Letters to the Editor
I was very pleased to see several articles on sustainable design for civil and structural engineers in the October 2004 edition of Structural Engineer. Sustainable design is an important and growing design movement in the architectural and engineering community, and it is a field that structural engineers must become more aware of as it impacts their business. I would encourage anyone considering sustainable design on a project to investigate the structure’s full effects on the overall design in order to choose the structural material with the greatest true environmental advantage. This would include considering site waste, recycling, transportation impacts, as well as the effects on mechanical systems, material durability, and others. All too often, designers assume that because a material “feels” green, it is the best choice for a green building. The responsible designer will consider how materials impact the performance of other building systems and construction goals. And, the total impact of materials must be considered in the context of the building as a whole.