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The different aspects of sustainability and a way to keep improving.

When should we use the word “sustainable” if referring to a process, a project or, your house or property? Am I, as a person and user, part of the equation? How can I benefit from it?

One: A project or house is sustainable if it can (within a closed system) maintain a certain level of performance, without depleting the resources of the system (or environment) it lives in. In other words: balanced interaction with the context, cost-effective, and pleasant to work/live in.

Two: You are 100% part of the equation. You are the reason why the process, /project or /house is in place. You are the one to use, experience, and enjoy it (or not). You are also probably the one that is paying for it. So yes: you and your experience are the most important part of it.

Three: The benefits of a sustainable house can be: 

  • Quality of living, due to more stable, and healthy indoor conditions, and adequate, constant connection with the surrounding environment.

  • Reduced running costs, because your house is designed to work along the specific climatic conditions, and not to fight constantly with them. 

  • Long-term flexibility of spaces and functions, because our lifestyle and needs change, so our house should do, too.

Therefore, a project, development, building, or property should be called sustainable when it provides for the needs of the intended users. When they act in symbiosis with the surrounding environment. When, over time, it proves to be less economically demanding (or even profitable) compared to a relatable standard building or project.

Any sustainable development must be simultaneously: 

  • Economically, 

  • Environmentally, and 

  • Socially Sustainable

There is no reason to build anything that doesn’t take care of the life quality of its users and their needs.  

It is smarter to work harmoniously within a specific natural environment: not fighting constantly its forces but working along with them.

It is essential to create long-term economically feasible developments, to ensure that available resources can be used for new projects, and not to maintain the old ones.

To achieve any of the above three sustainable points, you will need knowledge, flexibility, and resilience.

Knowledge is essential to understand, start, grow, and maintain any project, business, or development.

Flexibility allows us to evolve, change, and adapt to always-evolving requirements and needs.

Resilience is the awareness that (almost) no external event can ruin or disrupt what has been built so far, it’s the capacity to move forward and overcome any issue or change in condition.

Sustainability isn’t just a fancy and expensive option for a small wealthy percentage of the population, but a more sensitive approach to the same problem, available to everyone. 

It is not a single, one-size-fits-all expensive solution, but a long list of little puzzle pieces that can improve your house from the environmental, economic, and qualitative points of view. 

It ’is important to understand and consider every possibility. Then you can carefully pick those that should be implemented immediately and those that can be added on at a later stage.

So, when the design is truly sustainable, it is based on data and knowledge.; It is guided by efficiency and sensitivity; it takes into consideration your actual needs and lifestyle, and it is flexible to adapt to evolving conditions.

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