Sustainable design (also called environmentally sustainable design, environmentally conscious design, etc.) is the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the principles of "social, "economic, and "ecological "sustainability.
The intention of sustainable design is to "eliminate negative environmental impact completely through skillful, sensitive design". Manifestations of sustainable design require "renewable resources, impact the environment minimally, and connect people with the natural environment.
Great design is sustainable design: Rather than considering green building design as an externality, architects must think about it as a set of principles for great design. This includes better user experience and comfort, doing more with less to enable the building to easily achieve peak performance, and maximizing the effectives of durable, quality materials. Rather than the well-known edict “form follows function,” it’s time to think “form follows environment.” 
Beyond the "elimination of negative environmental impact", sustainable design must create projects that are meaningful innovations that can shift behaviour. A dynamic balance between economy and society, intended to generate long-term relationships between user and object/service and finally to be respectful and mindful of the environmental and social differences.
The principle that all directions of progress run out, ending with diminishing returns, is evident in the typical 'S' curve of the "technology life cycle and in the useful life of any system as discussed in "industrial ecology and "life cycle assessment. Diminishing returns are the result of reaching natural limits. Common business management practice is to read diminishing returns in any direction of effort as an indication of diminishing opportunity, the potential for accelerating decline and a signal to seek new opportunities elsewhere.["citation needed] (see also: "law of diminishing returns, "marginal utility and "Jevons paradox.)
A problem arises when the limits of a resource are hard to see, so increasing investment in response to diminishing returns may seem profitable as in the "Tragedy of the Commons, but may lead to a collapse. This problem of increasing investment in diminishing resources has also been studied in relation to the causes of civilization collapse by "Joseph Tainter among others. This natural error in investment policy contributed to the collapse of both the "Roman and "Mayan, among others. Relieving over-stressed resources requires reducing pressure on them, not continually increasing it whether more efficiently or not.
Negative Effects of Waste
About 80 million tonnes of waste in total are generated in the U.K. alone, for example, each year. And with reference to only household waste, between 1991/92 and 2007/08, each person in England generated an average of 1.35 pounds of waste per day.
Experience has now shown that there is no completely safe method of waste disposal. All forms of disposal have negative impacts on the environment, public health, and local economies. Landfills have contaminated drinking water. Garbage burned in incinerators has poisoned air, soil, and water. The majority of water treatment systems change the local ecology. Attempts to control or manage wastes after they are produced fail to eliminate environmental impacts.
The toxic components of household products pose serious health risks and aggravate the trash problem. In the U.S., about eight pounds in every ton of household garbage contains toxic materials, such as "heavy metals like "nickel, "lead, "cadmium, and "mercury from batteries, and "organic compounds found in pesticides and consumer products, such as air freshener sprays, nail polish, cleaners, and other products. When burned or buried, toxic materials also pose a serious threat to public health and the environment.
The only way to avoid environmental harm from waste is to prevent its generation. Pollution prevention means changing the way activities are conducted and eliminating the source of the problem. It does not mean doing without, but doing differently. For example, preventing waste pollution from litter caused by disposable beverage containers does not mean doing without beverages; it just means using refillable bottles.
Waste prevention strategies In planning for facilities, a comprehensive design strategy is needed for preventing generation of solid waste. A good garbage prevention strategy would require that everything brought into a facility be recycled for reuse or recycled back into the environment through "biodegradation. This would mean a greater reliance on natural materials or products that are compatible with the environment.
Any resource-related development is going to have two basic sources of solid waste — materials purchased and used by the facility and those brought into the facility by visitors. The following waste prevention strategies apply to both, although different approaches will be needed for implementation:
While the practical application varies among disciplines , some common principles are as follows:
A model of the new design principles necessary for "sustainability is exemplified by the "Bill of Rights for the Planet" or "Hannover Principles" - developed by William McDonough Architects for EXPO 2000 that was held in "Hannover, Germany.["citation needed]
These principles were adopted by the World Congress of the International Union of Architects (UIA) in June 1993 at the American Institute of Architects' (AIA) Expo 93 in "Chicago. Further, the AIA and UIA signed a "Declaration of Interdependence for a Sustainable Future." In summary, the declaration states that today's society is degrading its environment and that the AIA, UIA, and their members are committed to:
In addition, the Interprofessional Council on Environmental Design (ICED), a coalition of architectural, landscape architectural, and engineering organizations, developed a vision statement in an attempt to foster a team approach to sustainable design. ICED states: The ethics, education and practices of our professions will be directed to shape a sustainable future. . . . To achieve this vision we will join . . . as a multidisciplinary partnership."
