With our dwelling being our most sacred space, it is imperative to be aware of what we bring home with us. Common practice uses a variety of chemicals in our soft furnishings, carpeting, electronics and fabrics; information that should encourage us to be as discerning as possible.
Photo via Powerhouse Museum
|With a rise in awareness around green living, comes green design – the next step in harmonious living. To date, green design is still stereotyped with bamboo floors and added greenery. Although these elements may contribute to the design of a green home – it is far from being the essence.
Green design, also known as sustainable design, takes a whole systems approach, integrating environmental, social and economic principals. It takes into account the effect that the design has on an immediate place and the world around it – emphasizing on the micro with an interdependence of the macro.
While aesthetics are a natural element to green design, many of the benefits are not even seen, but rather felt. Improved indoor air quality, toxin elimination and prevention, addressing waste, as well as, water and energy conservation are just a few of the critical elements that spearhead a green project. Amongst that, life-cycle analysis of products and materials are critical, while taking into consideration the scale of the project in relation to the client’s needs. Designing an over scaled green home is intrinsically counterintuitive. Same could be applied for materials that have been shipped long distances.
Designing a green project considers the local economy and the environment while offering the client exquisite materials to choose from. The notion that one must live in a straw bale home to have a green space, is a myth of the past. These days material and product selection for all things green, is on the forefront. Manufacturers have heeded the call of consumers and are now offering products that are far superior than their counterparts.
Green design is at the mere inception of this movement and is gaining traction. Living in a space that is harmonious and free of toxins, no longer resides for people of a certain genre or age group – green design is for the masses! Despite budget constraints, one can get crafty and eliminate most of the toxins in their space while integrating water and energy tactics.
These days with so much information at our disposal, there is no excuse to continue to contaminate our health and that of our loved ones in our homes.