Friday, 27 August 2010

eco, friendly, green and credentials...

Following the coverage of the Highland Housing Expo you will have heard a lot about the designs, concepts, and most materials  being eco-friendly and also all kinds of references to "green credentials" that have been added or included..

Any idea of what that is? Any measurable parameters? What are the specifications? Is it measured in kg, metres, kWh, colour intensity or leagues or miles, may be seconds?

  1. anything giving evidence that someone is entitled to or deserving of credit, confidence, etc.
  2. a document that serves as official proof of a person's position, authority, etc.; specif., letters of credence
transitive verb credentialed -·tialed, credentialing -·tial·ing
to furnish with credentials

Environmentally friendly (also eco-friendly, nature friendly, and green) are synonyms used to refer to goods and services, laws, guidelines and policies considered to inflict minimal or no harm on the environment.[1] To make consumers aware, environmentally friendly goods and services often are marked with eco labels. But because there is no single international standard for this concept, the International Organization for Standardization considers such labels too vague to be meaningful.[2] 

Where there is no "single international" Standard and nobody measuring a thing it all boils down to pure marketing rubbish!

Here are some more bubble texts which you should read, take in and think about their consequences:

sustainable design
a mix of affordable, energy-efficient accommodation
a breathing home
dynamic living space
dynamic breathing permeable insulated roof ...
...directly through the insulation...
...heating and cooling the air passively
environmental buffer
passive solar gain
carbon-neutral living space
key-design features
absorb and store the free heat
a sustainable modern approach
passive solution
passive systems
heating by south facing windows
pragmatic sustainability
driven by sustainable sourcing
thermal mass ... entirely breathable
a living structure
a simple envelope
with the future in mind
fully recyclable solid timber
natural ventilation
house of two boxes of honest industry
a solar buffer space
basic mechanical ventilation
making it happen
find an environmentally friendly way to travel

I admit, those phrases are taken out of context; but most contexts ain't make them any better; but worse.

Carpe diem!