Sustainability more than just design

“You must also conduct yourself in a responsible manner in all walks of life – swap the heating for a jumper, recycle, grow your own vegetables – sustainability is nothing more than a fad if you contradict your beliefs with your actions.” Peter Maddison

Using the Permaculture Principle ‘Apply self-regulation & accept feedback’ we need to take a look at the current systems and regulations for building, and ask is it sustainable in the long term and if not, why not? Are our buildings being created to be resilient and within the limits of our planets resources? This conversation is started by Peter Maddison with this article on why we need to improve on our cities’ dysfunctional buildings.

The article may not provide the answers to improving dysfunctional buildings but it points out that we can’t continue with business as usual.

Peter makes the simple statement: “You can’t fight climate change with design alone.”

Whilst we should look at the design in conjunction with materials and systems of building, we also need to delve into whether the design provides for more than just lower energy bills and healthier spaces. Does the design provide us with the space to maintain a sustainable and resilient life?

If laws and regulations are prohibiting the ability to be self-sustaining, they need to be questioned and challenged. Gardens in naturestrips are one example of how local council laws are being challenged.

Re-architecting your place is more than just lowering your energy bills.  We look at how you are living, and ask how you want to live.  Is your home and garden supportive of a lifestyle that is low impact, less reliant on fossil fuels, or possibly zero emissions or zero waste?   If not, what are the reasons for this and how can the barriers be overcome.

As a designer we continue to ask, are we doing enough to limit the clients and our own impact on our planet in true sustainability.

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