Difference between revisions of "Sustainable design"

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'''Sustainable design''' or '''sustainable technology''' as practiced in 2008 is somewhat similar to what was called '[[Appropriate technology]]' in the 1970's, perhaps best symbolized by the ''[[Whole Earth Catalog]]'', but also involving a large network of people inventing very creative soft technology and lifestyle changing methods and ideas.  Since those resources are mostly not online you can expect to discover lots of good stuff in the archives of some of the journals like [[RAIN magazine]] and [[Popular Science]]. 
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{{topic header| default.png | Sustainable technologies }}
  
The main differences in today's version of [[sustainable design]] are:  
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'''Sustainable design''' or '''sustainable technology''' is similar to [[appropriate technology]] but broader, including both high technology and very low technology. Sustainable technology may be more expensive up front, but offers savings through efficient operation; or it may be cheaper up-front through simpler design.
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It also involves a large network of people inventing very creative soft technology and methods and ideas for "[[green living]]". 
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The main differences in today's version of [[sustainable design]], compared to appropriate technology, are:  
 
* sustainable technology is primarily concerned with minimizing [[environmental impact]], whereas appropriate technology is concerned with the needs of those living on limited material resources (whether by choice or not).
 
* sustainable technology is primarily concerned with minimizing [[environmental impact]], whereas appropriate technology is concerned with the needs of those living on limited material resources (whether by choice or not).
 
* its systematic use in [[architecture]] and planning in the commercial world.  That is best symbolized by the enormous success of the [[LEED]] program of the [[U.S. Green Building Council]] and the [[Green Globes]] industry association, and the US [[Federal Whole Building Design Guide]], and the [[Athena]] life-cycle project impact assessment tool.  There are now also numerous profit and non-profit product rating and selection web sites and large professional association design standards, such as the [[ASRAE]] engineering standard [[SPC 189]].  Many of these subjects are referenced on [[Wikipedia]] too, under either '[[sustainability]]]' or '[[sustainable design]]'.
 
* its systematic use in [[architecture]] and planning in the commercial world.  That is best symbolized by the enormous success of the [[LEED]] program of the [[U.S. Green Building Council]] and the [[Green Globes]] industry association, and the US [[Federal Whole Building Design Guide]], and the [[Athena]] life-cycle project impact assessment tool.  There are now also numerous profit and non-profit product rating and selection web sites and large professional association design standards, such as the [[ASRAE]] engineering standard [[SPC 189]].  Many of these subjects are referenced on [[Wikipedia]] too, under either '[[sustainability]]]' or '[[sustainable design]]'.
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There are also major gaps in the 'appropriateness' of the technology being brought to bear, however.  Though some long range models of environmental impacts show a reduction in the future, it's also broadly recognized that the main achievement of all this effort is just to increase our impacts on the earth more efficiently...!  Nothing people are organizing to do is actually producing any total decrease in impacts, and the plans to change that are vague.  The basic reason appears to be that money is our measure of value and it takes the economy's physical energy and resources to produce make the choices we use it for, in direct proportion.  Because that's confusing to most people, and leading organizations and public discussions are not good at exploring complex questions, the subject is little discussed.
 
There are also major gaps in the 'appropriateness' of the technology being brought to bear, however.  Though some long range models of environmental impacts show a reduction in the future, it's also broadly recognized that the main achievement of all this effort is just to increase our impacts on the earth more efficiently...!  Nothing people are organizing to do is actually producing any total decrease in impacts, and the plans to change that are vague.  The basic reason appears to be that money is our measure of value and it takes the economy's physical energy and resources to produce make the choices we use it for, in direct proportion.  Because that's confusing to most people, and leading organizations and public discussions are not good at exploring complex questions, the subject is little discussed.
  
== See Also ==
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== See also ==
 
* [[Industrial ecology]]
 
* [[Industrial ecology]]
  

Revision as of 06:29, 4 July 2010

Sustainable design or sustainable technology is similar to appropriate technology but broader, including both high technology and very low technology. Sustainable technology may be more expensive up front, but offers savings through efficient operation; or it may be cheaper up-front through simpler design.

It also involves a large network of people inventing very creative soft technology and methods and ideas for "green living".

The main differences in today's version of sustainable design, compared to appropriate technology, are:

There are also a variety of methods and organizations aimed at the systematic application of deeper green design principles. They include BioMimicry, Archtecture2030, Cradle to Cradle, 4Dsustainability among others.

There are also major gaps in the 'appropriateness' of the technology being brought to bear, however. Though some long range models of environmental impacts show a reduction in the future, it's also broadly recognized that the main achievement of all this effort is just to increase our impacts on the earth more efficiently...! Nothing people are organizing to do is actually producing any total decrease in impacts, and the plans to change that are vague. The basic reason appears to be that money is our measure of value and it takes the economy's physical energy and resources to produce make the choices we use it for, in direct proportion. Because that's confusing to most people, and leading organizations and public discussions are not good at exploring complex questions, the subject is little discussed.

See also

Interwiki links

External links