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Biocentric Development Ethics

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022203/00001

Material Information

Title: Biocentric Development Ethics
Physical Description: 1 online resource (43 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: anthropocentrism, biocentrism, construction, deep, development, ethics, sustainbility
Building Construction -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Building Construction thesis, M.S.B.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The problem of environmental degradation has reached the point that it is no longer a matter of preserving wild spaces and ecosystems for their own sake but has also begun to infringe on our ability to continue with our societal functioning at the present rate. The problem is one of an ethical consideration of the biotic environment for its own sake and not simply as a resource for consumption. If those responsible for the built environment were to adapt a system of ethics that acknowledges the rights of the biotic and abiotic environment outside of their usefulness as resources for humans then we would have an ethical framework for solving the technical and societal issues that are arising as those resources and environments are lost. In reviewing the literature of biocentrism and of sustainable development a pattern emerges of considerations. Pristine environments become a major point of ethical consideration and transition from being wild and untapped unknowns to being a surviving example of productive and fully developed ecosystems that must be considered as an integral part of the resource flows of the planet along with our built environment. The sources of resources, their flow through systems and their disposal as wastes becomes an important consideration as a cycle that includes the consideration of what will promote biotic succession. The built environment is not a passive consumer of resources but also needs to be considered a producer as well by integrating environmental needs and human needs into the fabric of our build environment. These imperatives are ethical in nature and biocentric in philosophy. The anthropocentric model of nature as resource for use has lead to our current crisis and only by acknowledging our responsibility toward the environment can we expect practitioners to understand and appreciate their role. There have been economic arguments for sustainable practices that have some affect, there is a growing number of designers and builders personally affected by the metaphysics of the modern environmental movement who are having their own impact as well, but ultimately it will be an ethical transition that allows for a truly sustainable future.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.B.C.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Ries, Robert J.
Local: Co-adviser: Kibert, Charles J.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022203:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022203/00001

Material Information

Title: Biocentric Development Ethics
Physical Description: 1 online resource (43 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: anthropocentrism, biocentrism, construction, deep, development, ethics, sustainbility
Building Construction -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Building Construction thesis, M.S.B.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The problem of environmental degradation has reached the point that it is no longer a matter of preserving wild spaces and ecosystems for their own sake but has also begun to infringe on our ability to continue with our societal functioning at the present rate. The problem is one of an ethical consideration of the biotic environment for its own sake and not simply as a resource for consumption. If those responsible for the built environment were to adapt a system of ethics that acknowledges the rights of the biotic and abiotic environment outside of their usefulness as resources for humans then we would have an ethical framework for solving the technical and societal issues that are arising as those resources and environments are lost. In reviewing the literature of biocentrism and of sustainable development a pattern emerges of considerations. Pristine environments become a major point of ethical consideration and transition from being wild and untapped unknowns to being a surviving example of productive and fully developed ecosystems that must be considered as an integral part of the resource flows of the planet along with our built environment. The sources of resources, their flow through systems and their disposal as wastes becomes an important consideration as a cycle that includes the consideration of what will promote biotic succession. The built environment is not a passive consumer of resources but also needs to be considered a producer as well by integrating environmental needs and human needs into the fabric of our build environment. These imperatives are ethical in nature and biocentric in philosophy. The anthropocentric model of nature as resource for use has lead to our current crisis and only by acknowledging our responsibility toward the environment can we expect practitioners to understand and appreciate their role. There have been economic arguments for sustainable practices that have some affect, there is a growing number of designers and builders personally affected by the metaphysics of the modern environmental movement who are having their own impact as well, but ultimately it will be an ethical transition that allows for a truly sustainable future.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.B.C.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Ries, Robert J.
Local: Co-adviser: Kibert, Charles J.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022203:00001


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00f425a3abce8c3216388fe9a0c7970d
c834152409639fcd9bdb5505c40ed9332b79f989







BIOCENTRIC DEVELOPMENT ETHICS


By

DAVID GOLDSMITH

















A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2008


































2008 David Goldsmith


































To our dog Murasaki, whom we suspect understands all this better than I do.









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I can not do anything by myself, this work is no exception. I would like to acknowledge

those that had a direct impact on this work; my wife Jessica; my parents; my professors Charles

Kibert, and Robert Ries; and my friends Brickman, Tim, and Quimby who put up with endless

one-way discussions on problems of environmental ethics.










TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A CK N O W LED G M EN T S .................................................................. ........... .............. .....

ABSTRAC T ............................................................................................... 6

CHAPTER

1 IN TR OD U CTION ............... .............................. .............. .................. ....... 8

2 M O TIV A TION .............................................................................. ...............11

D eep E ecology ................................................. 14
H y p o th e sis .............. .... ...............................................................1 5

3 L IT E R A TU R E R E V IE W ............................................................................... ............... ... 17

D eep E ecology ................................................. 17
W ild ern e ss .............. ... ................................................................1 8
S u stain ab ility ................................................................19
B ill R e e d ................................................................................ 19
K iel M o e ................................................................................ 2 0
D o n ald W o roster ............................................................................................................... 2 3
Young D. Choi.............................................. 26

4 AN ALY SIS ....................................... ............... 28

B io centric D ev elop m ent .................................................................................................... 2 9
U se of R enew able R sources ..............................................................................................33
E cosy stem Succession .................................................................35

5 FU TU R E R E SE A R C H ....................................................................................37

6 C O N C L U SIO N S ................................................................40

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S ....................................................................................................4 1

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H .................................................................................................... 43









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Building Construction

BIOCENTRIC DEVELOPMENT ETHICS

By

David Goldsmith

May 2008

Chair: Robert Ries
Cochair: Charles Kibert
Major: Building Construction

The problem of environmental degradation has reached the point that it is no longer a

matter of preserving wild spaces and ecosystems for their own sake but has also begun to

infringe on our ability to continue with our societal functioning at the present rate. The problem

is one of an ethical consideration of the biotic environment for its own sake and not simply as a

resource for consumption. If those responsible for the built environment were to adapt a system

of ethics that acknowledges the rights of the biotic and abiotic environment outside of their

usefulness as resources for humans then we would have an ethical framework for solving the

technical and societal issues that are arising as those resources and environments are lost.

