Action to match the words

Environmental technologies are often described as 'alternative', implying that they offer a lowergrade? unproven? unattractive? option to conventional solutions.
This impression can be reinforced where the advocate for 'alternatives' is operating from premises using traditional systems; for example a renewable energy supplier situated in a shopfront connected to mains power.

One other criticism of environmental technologies is that the chief advocates are often also those with a partisan preference to particular proprietory equipment; in plain words - people enthuse about those specific systems for which they are the agents.

From this source too can come advice that particular single approach solutions are answers for everyone's problems.

As a sideline to this, environmental technologies can also be advocated by their enthusiasts as achieving utopian levels of performance. New incoming users of these technologies then find that in real world performance in comparison with these performance claims either:-

  • the environmental technologies are not a direct substitute for traditional systems in performance terms
    or
  • the levels of interaction of user and technologies is greater than users anticipated.
These operating features can be either a blessing or a curse, depending on the users' viewpoint. The interaction of user demand and system supply can create awareness and appreciation of the resource by the users; or it can be seen as simply unsatisfactory undersupply against the conventional conspicuous consumption habits developed with availability of traditional 'infinite' public services.

This architectural practice:-

- operates from a self sufficient facility using environmental technologies including solar power, low energy and services demand systems and sustainable interaction with the land revegetation site on which it is established (see Monarto project page)

- develops projects for clients seeking environmentally benign solutions; applying the most appropriate technologies appropriate to each individual project from the broad palette of systems available (see Technologies section pages)

- is not involved in selling any particular brand of systems. The advocacy in favour of environmental technologies from this architectural practice is therefore from the fundamental principles level backed by experience with the technologies in use in the real world.
This architect's interest is in the measurable benefits both to the user and the environment achieved from operating environmental systems.

These benefits include both the reduced impacts from an environmentally benign project; and also additionally accrues opportunities to repair environmental damage of the past as part of the development of the new project.

No longer is the environment for free; in this approach both conventional cost centres as well as social and long term costs have to be included.
No longer is it good enough to ascribe 'zero' to services cost centres simply because public services and their environmental impacts (pollution from energy production, electromagnetic radiation from energy transmission, ocean contamination from waste and stormwaters outflow) are available on the boundary of the project site.

- emphasises the connection between user expectations and system capabilities. This is more than simply measuring demand loads. The process between architect and client extends throughout the building design period, to also raise client awareness of demand issues and the opportunities to contain demand by occupant use patterns.
This has measurable payback economic benefits both in the reduced operating costs of facilities operating on environmental systems; but this benefit (profit?) is maximised where low demand permits the installation of small systems with long operating lifes.

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