ecotecture.GIF (12664 bytes)
Department of   Design and Environmental Analysis,
Cornell University
  1. External Considerations

  2. Core & Envelope

  3. Indoor Ecology

  4. Material/Product Content

  5. Ecotecture Worksheets

  6. Additional  information.

  7. Case Studies

Use the table of contents to go directly to specific topics:


The building must be thought of as a part of the ecosystem in which it is to be built.  Design decisions must take into account the characteristics and needs of each component of this ecosystem and must not compromise the delicate balance of soil, air, water, vegetation, and animal life. 

One important factor that must be taken into consideration is the climate of the region.  This factor has implications for site orientation, passive solar heating, building insulation, glazing, lighting, HVAC systems, and indoor air quality.

The existing vegetation and landscape, as well as the wildlife that inhabits it, must also be taken into account when designing the facility. In many areas of the country, deforestation, a result of the combined effects of logging, urban development, and pollution (particularly carbon dioxide emissions), is a significant problem (Noble, 1997).  Decisions about the size and footprint of the building, the provision and location of the parking lot, and placement and composition of access roads should strive to minimize any further clearing of the surrounding vegetation.  The emission of harmful substances into the environment, both during and after construction, will also have deleterious effects on the landscape and wildlife, and must be considered during all phases of the project.





Cornell University, December 1998