In reviewing the literature of biocentrism and of sustainable development a pattern

emerges of considerations. Pristine environments become a major point of ethical consideration

and transition from being wild and untapped unknowns to being a surviving example of

productive and fully developed ecosystems that must be considered as an integral part of the

resource flows of the planet along with our built environment. The sources of resources, their

flow through systems and their disposal as wastes becomes an important consideration as a cycle

that includes the consideration of what will promote biotic succession. The built environment is









not a passive consumer of resources but also needs to be considered a producer as well by

integrating environmental needs and human needs into the fabric of our build environment.

These imperatives are ethical in nature and biocentric in philosophy. The anthropocentric

model of nature as resource for use has lead to our current crisis and only by acknowledging our

responsibility toward the environment can we expect practitioners to understand and appreciate

their role. There have been economic arguments for sustainable practices that have some affect,

there is a growing number of designers and builders personally affected by the metaphysics of

the modem environmental movement who are having their own impact as well, but ultimately it

will be an ethical transition that allows for a truly sustainable future.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Sustainable and Green construction have quickly captivated the market with promises of

lower environmental impact, increased worker productivity, and reduced operating costs. As

these approaches to construction go from fad to norm we are forced to reexamine the ethical

underpinnings of these new approaches in order to create a more consistent, sustainable, and

ethical means of identifying what is green.

The difficulty in examining claims of being 'Green' broadly, or 'Sustainable' specifically

comes in operationalzing these terms. As a question of language most people could probably

agree that 'Green' has something to do with environmental sensitivity of products and

'Sustainability' something to do with resource use in a way that guarantees future availability of

the resource. However because neither of those terms is defined specifically and in a broadly

accepted and used way than the above vignettes, we are left floating in a sea of uncertainty as to

determine whether anything dubbed with these terms meets our personal definition of them.

Without an accurate set of terminology and conceptual understanding it is difficult for

sustainable construction to move forward, given that it is open to free interpretation.

There is generally agreement that a sustainably constructed building is one which is

constructed using practices and materials that neither degrade nor enhance the potential to

produce more such buildings in the future and that in operation the building does not consume

resources at a rate that is irreplaceable. Anthropogenic activities merely "break even" in their

consumption and production; if there are any buildings which are not sustainable buildings

operating in their theoretically productive state then there will be a net loss of resources in the

built environment. The transition from anthropogenic activities as the old paradigm to

sustainable buildings balancing on the edge of a knife between consumption and production to









the next logical step of regenerative buildings capable of producing more resources than they

consume will require not only technical advances but will need to be facilitated by a different

ethical understanding of the position the built environment occupies in the larger context of the

biosphere. This model of three types of buildings; consumptive, sustainable, and regenerative;

must be seen in a larger context of the built environment. In turn the built environment must be

seen in the context of its place as a portion of the biosphere of the planet.

Sustainable and regenerative aspects of the built environment lack important when taken

out of their larger context in the biosphere as is the case in anthropocentric environmentalism.

The philosophy of Deep Ecology has provided that understanding and ethical basis. Deep

Ecology is a branch of environmental philosophy that understands man to be an integral part of

the larger environment of natural features and ecologies of life. By ascribing rights in an

egalitarian fashion to the biotic environment and even to the abiotic environment Deep Ecology

provides a biocentric view of the world. In contrast to the anthropocentric and even most other

environmental philosophies the natural world is not seen as separate from the man made world

and intrinsic value is recognized in the natural world, which also contains man and his actions.

Instead of simply a utilitarian pool of resources and a sink for wastes the natural world is valued

in and of itself without consideration of utility to man.

The shortcomings of green design and sustainable design stem from a lack of ethical basis

for those design approaches. By providing an ethical grounding in Deep Ecology, developing the

built environment will be able to proceed with a theoretical basis and coherent definition of what

is and is not sustainable. Given that theoretical framework practitioners will be capable of

finding technical and design solutions to meet human needs without destroying the ecologies that

make up the planet.









In order to develop this theory the literature of Deep Ecology, regenerative design, and

general Ecosophy as it relates to the built environment have been reviewed. Correlations with

extant theories of economy and design are examined and put into the context of biocentric

development. The analysis of the ethical implications of Deep Ecology combined with

recognition of the premise that the built environment exists as a subset of the larger biosphere

and in interaction with all other aspects of the biosphere provide the means to discover a theory

of development that is sustainable, ethical, and biocentric. The importance of biocentrism in

development is that it allows us to view the gestalt of the biosphere including the impacts,

degradations, and contribution of man's efforts to alter it. Under a biocentric view there exist

interactions between ecospheres of pristine systems, man's built systems, and the future systems

that will arise over time as man further manages the ecological aspects of his systems and their

interactions with the pristine environment.









