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EVSS 680: Case Studies of Env Issues CofC Fall 2010. SOLUTIONS III: ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN. Agenda. McDonough & Braungart , Cradle to Cradle Lecture/Discussion: Introduction and pp. 92-186 Videos. Video. William McDonough introduces C2C Part 3. Video.

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Evss 680 case studies of env issues cofc fall 2010

EVSS 680: Case Studies of Env Issues


Fall 2010



  • McDonough & Braungart, Cradle to Cradle

  • Lecture/Discussion: Introduction and pp. 92-186

  • Videos


  • William McDonough introduces C2C Part 3


  • William McDonough introduces C2C Part 4

Ch 4 waste food
Ch 4: Waste = Food


Ch 4 waste food1
Ch 4: Waste = Food

  • Blames industry for altering the natural equilibrium. P 92 “

  • “Throw away products have become the norm.” p. 97

  • Landfills contaminate, waste or lose too many valuable nutrients. P. 99

  • Sewage no longer carries just human biological waste – it caries numerous hazardous chemicals that disrupt or destroy or mutate many natural cycles in our water resources and farm lands. P. 101 Need to rethink the flow.

Ch 4 waste food2
Ch 4: Waste = Food

  • The notion of a closed system of the Earth (mass) and sun (energy) and nothing goes in or out of the system. “Whatever is naturally here is all we have.” Basic elements are finite and valuable. “ If our systems contaminate Earth’s biological mass and continue to throw away technical nutrients (such as metals) or render them useless, we will indeed live in a world of limits, where production and consumption are restrained, and the Earth will literally become a grave.” If humans are to survive we will have to learn to imitate nature’s highly effective C2C system …” P. 103

  • Two metabolisms – biological and technical

Ch 4 waste food3
Ch 4: Waste = Food

  • Technical nutrients and the notion of “products of service” are introduced. pp. 109 to 115. No elegant examples of complete success at this as was the case for the wheelchair seat yet. Carpet, TV’s, automobiles are the focus of innovation in this section. Henry Fords model T with the crate as floor boards, packaging like rice husks used then t make bricks, etc. We are not there for most products for the foreseeable future. Suggest using parking lots to store unmarketable materials until ways to redesign them or new uses for them can be engineered – running shoe soles, PET, PVC, etc.

Ch 4 waste food4
Ch 4: Waste = Food

  • Definition of insanity repeated then followed by this: “Negligence has been described as doing the same thing over and over again even though you know it’s dangerous, stupid or wrong. Now that we know, it’s time for a change. Negligence starts tomorrow.” p. 117

Ch 5 respect diversity
Ch 5: Respect Diversity

  • Notion of fitting rather than fittest. “Fitting-est implies an energetic and material engagement with place and an interdependent relationship to it.” P. 121

  • All sustainability is local – like politics. P. 123

  • “By seeing sustainability as both a local and a global event, we can understand that just as it is not viable to poison local water and air with waste; it is equally unacceptable to send it downstream, or to ship it overseas to other, less regulated shores.” P. 125

Ch 5 respect diversity1
Ch 5: Respect Diversity

  • Net zero does not mean isolated – off-grid. Contribute to traditional sources – eco-efficient – transitional – while new technologies and sources of generation emerge. Lots of mini-generators – more efficient

  • “Oddly enough, professional architects seem to get by without understanding the basic principals that inspired ancient buildings and architecture orientations.” P. 130

Ch 5 respect diversity2
Ch 5: Respect Diversity

  • “eco-efficiency in service to a larger vision, not as a goal itself.” P. 131

  • “Eco-effective design demands a coherent set of principles based on nature’s laws and the opportunity for constant diversity of expression.” “What goes for aesthetics goes for needs, which vary with ecological, economic and cultural circumstances – not to mention personal preferences.”

Ch 5 respect diversity3
Ch 5: Respect Diversity

  • Questions on page 145 for considerations:

  • “What has worked in the past, present and what will work in the future?

  • What kind of world do we intend and how might we design things in keeping with that vision?

  • What will a sustainable global commerce look like 10 or even 100 years in the future?

  • How can our products help to create and sustain it, so that future generations are enriched by what we make, not tyrannized by hazards and waste?

  • What can we do now to begin the process of industrial re-evolution?”

Ch 5 respect diversity4
Ch 5: Respect Diversity

  • Smith – “every man working for his own self interest will be led by an invisible hand to promote the public good.” Free market – almost divine and highly dependent on a moral producer. Not consistent with reality

  • Marx – everything belongs to the state – meant t address the need for equity and sharing of wealth. Capitalism often ignored the needs of the worker but communism also failed in that regard because the individual was trivialized. 16% of the former Soviet Union is unfit for habitation due to hazardous waste. P. 148

Ch 5 respect diversity5
Ch 5: Respect Diversity

  • “And there can be many of us and the things we make, because we have the right system – a creative, intelligent, prosperous and fertile system – and, like the ants we will be “effective”.

Ch 6 eco effectiveness into practice
Ch 6: Eco-Effectiveness into Practice

  • Five steps to eco-effectiveness:

    • Get free of known culprits

    • Follow informed personal preferences – ask manufacturers questions, tack carpet rather than glue it, etc. People do not want nor maintain ugly buildings.

    • Create a passive positive list – list X, gray and P lists of constituents.

    • Activate the positive list.

    • Reinvent – start over again – circular – signal your intentions – string commitments to change for the better

Ch 6 eco effectiveness into practice1
Ch 6: Eco-Effectiveness into Practice

  • Final questions posed:

    • How can we support and perpetuate the rights of all living things to share in a world of abundance? (can be taken many ways)

    • How can we love the children of all species – not just our own – for all time?

    • Imagine what a world of prosperity and health would look like in the future, and begin designing for it now.

    • What would it mean to become, once again, native to this place – Earth – the home of all our relations?

    • This is going to take us all, and it is going to take forever. But then, that’s the point.


  • Roundtable Rocky Mtn Inst: Natural Capitalism