These activities are an indication that the concept of sustainable design is being supported on a global and interprofessional scale and that the ultimate goal is to become more environmentally responsive. The world needs facilities that are more energy efficient and that promote conservation and recycling of natural and economic resources.
Applications of this philosophy range from the "microcosm — small objects for everyday use, through to the "macrocosm — buildings, cities, and the Earth's physical surface. It is a philosophy that can be applied in the fields of "architecture, "landscape architecture, "urban design, "urban planning, "engineering, "graphic design, "industrial design, "interior design, "fashion design and "human-computer interaction.
Sustainable design is mostly a general reaction to global "environmental crises, the rapid growth of economic activity and human population, depletion of natural resources, damage to "ecosystems, and "loss of biodiversity. In 2013, eco architecture writer "Bridgette Meinhold surveyed emergency and long-term sustainable housing projects that were developed in response to these crises in her book, “Urgent Architecture: 40 Sustainable Housing Solutions for a Changing World.” Featured projects focus on "green building, sustainable design, "eco-friendly materials, "affordability, "material reuse, and "humanitarian relief. Construction methods and materials include repurposed "shipping containers, "straw bale construction, "sandbag homes, and "floating homes.
The limits of sustainable design are reducing. Whole earth impacts are beginning to be considered because growth in goods and services is consistently outpacing gains in efficiency. As a result, the net effect of sustainable design to date has been to simply improve the efficiency of rapidly increasing impacts. The present approach, which focuses on the efficiency of delivering individual goods and services, does not solve this problem. The basic dilemmas include: the increasing complexity of efficiency improvements; the difficulty of implementing new technologies in societies built around old ones; that physical impacts of delivering goods and services are not localized, but are distributed throughout the economies; and that the scale of resource use is growing and not stabilizing.
Because standards of sustainable design appear to emphasize ethics over aesthetics, some designers and critics have complained that it lacks inspiration. "Pritzker Architecture Prize winner "Frank Gehry has called green building "bogus," and "National Design Awards winner "Peter Eisenman has dismissed it as "having nothing to do with architecture." In 2009, "The American Prospect asked whether "well-designed green architecture" is an "oxymoron."
Others claim that such criticism of sustainable design is misguided. A leading advocate for this alternative view is architect "Lance Hosey, whose book "The Shape of Green: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design (2012) was the first dedicated to the relationships between sustainability and beauty. Hosey argues not just that sustainable design needs to be aesthetically appealing in order to be successful, but also that following the principles of sustainability to their logical conclusion requires reimagining the shape of everything designed, creating things of even greater beauty. Reviewers have suggested that the ideas in The Shape of Green could "revolutionize what it means to be sustainable." Small and large buildings are beginning to successfully incorporate principles of sustainability into award-winning designs. Examples include "One Central Park and the "Science Faculty building, UTS.
According to "Jonathan Chapman of "Carnegie Mellon University, USA, emotionally durable design reduces the consumption and waste of "natural resources by increasing the resilience of relationships established between consumers and products." Essentially, product replacement is delayed by strong emotional ties. In his book, Emotionally Durable Design: Objects, Experiences & Empathy, Chapman describes how "the process of consumption is, and has always been, motivated by complex emotional drivers, and is about far more than just the mindless purchasing of newer and shinier things; it is a journey towards the ideal or desired self, that through cyclical loops of desire and disappointment, becomes a seemingly endless process of serial destruction". Therefore, a product requires an attribute, or number of attributes, which extend beyond utilitarianism.
According to Chapman, 'emotional durability' can be achieved through consideration of the following five elements:
As a strategic approach, "emotionally durable design provides a useful language to describe the contemporary relevance of designing responsible, well made, tactile products which the user can get to know and assign value to in the long-term." According to Hazel Clark and David Brody of "Parsons The New School for Design in New York, “emotionally durable design is a call for professionals and students alike to prioritise the relationships between design and its users, as a way of developing more sustainable attitudes to, and in, design things.”
