Apr 20th, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Sustainable Building: Learning From the Past in Order to Build a Sustainable Future


Currently humanity is living in their environment instead of with their environment. Archaeology is commonly used to study the past but it could also be used to lead humanity into a future of greener building by learning from this past. This is accomplished through the study of archaeotecture and combines important principles from economic social theory. This theory states that humans living with their environment will always try to maximize resources, minimize costs, and use the least amount of effort possible. In the fifth century B.C. Greek city planners, using this thought process, designed their cities so that houses received an equal amount of sunlight and oriented all of their buildings around the sun. They, and others, also used building materials that required no secondary insulation or large amounts of energy to produce. These building materials were green, sustainable, and very efficient unlike the materials we use today. In fact, many were so green that it made finding these ancient living spaces difficult because they became part of the environment again. Our building practices have only changed in the last minute of the eleventh hour and forty to fifty percent of the population still lives in housing made from earth based materials. If humans started building and planning using the old ways I think we could reduce the amount of energy consumed by houses by at least fifty percent using the methods suggested by the ancients.


Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Christopher L. Hill