June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.1346.1 - 12.1346.9
Teaching Beyond Sustainable Awareness: Graduating LEED Accredited Professionals
The built environment has a profound impact on our natural environment, economy, health and productivity. Based on this impact, the design, creation, and maintenance of the built environment presents both challenges and opportunities for design professionals. Sustainable design and green design have become everyday terminology in the design field and involve using methods and products that cause the lowest possible impact upon the ability of the natural environment to maintain its natural balance. However, the practice of sustainable design can be difficult and complex. It is no longer debatable that architects and interior designers should practice in an environmentally responsible manner, and progress has been made by academy and the professions to begin preparing designers for this responsibility. We are at the pinnacle of basic understanding and awareness of sustainable design principles, and must now advance our knowledge and application of sustainable design in order to advance sustainable practice.
Sustainability is a term that can be defined in various ways, and it is this issue that can cause ambiguity and “greenwashing” (a term used to denote entities that proclaim they practice sustainability without any clear definition of the term). In its broadest terms, sustainability “represents a balance that accommodates human needs without diminishing the health and productivity of natural systems.” 1 Additionally, sustainability can be defined as “…providing equitably for the needs of the present generation without jeopardizing the needs of future generations.” 2 In order to accomplish the above tasks, we must redesign the way human nature exists with the natural earth and redesign our processes and automated, thoughtless actions. Therefore, sustainable design can be defined as a “strategic approach to the design of the built environment which does not diminish the health and productivity of natural systems.” 3 Although these definitions do not give specific items, “…they do offer an approach which recognizes the imperative that we must redesign the design process itself to be compatible with the natural systems which define the ‘web of life’ on earth.” 4
The goal of sustainable design is to prevent the environmental damage inherent in traditional processes of building or remodeling. As Architect Sim Van der Ryn said “In many ways, the environmental crisis is a design crisis. It is a consequence of how things are made, buildings are constructed, and landscapes are used.” 5 In an attempt to produce a new generation of buildings that deliver high performance inside and out, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has coordinated the establishment and evolution of a national consensus effort to provide the industry with tools necessary to design, build and operate buildings that support sustainable design and building practices.
Within the architecture, engineering, and interior design fields, designers have the ability to make major impacts on the lives of people. Designers additionally have the ability to impact the environment around every building and space they construct. However, these impacts are not
Kilmer, R., & Kilmer, L. (2007, June), Teaching Beyond Sustainable Awareness: Graduating Leed Accredited Professionals Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2838
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