You know, I've been thinking a lot lately on the impact our lifestyle choice has on the rest of the world. This is probably, or at least should be, a pretty well covered topic out there, but it's been on my mind lately. I'm currently in an Architectural Systems class at my University and our professor was sharing some stories about building techniques and lifestyle in the 70's. Apparently, and I know this because of my parents house, they didn't really worry too much about insulating homes. Gas was so cheap that the necessity to worry about our energy sources just wasn't there. No wonder environmentalists were considered hippies; not that I want to take the hippie title away from any proud hippies out there. But, now that we're in an energy crisis, and we've all begun to accept the green gospel, building practices and hippies are taken a lot more seriously.
And with good reason. Oil is used for more than just cars. It's a major source of energy in both the construction and the maintenance of our homes. Can you imagine the political implications of reducing and eliminating our dependency on oil? We would visit foreign regions for humanitarian reasons, to share our knowledge of green building and conservation, instead of negotiating high stakes business. Sustainability in green design refers directly to how long a structure or a product will last, and how well it can be reused. Certainly sustainability as a country is no less valuable. The fact is, green design issues cover all sorts of topics: protecting our environment, improving our economy, enhancing our personal health and welfare, and decreasing our nations dependence on foreign product. These are just a few.
Oil is just the big one. There are a thousand other resources that are being manipulated, all while damaging the environment and our economy at the same time. The fact is, green design has a proven track record of extremely beneficial economic implications. Green products reduce the need for energy, which is very pocket friendly. The great thing about the green movement is that it has something for everyone. For you business owners, you can save a whole lot of money. I know you like money. For you anti war folks, we can reduce the number of issues that often contribute to warfare. For grandmas bridge club, there's cleaner air, ergonomic chairs, and 100% post consumer made playing cards (holla back). I'll end my thought session with a few statistics that show our potential for advancement and change...
By 2030, about half of the buildings in America will have been built after 2000
The country will need about 427 billion square feet of space
About 82 billion of that [new volume] will be from replacement of existing space and 131 million will be new space
50 percent of that 427 billion will have to be constructed between now and then
Most of the space built between 2000 and 2030 will be residential space
The largest component of this space will be homes
Over 100 billion square feet of new residential space will be needed by 2030
Percentage-wise, the commercial and industrial sectors will have the most new space with over 60 percent of the space in 2030 less than 30 years old