CHAPTER 2
MOTIVATION

The primary motivation for this research is an observation that despite the popularity and

enthusiasm for sustainable building and 'green' products available there was a lack of ethical and

philosophical underpinning for defining the methods and materials that fit those monikers. The

industry has operated in a condition in which virtually anything can be said to be 'green' or

sustainable without any validation or even reasoning to believe so, despite efforts to establish

certifying organizations there persists many differing ideas about what is 'green.'

There is a connotative meaning that 'green' is respectful and helpful to the environment.

This can be misleading because more often than not a 'green' product is one which is simply less

harmful to the environment than an alternative. The anthropogenic approach to environmental

issues gives us this condition in which 'green' products and practices are preferred because they

are less harmful without taking into consideration a biocentric requirement that the rights of the

biotic and abiotic environments are respected. The dichotomy between anthropogenic and

biocentric views is a basic prerequisite for any discussion of environmental issues.

Surely one should be able to establish a preference given two competing substitutable

products. Given any two products that serve the same purpose it should be possible to establish

the lower cost product, the most durable, the most aesthetically pleasing, and if green is just

another set of criteria to be met then a green product as well. The problem is that no one knows

what green means, and its meaning can be formed to fit any given product, so just about any

product can be green depending how desirable that labeling can be.

An example of this would be comparing vinyl composition tile (VCT) to linoleum tile.

VCT is primarily composed of the by products of petroleum distillation (like most plastics),

while linoleum is composed of burlap, flax seed oil, and other 'natural' components. A simplistic









view of green might assert that the linoleum is the greener of the two since it is composed of

'natural' materials, will biodegrade in a short period of time without aid, and is a direct substitute

for VCT in most situations. That is one definition of green. Taking a closer look at a life cycle

assessment of the materials involved not just in the production of the products, but also takes into

account the transportation and extraction of the raw materials and the final product. When those

energy uses are included, at least for use in North America, the VCT is found to be the less

consumptive product there therefore under a life cycle assessment model of green, the vinyl

product is more green. If the end user lives in Scotland, the linoleum would probably come out

ahead. So now there is a requisite geographic component of defining what a green product is.

This can be seen as a counter intuitive example of how we cannot use geographic distance as a

determinate in whether something is green or not. This disallows a limitation of products,

materials, and resources because of an ethical prohibition on the transportation (and energy

consumed therein) of the items. (Lippiatt 1999)

Sustainability is similarly mired in series of unanswered questions, conundrums, and

marketing about what is and what is not sustainable. A common definition of sustainability

builds on the concept of intergenerational justice; the idea that what we do today should not

degrade the ability of future generations to do what we do. (WCED 1987) This concept is fraught

with difficulties. How many generations are should we look forward? We can safely assume that

the Earth itself isn't going to last any more than about another 900 million years (end of the sun's

current phase and the end of the inner planets of the solar system as we know them), so can we

work backward from that and determine at what rate we can consume the earth's non-renewable

resources such that each subsequent generation has the same quantity available until the literal

end of the Earth?









Sustainability stands on three legs; environmental, social, and economic. (WCED 1987)

The idea of sustainability being a steady state of mans' personal, monetary, and resource

exchanges speaks to it as a Utopian concept by defining it as a steady state of balanced use and

consumption. By definition of a perfect society (Utopian) would exist in a static state, if things

are perfect then any change would make things less than perfect. Once you are number one any

change in your status simply takes you down from that top position, there is nowhere to go but

down or to a higher level of refinement. Sustainability seems to posit this same idea only from

the other side of things, it states that once we achieve sustainability then we can continue

indefinitely with the lifestyle and economy established. This implies an economy without

growth, a society without changes beyond the most superficial, and an environment not

recovering but at least not degrading further. Sustainability can be seen as the antithesis of the

last several centuries in which "growth" has been the mantra in all things; bigger, more power,

more; in all things.

Sustainability is balancing on the edge of a knife not producing or consuming more than

can be produced or consumed tomorrow and indefinitely into the future. The merits of this sort

of steady state world are beyond the scope of this research. It is not hard to assert that

sustainability will not be achieved through all things being equally balanced in production and

consumption. That would require the alternation or replacement of every system that currently

exists because, even if all new elements are sustainable, as long as legacy elements exist, in any

branch the net system will not achieve a sustainable steady state. In order to achieve system

sustainability, the requirement is that new elements are not just themselves sustainable but are in

fact regenerative. Regenerative elements must produce as much as they consume and more in

order to offset what is consumed by legacy elements. In order to achieve sustainability we need









to plan, design, and build regeneratively. Broadly, as society establishes regenerative practices it

will slowly transition from consumption, past sustainability, and into a regenerative phase, where

surplus goes toward not enriching individual lives but toward rebuilding wilderness, habitat,

sequestering resources, and the ecologically sustainable state of the Earth.

If the view that the means to achieve the goals of sustainability lead not to sustainability

but to regeneration is accepted, it follows that the most often cited philosophical basis of

sustainability, that of intergenerational justice, is not sufficient to actually understand nor achieve

sustainability. There must be more of a motivation for the whole-sale upheaval of modern

society and abandonment of the growth-mantra for a biocentric world view.

Deep Ecology

Deep Ecology is a biocentric environmental philosophy. By being biocentric it rejects a

world view of nature only in its context of utility for man. Deep Ecology is anti-utilitarian. The

philosophy of Deep Ecology was first articulated by the Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess in

1973.

