Sustainable Design TommyJ. Crane
Sustainable design (also called environmental design, environmentally sustainable design, environmentally conscious design, etc.) is the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the principles of social, economic and ecological, sustainability.
What is ‘sustainable’ architecture? • Sustainable architecture is a general term that describes environmentally conscious design techniques in the field of architecture. • Sustainable architecture is framed by the larger discussion of sustainability and the pressing economic and political issues of our world. • In the broad context, sustainable architecture seeks to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by enhancing efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, and development space.
The intention of sustainable design is to "eliminate negative environmental impact completely through skillful, sensitive design”. • Manifestations of sustainable design require no non-renewable resources, impact the environment minimally, and relate people with the natural
Sustainable Design Principles • While the practical application varies among disciplines, some common principles are as follows: • Low-impact materials: choose non-toxic, sustainably produced or recycled materials which require little energy to process • Energy efficiency: use manufacturing processes and produce products which require less energy • Quality and durability: longer-lasting and better-functioning products will have to be replaced less frequently, reducing the impacts of producing replacements • Design for reuse and recycling: "Products, processes, and systems should be designed for performance in a commercial 'afterlife'.”
Design Impact Measures for total carbon footprint and life-cycle assessment for any resource used are increasingly required and available. • Sustainable Design Standards and project design guides are also increasingly available and are vigorously being developed by a wide array of private organizations and individuals. • There is also a large body of new methods emerging from the rapid development of what has become known as 'sustainability science' promoted by a wide variety of educational and governmental institutions.
Biomimicry: "redesigning industrial systems on biological lines ... enabling the constant reuse of materials in continuous closed cycles...” • Service substitution: shifting the mode of consumption from personal ownership of products to provision of services which provide similar functions, e.g., from a private automobile to a carsharing service. • Renewability: materials should come from nearby (local or bioregional), sustainably managed renewable sources that can be composted when their usefulness has been exhausted. • Robust eco-design: robust design principles are applied to the design of a pollution sources).
A “Bill of Rights for the Planet”Developed by William McDonough • Insist on the right of humanity and nature to co-exist in a healthy, supportive, diverse, and sustainable condition. • Recognize Interdependence. The elements of human design interact with and depend on the natural world, with broad and diverse implications at every scale. Expand design considerations to recognizing even distant effects. • Respect relationships between spirit and matter. Consider all aspects of human settlement including community, dwelling, industry, and trade in terms of existing and evolving connections between spiritual and material consciousness. • Accept responsibility for the consequences of design decisions upon human well-being, the viability of natural systems, and their right to co-exist.
Create safe objects of long-term value. Do not burden future generations with requirements for maintenance or vigilant administration of potential danger due to the careless creations of products, processes, or standards. • Eliminate the concept of waste. Evaluate and optimize the full life-cycle of products and processes, to approach the state of natural systems in which there is no waste. • Rely on natural energy flows. Human designs should, like the living world, derive their creative forces from perpetual solar income. Incorporate this energy efficiently and safely for responsible use.
Understand the limitations of design. No human creation lasts forever and design does not solve all problems. Those who create and plan should practice humility in the face of nature. Treat nature as a model and mentor, not an inconvenience to be evaded or controlled. • Seek constant improvement by the sharing of knowledge. Encourage direct and open communication between colleagues, patrons, manufacturers and users to link long term sustainable considerations with ethical responsibility, and re-establish the integral relationship between natural processes and human activity.
Energy use in buildings is a major concern • Energy efficiency over the entire life cycle of a building is a very important goal of sustainable architecture. • Architects use many different techniques to reduce the energy needs of buildings and increase their ability to capture or generate their own energy.
There are many ways to create ‘sustainable’ architectural environments • Specific design decisions and specific architectural components can make a big difference in the way a built environment functions, and in the amount of energy and natural resources required to maintain it.
Overview • Definitions • Causes / Effects • History • Organizations • Roles of designers • Conclusion
Sustainability: Sustainable Design: Ecological Footprint: ‘Greenwashing’:
Sustainability: “Sustainability: from the verb to sustain meaning; to hold up; to provide for; to maintain; to sanction; to keep going; to keep up; to prolong; to support the life of. (Chambers Concise Dictionary,2007) “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (The World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987).
Sustainable Design: • Minimizes environmental impacts • Uses methods, products and process respectful of the earth’s life cycles • Conserves natural resources for current and future generations. • Non-toxic materials and processes • Potentially a ‘cleaner’ interior and exterior environment
Sustainable Design: 7 basic actions to achieve sustainable design: Rethink, Redesign, Reduce, Reuse, Renew, Refurbish, and Recycle.
