As designers and builders deeply concerned with our collective future, it’s incumbent upon us to state our basic premises regarding ‘sustainable’ and ‘green’ practices. Having thought long and hard about the need to do more to ensure a high quality of life for future generations, Build LLC offers the following principles of honest, sustainable design.
Make sure stuff works and is built for future generations. Outsmart and outlast both designed and perceived obsolescence.
Continually assert discipline in size, scale and program. Know when to subtract and streamline. Beauty and comfort result from intelligent solutions, not the reflexive addition of features.
Incorporate the most people and activities that can sensibly be sustained in a given volume. There is a healthy balance between lawn-covered neighborhoods and asphalt-encased towers.
Use local resources: architects, contractors and materials.
Understand what forms and innovations will last. Reject fashion, pretension, and conscious efforts to attract attention.
The best ‘green’ features disappear into a building: the structure works better and enhances the inhabitant’s health and enjoyment. We start from these basic, common-sense sustainability practices. These are core to our practice, like our desks and pencils. We don’t brag about them—we build them in, naturally. And when we don’t, we’re honest that we didn’t—and, this just means we can’t go waving the banner of sustainability around.
Technology will improve and our mindsets will continue to evolve. While we’re developing usable ‘cradle to cradle’ products and processes, our best alternative is to use these five principles to guide our actions to achieve the most sustainable outcomes possible.
If these principles seem basic, that’s the point. They are fundamental. Let’s get them right wherever we can while we sort out the emerging technologies.