Sustainability

Let's Talk About Sustainability

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Tomorrow is #EarthOvershootDay - a designation which marks the moment our demand for natural resources exceeds what the planet can renew.  According to the Global Footprint Network (GFN), we reach that day this year on August 1 - the earliest it has ever been.

The group has been assessing just how much of the Earth’s resources we use, from water to clean air, and the day each year when our species overshoots the planet’s ability to annually regenerate itself. To calculate the date, GFN divides the planet’s biocapacity (ecological resources generated each year) by the totality of humanity’s demand on those resources. While pointing to this disturbing trend, they also promote solutions:

"While our planet is finite, human possibilities are not. The transformation to a sustainable, carbon-neutral world will succeed if we apply humanity’s greatest strengths: foresight, innovation, and care for each other. The good news is that this transformation is not only technologically possible, it is also economically beneficial and our best chance for a prosperous future."

Sustainability is a complex concept that is gaining importance in many sectors. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) actively promotes sustainability and empowers architects to design a world that allows people, communities, and our planet to thrive. They understand that a community's sustainability goals are fulfilled in large part by an architect’s ability to create practical solutions to the challenges posed by climate change, population growth and the pursuit of more connected, healthier communities. Earlier this year, they offered a progress report on their Sustainability Leadership Opportunity Scan project and their efforts to provide architects with the tools needed to meet the sustainability challenges of today.

Let's use tomorrow to stimulate conversations about sustainability. You can learn more about #EarthOvershootDay here.

A Connection to Nature

Earlier this month, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) unveiled its top 10 jury-selected picks for the 2015 Housing Awards. Included among the recipients was architect Joeb Moore & Partners for Bridge House in rural Connecticut. The jury noted "There is simplicity as well as intimate connection with the natural environment."

The AIA Housing and Custom Residential Knowledge Community established this awards program to emphasize the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit, and a valuable national resource. Writes the AIA: "The primary architectural goal of Bridge House's design team was to maintain his sense of connection to the natural rhythms and peace of the site. The home opens itself to the landscape and becomes a backdrop for the movement of wind through the meadow, shifting clouds, and changing light. The environment created by Bridge House blurs the boundaries between interior and exterior space and is as indebted to the site as to the building itself."

To see more images of this beautiful home and read more about it's design click here. More on all 10 winners of the 2015 AIA Housing Awards can be found here.