Colloquially it can be said that deep ecology is concerned with the rights of the biotic and

abiotic environments to have value and exist outside of any utility, use, observation, benefit, or

even knowledge of man. Even the rocks have rights. This 'intrinsic value' argument is key to one

of the ethical challenges of any design project. That is how do we respect and further the rights

of the place where the project is located, as well as the water shed, plant life, wildlife, and other

components of that ecosystem. Ethically we must serve the needs of the human users of the

project but should not infringe on the rights of the biotic and abiotic environments any more than

is necessary and even then we need to replace or enhance those aspects of the environment

damaged by the project.









Development of pristine ecosystems is impossible when taking into account the ethical

considerations of Deep Ecology. There are so few pristine ecosystems remaining that it would

seem that finding areas to redevelop does not represent such a hurdle as first assumed. That

redevelopment should be done with a goal of a regenerative design. Because all ecosystems are

interrelated, that each one is a part of all others, in order to maintain the pristine nature of one

defined ecosystem it is essential to minimally alter the ecological processes, inputs, and outputs

of any redeveloped area. A regenerative project is one which returns a degraded ecosystem to a

functioning state with regard to the rights of the biotic and abiotic not only within itself but in its

larger context in the biosphere.

Hypothesis

My assertion is that it is the anthropocentric nature of all current approaches to sustainable

and regenerative design has prevented those theories from achieving their goals.

The revelations of the science of ecology have implied an available and deeper

understanding of our planet, environment, and biosphere. Recognition of that fact can be thought

of biocentrism, the idea that the continued life of the planet is more important than man's ability

to consume its resources. Taking the focus off of the immediate needs of man and his industry

and instead understanding the larger processes at work in the ever evolving and changing

ecosystem of the world can have a humbling effect. There can be charges of misanthropy or

accusations of wanting everyone to live in a mud hut. These are not really arguments against the

theory but are knee jerk reactions against a challenge to the anthropocentric hegemony of

western thought. Biocentrism is not a limit to the development man achieves in his environment.

Biocentrism does however provide ethical standards and a means to understand how what we do

affects not only the limits of the property line but to one degree or another then entirety of the

biosphere.









An understanding of the ethics of a biocentric view, particularly that of Deep Ecology, will

provide the foundation for understanding what future development, construction, and use of

buildings, must be in order to continue providing for the needs of its occupants. With that

understanding the practitioners of design, construction, regulations, and development can better

participate with the environment and biosphere not only to provide for our needs in such a way

that does not prevent future generations from doing so, but can also preserve and promote the

health of the entire biosphere in ways that have never been considered before.









CHAPTER 3
LITERATURE REVIEW

Deep Ecology

Naess founded and wrote extensively on the philosophy of Deep Ecology. In trying to

specify particular works of his that spoke directly to the problem of ethics and to the built

environment I selected a few essays. The first is "Ecosophy and Gestalt Ontology." (Naess 1995)

Naess lays out a fundamental philosophical difference between Deep Ecology and the

dominant anthropocentric viewpoint. While both contain aspects of internal and external

relations Deep Ecology disavows itself of the dualism of Christianity that allows for the

separation of man from nature. In Deep Ecology there is a relationship between man and himself

that is connected and mutually active, that same relationship (which the anthropocentric view

lacks) extends from man and himself into the ecosystems in which he is a part and ultimately to

the entire biosphere. From this basic ontological assertion the context of the metaphysics and

ethics of Deep Ecology become apparent.

Naess further argues for the preservation of the gestalt in ecosystems, that by diminishing

those in any way, even a seemingly minor one, through development we are altering and

destroying the gestalt of the spontaneous experience that we have as an internal part of those

ecosystems.

There is a tendency in design that comes from a desire to appear objective and 'scientific'

to try and quantify each aspect of design, from square footage of area, to BTUs of cooling.

Extending even to our own field of sustainable design we take the science of ecology and use it

to define the ecosystems we build in with terms like solar inputs and types of waste outputs. This

is all in an effort to make the art of design seem more legitimate in a world that values

quantification above appreciating the gestalt of a design's function. In Naess's essay "The Place









of Joy in a World of Fact" he condemns this view and asks us not to try and reduce our

experience to a simple knowledge of the basic physical realities of our surrounding world, but to

appreciate them for their experiential reality of sounds, sights, smells, and feelings. While the

reality we live in is really just an expression of an abstract mathematical reality, that is not the

reality we live in and we should take more account of this living reality in our efforts to

commingle our singular needs with those of the biosphere that supplies them.

Wilderness

A central tenet of Deep Ecology is the use of pristine environments and ecosystems as a

benchmark. The pristine is thought of as being the pinnacle of ecological achievement and the

goal of any environmental policy. George Sessions specifically argues for the pristine, or

generically 'wilderness' in Chapter 7 of 'Deep Ecology.' Sessions' argument for wilderness is

that wilderness is an essential part of any biosphere. Without the habitat and environment

provided by wild areas there simply cannot be the coherence and ecology needed to allow

species and landscapes to evolve and develop naturally and sustainably. Substitution of

wilderness with zoos, gene banks, parks, or other compromise solutions misses the point that the

wilderness contains the gestalt of an ecosystem and even if each part can be recorded and stored

individually it will lose its ability to evolve and develop over time as a whole. The important of

wilderness, he argues, is that it is the only place where complete and functional eco-systems can

exist and without functioning ecosystems to provide support and context then species alone are

meaningless. He concludes that the current anthropocentric view of stewardship and

conservation are insufficient to protect the existence of wilderness areas. Without a dramatic

shift of the dominant world view toward the one espoused by Deep Ecology there is little hope of

retaining the biosphere of the planet in its functional, pristine, condition.









