Design for sustainable building – development of a conceptual framework
Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet), 2003

The aim of this research project is to integrate contemporary design theory into the issues of sustainable building, in order to reach a deeper understanding of the obstacles to implementing strategies for sustainable building into design practice. Building is an important enterprise as regards sustainable development. However, the rate of implementation is not comparable to the availability of cost-effective measures. There seems to be a discrepancy between findings in research and the context in which designers carry out their work. This paper is the result of the first phase in a project that aims at a conceptual framework. In a second phase, the structure will be used in order to evaluate design processes and develop design tools for sustainable building. The first phase has been carried out through literature studies in design theory, discourse theory and “ecological” design. The studies point out some obstacles to integrating sustainability into building design. 1) Concepts of sustainability are not transformed into design concepts. 2) Findings are not adapted to the different design phases. 3) Methods for communication have to be developed, both within the design team and between the participators and builders, and especially the use phase is not regarded enough in current design. 4) There are many generic, environmental “solutions”, but tools must be developed that link them into the variety of local prerequisites in each building project. 5) The ability to learn from prior projects has to be developed, in order to avoid mere reproduction of what has already been built. The sustainable future needs a radical alteration of society as well as building, and designers must learn from the past in order to invent new concepts for the unknown transformation.

Integrated Design

Sustainable Building

Conceptual Models

Architectural Design

Sustainability Concepts


Michael Eden

Chalmers, Institutionen för byggd miljö och hållbar utveckling

In proceedings of conference: Technology and Management for Sustainable Building. 26-30 May 2003, CSIR Pretoria, South Africa