posted on 05/05/2002 7:32:07 PM PDT
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Green design means incorporating uneconomic features into your design so that the inhabitants feel good about themselves, even though they are actually proving themselves to be morons.
posted on 05/05/2002 7:37:06 PM PDT
by Dog Gone
Andrew, What do you mean by "eco-freakishness?" So far as I am aware, green design means taking into consideration the environmental consequences of a project, both long and short term. Makes a lot of sense to me, both environmentally AND economically.
posted on 05/05/2002 7:41:56 PM PDT
It means equating humanity with the primordial ooze.
I have built some buildings using the type of systems you are refering to probably when you say "green design". They can have some intersting features, most of which impact first cost considerably and rarely have the features been pay-out sensible when life cycle costed.
But new systems never become feasible if some don't spend money on giving them a try to begin with.
posted on 05/05/2002 7:44:28 PM PDT
by KC Burke
When practical and economical I think it is a good idea. Otherwise I think it is more emotional hysteria on the environment...
You are aware of the Green Building Council Site and the Leeds systems etc?
posted on 05/05/2002 7:48:26 PM PDT
by KC Burke
If it means packing the middle and lower classes into Soviet-style dormitories in "transit villages" while the government workers and other elites enjoy the "open spaces", it is doomed to failure.
If a "green" approach is based on common sense, then fine. I doubt that there are any people who are all-out toxic freaks, as the Democrats would have everyone believe. Everyone has a stake in conserving our resources and looking for new ones. I heard just last week that recycling isn't going well and that they are even considering stopping it for a couple of years. It's too expensive and there aren't enough customers who are buying the recycled materials for manufacturing purposes. I wish we had a solar-powered home (or even a wind-mill although the home association would probably object mightily--not even allowed to have a clothesline in the back yard) and a hybrid car, but I certainly can't afford the initial cost.
posted on 05/05/2002 7:55:39 PM PDT
Nothing wrong with stewardship--that's the ethos I grew up in. And there's nothing wrong with innovation either.
These were considered virtues in the past. The Green Revolution changed this; an ethic has become an ideology, force fed to us.
posted on 05/05/2002 8:00:06 PM PDT
I've always liked some of Christopher Alexander's writings. (A Pattern Language
and The Timeless way of Building
are his two best works.) He has a deep respect for traditional architecture that is the product of centuries, if not millenia, of human experience. In this, he might be considered to be somewhat analogous to Edmund Burke's political and social philosophy.
There is something to be said for building houses the same way that half-milennia-old-and-still-standing houses were built, both from a standpoint of plain old common sense (an important conservative value, by no means to be underestimated) and from the standpoint of this actually being an efficient -- and thus conserving -- use of resources. There is still room for progress, of course, but only for progress that is real and can prove itself to be genuinely "better", and not just "new" and "different".
Where Alexander tends to go wrong is that he seems to be too receptive to heavy handed central government land use regulation to implement his program, and this, of course, goes contrary to conservative ideals of minimum government and property rights. However, one can just ignore this aspect of his thinking, and be left with lots of good ideas that can certainly be implemented on a voluntary, free-market basis.
'Green Design' SHOULD mean, basically, Be as self-sufficient as possible, and Clean Up Your Own Mess (or preferably don't make a mess to begin with).
However, under current circumstances, it unfortunately means: enormous government intervention by the Behemoth Bureaucratic Despotism (BBD), and assorted sundry NGOs, therefore rendering life, production, business, and basic survival impossible.
I truly am an 'environmentalist' in the rational sense. But under the current regime of tyranny and junk-science, I am adamantly opposed to what now passes for 'environmentalism'.
Also, Self-Sufficiency is now, to a large degree, being zoned and regulated out of the realm of possibility.
posted on 05/05/2002 8:17:03 PM PDT
I can accept "Green Design", if you mean building fixtures and features that can save energy, like gold tint windows, limited solar, and so forth. Or anything that can conserve water. No silly fountains, if they don't recover 95%+ of the water. I also admire architecture that can blend in with a setting...like a southwestern theme in Sedona, AZ. But setting some sort of limitations on a building that does nothing for the place, or the costs of operating the building, are a waste, IMHO.
posted on 05/05/2002 8:21:21 PM PDT
In my opinion "Compressed Earth Blocks" with engineered soil with the right amount clay/sand/silt/cement and or lime is the way to go...read "Home Power" learn to shoot and plant a "victory garden"
posted on 05/05/2002 8:36:53 PM PDT
There are the "environmentalists" and then there are the "conservationists". I am in the latter category. Greens tend to be environmentalists - people are the lowest form of life, in their opinion. People shouldn't have the right to any of the land or natural resources.
But conservationists want to share the planet. High density housing is fine, when it allows large tracts of green space. Energy efficient houses - large windows to get light and heat at the right times, but trees to provide cooling and shade - are conservationist.
An example of what I mean would be a 20 acre tract that would allow 20 homes to be built in close proximity on 5 acres, leaving 15 acres of green space, as opposed to making each home site be an acre. Of course, the 15 acres should be native vegetation, not cultivated lawn.
And, of course, conservationists usually prefer dense cities and open country to sprawling suburbs. So do Greens, but they want to stop the suburbs, and Conservationists just want to plan them.
Glad you're getting such informed replies.
But for extra credit, find an opening to tell your professor that if a design is too "Green", the client can end up "Baroque".
posted on 05/05/2002 8:52:34 PM PDT
Green design is not science. its chicanery. Engineers examine choices between competing designs using a cost-benefit analysis. I have yet to hear of a green design that passes a cost-benefit analysis as the least costly alternative. The irrational decision to select a more expensive alternative is a reflection of too much government intervention. The environmental engineering business is the worst abuser of raping the taxpayer. The environmental engineers doing public work command fees about 30 to 50 percent more than other civil engineering disciplines. Why? Because the government redistributes your money into wasteful projects.
Green design...... I don't think you can have one without the other, from where I sit, green design is all about environment.
I'm no big fan of those buildings out in CA that have a regular roof, but covered in tallgrass. It's supposed to keep things cool, but I've heard stories about them leaking, or turning the roof into a wildfire when struck by lightning. Ugly too.
posted on 05/05/2002 9:35:47 PM PDT
by July 4th
I am a conservative in a field of liberals, especially on this topic, and am interested in green design without the eco-freakishness.
There's nothing that says conservatives shouldn't care for the environment. In fact, WE should be the protectors, not the liberals. For decades humanity has built and built and built without considering the consequences. We can and should take responsibility for our environment without being "eco-freaks."
Although your question of "green design" is based in architecture and construction, it applies in many other fields. My opinion about the "green design" debate is simply - let the market decide.
Around my industry, the supporters of green design, in general, want this type of design imposed by governmental or industry code. If "being green" were such a good idea, consumers and businesses would convert to green design of their own free will because of the overwhelming benefits of "being green". There is a shift towards energy and raw-material conservation that is market driven because some consumers and business already see the return on their green investments. If there is a marked advantage in green products and services in the open market, these goods will eventually dominate over those that are not green. Borrowing from the environmentalists' vocabulary, I would say that current green-market trends are a "natural" and "evolutionary" process.
If government or industry imposes green design codes on products, this act is an "artificial" process in the market. Typically, these regulations are out of step with the needs of consumers and business. The impacted products and services do not fare as well as their predecessors and their costs are driven up due to compliance issues. In the end, the consumer pays more for something they did not necessarily want.
In the end, the green design movement must come to terms with the market. If green designs can make it in direct competition with other products, they will survive. Otherwise, they will go the way of the dodo.
posted on 05/06/2002 7:11:44 AM PDT
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