The Future of Sustainable Housing

“Tomorrow’s Sustainable Housing Today”: A panel with Hank Louis, Founder and Director, DesignBuildBLUFF, College of Architecture + Planning, University of Utah; and Mark Foster, Partner, ZGF Architects; hosted by Cynthia Figge, Co-Founder and COO, CSRHUB, and Co-Founder and Partner, EKOS International

Buildings are responsible for 40% of energy use in the US, and a huge portion of housing stock around the world is substandard.

Urban density is correlated with lower transport related energy consumption. Suburbs are leading the charge in over-using energy.

50-80% of sustainable housing issue can be solved through super-insulation and the correct orientation of a home with sunrise, sunset, natural ventilation.

Louis’ students are designing sustainable homes in Navaho communities using alternative building materials, alternative building techniques, off the grid.

Only 5-7% of homes are actually designed by architects. This must go up in order to meet the sustainability requirements.

How is this scaling around the world?

Guatemala and Uganda are employing these building strategies.

One Portland LEED platinum certified building has a rooftop garden collects enough water to have paid for itself in the first day.

Living Building Challenge – net zero water and energy, any discharge from the site must be environmentally safe.

Demand from the development market for more efficient buildings. Demand will come from real estate developers and building owners rather than tenants.

Youth will understand the power of failure, the effort of construction. Design doesn’t end when you’re finished designing your building and you hand the draft off to the builder.

As companies become more aware of the impact of everybody’s behavior, it will shift their planning.

University campuses are a self-contained community with their own systems for power and water, but even within cities eco-districts are popping up with planning for sustainable utility use.