WHO should do sustainable design?

Talina Edwards Architecture is a Ballarat-based studio, specialising in sustainable design, green buildings and healthy homes. We like to help answer your questions, and this post is one in our series of informative articles about environmental design.

We’ve already covered WHY do sustainable design, and will be covering what, where, when, and how…This week’s questions is:

WHO should do sustainable design?

The simple answer is…everyone!

You, me, all of us!

We all have a responsibility (and the power) to make conscious ethical decisions for every part of our lives…for example: where we source our food and clothing, if we buy recycled paper and wood products or ones sourced from a sustainable-managed forest, the gadgets we buy, what type of transport we use, how much waste we produce and where it ends up, efficient water use, the amount of electricity we use and where it comes from, and of course all the other decisions to do with the houses we live in and other buildings we visit or occupy (and any renovations or new building works). So I guess the question not only relates to sustainable-designed buildings, but to making more sustainable choices all-round…so perhaps it should be:

WHO should be living more sustainably?

Every time you spend money you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” – Anna Lappe

Whether you’re rich or poor, old or young, a professional or a DIY-er, we all can make a difference. There are many things you can do to live more sustainable lifestyles. There are so many  ways you can make changes to your existing homes, without costing a fortune. There are even more ways to design new buildings (and renovations)…but we’ll be covering that when we get to the what and how of sustainable design.

We are very  fortunate to live in the “information-age” to seek answers to all our questions day and night, but this can be a double-edged sword as the amount of information available is overwhelming, and it can be very difficult to make sense of it all – especially with so much of it contradictory’ or perhaps outdated’ or simple not relevant to you. This is why it’s so important to find a professional who shares your ethos, and can help advise you. If you’re thinking about building, and sustainability is important to you, make sure it is prioritised as part of your project brief. As a client, you need to drive your sustainable design agenda from the outset. 

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it's the only thing that ever has.“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Even if home-owners (or clients) aren’t pushing the agenda, all architects, building-designers and those in the construction industry have a responsibility to ensure that buildings are sensitively designed with sustainability in mind. Sadly, this is still a niche market, with most new buildings meeting the (low) benchmark standard which is far from best-practice. We discussed why we need sustainable design, particularly because the construction and use of buildings is responsible for such a large amount of energy use. Architects must lead on sustainable design because we have the power to make a big difference. But so must all project-home builders, and the government and other regulatory bodies need to step up too.

We all have a responsibility. It’s why I do what I do. Each small decision adds up to making a big difference.

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We will answer more about where, what, when and how next time. Hope this has helped to answer Who should do sustainable design?

Do you have questions about sustainable design, and perhaps how it is relevant to you? Please ask away in the comments below!

We’ll aim to answer more questions about sustainable design, green buildings and healthy homes, also with reference to our local climate (Regional Ballarat area and Melbourne) in future posts. Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our monthly newsletter  (over there on the top right-hand side of this page) so you won’t miss out on our posts!

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6 thoughts on “WHO should do sustainable design?

  1. manquebrock

    Informative and fascinating as always Miss Edwards. You light a fire in me every time I read you blog to not get lazy in my decision making about how I do, well, pretty much everything! Thanks x

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    1. Louise Busija Jones

      I’m the same, I know I should be conscious of these things and I WANT to be. But it’s easy to forget. I’m working on trying to only buy local food, or at least only Australian food. I’m walking around the house turning off the lights we aren’t using. And we recently installed solar electricity at home which is amazing for our pockets AND our sense of doing something good (but only when we use it during the day). But I know there’s lots more. It’s hard to be specific.

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      1. Talina Edwards Post author

        Sounds like you’re doing lots already Louise – that’s awesome! That’s all where it all starts…just making conscious small choices little by little. They all add up to making a big difference. x

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  2. rabidlittlehippy

    It can sometimes feel like it’s not worth the effort since so few people seem to care BUT more and more I see people waking up and starting to care. Every little bit does help. Maybe not in the earth healing (can’t say shattering there now can I ;) ) way that we would like to see perhaps but it all adds up. :)

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