Our ancestors once built for the ages. Their buildings were durable enough to last for centuries, and because they were lovable, they often did. Can we conceive of building that last for a millennium again? Durability is essential to sustainability. This should be considered so self-evident that it needs no explanation. Inexplicably, most so-called “sustainable” buildings today are still built of materials and in configurations that make it unlikely that they will even last a century. It cannot be sustained if it is not durable. Why should there be any confusion on this issue?
Because highly processed materials like aluminum require far more energy to create than less-processed materials like brick. Highly processed materials require more specialized production facilities, so they are likely to be created further from your building site, and hence must be shipped further. They are also less sustainable because when a component fails, if the system is no longer manufactured, then the entire system may have to be replaced. Use highly processed materials only in places where nothing processed less can do the job.
Durable Buildings Resources
Durable Buildings Bookshelf contains a growing collection of books that contribute to various aspects of durable buildings.
Durable Buildings Links
Durable Buildings Blog Posts
The Green Academy - Or Not is a report card on today's architectural education measured by Original Green foundations.
The Gizmo Green Conundrum pits an icon of Gizmo Green (a Chicago parking deck promoting itself as being green) against the eight foundations of the Original Green.
Earth Day - A Symptom of Our Disease? takes a critical look at our habit of pledging allegiance to sustainability one day out of the year, but for getting the basics (like durable buildings) for the rest of the year.
LEED for Homes Awards - or - How To Shoot Yourself in the Foot measures award-winning homes against the foundation principles of the Original Green.
Original Green Places - South Main examines a Colorado community through the lenses of Original Green foundations.
the WalMart Sustainability Index measures WalMart's new standard against the foundations of the Original Green.
After Earth Day - What Next? What Can I Do? is the top ten things we each can do to be more sustainable, and includes things like choosing things for longer than we'll use them, for our kids and grandkids benefit, and not succumbing to the false promise of no-maintenance materials.
Tiny Places - Mike & Patty's is a story about a durable building that has already been around for two centuries.
Diagramming the Original Green shows the relationship between the foundations of sustainable places and sustainable buildings.
The Unburdening of America is a post that has gotten lots of attention in the blogosphere because it makes the case that now, of all times, we should be building more durably.
Towards Sustainable Architecture describes the foundation of principles of the New Urban Guild’s Project:SmartDwelling, which includes several points calling for more durable buildings.
Durable Buildings on OGTV
Durable Buildings Albums
Durable Buildings Presentations
All presentations entitled "Original Green" on the Presentations page deal with all eight foundations of sustainability, including durable buildings.