Sustainability

The Green Thing

There’s almost no good way to talk about “Green” or “Sustainable” since those words have been overused and under-substantiated. Culturally we’re not yet ready to have serious discussions about what we would need to do to cohabitate planet Earth without compromising the ability of other species and systems to thrive. That said, here are a few thoughts:

· Let’s minimize carbon production wherever we can. That means less demand for fossil fuel burning devices and more efficiency in those devices when we need to use them.

· Design is important! Walking around a medieval city, like Fez, Morocco, one gets a taste of how important design is. Most of the buildings are many centuries old, and the configuration of those buildings maximizes benefits both inside and out. The results are many interesting places to live and work and a vibrant urban fabric.

· What doesn’t get enough press under the Green heading is human stress. Most people we know are carrying too much of it. Building can be stressful. We’re interested in taking as much stress out of the process as possible. We do that through design and building competence, close adherence to the schedule and budget, and skillful, gracious, and friendly relating. Yoga and meditation also help.

· Indoor environmental quality – A source of invisible stress, indoor pollutants affect many people. We often work with people that have environmental sensitivities to accomplish the cleanest indoor air quality possible.

· Impacts of climate change – The weather is changing! Buildings will increasingly be impacted by those changes. Climate-wise, Western North Carolina is in a more advantageous location than many other places. Even here, heat, cold, and precipitation are becoming more intense. Buildings need to be designed to endure and respond to these changes.