Sustainable Design is the approach of Moreland Architecture and Sustainable Design (MA+SD) entering into each project. It is the carefully reasoned balance of practical, financial, and durability factors, which allows for an optimal outcome now and in the long term. A Decision based on just one or two of these factors is often less than ideal. A product may be touted as “environmentally friendly” and may perhaps be equal in cost as similar products. But if lacks durability and needs to be repaired or replaced frequently, it is unsustainable. Similarly, a product may have all the “green” properties available, but if it is unreasonably priced it may be, again, unsustainable. On the other hand it may make sense to pay more for a product which will last longer while using fewer resources, since the monetary payoff may come after a comparable product must be replaced.
Sustainable Design begins with site selection. When possible, the ideal location is close to jobs, services, restaurants, entertainment, and public transit. Walking or bike riding to work or dinner can reduce costs and pollution significantly when compared to driving. Further, Sustainable Design is considering the building and site as a whole, interacting with its surroundings. It is integrating the systems inside and out in a most efficient manner. It is the selection of products and materials which find an optimum balance among responsible resource use, durability, life cycle cost, and health. It is building with a sensitivity to clean soil, water, and air.
Sustainable Design is just one aspect of the MA+SD approach to a responsible practice. While striving to create a healthy, durable and resource efficient built environment, MA+SD also aims to incorporate these values into the business model. The conscious consideration of reduced pollution and energy use is evident in the efficient vehicles and electronics utilized by the firm. Walking, biking, and Public Transportation are heavily encouraged. Printing and plotting is kept to a minimum; recycled and recyclable materials are given preference. Low or non-toxic cleaners, pesticides, and other chemicals are selected.