The launch of this Green Building Materials and Technologies Handbook marks a significant step in the effort to develop and disseminate information with regard to sustainability and resilience building. While many worthwhile initiatives exist to promote sustainability and green building, transformation
will be driven forward when technologies exist that are able to significantly enable the implementation of new sustainable and resilient solutions.
Chhaya Bhanti, a brand strategy and sustainability consultant based in New York, made the observation that“we cannot continue to manage what we have failed to manage thus far: we must design our way out”. The word ‘design’ is the key word in the sentence, and I am reminded of the comment Steve Jobs made that “design is not just what it looks like and feels like: design is how it works”.
In conceptualising the content of this Handbook, consideration is not just given to the new. Too often we view new technologies as the only technologies worthy of consideration, whereas there are traditional and established technologies which
have been forgotten about but which are still effective, such as the use of wetlands for waste water treatment.
In addition, this Handbook will not tout technologies as the saviour of our time: I am too well aware that technology is but one instrument to use in the movement toward sustainable and resilient communities. Leadership and human behaviour are equally important.
What this Handbook therefore sets out to do is to expose readers, decision-makers, designers and those interested in sustainability to as full a range of technologies and materials as is possible. In doing so this Handbook will not endorse any one technology or material, but will strive to share technology and material development and, wherever possible, support this with research and case studies.
I trust that this Handbook will add value to those involved in the support and development of sustainability and resilience-building.