Monday, December 13, 2010

Blue is the New Green

The idea of regenerative architecture being used to heal existing degraded land or add land mass to accommodate structure is emerging as an advancement in sustainability. Many of the large design firms are tackling this issue in creative and thoughtful ways. For example, "Blue is the new Green", this being a mode of going beyond building conservation strategies and taking a deeper look at all the elements of sustainability and using less energy while regenerating the natural environment, returning water and resources, especially developing landscaped "carbon sinks". This goes well beyond the code mandates, even the benchmarking that is evolving in building design. For example, GSA is seeking for info on green building technologies as a process streamlining rather than new thinking about regenerative processes.

There has been an "existing green" urban rehab strategy in New York City for quite awhile, and it's beginning to show some results. This is an urban fabric repair that tries to bring down the energy consumption and improve the efficiencies of older buildings.

Blue design, however, creates places that are not just neutral, but actually add back to the natural world and its resources, and is the future of sustainable design and architecture, according to an interview with Paul Eagle, managing director of Perkins+Will, New York; and Janice Barnes, principal at the firm and global discipline leader for planning and strategies.

Another major design firm, F X FOWLE, has published a Regenerative Architecture series, which involves land reclamation in Copenhagen. These new concepts are addressing the climate change issues that we are now faced with because of the carbon that's been dumped into the environment since the industrial revolution. As a global community, we haven't been able to come to an agreement or put measures in place to abate the carbon damage we're doing to the land and the ocean, so it has come to this: figure out how to adapt to a rapidly deteriorating planet.