Architects are familiar with the challenges of building sustainably. From affordability to aligning with stakeholders, it’s an unfortunate truth that sustainable construction comes with its own set of complexities.
Meet the Compass Model. This free tool created by EFFEKT Architects and VELUX offers a simple, holistic framework for the planning, ideation and design of sustainable buildings. Using seven strategic drivers, the Compass Model streamlines collaboration between teams, while ensuring quality and integrity throughout the entire design process.
You’ll be able to make more informed, sustainable design decisions from the start, with little cost and effort. The earlier these considerations are brought into the process, the greater the impact.
The Compass model provides the foundation for Living Places and serves as a strategic tool which outlines seven points of relevancy to guide the building and development process.The Compass provides an incremental approach to guide the building and development process and is layered in three steps:
Each new project begins with an evaluation of the ‘Strategic Drivers‘ that are most pertinent and can ensure the greatest positive impact. Strategic drivers: Relevancy drivers are used in the early stages of a project. This enables the team to constantly benchmark ideas and concepts against these drivers.
Project teams then draw on 24 ‘Design Drivers‘ as input for the concept development process, based on the brief and specific needs of the project. Design Drivers: Design drivers are used when the user has developed a concept/strategy for their project. This stage provides a wider range of parameters to be aware of and use in the design development of a project.
An extensive set of ‘Performance Drivers‘ provides targeted solutions and strategies for the more advanced stages of design. Performance drivers: The Compass provides a list of Impact drivers to ensure that the ambitions from stage 1 & 2 are achieved. The list of decisions ensures that the drivers are turned into tangible solutions for the project.
This wonderful project is detailed and freely available at the Compass website.
Another day to reflect and celebrate the past — then dream and prepare for a brighter future… Earth Day has been celebrated for 53 years and over that time, we have seen great wins for the environment — and sadly, plenty of disappointments… Today, this day, is the best time to start making a difference. But HOW? How can each of us make a difference?
Let’s highlight what others are doing to protect the environment (and thus people, plants, and animals too). There are some inspiring stories, great insights of “how-to” and hopefully some motivation to get underway yourself.
Like podcasts and listening while you work, walk, or drive?
Then iHeart Radio has a great collection of Earth Day podcasts (the first, with Bill Clinton, Matt Damon and Gary White (the latter runs water.org who provides clean drinking water and sanitary toilets for millions of people).
Want to deep dive into Climate Change Impact and other enviromental topics?
Harvard edX (in partnership with 2U) offers numerous courses to get you properly resourced and well positioned do do even more to protect our environment. We’re taking the The Health Effects of Climate Change course now (either FREE or receive more access, validated completion, and a certificate for a fee). Looking for something else? Here are dozens more courses to choose from…
There are countless ways — both BIG and small to make an impact and every single action helps. Please let us know what else you are doing or other good ideas you’ve seen.
Google has a global sustainability trends resource — check it out.
Global warming is a global phenomenon but there’s many things gardeners can do to help on a local scale. Jerry uses battery powered tools that can be recharged via the solar power on his roof which prevents greenhouse gas emissions. A push-driven mower also has no reliance on fuels and starts first time every time! Growing plants helps store carbon in soils by taking carbon dioxide in from the atmosphere and turning it into plant tissue. Mangroves are some of best plant communities for storing carbon but trees like eucalypts are great choices with small varieties available for the home garden, and if providing shade on the northern or western side of your house you’ll need less air conditioning to keep cool and save on emissions that way too.
Composting garden and kitchen waste where possible will avoid emissions from councils having to take your waste to the tip. And the compost won’t just increase biological activity, water holding capacity, and fertility of your soil, it will also store carbon! The earth can store ten times more carbon in the soil than it can in the atmosphere. Jerry regularly measures the amount of carbon in his soil and it’s increasing by about 1% each year, which means he’s stopping a huge amount of greenhouse gas getting into the atmosphere just by working in homemade compost.
Choosing the right fertiliser is also important and Jerry uses organic fertiliser like animal manures as they have the nutrients your plants need whilst avoiding the greenhouse gases emitted in the production of synthetic fertilisers. Synthetic fertilisers can also generate nitrous oxide in the soil, a potent greenhouse gas.
The distance food has to be transported to get to you is known as ‘food miles’. The greater the food miles the greater the fossil fuel emissions resulting from the food you consume. But food grown at home only has to go from garden to kitchen! Most of the onions eaten in Brisbane come from South Australia or Tasmania, as they can be unreliable to grow in the Queensland climate. So, Jerry grow subtropical substitutes like spring onion and society garlic that are just as easy and tasty as ordinary onions. Citrus fruits are an internationally traded commodity but with a little space you can grow one at home and they are very rewarding!
Don’t despair about global warming, get into your patch and do something about it.
Yuggera Country | Brisbane, QLD
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If you are a regular Medium reader and avid environmental supporter — then you may already know CrowdSourcing Sustainability. If not, there is no better time than NOW to read their latest article. It offers insights and tips for taking action — here is a snippet:
The climate crisis is not just another issue. It is an era.
This is the main thing people are still totally failing to grasp so let me repeat it:
The climate crisis is not just another issue. It is an era.
“Climate change and our response to it is going to change the world over the next 25 years as much as the internet did in the last 25 years.” — Joe Romm
Unfortunately, climate change will be much worse than most anyone expects…