William Cronon's The Trouble / i/h Wilderness reviews and criticizes contemporary views

of wilderness or pristine environments from several perspectives. His thesis is that there exists a

dualism in modern thought about wilderness; that man that is separate from the natural and even

his presence in wilderness degrades the condition of it. This dualism is a roadblock to

understanding a sustainable place for man in the environment.

A bulk of Cronon's piece is an attempt to track and describe the history of wilderness as a

cultural construct. From the barren and untapped wastes of history, the sublimity of the

Romantics, to God's own Eden of the transcendentalists, post-civil war ideas about wilderness

recreation, and modem notions of wilderness as pristine lands apart from man's interference (or

as a rich resource for industry.)

Ultimately Cronon's conclusion that the wilderness is not a natural construct at all but a

cultural one makes a needed distinction between the pristine that many writers have addressed

and the 'wilderness' that is all too often used as a synonym. Cronon's suggested method of

considering wilderness and all natural life comes down to reductionism. He argues that a planted

tree in a garden is as natural as any in the forest, even taking into account the ecological

important of biotic communities. This draws an interesting distinction and could be used as a

basis for biocentrism, that the tree is the important unit rather than the biotic community it may

be a part of.

Sustainability

Bill Reed

Bill Reed's article "Shifting from 'sustainability' to regeneration," looks at the current

practices in sustainability; namely rating systems and anthropocentric approaches to

environmental evaluation; and makes an argument for using Deep Ecology to create a biocentric

approach to design.









Kiel Moe

Kiel Moe's article Compelling Yet Unreliable Theories of Sustainability directly addresses

the reasoning behind different approaches to sustainable design. He reaches conclusions about

which topics should be emphasized in architectural education in order to give professional

architects a means to evaluate and develop methods of achieving sustainability.

Moe delineates different approaches to the problem of sustainability into four categories:

energy crisis, construction industry waste, technological determinism, and vernacular/regional

determinism. Moe asserts that none of these approaches solves the problem of designing for

sustainability. His thesis is to extract positive aspects from each of these approaches their

positive aspects and combine them into a complete understanding of the problems and their

solutions.

In his first analysis of sustainability issues he addresses the argument that there is an

ongoing 'energy crisis.' Moe's main assertion is that in reality there is not a lack of energy

available but that we are not harnessing the energy available to us. That un-harnessed energy is

in the form of solar radiation and other natural sources that are as yet untapped. Moe goes on to

assert that the current approach of increasing the efficiency of building by reducing the energy

consumed is a losing approach and architects should instead be focusing on "capturing,

channeling, and producing energy available in the milieu of a project." (Moe 2007)

This argument is in line with Batesons ecological learning Level II. (Reed 2007) There is

any number of experimenters in solar, wind, tidal, and other forms of energy production. The

application of photo voltaic solar to buildings, that has been the most prevalent form of

distributed energy production, but there are other options that have been less extensively

explored. Global renewable power production is largely hydro electric, power generating stations









in the form of dams and a growing number of wind farms, building attached renewable energy is

primarily solar. (Renewable Energy and Policy Network 2005)

Summing up his discussion of energy use as a criteria in sustainable design Moe concludes

that it is as much a social construct as a technical one. This is a double edged sword, while the

social momentum of our most flagrant uses of energy in buildings will be a marketing and

acceptance hurdle rather than a technical or design one, it will also be that much easier to design

a workable and useful solution with the only hurdle to acceptance being the aforementioned

social factors. The current regimen of teaching building systems does not address whether those

systems, particularly HVAC, are effective, only that people expect them, they have been codified

in certain ways, and how to meet those requirements.

Moe states that while the waste stream from construction accounts for half of the land

filled waste in the United States, because architects are only responsible for a tiny percentage of

the designs built they are not culpable for the practices that lead to the waste production. Because

of this condition the architect should assert more control over the materials flow in the process of

construction. The first step in creating this control is to take an in depth look at materials flows

from production to consumption to disposal. Problems with dematerialization, recycling, and

increasing populations consumption patterns (even if they are reduced from current levels, the

ever rising population means there is still a net gain in material flow in the system) are broached

but not discussed in depth. In leaning more about the materials used in construction, it is

suggested, the architect will take more control of the process, engage the owner and builder, and

ultimately (through an unspecified mechanism) produce a building using materials in a

sustainable fashion.









There is a theme throughout post industrialization western societies that there will always

be a technological solution to any problem and if it has not arrived yet then it is just around the

corner. In fact, if all the 'just a few years away' technologies suddenly arrived then we probably

would not have as many problems as we do in sustainability. Moe calls this meme technological

determinism. Going a step further he defines technological determinism as providing a false

sense of control by offering a means of quantification that without the context of statistical

understanding provide a false sense of understanding. This is the basis for the U.S. Green

Building Council LEED program, by quantifying things, assigning them ratings it gives the

impression of not only understanding the problems but also of solving them with ever larger

numbers.

Technology is used as a descriptor for risk evaluation and management. The problem with

quantifying everything is once a certain level of abstraction is reached it is impossible to tell if

the originating information is still relevant. In other words, there is no 'reality check' in most

technology. Ultimately Moe suggests that architects should center their designs around

technology while "Presenting the culpabilities of technology alongside its capabilities..." The

addition of a disclaimer of any design work that revolves around a technology of some sort will

probably not serve to disavow the audience of their own notions about the promise of the

technology.

In his final claim Moe asserts that regional and vernacular architecture are "inherently

sustainable responses to their respective sites and contexts of production." The problem is how

those contexts are defined. Moe suggests several interpretations of context and concludes that

spatial and material contexts are not sufficient to develop sustainable architecture. What is









needed in order to develop sustainable architecture is not only a vernacular use of materials and

styles but also a contextual understanding of culture, place, and history.