Sustainable architecture is the design of "sustainable buildings. Sustainable architecture attempts to reduce the collective environmental impacts during the production of building components, during the construction process, as well as during the "lifecycle of the building (heating, electricity use, carpet cleaning etc.) This design practice emphasizes efficiency of heating and cooling systems; "alternative energy sources such as "solar hot water, appropriate building siting, reused or recycled building materials; on-site power generation - solar technology, ground source heat pumps, wind power; "rainwater harvesting for gardening, washing and "aquifer recharge; and on-site "waste management such as "green roofs that filter and control stormwater runoff. This requires close cooperation of the design team, the architects, the engineers, and the client at all project stages, from site selection, scheme formation, material selection and procurement, to project implementation.
Sustainable architects design with "sustainable living in mind. Sustainable vs "green design is the challenge that designs not only reflect healthy processes and uses but are powered by renewable energies and site specific resources. A test for sustainable design is — can the design function for its intended use without "fossil fuel — unplugged. This challenge suggests architects and planners design solutions that can function without pollution rather than just reducing pollution. As technology progresses in architecture and design theories and as examples are built and tested, architects will soon be able to create not only passive, null-emission buildings, but rather be able to integrate the entire power system into the building design. In 2004 the 59 home housing community, the "Solar Settlement, and a 60,000 sq ft (5,600 m2) integrated retail, commercial and residential building, the "Sun Ship, were completed by architect "Rolf Disch in "Freiburg, "Germany. The "Solar Settlement is the first housing community worldwide in which every home, all 59, produce a positive energy balance.
An essential element of Sustainable Building Design is indoor environmental quality including air quality, illumination, thermal conditions, and acoustics. The integrated design of the indoor environment is essential and must be part of the integrated design of the entire structure. ASHRAE Guideline 10-2011 addresses the interactions among indoor environmental factors and goes beyond traditional standards.
Concurrently, the recent movements of "New Urbanism and "New Classical Architecture promote a sustainable approach towards construction, that appreciates and develops "smart growth, "architectural tradition and "classical design. This in contrast to "modernist and "globally uniform architecture, as well as leaning against solitary "housing estates and "suburban sprawl. Both trends started in the 1980s. The "Driehaus Architecture Prize is an award that recognizes efforts in New Urbanism and New Classical Architecture, and is endowed with a prize money twice as high as that of the modernist "Pritzker Prize.
Sustainable landscape architecture is a category of sustainable design and "energy-efficient landscaping concerned with the planning and design of outdoor space. Plants and materials may be bought from local growers to reduce energy used in transportation. Design techniques include planting trees to shade buildings from the sun or protect them from wind, using local materials, and on-site composting and chipping not only to reduce "green waste hauling but to increase "organic matter and therefore "carbon in the "soil.
Some designers and gardeners such as "Beth Chatto also use "drought-resistant plants in arid areas ("xeriscaping) and elsewhere so that water is not taken from local landscapes and "habitats for "irrigation. Water from building roofs may be collected in "rain gardens so that the "groundwater is recharged, instead of rainfall becoming "surface runoff and increasing the risk of "flooding.
Areas of the garden and landscape can also be allowed to grow wild to encourage "bio-diversity. Native animals may also be encouraged in many other ways: by plants which provide food such as "nectar and "pollen for insects, or roosting or nesting habitats such as trees, or habitats such as "ponds for "amphibians and aquatic insects. "Pesticides, especially "persistent pesticides, must be avoided to avoid killing wildlife.
Soil fertility can be managed sustainably by the use of many layers of vegetation from trees to "ground-cover plants and "mulches to increase "organic matter and therefore "earthworms and "mycorrhiza; "nitrogen-fixing plants instead of "synthetic nitrogen fertilizers; and sustainably harvested "seaweed extract to replace "micronutrients.
Sustainable landscapes and gardens can be productive as well as ornamental, growing food, firewood and craft materials from beautiful places.
