As I approach my thesis in the pursuit of a Master of Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture I am contemplating how these fields can be integrated in conjunction with my desire to develop my own projects in the future. Additionally, this project should be a model for the quintessential aspects of sustainability. This sets a high goal for this project, thus needing to be able to:
- Sequester carbon through CLT construction.
- Treat waste on-site.
- Rainwater capture and Greywater reuse.
- Provide phytoremediation.
- Presence of nature and habitat for wildlife.
- Provide public transportation.
- Allow for local food production.
- Harvest renewable energy.
- Make infrastructure visible.
- Use low-tech solutions to lower energy consumption.
- Use medium density housing to avoid straining infrastructure.
- Use transfer of development rights vary building heights to accommodate impacts of solar, wind and spatial perception of space.
- Provide amenities within walking distance.
- Be economically viable.
Despite being a tall order, an exploration of this type of development is something which I would like to pursue in the future. Therefore having knowledge of these subjects is important even if the inclusion of all of them is not feasible on every single project. As an added bonus I will have a project which shows how a district could look, feel and function, and could potentially be used for advocating sustainable master planning.
Because of the nature of this thesis ranging from master planning to individual residential units, the interaction between these two scales will be dictated by systems. The design of these systems will be critical because they will facilitate material cycling, environmental impacts, societal correlations and other unexplored systems.
At the end of this project I would like to have the ability to bring this systems thinking to projects ranging from urban infill, block, neighborhood to district wide. However, the one caveat I made for myself is the that this thesis can be readily translated to the “real world.” This means that this “academic exploration” should be physically and economically viable. This is a somewhat difficult criteria because there will be many missing elements which would drive overall costs. Despite this, having a more grounded approach will make this project far more translatable to work outside of academia.