Moe concludes that there is a need for greater technological education for architects that

they must understand the details and history of the materials, techniques, and ecology of

buildings in order to develop a "deeper" understanding of how their work fits into the broader

social and ecological context.

Donald Worster

Donald Worster, in his essay The .IhA y Ground of Sustainability goes to the heart of the

problem in the current world of sustainability in general and the problems of sustainable

construction specifically. His basic argument is that since sustainability is ill defined it is not

useful as a measure or goal of progress toward environmental preservation.

Worster discusses the nascent environmental movement in the 1970s and 1980s as having

a clear goal of reversing the trends that were discriminating the environment. It was clear at that

time that the way to achieve this was by the elimination of growth as criteria for success. Growth

in population, wants, and technology was seen as the means to achieve a balance with the natural

world's environments and species. This simple but drastic solution to the problems of the

environment proved untenable as a policy recommendation. In having to adapt to work within

the broader economic, social, and political contexts of the day (where 'growth' was and still is

the mantra) there was a compromise reached and 'sustainable development' became the rallying

cry in all sectors as a solution to the obvious problems of environmental degradation. This tidy

solution brought together disparate groups from around the globe in what they believed was a

solution to a very real problem, it couched the debate in current economic and political

terminology, and it allowed for compromise that created the chimera of 'sustainable

development.'









There are two easily identifiable problems Worster sees in sustainable development.

Without defining the duration of the sustainability there is no way to identify what is sustainable.

The second has to do with expertise. Each respective field of endeavor views and defines

sustainability in different context and with different criteria. What is sustainable for economists

bears little resemblance to and is in direct conflict with what is sustainable for agriculture, which

in turn has the same incompatibility with industry. The solution that Worster sees in much of

environmental literature is that the bottom of the pyramid of experts and technicians working

toward sustainability in their fields is the study of ecology. At the heart of the idea of sustainable

development there is still a notion that the sustainable part of it is referring to sustaining the

ecology of the environment. Worster suggests that it is a problem of reducibility, by arguing that

the ecologists have the final say we are merely replacing one set of narrowly focused experts

with another set that lack the understanding of economics just as the economists lack the

understanding of ecology.

Worster discusses the changing science of ecology. Ecology had previously been through

of as the study of natural systems, ecosystems, which ebbed and flowed and interacted with each

other throughout time in a relatively steady state. This idea is now being challenged by ecologists

that see nature not as a steady state system that fluctuates along predictable and repeating paths

but as a constantly evolving set of criteria in which each organism plays its limited role. Worster

discusses Daniel Botkin, a California ecologist, whose contribution to the discussion is using the

symphony metaphor of ecologies; the individual instruments play their own parts, but they play

them with each other, and when we look at the larger biosphere we see that there are many

symphonies all playing different pieces beginning and ending at different times. Botkin then goes

on to suggest that it is man's role in the biosphere to conduct these ecosystems into useful









environments for man. Worster is immediately critical of this ecological revisionism and labels it

'permissive ecology.'

The contradiction pointed out in Botkin's assessment of permissive ecology is that it

presumes a constant flux of ecosystems in such a way that management of those same systems

would be impossible owing to our inability to determine appropriate yields while maintaining the

integrity of the system. When it comes right down to it this school of 'optimum' yields does not

make any suggestions as to how to determine those yields, other than circular guidelines

suggesting to do so in a sustainable fashion. These machinations suggest to Worster that there

simply is not enough understanding of individual ecologies available in order to make specific

management suggestions. Because sustainability has not been satisfactorily defined by

ecologists, but has been by economists (in economic, not ecological terms) it is the economist

that will define resource use without regard for the ecology of the system.

In conclusion Worster makes the basic argument that the sustainable development model is

at odds with a biocentric view of the environment:

...the sustainability ideal rests on an uncritical, unexamined acceptance of the traditional
worldview of progressive, secular materialism. It regards that worldview as completely
benign so long as it can be made sustainable. The institutions associated with that
worldview, including those of capitalism, socialism, and individualism, also escape all
criticism, or close scrutiny. We are led to believe that sustainability can be achieved with
all those institutions and their values intact.

Worster does offer some suggestions. The ceasing of man-caused extinctions of species is

paramount, along with preservation of the habitat needed to support the widest array of genetic

diversity possible. He suggests revaluing natural beauty and ecological systems as our planets

millennia of heritage in preference to the last few centuries of fulfilling of our personal material

desires. Worster concludes, much as all the other proponents of Deep Ecology that there is little

chance of adoption of these ideals through conventional political and economic means, but what









he suggests is the right path to take while the specter of sustainable development leads to

'quicksand.'

Young D. Choi

There is one field of design where the theory went straight to regeneration without making

the stop at sustainability, landscape design. It is easy to see why, when we think of landscapes,

particularly those that have been degraded by one action or another we see the ideal condition of

them to be that which they were before they were degraded, regenerated in other words. It could

be argued that a regenerated landscape is a sustainable once since it almost always means one

which requires little or no maintenance and consists of a close approximation of native species

and features. Choi takes this idea a step further, as an analogy one might say that as sustainable is

to regenerative in buildings, regenerative is to Choi's 'futuristic' restoration in landscape design.