Ecological Footprint: • A measure of the amount [of natural resources] it takes to sustain a given population over a course of a year” (Redefining Progress, 2002) http://www.ecologicalfootprint.org/Global%20Footprint%20Calculator/GFPCalc.html http://www.myfootprint.org/en/
‘Greenwashing’: • A pejorative (negative) term derived from the term ‘whitewashing’ was coined by environmental activists to describe efforts by corporations to portray themselves as environmentally responsible in order to mask environmental wrongdoing” (MacDonald, 2007)
Seven Signs of ‘Greenwashing’: Hidden Trade-Off No Proof Vagueness Irrelevance ‘Fibbing’ Lesser of Two Evils Worshipping False Labels http://sinsofgreenwashing.org/
Causes of Environmental problems: • Consumerism • Increased ecological foot print • global consumption reached $24 trillion in 1998 • We make, use, and throw away too much stuff! • Globalization – loss of cultural diversity and heritages • Overpopulation / population growth – almost 6.5 billion people
Effects: Waste Pollution Deforestation / Soil erosion Global Warming / Climate change Extinction / Endangerment of Extinction of Species Exhaustion of Non-renewable Resources
Effects: • Waste -
Waste • The average American generates four pounds of solid trash per day, for a grand total of 1,460 pounds per year. • Americans are the number one global trash offenders. • Every day, we dispose of approximately 200 million tons of the stuff. Less than one-quarter of it is recycled, leaving the rest for land fills and incinerators. • Although Americans represent roughly 5% of the world's population, we generate 40% of its waste
Reasons for Not Going Green: Reasons for Going Green: Reduce the life cycle cost of buildings Better indoor air quality Improved quality of built environment Increase productivity Hippies, tree huggers, rebel architects and designers. Fear of initial cost Lack of understanding of life-cycle costs Lack of knowledge as to the consequences
Brief History of Sustainable Design: • George Perkins Marsh’s Man and Nature in 1864. • Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962 • Denis Hayes – Founder of Earth Day in 1970. • R. Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller – architect, • David Orr – educator, writer and designer
Organizations that promote environmental awareness and action U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) / Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Roles of the Designer that impact the environment: Specify materials Influential professional Knowledgeable individual Creative problem solver
The Sustainability Gap: Stieg argued that “this gap exists between theory and practice: between what we believe to be right and what we know to be right; between how we should practice sustainable design and how we are able to practice” (p. ix). http://sesec.fsu.edu/ogzeb.html
“…Those who understand the power of design know it is a highly developed problem-solving discipline. A skill whereby complex problems with many competing requirements can be transformed into elegant solutions” (Battisto, 2001, p.5).
What makes Architecture Sustainable? Site Specific Orientation Energy Efficient - Daylighting Water Efficient Considers Alternative Transportation methods Stores and Collects Recyclable Goods Considerate of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Built with: Regional Materials Rapidly Renewable Materials Long-Lasting/Durable Materials
U.S. Green Building Council http://www.usgbc.org/ • The U.S. Green Building Council is a non-profit community of leaders working to make green buildings available to everyone within a generation. • The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization that certifies sustainable businesses, homes, hospitals, schools, and neighborhoods. USGBC is dedicated to expanding green building practices and education, and its LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™.
USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) • LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. • LEED Rating Systems are developed through an open, consensus-based process led by LEED committees.
USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) LEED-certified buildings: Lower operating costs and increased asset value. Reduce waste sent to landfills. Conserve energy and water. Healthier and safer for occupants. Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives in hundreds of cities. Demonstrate an owner's commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility.
USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified: 40 - 49 points Silver: 50 - 59 points Gold: 60 - 79 points Platinum: 80 + above points Points vary according to category This example is for CI – Commercial Interiors.
Examples of LEED Buildings 46 Blackstone, Harvard, LEED Platinum GSD green roof: Students green the roof of GundHall, Harvard University, by distributing plants and soil. Staff photo Justin Ide/Harvard News Office
Examples of LEED Buildings cont. This year's poster child of prefab is the 2,500-square-foot Living Home, which made its mark on the industry by gleaning a LEED Platinum rating, the highest possible from the USGBC. RMZ Millenia Business Park, Chennai - India's Largest LEED Gold rated Green Building
Examples of LEED Buildings cont. This building recently became the first LEED Platinum building in Kansas. Interface Showroom Atlanta, GA.
The first LEED Platinum skyscraper. The building features many energy enhancements, but its onsite 4.6-megawatt cogeneration plant is the main attraction. The system provides a clean and efficient power source for the building’s energy requirements, significantly reducing its reliance on the NYC grid.
William J Clinton Presidential LibraryLittle Rock, ArkansasLEED Certified – EB(Existing Building) PlatinumThis library was the first presidential library to become LEED certified.(3)
Hearst Tower,,Manhattan, New York, LEED-Certified GOLDFeatures include, low-E glass in the building envelope, light sensors to control the amount of artificial light on each floor, activity level sensors that control both lights and computers, high efficiency HVAC systems, and use of outside makeup air for cooling and ventilation for 75 percent of the year.(6)
The Santa Monica Civic Center – Parking Garage, Santa Monica, CA, LEED CertifiedThis parking garage is the first LEED-certified parking garage in the United States. Features include, a rooftop solar array, low-VOC paints, free bike storage, and a gray-water harvesting system that uses storm runoff for landscaping and Civic Center facilities.
Sources for finding Sustainable Architecture Metropolis Magazine Eco-Structure Green – Source Dwell Contract Interior Design Interiors & Sources
Sustainable Design &William McDonough • Why can’t a building be as eco-friendly as a tree? • What if the concept of waste didn’t exist? • Having collaborated with such giants as Google, nasa, Ford, and Wal-Mart with his “Cradle to Cradle” philosophy, architect William McDonough wants to usher in a new Industrial Revolution. • No sacrifices necessary, just smart design.