Sustainable landscape approaches and labels include "organic farming and "growing, "permaculture, "agroforestry, "forest gardens, "agroecology, "vegan organic gardening, ecological gardening and "climate-friendly gardening.
"Sustainable agriculture adheres to three main goals:
A variety of philosophies, policies and practices have contributed to these goals. People in many different capacities, from farmers to consumers, have shared this vision and contributed to it. Despite the diversity of people and perspectives, the following themes commonly weave through definitions of sustainable agriculture.
There are strenuous discussions — among others by the "agricultural sector and authorities — if existing pesticide protocols and methods of "soil conservation adequately protect "topsoil and "wildlife. Doubt has risen if these are sustainable, and if "agrarian reforms would permit an efficient "agriculture with fewer "pesticides, therefore reducing the damage to the "ecosystem.
For more information on the subject of sustainable agriculture: "UC Davis: Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program".
"Automobiles, "home appliances and "furnitures can be designed for repair and disassembly (for recycling), and constructed from recyclable materials such as steel, aluminum and glass, and renewable materials, such as Zelfo, "wood and plastics from natural feedstocks. Careful selection of materials and manufacturing processes can often create products comparable in price and performance to non-"sustainable products. Even mild design efforts can greatly increase the sustainable content of manufactured items.
Sustainable technology in the energy sector is based on utilizing renewable sources of energy such as "solar, "wind, "hydro, "bioenergy, "geothermal, and "hydrogen. Wind energy is the world's fastest growing energy source; it has been in use for centuries in "Europe and more recently in the "United States and other nations. Wind energy is captured through the use of "wind turbines that generate and transfer electricity for utilities, homeowners and remote villages. Solar power can be harnessed through "photovoltaics, concentrating solar, or "solar hot water and is also a rapidly growing energy source.
The availability, potential, and feasibility of primary renewable energy resources must be analyzed early in the planning process as part of a comprehensive energy plan. The plan must justify energy demand and supply and assess the actual costs and benefits to the local, regional, and global environments. Responsible energy use is fundamental to "sustainable development and a sustainable future. Energy management must balance justifiable energy demand with appropriate energy supply. The process couples energy awareness, energy conservation, and energy efficiency with the use of primary renewable energy resources.
Sustainable manufacturing can be defined as the creation of a manufactured product through a concurrent improvement in the resulting effect on factory and product sustainability. The concept of sustainable manufacturing demands a renewed design of "production systems in order to condition the related "sustainability on "product life cycle and Factory operations.
Sustainable water technologies have become an important industry segment with several companies now providing important and scalable solutions to supply water in a sustainable manner.
Beyond the use of certain technologies, Sustainable Design in Water Management also consists very importantly in correct implementation of concepts. Among one of these principal concepts is the fact normally in developed countries 100% of water destined for consumption, that is not necessarily for drinking purposes, is of potable water quality. This concept of differentiating qualities of water for different purposes has been called "fit-for-purpose". This more rational use of water achieves several economies, that are not only related to water itself, but also the consumption of energy, as to achieve water of drinking quality can be extremely energy intensive for several reasons.
In some countries the term sustainable design is known as "ecodesign, "green design or "environmental design. "Victor Papanek, embraced "social design and social quality and ecological quality, but did not explicitly combine these areas of design concern in one term. Sustainable design and design for sustainability are more common terms, including the "triple bottom line (people, planet and profit).["citation needed]
In the EU, the concept of sustainable design is referred to as ecodesign. Little discussions have however taken place over the importance of this concept in the run-up to the "circular economy package, that the European Commission will be tabling by the end of 2015. To this effect, an Ecothis.EU campaign was launched to raise awareness about the economic and environmental consequences of not including eco-design as part of the circular economy package.
Sustainable technologies use less energy, fewer limited resources, do not deplete natural resources, do not directly or indirectly pollute the environment, and can be reused or recycled at the end of their useful life. There is significant overlap with "appropriate technology, which emphasizes the suitability of technology to the context, in particular considering the needs of people in developing countries. However, the most appropriate technology may not be the most sustainable one; and a sustainable technology may have high cost or maintenance requirements that make it unsuitable as an "appropriate technology," as that term is commonly used.