As engineers, architects, interior designers, energy and facility advisors, owner’s reps and even as members of our community and family we are impacted by the idea of sustainability. Sustainability has become a buzz word or target area to some, but for most of us it is the guideline of how we do things and how we choose to live our lives.
The EPA defines sustainability “as based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations. Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have, the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment. “(http://www.epa.gov/sustainability/basicinfo.htm)
In considering sustainability and its extended impacted on so many facets of our work environment, living spaces, and future footprints, it is undeniable that the ultimate success and reality of sustainable environments, communities, workspaces, schools, homes, etc. will be a function of collaborative efforts. This provides us with an exciting and fabulous opportunity for new relationships and partnerships and new opportunities to teach and to learn. The success of sustainability will be the collaborative efforts of people and organizations who traditionally may not have on ongoing history or relationship coming together and working together, asking new questions, delving into new areas, thinking outside the box, looking at a new perspective, applying knowledge and expertise, and sharing ideas. This truly provides for an exciting and dynamic future.
If you are not familiar with Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES™) check out the website below and see into what the initial collaborative efforts of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ALSA) and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has grown. Just one area of collaboration and partnerships benefiting sustainable sites.