Choi discusses different strategies for the restoration of natural ecosystems from degraded

states. Particularly the idea of serial succession, in which a series of species and ecosystems

transform a landscape to a final sustainable ecosystem, is mentioned as being a major hurdle

because of an inability to predict the final out come of the successions. Already we can see that

Choi understands ecosystems as cyclical but basically in a steady state is at odd with Worsters

view of ecosystems as multiple symphonies playing at once and out of cadence. Even with that

goal of restoring an ecosystem to its pre-degradation level there are conditions that limit the

effectiveness of such plans: it is impossible to determine the pre-existing condition of the

ecosystem before degradation, ecological degradation is often irreversible, economic or socials

costs could be too great, and we simply do not understand how those ecosystems worked and as

such cannot realistically reinstate them. Working within these conditions any regeneration

project should set realistic goals.









Choi introduces the idea of defining ecosystems as being either original (sensu strict) or

being an alternative ecosystem (sensu lato.) This is a convenient naming convention to define

natural untouched ecosystems and functioning ecosystems that are either modified by artificial

means or designed to both restore ecosystem function to an area and contribute social or

economically at the same time. One of the major hurdles in either type of regeneration is

monitoring and maintaining. Several factors contribute to the ongoing effort needed in creating a

regenerated ecosystem. The interconnected nature of all ecosystems means that any restored site

will be limited in its ability to function as a stand alone system without substantial maintenance

of the interconnected systems it would have depended upon for various inputs and outputs. This

leads to Choi's conclusion, which is that even in a 'regenerated' ecosystem there will likely be

ongoing intervention required since it will not be capable of functioning as a pristine system

without all other systems being pristine as well. This seems to take the idea of the biosphere to

its logical conclusion and does provide an explanation for why restored functioning ecosystems

often do not fully replicate the intricacies of the natural systems they replaced.









CHAPTER 4
ANALYSIS

Using a biocentric view of the build environment it is possible to construct a theory of

design and development that will satisfy the human requirements of the built environment and

provide for the preservation and regeneration of existing and degraded natural ecosystems. The

essential difference between the current basis for theories of sustainability and regeneration and

the proposed theory is one of anthropocentrism versus biocentrism. Deep Ecology is a

philosophical label that stands in for biocentrism, it is the defining characteristic of that

Ecosophy and the two are largely synonymous within the context of design theory. There is

seemingly a very basic contradiction in the creation of a theory of design of the built

environment with a biocentric worldview. How can something created by man, for mans use, and

with a necessary impact on the biotic environment be biocentric in nature?

Where Bill Reed's article differs from my approach is he uses the metaphysics of Deep

Ecology, the spirituality suggested by the philosophy as a basis for his approach; I prefer to use

the ethics of Deep Ecology for the same purpose. (Reed 2007)

There is a distinction to be made between the two philosophical tacks being taken. The

metaphysics suggested by Deep Ecology has been a major driving force within its development

and the spirituality that many proponents have experienced is a touchstone for the movement.

The nature of spirituality, while very powerful, does not as readily allow it to be utilized in

providing the basis for professional practice. I hope not so much to take the whole of Deep

Ecology's ethics and then graft it onto regenerative design, but to take the ethics of design and

construction and alter its ethics to reflect those same ethical values in Deep Ecology.

The problem with using the spiritual implications of Deep Ecology as a basis for design is

that it allows too much interpretation and contention. Spirituality is a personal experience, one









that is often shared or communicated, but basically personal. Many individuals may find spiritual

inspiration for design but for a general theory of design, an ethical approach which is

independent of individual interpretation and vacillation should be more consistent in creating

built environments that contribute to the health of ecosystems.

The correct way to view the scope of a project is not to begin with the building and then

expand to include surrounding and influential environments but to being with the entire

biosphere and zoom in until we find we can understand and focus on the influence the project

will exert. With this large-scale first viewpoint we can begin to see the influence of materials

extraction, energy use, labor sources, and all the other factors that culminate in the final product.

The further away materials originate, the more energy is required to bring them to the project,

and the larger the net we have to cast in order to understand the complete impacts of a project.

Geographically the closer to the project materials originate, and the less transport and processing

required of the materials the less energy is required, the narrower the view of the projects

impacts can become.

Biocentric Development

A biocentric theory of the built environment will have three elements: a prohibition on

developing pristine environments; it must be built, utilized, and succeeded without use of

renewable resources at a rate greater than they are renewed; it must integrate with the current and

future biotic environment.

Wayland Drew points out that in the classics of dystopian literature, Zamiatin's We,

Orwell's 1984, and Huxley's Brave New World wilderness is consistently used to represent a

contrast to the perfectly rational State, where the state offers rational mandates for the greatest

good, "freedom consists largely in irrationality, in instinctual response, and in the right to reject

oppressive but reasonable options." The wilderness is necessarily a wild and unknown place,









apart from and in contrast to technocratic society. (Drew 1995) Wilderness is pristine but there

can be pristine ecosystems outside of the wilderness. That connotation of 'wilderness' as

irrational and unknowable sets it apart from ecosystems that are pristine but are knowable as in

the context of the build environments material and resource flows. For this research we are

considering pristine ecosystems as knowable and wilderness as unknowable and therefore

outside of the range of manageable resource flows within the knowable (and partially) pristine

biosphere. An overly simplistic way of viewing the pristine is as follows:

* A pristine ecosystem is one that has not been degraded.
* All ecosystems are codependent and in a web of interconnectedness and each ecosystem is
dependant to some degree on all others.
* Some ecosystems are degraded
* Because some are degraded and all are dependant, then all have been degraded to one
degree or another
* Therefore there are no pristine ecosystems.


