Sustainable design

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Revision as of 06:29, 4 July 2010 by Chriswaterguy (talk | Contributions) (rewrite intro; add header)
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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.

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.

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