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:




Design Considerations:

Product and System Maintenance-  After a building is has been built, it must be properly cared for to ensure a healthy environment.  Each product and system must be regularly cleaned and maintained, and environmentally conscious architects can help owners establish appropriate guidelines for doing so.  Regular check-ups and cleaning or HVAC ductwork will keep energy efficiency and building ecology at optimal levels.

Environmentally Safe Cleaning Products-  Cleaning agents should be non-toxic and biodegradable to avoid environmental damage during their production, use, and disposal.

Chemical Storage Areas-  Provide a storage and mixing area for cleaning products (central storage of facilities and custodial closets)  to allow for adequate and secure product storage with water in the space for mixing concentrated chemicals, drains plumbed for the appropriate disposal of liquid waste products, equipped with separate outside venting, and operated under negative pressure.

Products with Recycled or Reusable Content- Purchase products with a high degree of recycled content, preferably post-consumer.  An overall goal would be the purchase of at least as much recycled material as waste collected for recycling.  Whenever possible, purchase recycled paper that has not been bleached.  Chlorine bleaching releases dioxins, which are known human carcinogens.  Use rebuilt cartridges for laser printers and copy machines, or buy laser printers that do not require cartridge replacement.

Products with Minimal packaging-  Buy products that have minimal packaging made of recycled materials.  Use packaging that does not use materials that are harmful to the environment, such as polystyrene foam made with ozone-depleting chemicals.

Products and their Life-cycle impact-  For bulk purchases, develop a certification process that takes into account the full life-cycle impacts of the materials involved.

Develop a certification process for all products and system maintenance

Case Studies to Research:
-Herman Miller- Miller SQA Facility
Zeeland, MI.
William McDonough + Partners
-National Audubon Society Headquarters, New York, NY
Croxton Collaborate Architects, NY
Further Information:
National Audubon Society Audubon House:  Building the Environmentally Responsible, Energy-Efficient Office.  New York, NY:  John Wiley and Sons, Inc. 1994
The Ecology of Architecture: A Complete Guide to Creating the Environmentally Conscious  Building by Laura Zeiher.




















Cornell University, December, 1998