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The efficient use of energy and resources is an essential aspect of sustainable building. We believe that a truly sustainable design will need to go beyond these aspects. Our idea of sustainable architecture and urbanism not only aims at the reduction of negative environmental impacts, but rather at maximizing positive effects onto our living environment.
Comparably to an ecological system the built environment is based on the diversity and interaction of stakeholders, activities and places. The design of and control over these systems should be based on a holistic approach, incorporating these 5 key aspects:
1. To retain and develop a healthy environment, where nature and the built environment are understood as a single entity- with the awareness that human wellbeing is directly coupled to a functioning ecosystem.
2. Generating qualitative economic growth, where merit is valued by quality of life and not solely by capital gain: Durable increase of value rather than short-sighted profiteering
3. Strengthening social cohesion and fairness, ensuring integration, participation and unlimited access to all resources of a knowledge based society.
4. Developing cultural identity, not only to establish a feeling of affiliation, but also to create responsibility and commitment for one?s own living environment.
5. Designing aesthetically valuable elements in order to, over and above rational comprehension, establish a deep understanding for the requirements of our environment through sensual experiences.
Sustainable design not only leads to an increased functional performance of architecture- in other words efficiency- it also generates a multitude of positive effects: Architecture affects the way we live, work, play, meet each other and communicate. Architecture is not only an object of sustainable design but furthermore also a medium of sustainability itself.