In the last 10 years, we have accepted that healthy places are sustainable places, that the optimal building of this century will be one that minimizes its ecological footprint while promoting human health and well being.
The end is near! Or so it seems. In mid-March, a University of Maryland study concluded that civilization is racing toward collapse, due to extreme economic inequality and over-consumption of resources stretching the earth's carrying capacity.
I don't think about wage disparities in social-conscious and creative professions like architecture. But according to a survey by Architects Journal on Women in Architecture, Don Draper could as easily be an architect as he is a advertising executive.
Beyond saving energy and money, the psychological effect of bringing in more of the outdoors is possibly the single biggest benefit of open offices. Ten percent of absences can be attributed to having no view of the outside.
The U.S. already imports much of its construction materials and products, including a quarter of all steel and cement, but typically it comes from industrialized nations, such as Germany. Why not target sources that desperately need the support?
Over the past decade the LEED rating system has cut annual carbon emissions by 9.4 million tons -- the equivalent of taking 1.5 million cars off the road. Such numbers show real progress. But there's one problem: Many of these buildings aren't doing as well as expected.
In a country where cholera has gained a foothold, it's essential to provide for clean water within each construction project, and to also do so in crowded urban areas where traditional water sources are polluted.