Sustainable Development Viability

Is Sustainable Development for Real?

Sustainable development is not only real, it’s brought forth exciting new revolutions in building design, challenging architects to merge true function with form. The core concept of sustainable development is the balancing of people’s needs with the awareness of the environmental, economic, and social limitations our society faces.

This is about more than just protecting the environment.

Sustainable development works to meet the needs of people in both existing and future communities. Take for example the very real benefits inherent in Green Roof designs. Green roofs, also known as plant or biological roofs, place lightweight garden systems atop buildings to provide key benefits for the building owner, the community, and the environment. These living roofs, like the roof of the Vancouver Convention Centre include:

This is about more than just protecting the environment.

Building Owner Benefits:

  • An extended roof life of up to 60 years
  • Enhanced thermal performance [PDF] for reduced heating and air conditioning costs
  • The transformation of otherwise dead space to garden space

Community Benefits:

  • Reduced storm water runoff, which alleviates the negative impact on local rivers and streams
  • Improvement of local air quality thanks to the air filtering nature of plants
  • Great reduction in noise thanks to the sound insulation qualities of the combined soil, plants, and trapped air layers

Environmental Benefits:

  • Provides habitat for local wildlife for greater biodiversity
  • Neutralizes acid rain precipitation in addition to removing nitrogen pollution in rainfall
  • Reduced carbon monoxide impact

Greenroof soil

And these are just the beginning of the benefits of green roof systems. Green roofs are one of the most ideal examples of sustainable development, wherein economic needs are reconciled with ecological ones. There simply is no other known architectural style that provides such a broad range of positive impacts for the building itself, its inhabitants, the community, and the local environment.

Other Sustainable Development Alternatives

That’s not to say we aren’t constantly trying to find new and better ways to incorporate sustainable practices with building developments. Such as our Cascadia Green Wall Systems that aim to replace unsightly and non-environmentally friendly bulkheads made of vinyl and concrete with natural, terra-forming materials. These are cost-effective solutions that enhance your landscape while also improving the bulkhead’s ability to manage stormwater runoff.

To learn more about how sustainable development can be utilized on your next project, or about incorporating a Green Roof or Green Wall system, contact us today. Our team has been working to improve green design and become an industry leader in sustainable development since 1981.