Gaines Group Architects

Green Term Defined: Sustainability

So you want to do a sustainable project? What does that mean to you? Energy efficient? Durable? Water efficient? Healthy? It should be a combination to all of those things. So how do you decide if your project is sustainable?


Is a green rating system enough? Does EarthCraft mean the project is sustainable? Will everyone agree that your LEED certified building is sustainable? What if it costs more, is it sustainable?

These of course are all questions we deal with on every project that has a sustainability goal. So how do we define sustainability? According to the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development it is “Development that meets the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”  According to the Great Law of the Iroquois “In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the Seventh Generation.” 

So our definition takes these both into account: “making decisions that will product an energy-efficient, healthy, and durable solution that will not impede future generations from making those same decisions.” Let us know your thoughts on our definition! Just comment below.