panels saves resources over carpetimproved indoor air reduced energy consumption and labor for under floor HVAC

    Photovoltaic Array (State Grant - SECO)Paid for partially through State Energy Conservation Office$26,500 SECO/ $26,500 Dallas7kVA panels, 15 kVA inverter (expandable system)22 year payback – panellife of 25Education/market driver primary motivators

    Interior Irrigation($2500 initial cost)Ignored in LEED system1500 gallon cistern ties into an existing roof scupper for the sourceWater distributed from one main pipe into the separate zones down in the atriumPlants elevated and watered with an IROX systemEliminates manual watering, overwatering and the use of potable water


    Anonymous Terminal, USAcisternoriginal target WE creditsand $2.5 millionrevised target SS creditsand $750,000

    Anonymous Terminal, USAheat island effectLEED boundary vs. intent of credit $25,000 parking garage reflective coating

    Anonymous Terminal, USAC&D waste landfill diversionM&R credit + Innovation & Design point for exemplary performance – 90% diversionrecycling waste – 20% less expensive than landfilling

    Green features with little to no additional first costRegional and recycled materialsGrasspavers cost same as concreteEnergy Star compliant roofingGreen power creditsWater efficient fixturesRecycling programs

    Primary benefits to design process

    Primary benefits to design process