Sustainable Design Vision

Sustainable Design Vision

Dan Culver

To get this blog going and the discussion started we thought we’d start with a brief explanation of what each of us thought was our vision and intention of sustainable design. 

My vision and intention of sustainable design is designing efficient spaces that increase its inhabitant’s connection with the outside.  The purpose of this blog is to explore how people are doing this currently, what can be done differently in the future to make it better and how the people that are using sustainably designed spaces react to them.  I look forward to the opportunity to talk to and research current developers, architects, and general contractors that are involved in sustainable design and learn the techniques they are using and the certifications and benchmarks they are following.  I would also like to share my experiences with sustainable design and exchange ideas on what I am doing.

I think anyone that finds this blog will already be versed enough in sustainable design that I would prefer not to lecture about what I think sustainable design should be.  I would like Tony to fill me and any readers in on what he’s learning as he completes his masters degree in sustainability.

To expand on my answer above – I believe first and foremost sustainable design needs to be efficient.  This is achieved by designing a space that is close to places people need to be, like work, housing or schools; and places where people want to be, like restaurants, shops, and entertainment.  Concentrating on where new buildings are built will have a dramatic effect on land use and pollution created by commuting. 

Most of our buildings are already built, so concentrating on the energy usage of a space is sometimes the only thing we can control .  I believe the best way to do this is to create a space  that is the correct size for the use of the space.  An office or home that is too big for its use will waste energy heating and cooling the space and a space that is too small for its use may be a complete waste in that no one will use it.   The next step is proper insulation, mechanicals, and appliances.  Ideas on the newest technologies that go along with this step will be discussed in future posts. 

Besides mechanicals, builders try to get the tightest envelope as possible to reduce energy usage, which means avoiding windows.  A space with no windows is not very desireable or sustainable, which is why I believe the other sustainble ideal should be to increase the natural light and views of the area.  In future posts I’d like to research the newest windows with the most insulation and other technologies to help plan daylighting and the benefits of it.

Well that’s the first post.  I will work on bringing in more pictures and video in future posts.  Currently we’re working on a green wall so I’d like to share some of that information this week or next and upload some photos when it’s completed.

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