Ecological Design

Ecological Design:  "the careful meshing of human purposes with the  larger patterns and flows of the natural world."

(David Orr. 1992, October.  "Environmental Literacy: Education as If the Earth Mattered."  E. F.Schumacher Lectures)

Humans have an integral relationship with the natural environment.  It is the natural environment that ultimately sustains and nourishes us, and that will sustain and nourish those who will come after us.  Therefore, it is vital for us to maintain a harmonious relationship with the natural environment by serving a beneficial role in the earth's biosphere.

Humans have had a destructive impact on the natural environment: depletion of natural resources, damage to ecosystems, loss of biodiversity, etc.  To change course, we need to adopt different approaches to meeting our needs that also uphold the integrity of the natural environment and its ecological systems.

Currently, the design and construction of buildings significantly contribute to the human toll on the natural environment.  It is therefore important that we design and construct buildings so that they do not harm the natural environment and its ecological systems.  This is the fundamental principle of ecological building design.  Not only is it crucial to embrace and apply ecological design principles to the design and construction of buildings, but it is economically practical as well.  We currently have the know-how and tools to create ecologically designed buildings.

In addition to taking care of our planet, there are many beneficial reasons to design and construct a building based on ecological design principles.  Here are a few:

  • An ecologically designed building provides continuous savings in operating costs.  Since it is designed to be very energy-efficient, an ecologically designed building will require less energy (and therefore less money) to heat and cool itself.

  • An ecologically designed building improves the health and well-being of the people who inhabit the building by substituting many commonly used products and materials that contain harmful chemicals and toxins with more natural, non-toxic, and low impact products and materials.

  • An ecologically designed building tends to be better functioning and more durable than a building that is not based on ecological design principles.  Consequently, an ecologically designed building tends to have a longer lifespan and require less maintenance.

Incorporating ecological building design principles requires the skills to design, specify, and operate buildings in a manner that is quite different from current standard approaches.  At Ceraban Design, we have the experience, knowledge, and ingenuity to help you design your building, addition, or remodel project to avoid its destructive impacts on the natural environment, while maximizing your comfort and health.

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view of a pair of walkers along the shore