Sustainable design is on everyone’s lips, and while there is little indication that consumers are prepared to pay extra for buildings designed to be environmentally friendly, we still expect new structures to meet or exceed industry standards such as LEED as a matter of course.
In fact, architects have been addressing the environmental impacts of buildings since long before this issue reached the front cover of TIME magazine.
In his book Green Metropolis, author David Owen argues that the environmental movement is misguided.
He makes the case that the North American environmental movement with its “back-to-nature” pedigree is fundamentally anti-urban.
In his view, a 500-square-metre vacation house in the back woods, with an array of solar panels, geothermal energy source and super-insulated building envelope, is actually anti-green, since it requires the consumption of vast amounts of energy to build it, and then get there and back, not to mention to feed the occupants and keep them entertained.