Can a Building Made From Wood Create Value?


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4 thoughts on “Can a Building Made From Wood Create Value?”

  1. The title so shaped my view of this. If you had not titled it thus, I am not sure I would have keyed in on living details. Can a building actually be alive? Do we mean that metaphorically or literally?

    How hard would be to make buildings self-sufficient in terms of water? Energy? FOOD? Many people value these ideas. I do. I would love to have a home that is more self-sufficient. SO why don’t I? Is it cost? Lack of know-how. Maybe part of the problem is what we value is not what has been built. What we value is at odds with what we sunk costs into…

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    1. Good point, I changed the title. Personally, I think creating value is creating value for not just society and yourself, but for those who do not have a voice to create value for themselves. I think sometimes we get caught in our anthropocentric nature as humans that we often forget the significance of being respectful, taking care of and supporting the non-human things that provide prosperity for us.

      I’m really interested in sustainable building development – both creating structures in a more sustainable fashion as well as implementing and updating preexisting buildings with green building design principles. Through my classes at Bucknell and in my studying for LEED GP certification, I’m astounded at how uneconomical, unenvironmental and unsustainable America is built. This is due to a combination of things – our infrastructure, vastness as a country, attraction to suburban life, focus on aesthetics, and so on.

      This building is actually a building built under the Living Building Challenge. I happened to end up talking to a sustainable building consultant during this summer, and he told me about his expertise in the Living Building Challenge. While LEED is a soft guideline for greening buildings, LBC goes all in. LBC’s goal is to do exactly what you outlined, be self sufficient by creating it’s own energy, water (storm water collection & purification), food and even processing it’s own waste. The LBC versions 3.0 also address issues of food, transportation and social justice issues in their certification. This idea of “net zero” water and energy consumption from offsite sources after the first year are a main focus.

      Can buildings create value? I would say yes.

      http://inhabitat.com/living-building-challenge-2-0-unveiled/

      http://www.thegreenproductscompany.com/gobloggreen/2011/seattles-bertschi-school-nails-the-living-building-challenge-20-net-zero-water-and-energy/

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  2. I concur that buildings can create value. Beyond providing shelter for humans, buildings also add to the environment. They physically change the earth they are built on but they also are added to the list of things that use up natural resources. Thus, when a building is constructed that is environmentally friendly, it is assisting the world as well as making its impact as small as possible. It creates value for the future generations that will now be able to enjoy that conserved resource and provides a model for other architects to follow in the future.

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