The intention of sustainable design is to “eliminate negative environmental impact completely through skillful, sensitive design”. Manifestations of sustainable design require renewable resources, impact the environment minimally, and connect people with the natural environment.
Great design is sustainable design: Rather than considering green building design as an externality, architects must think about it as a set of principles for great design. This includes better user experience and comfort, doing more with less to enable the building to easily achieve peak performance, and maximizing the effectives of durable, quality materials. Rather than the well-known edict “form follows function,” it’s time to think “form follows environment
Beyond the “elimination of negative environmental impact”, sustainable design must create projects that are meaningful innovations that can shift behaviour. A dynamic balance between economy and society, intended to generate long-term relationships between user and object/service and finally to be respectful and mindful of the environmental and social differences
A problem arises when the limits of a resource are hard to see, so increasing investment in response to diminishing returns may seem profitable as in the Tragedy of the Commons, but may lead to a collapse. This problem of increasing investment in diminishing resources has also been studied in relation to the causes of civilization collapse by Joseph Tainter among others.This natural error in investment policy contributed to the collapse of both the Roman and Mayan, among others. Relieving over-stressed resources requires reducing pressure on them, not continually increasing it whether more efficiently or not
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