The newest buzzword in construction is ‘Sustainable’. What exactly does it mean?
Sustainability refers to practices that do little or no harm to the environment. For example, a farm which is certified organic will not use pesticides or growth hormones. The crops planted here may change every year and land eventually left for grazing so as not to exhaust the soil. To go the extra mile, the buildings on that land might be made from materials that were harvested consciously and use electricity generated from solar or wind power. Everything done here is intended to have little to no damaging impact.
How can these practices translate to city life?
One way is to make your home or office more energy efficient. This means not only using less energy but using it effectively. For example, the heat generated by appliances could be channeled into warming the space, thereby eliminating heat loss.
You can install a rooftop garden and grown your own vegetables. This not only provides you with heathy food, it aides in the heating and cooling efficiency of the building and adds property value.
The materials used in your home or office could be recycled or organic, like installing bamboo flooring or furniture made from reclaimed wood.
A shining example of sustainable construction practices is Green School in Bali. Not only is the campus built from local materials and using local practices, the students who attend the school learn to respect and appreciate their surroundings.
In addition to a curriculum based on Cambridge International Primary Curriculum, the students learn hands on at the Green Farm, the campus’ bio-intensive cultivation center. Here, students learn about plant growth, nutrional value, and how to conserve the planet while taking care of the primary human need for food.
Green School has garnered a lot of attention in its short history. Various media outlets have praised it for spreading the message of sustainability while also living it. To learn more about Green School, visit their website here.
Although it is intended for children from nursery school to high school, Green School is open for tours every Monday and Wednsday afternoon and school founder John Hardy had lectured extensively on the guiding principles of Green School. Recently featured at TED, Green School is sure to inspire everyone.