Designing Highly-Sustainable Buildings — 4 Comments

  1. It is interesting to consider that if lasting structure requires an up-front added pollution level that contributes to climate change, the long term durability may not ever overcome the impact. If the load on the environment is up-front, the durability may not be achieved as an added benefit for some structures. There is also not a complete guarantee that concrete will not crack at some point due to unforeseeable events, so durability isn’t really a fixed numerical value.

    Thanks for the continued content, Kelly.


      As this topic begins to receive more attention in green building circles, there is the likelihood embodied carbon of materials could be included into this or SketchUp software as a Plug-In.

      Anyone know a Computer Science coder looking for a thesis project?

      SketchUp plugins are written in, “Ruby,” coding language.

    • Wanted to mention in addition that the above looks like a beautiful design, and the attention to reduced energy use is very well thought out. Concrete use, an energy intensive material to produce, obviously has real advantages, like code approval, for one thing. It also has well-known and studied material properties, and is definitely durable even if not entirely invulnerable. A major structural failure would of course cause an entire mess of Embodied Energy and financial expenditures. Wish we could speed up processes for obtaining structural data on more natural building materials. Anybody hear about grant funds for this in the 2021 Infrastructure Bill?

  2. Kelly,

    I think this is a very brave and important stance you have taken with this post. I too was at the NBA in Moab and wished we had met. I presented on a couple of related topics. I am in the process of writing an article to be published in the coming months that will address similar misguidance in the design and build world and presents ideas for transparency and integrity. I would love to discuss this with you sometime. I really enjoy the service you provide with this blog and your own writing.

    Many Thanks,

    Cillian Liam Barrett

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