Monday, June 25, 2007

Years ago, when people mentioned the word “green” it was usually related to money. But for the past 5 years “green” is referred to as sustainability and the important issues of global climate change. Now, with the year 2010 just around the corner and many people like Edward Mazria who are pushing for the 2030 challenge to become reality, it made me think – weren’t previous architects trained to be sustainable? What happen to us along this course of training and learning? Isn’t architecture always suppose to be cautious about the environment and aren’t architects always suppose to design for the culture and climate of the specific site? Is money and oil the root of all evil in this world ( okay, that is a whole different topic, one we will discuss later)?
It is so sad to see that the most important issue right now is global climate change. The built environment is responsible for more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions. I recently read an article that said most Americans now believe in global warming but don’t believe that they can do anything about it. This might stand true for the general public, but I think that as architects and designers we have the ability and are in a unique position to take action that can help.

Back before I was born, I mean way, way, way back…. We all shared our passion for sustainability. We also practiced sustainable design whether we were asked to or not. Sustainability was ingrained within our souls. The mindset should be not to treat sustainability as a capability we can apply if we wanted too, rather it is more importantly an obligation and a responsibility that we must integrate into our practice.
Granted, not every project is going to be LEED certified, we are to educate our every client about design + sustainability. We are to naturally practice sustainability every day, from what we spec in a building, how we orients the building, design the site, placing windows, natural cooling and heating; to how and what we physically do as architects and as a life being on this planet. We should consider every day what we do: how much we recycle, the clothes that we wear to keep hot or cool, what we eat, and etc.

As an architect and designers, we design, we educate and we make a difference.
check out the website below and tell me how you plan on making a difference: