What Does Sustainability Mean to You?

Linked Student

What dose it mean:

When I took CEE 226 - Life Cycle Assessment, we talked about the definitions of sustainability from different sources, like Webster and Oxford, and they all mentioned that sustainability should meet our current needs without limiting future generations to meet their needs and that's what sustainability means for me too, which is to maintain our current life in a way that can continue in the future. Sustainability can be achieved through many different aspects, like energy, materials, transportation even food. To achieve sustainability, we can consider:

1: Use renewable energy like solar, hydro, and wind energy.

2: Use sustainable materials in our buildings, like wood.

3: Use low embodied carbon products.

4: Sustainable transportation.

5: Closed-loop recycling systems.

6: Net zero carbon emission.

What Inspirational Examples Can We Learn From?

  1. LEED rating system: LEED provides a framework for healthy, efficient, carbon and cost-saving green buildings.
  2. Passive house: A design standard for energy efficiency in a building.
  3. Life Cycle Assessment: A methodology for assessing environmental impacts from the life cycle of a product, process, or service.
  4. The Bullitt Center in Seattle: One of the largest “net positive” commercial buildings in the world.
Figure 1: The Bullitt Center
Figure 1: The Bullitt Center

I think the Bullitt Center is the best inspirational example for me because it’s a great example to show us how sustainability can be achieved in a building - net zero energy and water. The flat roof of this building is equipped with 14,300 sqft of solar panels and it also has 26 geothermal wells. The combination of solar and geothermal energy can provide a huge amount of energy to meet the net zero goal.