a review of The Greenest Building

Tonight’s SHARE film, The Greenest Building, asks the important question, When is it better, sustainably, to renovate rather than rebuild? The triple-bottom line of sustainability was illustrated with the familiar three-legged stool–one leg for the environment, one leg for the society, and one leg for the economy (anyone who’s ever sat on a three-legged stool knows that not only are all three legs required, but they must balance each other). On the seat rests three nested baskets, representing the priorities–the outer basket represents the environment, on which we all depend, the second basket the society, and the inner basket represents the economy. Rebuilding rather than renovating extracts hugely from the environment; socially, people lack a sense of history and place; and when you rebuild rather than renovate, money is more likely to go to some nameless, faceless, corporation that’s out of town, maybe even out of country. A good discussion followed, with people schooled and experienced both in renovating and rebuilding sustainably, showing that we have a lot of local know-how! If you missed it, SHARE has a copy.

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