Energy Efficient Doesn’t Always Mean Sustainable

November 3rd, 2013

Because more businesses are migrating to sustainable buildings, a consistent approach to goals, results and critiques is important, says Tyler Caine for The Fifth Estate. He warns that unless these components are prioritised, there is a real risk of of the movement towards ecological responsibility dampening and stagnating.

With this said, the degree of effort invested in designing results should match the level of effort invested in criticism. As sustainability is critiqued, it should be evaluated in terms of components and relationships rather than by just one or a couple of metrics.

There is a definite risk that the definition of sustainability can be simplified to the point that it loses meaning and importance. When sustainability is treated in this way, it does not pay sufficient respect to progress made but furthers inaccurate ideas of what sustainability actually means.

Sustainability has never been and never should be a ‘fix’ that can compensate for wasteful living. Instead, sustainability should be an acknowledgement of the ways that human use of the built environment has an impact on the natural world. True sustainability should also incorporate a wide spectrum of efforts that reduce damage whenever possible.