Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Going on a Green diet

Like someone trying to lose weight on a diet of beer and pizza, has going Green taken an unrealistic turn within our industry?

Part of our responsibility as designers is researching, exploring, suggesting and selecting materials that our designs will be built with. Green, Recycled or Renewable materials are no exception and we continue to see clients requesting the use of earth-friendly solutions.

All things being equal, I believe that most people would chose a Green product if given the chance. Unfortunately, going Green is not always that simple when the decision to go Green usually comes at a price. Even when the cost difference is a matter of convenience, Green solutions are rarely equal to non-green alternatives.

The reality is that our choices are driven by our clients and their bottom-line, not the moral ambitions of the idealistic few. As a result, the Green movement has found itself at a fork in the road as a willingness to remain committed to "Going Green" has passed even if the fundamental idea has not.

All may not be lost if the landscape of Green solutions adapts like everything else. The future of Green solutions must include more creative considerations along with an intelligent reduction of architecture, overblown product displays, unnecessary signage and project footprints. This can all be achieved while implementing solutions that generate a return on investment for our clients and balance the impact on fabrication, shipping and installation costs.

While the "Future of Green" may not be as easy as specifying the latest material to be signed, sealed, stamped, tested or approved as Green, it might be as simple as being a little more...creative.

While the repercussions of our choices are rarely equal, we need to dig deeper creatively and plan a little further ahead. Because, whether you are "Going Green" or trying to lose a few pounds you can't have your cake and eat it too.


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