How to include the 4 pillars of sustainability in architectural project

sustainability in architecture

Sustainability in architectural projects is a hot trend. We are all familiar with the concept of sustainability as a process or state that can be maintained at a certain level over a period of time, causing little or no damage to the environment.

The Brundtland Commission described sustainable development as development that

“meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” [1]

The UK Government in the Annual Report 2000, January 2001, declared that:

Maintaining high and stable levels of economic growth is one of the key objectives of sustainable development. Abandoning economic growth is not an option. But sustainable development is more than just economic growth. The quality of growth matters as well as the quantity.”

The above mentioned definitions focus mainly on the economic and environmental aspects of sustainability. But there are other two pillars fundamental to sustainability: the human and social factors.

Human sustainability means maintaining human capital, which is composed by ‘the health, education, skills, knowledge, leadership and access to services’. [2]

Social sustainability means maintaining social capital, which is investments and services that create the basic supporting structure for society. [2]

Is it possible to include the 4 pillars of sustainability in architectural projects?

It surely is, regardless the size of the scheme! The video below shows a great example of how a small timber modular home was designed having in mind keeping a family together, enhancing multi-generational living and sharing responsibilities and costs.

Do you include the 4 pillars of sustainability in your architectural projects?

 

References:

[1] United Nations. 1987. “Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development.” General Assembly Resolution 42/187, 11 December 1987.

[2] Goodland, Robert. “The Concept of Environmental Sustainability.” Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 26 (1995): 1-24.

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