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What are the benefits and pitfalls of approaching sustainable building from a philosophical position?

Throughout the endless process of evolution, the natural environment has been evolving in the course of self sustained stages in order to reach the next level of evolution. The very first creatures had to have an environment in which sustained the opportunity of growth and therefore provided a path to evolve, as humankind did. Indeed, human is a product of natural revolution.We had to live, to search for food and shelter to sustain life as well as evolving during the ages in order to reach at the bed of the 21st century. Sustainability is an inherent part of nature, an understanding and comprehension of self sufficiency appears to be part of the evolution of modern human in another word, we had to have the knowledge of self sufficiency in order to reach to where we are today.

Industrial revolution and the discovery of acid rain in the 17th century caused the deterioration of architectural monuments and have made us to realize a better understanding of gravity. The gravity for pollution works the same way, what goes up will come down, except with an extensive damage to our health, to our food resources and more important to our environment. A process of self elimination is at the global scale if we continue to ignore the environment impact of our industrial activities.

According to Vitruve , the Roman architect living in the 1st century BC had emphasized about protecting the environment while planning a building. Oppositely in modern time, we as architects have defined design process as a solution to a problem ignoring the consequences of the design on the larger scale. As the traditional design has responded to human needs,it has largely created additional burdens on the environment.

During the last three decades, the traditional design approach has redesigned itself into sustainable design seeking to comprehend the environment in the bigger picture, paying particular attention to minimize the impact of building on the natural environment as well considering the well being of users such as occupant health, safety and their productivity and contribution to a healthy economy.

Sustainable design approach is not only about the relationship between nature and human being, it is also about building the community, sustaining the local economy, reshaping the city with sustainable standards, building streets and public plazas in other word to create happiness and promote healthy environment.

The disadvantage of sustainable design is when we choose deliberately to sacrifice the benefit of sustainable design approach in exchange of saving money which is a complete misperception of the reality. On the contrary side, sustainable design saves money in long run and generates a wealth in a sustainable approach. Sustainable design is considered the evolution of design in a larger sense. Through the media across the planet we are aware of the global warming and witnessing its disastrous consequences on a daily basis. Considering sustainable design approach is the minimum that we can offer. It is an immediate measure of prevention and control. These measures are not enough nor final. They are considered just a fair departure.

Acid rain was a clear signal from Mother Nature engaging us into a dialogue and urging us to understand its sensitive pattern, which is vital for us and for the future generation. Towards Mother Nature we have a role to play and that is to contribute respect and comprehension to its generous and unlimited resources.

Within the last three decades multiple signals such as Global warming, green house effect, and depletion of Ozone layer have made us aware of mistreat and over abuse of the environment by the previous generation . Today we have owned the unwanted global warming and we have no other choice to take action towards sustainability and green way of thinking and doing. Natural environment is an ownership and a legacy and of all the time and generations. Sustainable design provides firm solution and friendly approaches as a remedy to actual crisis. It is also a promising path for the mutual benefit of both modern human and the environment.

-Si Djahedi 02/27/2011



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