Sunday, March 29, 2009

Durability in Architecture

In reflecting upon my position or where my ethical line is drawn, I find that pollution is a necessary evil in architecture. The extent to which we pollute can be debated and the consequence of all our choices can be weighed, but to some extent there will always be an environmentally adverse part to the process. I think that we can be more deliberate in our choices of materials, construction processes etc. and then have an understanding of where the failure is in our process to begin to try to correct it or make it "less bad", However to embark on a goal of making something completely "green" seems somewhat hollow. Having your goal be checking every box in a LEED checklist so that you can declare a certain level of environmental certification is just too easy for me to believe in. Understanding the implications of your choices and knowing that you cannot achieve everything but can achieve some of the goals on that list, and achieve them to the highest order is what I believe in. This is durability in architecture, something that will last over time and will function well within a certain set of parameters. At some point the building will live long enough so that the initial environmental cost of construction will have been worth it. These building are able to transform over time in their use and allow the user to occupy them in a number of different manners. Designing not for one specific use but for varying uses within one specific duty.
An object I would compare this idea to is perhaps a pair of Doctor Martens because you can wear them with a pair of jeans, or your sunday best.

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