True Green Building

Unable to sleep at 4am in New York I came accross this video of an abandoned town renovated by a small group of utopians. It is one of the most inspirational green building stories I have seen in a long time. So often green building is housed withing the capitalistic context where it is just another product to be consumed by and profited from financially.

But here we see a story of true green building. For me green building is almost not about the building but rather about the framework of the people involved. If the people have simply shifted to consuming green building just like you might shift from one brand to another then you really haven’t accomplished much.

But as you see in this video the people have shifted their whole context. Green building is no longer a consumer product. Green building is a lifestyle that required a complete change in consumptive habits, a complete change in how people interact with each other and a complete change in how they interact with their surroundings.

I think this change is good. Do we all need to move to an abandoned village on a mountainside to be truly green? Obviously that might help but no. Your baggage always catches up to you no mater where you go.

It is the mentality of these people that is most important, not their place. Very simply put, they have found that a simple, wholesome lifestyle is better than any consumer product. That is the key to true green building. Waki Sabi, man.

I see the irony of consuming this on my computer in the middle of the night in the city that never sleeps. That is the nature of today’s constantly ON planet. It is not sustainable. Time to go to sleep, or at least try to. Some cycles happen by themselves, others you have to help along.

The cycle of finding a greener way of life on this planet will not happen without us helping it. Like the people in this video who worked very hard to achieve what they have.

About the author: Gennaro Brooks-Church

Has one comment to “True Green Building”

You can leave a reply or Trackback this post.

  1. Luis - February 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    …it´s nice to find this on your website… I´m a Spanish architect and I´m very familiar with this problem. Over the last century thousands of villages have been abandoned. People thought something better awaited them in larger towns. Not always was that the case…
    Surprisingly, after such a long time, it´s still hard to find people like those on these two videos, people brave enough to carry on such a hard work as it is to rebuild something, almost starting from scratch. And most times with no help at all.
    But in my opinion there´s a lesson to be learned: there´s no better sustainable building than re-using what´s already there. So it´s clear to me that it makes no sense at all to let whole villages and towns collapse while brand new eco-houses are erected a few kilometres away. There´s just one territory. Let´s think a bit, let´s consider what we already have (really a lot!), and let´s learn from it…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.