What is sustainability?
What does “sustainable” truly means? How can I say this going to be the most sustainable house in the world?
I was pretty sure to make post #2 uploading the files for starting with the big architectural design step but I realized that I needed to clarify a thing before; the core of the entire project is sustainability, but what is sustainability?
Considering the entire lifecycle of a product or process, sustainability is the ability of having the best impact on both people, environment and money, at the same time.
There are countless definitions of sustainability but few years ago, while I was training for the LEED program I came across a brilliant one, based on the concept of the Triple Bottom Line.
Here’s an effective visualization of the concept:
As we can see from the image, sustainability is only where the three circles cross at the same time. Any other option is not sustainable, or only partially.
Is this enough? No. For pursuing true sustainability we must apply the triple bottom line to the entire life cycle of a thing, from the day the first raw material is exploited till the day that material goes back to the environment (if not recycled). This crucial approach for understanding sustainability is called Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
People and the project
People make things meaningful and that’s why I give the absolute priority to the community I am part of.
- Share the immense value of sustainability with a concrete project from which anyone can learn good practices in first person.
- Build a free open database and keep record of each step, so that everyone could be inspired in their own future projects.
- Support sustainable tourism, for stopping the deployment of the resources we’re facing and for keeping this amazing place as beautiful as it deserves.
Planet and the project
I will l go far beyond every standard or certification, because I know it is possible. That’s one of the main reasons why I started this project. Let’s call it a personal revenge.
- The house will use the best materials, processes and designs for lowering the consumption of water and electricity as much as possible.
- The house will produce more energy than it consumes.
- All the materials and processes used will be natural and low-impact, for both mantaining the best synergy with the surrounding flora and fauna and for creating healty environments.
Profit and the project
Even if the project is not for profit this doesn’t mean that money are not involved. I still have to pay every month the tiny bank loan that finances it. Here there are my two rules for profit sustainability:
1- I must afford it. That’s why I have designed a house able to be self-built, with extremely good but cheap materials and able to pay itself once finished. I’ll show you how step by step.
2- Convenient in the short, middle and long term. There are few things (e.g. the solar roof) that seem quite expensive in the short term but that are a great investment instead. That’s what most people doesn’t understand when choosing sustainable practices.
3- It must benefit people. The project is creating a network of people that share the same vision, developing new abilities in the work market and helpinh spreading sustainability and its immense value for local economies.
4- Bitcoin. I am sure standard money system has proven to be broken, despite we all still use it. That’s why few years ago I came close to the Bitcoin world, as an observer. I monitored the great development and it’s now time to be part of it.
Ready to go!