Sustainability is an across-the-board

stewardship strategy that begins by considering

whether a new facility is truly needed.

Sustainability starts with site planning,

continues with building design and materials

selection, and is finally achieved through the life

cycle of a structure. It considers energy

conservation at every level, from the energy

required to transport materials to the energy

consumed by heating, cooling, lighting, and

maintaining a structure.


“Common sense” and “low-tech” are frequently the

most sustainable solutions. For example,

designing a building with well-placed windows that

light offices and other workspaces makes

“daylighting” an alternative to electric lights for

daytime use.


Buildings that are healthy for the environment

can be healthy for people as well. In some

climates, buildings designed for daylighting and

natural ventilation may reduce energy use while

exposing people to beneficial natural light and

fresh air.

Sustainable measures that apply everywhere

include landscape planning, energy conservation,

water conservation, and recycling.


Figures describing sustainability:

A building with a landscape buffer from a riparian zone.

Buildings concentrated away from riparian and wildlife migration zones.

A building at the edge of a clearing of trees.

Vegetation cleared to the south of a building for maximum sun.




Chapter 4 Table of Contents

Reader’s Guide