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
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
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.