#ElementalDesign Advice 02 TRUE SUSTAINABILITY

Talina Edwards Architecture Elemental Design Advice 2 True Sustainability

 

#ElementalDesign Advice 02: TRUE SUSTAINABILITY

“I love the analogy that for house to be truly sustainable, it should be like a tree” – Talina Edwards

I first hard about this idea from Michael Mobbs, in his “Sustainable House” book:  “A tree must meet all its needs for food, energy and water where it stands.” (and a sustainable house should too!) I’ve since heard this from many sources, including author and scholar Peter Graham who said “Buildings are a part of earth’s eco-systems…but they are rarely treated as such.”

The Living Future Institute also subscribes to this ethos on sustainability for their Living Building Challenge – and it’s principles are represented by petals for the same reason – that they believe that a building should be designed and constructed to function as elegantly and efficiently as a flower. The Challenge is comprised of seven performance categories (called Petals): Place, Water, Energy, Health & Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty.

I think sustainability means different things to different people – whether that be:

  • natural
  • organic
  • energy-efficient
  • net-zero
  • carbon-neutral
  • passive-house
  • 10-star
  • earth-ship
  • off-grid
  • self-sufficient
  • healthy
  • non-toxic
  • bio-climatic
  • environmentally-friendly
  • pre-fab
  • permaculture
  • autonomous
  • durable
  • adaptable
  • cradle-to-cradle philosophy

…or all of the above!

It’s important at the outset of your project to prioritise what is the most important for you, and why you feel that way.

Once you have that guiding intent, all decisions will become easier, and you’ll be much happier with the outcome of your project.

What does “sustainability” mean to you? How beautiful is the notion that a building could be a part of our eco-system and not be a threat?!  Let me know in the comments below!

Ballarat Sustainable Architect Green Builder


Talina Edwards Architecture: elemental design is a Ballarat-based studio, with a passion for sustainable design, green buildings and healthy homes.Click here to ensure you won’t miss out on our news!

Leave a Reply