It's 2020, sustainability should go without saying.
Drought tolerant in California, of course.
Exotic hardwoods only if repurposed, got it.
Not pouring concrete in every square inch of your property, lord no.
Rain gardens, bioretention, infiltration basins, wetlands, all important.
It is heartening to learn of people's priority in doing their part for the health of the environment when they inquire about drought tolerance and sustainable design. While this divulging of preference is welcome, for us, a resilient sustainable design is no longer a choice but an occupational responsibility.
Ecology and environment does not exist solely in parks, coastlines or nature reserves. The built environment is a huge contributor to green house gases, waste streams, water pollution and air quality. This means our city to our neighborhood down to our individual houses are all players in this theater and it is in our individual actions bound together where it will be decided whether this is a comedy or a tragedy.
“This means our city to our neighborhood down to our individual houses are all players in this theater and it is in our individual actions bound together where it will be decided whether this is a comedy or a tragedy. ”
Many projects and designers have considered the scope of their work exempt from these considerations because of its size or location. However ecology benefits from the correct trees being planted, rain infiltrating to ground water, bees pollinating and bird habitats. There is also keeping waste out of landfills, not removing tons of soil from a site and thinking about carbon footprints of materials and fair labor practices. It's all connected and the smallest of decisions reverberates.
Today, there is no project too small to grapple with these large questions. All designers must be intentional in their choices because consequences exist whether we choose to see them or not. This is less dogma and more common sense.