This came to our attention via ArchNewsNow (A very handy site for staying up on all things architectural) and we must admit that at first we were a little skeptical…I guess we’ve grown a fairly thick skin over the last year, so when a really decent looking institution is sincerely proposing real design solutions and an attitude right up our alley, we find it rather hard to believe. Not to mention that this article was originally published in the Boston Globe, not exactly our go-to place for bio-sensitive architecture. But there you have it. We checked it out and the International Living Buildings Institute is a fascinating group of really well educated individuals on the Northwest coast with a drive for integrating living processes into design. We love it! We could take up a few issues with some points in the article but for the most part we just really wish people would stop using the word bio-mimicry. It makes our ears bleed (more on that later…) for now enjoy the International Living Buildings Institute.
Buildings, in many ways, represent the opposite of nature. From a modest suburban house to the most majestic skyscraper, a building signals the presence of people in a place, differentiating human spaces from their surroundings. The built environment consists of organized, inert structures that contrast with the wildness, vitality, and constant change of the natural world.
Buildings clash with nature in another sense, too — constructing and occupying them takes a substantial toll on the environment. In the United States, the construction industry is responsible for much of the waste that ends up in landfills. The use of buildings — consider the lights, the elevators, the air conditioning — accounts for a healthy fraction of the country’s electricity consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.
In recent years, lower impact “green buildings” have crept up in popularity. But a new movement believes that these measures have not gone nearly far enough — that even today’s ecoconscious apartments and offices produce waste and greenhouse gases, while merely scaling back the damage. What we need to do, according to the architects and scientists driving this movement, is fundamentally rethink the concept of a building.
You can catch the rest of the article here. We should note also, that the ILBI is scouting for a Community Manager in Portland or Seattle (for those of you with Resume’s in the ready) the job closes on June 17th.