If It’s Not Beautiful, It’s Not Sustainable

by on March 16, 2011 » Add the second comment.

“The best way to recycle a 2 x 4 is to leave it in place.”
-Andres Duany

A lot of resources go into any home, not to mention a neighborhood, so it better be good. It better be built in such a way that it will be loved and last far beyond the 30-year mortgage, unlike many homes today.

We love traditional architecture. We bring in modern flares, but they’re always anchored in traditional patterns. The reason is simple: traditional architecture has been loved for a really, really long time. It doesn’t go out of style. I find it so sad when I see a building that looks “so 50s.” Few will defend tearing down an outdated building,regardless of how green it is.

Efficiently designed interiors are another important aspect of sustainable design. During the design process many of our buyers realize that they need less space than they think. Not all of our houses here in South Main are small, but many are (our average home size is less than the national average). Many others are downsized from the initial size requirements of the homeowner. With good design of useful spaces, we have learned to efficiently meet their needs. All of this means that less resources are used to build a smaller house, and less energy is burned to heat a smaller space.

We’re committed to traditional design because we feel we are fighting for longevity. The kind of longevity that’s measured in generations.

To quote Marianne Cusato from her book, The Value of Design and Its Effect on our Lives and Communities:

“In the words of Andres Duany, “The best way to recycle a 2 x 4 is to leave it in place.” Building a building once and maintaining it has less environmental impact than building a  building twice, even if both houses are technically green. A truly green house is one that people love and, therefore, want to maintain over time.”

This is Part 3 in Katie’s Series about what makes South Main sustainable. Check out the other posts:

Introduction: How is South Main Sustainable?

Part 1: Energy Star Has Upped the Ante and We’re on Board

Part 2: Why Urbanism Matters

Related posts:

  1. How is South Main Sustainable? Intro to a Series
  2. A Photo Tour of a Most Innovative Interior
  3. A Truly “Green” Home Is One that Is Loved

Find more like this: Architecture, Interior Design, Sustainability , , , ,

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