In theory, it should really be the same thing. In my personal point of view, environmentally friendly architecture should be a daily practice within our firms and a constant in our design philosophy. I would tend to think that most people refers to Environmental architecture to the design process that contemplates the climate variables of a specific site on which you design and plan a building, whereas Sustainable Architecture, to me, involves a much greater concept: Besides the must of considerin the climate variables, it should also contemplate the cultural and social environment on which the building will have to interact, also, we have to consider the types of materials we specify in order to be cautious with the carbon print that we will generate by specifying materials which are not native of the area, or that will need a great deal of energy in order to be fabricated. Also, we have to consider the amount of energy and emissions that will be required and generated during the construction period. And finally, we have to make sure that our building is consistent with the budget of our client, and in the long term, that our building is so well designed, that the energy to operate it on a daily basis is not requiring the usual amounts of energy and economic resources as do many buildings that are being built right now with no concern for the "environment". Hope I made myself clear and my humbe opinion serves to start up this dialogue. Thanks for the question.
I quite Agree with ur explanation but how do use explain regional (cultural) differences in approach to sustainability or let me put it this way...cultural differences in the way we perceive our environment?
Hi, In my country, Sustainable Architecture appears to be a big joke but fortunately it plays out well.
Let me emphasize that Sustainability involves efficient utilisation of available resources in a cyclic manner....so guess in reality its hard for man to achieve in the sense of the word but we can draw close to it by being considerate of the various needs (Ecological, Social, Structural, Functional, etc.) that Architecture however defined is meant to fulfil.
I suppose one of the differentiations I would make is what aspect of the project to you desire to be environmental or sustainable? A design can embody the environment, but be completely unsustainable in terms of energy and resources. The opposite is also interesting. I've always thought that you could make a netzero house or building, but if the design is shoddy it's unsustainable from a more fundamental point of view, i.e. no one wants to live there. So I think the relationship between the two is that both are integral parts of the design process, but there should be a balance of factors influencing the overall design. Great post.
I agree with Tyson. You can actually design and build a house integrating it to the surrounding environment, and be completely unsustainable, so that is why I said...it really SHOULD be the same, not that it is actually the same. Now, even within a single country, cultural differences are inevitable, but I would say that each community at least develops a certain cultural language and this is what you have to take into consideration to be able to perceive their own idea of sustainability, and of course, one as an architect may and should use this to enrich our design proposals.