Hanna, Kathi, Coussens, Christine. "Human Health and the 'Built' Environment." Rebuilding the Unity of Health and the Environment: A New Vision of Environmental Health for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2001.
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FIGURE 4.1 A bird flying over this GAP, Inc., office in San Bruno, California, would not know that a building is there. Designers need to plan buildings so they are part of the environment. SOURCE: GAP, Inc. Reprinted with permission.
of long-term value, and to eliminate the concept of waste—even to consider the value of waste in producing new materials. Moreover, designers also have an obligation to object to work they find unethical or offensive, and regulations should increasingly be viewed as signals of design failure.
Waste is food—everything is a nutrient.
Eco-efficiency in design should not be the goal, because efficiency is not always better. Rather, design should achieve eco-effectiveness. This means that natural laws should be engaged by designers to produce, for example, fabrics that are free of toxic chemicals; carpeting that is not embedded with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), fiberglass, and nylon; athletic shoes with uppers that are infinitely recyclable, and shower gels and cosmetics that go back into the water systems and start biodegrading.
Interior environments should be designed with human needs in mind. Corporate campuses should provide people with natural daylight and fresh air delivered directly to their breathing zone under their own control. Buildings can be designed that make more energy than they need to operate with solar collectors and a living machine waste treatment plant.
Many cities must work with what they have in order to build new businesses and create jobs because urban areas lack developable properties and