Another argument against the pristine is to turn biocentrism on its head and argue that

since man is part of the natural environment he is therefore not degraded a pristine ecosystem

since he is part of that pristine ecosystem. Just as fire is a natural, essential, and destructive

element of many natural ecosystems. To compare man to a forest fire however one would have

to concede that it would be a fire that covers the entirety of the earths surface, burs for hundreds

of years, and may never extinguish.

There is a method to viewing environments in judging if they are pristine or not. We can

think of this as the 'cute animal problem' where animals that are 'cute' often receive more

attention than less 'cute' animals in distribution of conservation resources. In order to evaluate

whether an environment is pristine or not we need not just to look at the attractiveness of the

environment, a pristine desert is just as pristine as a similarly pristine rain forest and accrues

equal consideration. Similarly we cannot equate pristine with attractive. While a healthy 'look'









to an ecosystem can be enjoyable it is not enough for an ecosystem to appear attractive, in order

to be pristine it must also function naturally.

Pristine must be seen in shades of green, the previous argument against the existence of

pristine ecosystems provides a valid point. The very minute portion of the earth's environments

that can still be considered pristine from a never-been-actively-developed perspective leaves us

with few restrictions on the remainder of the earth's surface. There needs to be a means of

considering how pristine a place is. There is a natural period of recover and succession that

occurs on degraded environments and over time they will develop functioning ecosystems,

generally functioning in a similar way as the previous pristine systems. These areas could be said

to be 'nearly pristine' or 'pristining.' When that is the case there is an incentive to disallow

development on those sites, while they are degraded, they are minimally degraded and show

signs of recovery. It is in our best interest to allow as many pristine ecosystems to continue to

exist, or come back into being, as possible.

An ideal situation would be one in which there is no degradation to any ecosystem, a

condition in which all of man's needs of the built environment are met without reducing the

capacity of the biosphere to maintain and evolve itself while also providing for the needs of

human society. The condition we are in now is that nearly all of the planet's environments are

less diverse and less capable of surviving under increased stress but we are still consuming what

few resources remain because we have not created a system in which new resources are created.

The condition to be reached now is to return those degraded environments to a regenerative state

where they are producing the resources mankind requires to fulfill his needs and at the same time

return those areas to the natural productivity for the biotic environment they supported before

their resources were originally removed. For these reasons future development must occur on









previously developed lands rather than pristine ones. Pristine ecosystems represent a major

source of natural resources as well as reserves of a wide range of species biodiversity that could

serve to repopulate regenerating ecosystems. We need the resources of pristine lands not as

timber and fish but as models and still functioning ecosystems that can support our coming

regenerative development. To use an automotive analogy, pristine ecosystems will provide the

jumpstart to our degraded lands' dead batteries.

Bill Reed argues for a biocentric approach without stating it explicitly. (Reed 2007) Reed

is caught up in arguing for an ecological understanding in nature stemming from recognition of

the metaphysical implication of ecology. While persuasive to those who share a similar

metaphysical view of ecosystems it falls short of describing that metaphysical system, only that

it is 'holistic' or it has a 'story of place.' The more important conclusion drawn from this

ecological realization is that there is an explicit ethical standard that we can discern from an

ecological understanding. Because the means to survive depends on other living things

interacting in an evolved and interconnected way, and because we are part of that system of life,

it would be wrong to destroy any portion of the biosphere of ecosystems because it would

ultimately destroy or degrade the ability of those within the systems to survive (us included.)

Reed skips this logical step and asserts a metaphysical need when the ethical argument is

sufficient and more persuasive.

The criticisms of Cronon aimed at current views of wilderness are largely deflected when

consideration is taken of wilderness not as a construct of man by and for his recreation or

idolized for the romantic notions about frontiersmen but biocentrically as a rights holding

member of the global biosphere. Cronons criticisms of the 'wilderness experience' or the

idolizing of pioneers is an appropriate point but he fails to take that next logical step in seeing









that the real argument for the continued existence of wilderness is not to be found in some useful

purpose for man either recreationally or in harvesting but simply because it is there and needs to

be there both for ourselves and for itself.

Use of Renewable Resources

Biocentric development has an ethical imperative to reach a balance of net resource

consumption. A biocentric view recognizes the interconnected nature of the biosphere in which

each respective ecosystem has influence and material flows with each other system. This is as

simple to understand as migratory birds covering geographic distance and as complex as carbon

sequestration of vast time scales. Because each ecosystem impacts each other and we recognize

that the built environment not only is part of the human ecosystem but also has dramatic impacts

on the extant and future ecosystems of a site. Ethically that built ecosystem needs to be as

compatible and beneficial to the existing and future ecosystems both locally and globally as

possible.

Ecosystems can be understood to express their functionality in terms of resource

production and consumption. A fully functional ecosystem is one in which all resources

produced and consumed are handled in an effective and complete manner. Surplus resources are

desirable but only so far as they can become the input to other ecosystems in such a way as to

balance or complement their own resource production and consumption. There is little incentive

for producing surplus resources. Existing built environments have material and resource flows,

often overly long ones. Energy, water, and waste are just the beginning. We can understand that

all resources begin with solar energy input to the system and can be divided further and further

until we start seeing different species of lumber. Construction materials and energy required for

construction are sourced in other ecosystems. Globally we could argue that the built environment

is a balanced series of resource flows, they simply are not sustainable because they require the









imbalanced input of resources from pristine ecosystems and they produce degraded waste that

does little to contribute to the production of future resources and must be disposed of. The

required shift is simply one of changing the source of resources and the sink for wastes from

being outside the built environment to being within the built environment. Implementation can

be seen as largely a technical matter outside the scope of this research but it should be possible to

generate, grow, locate, and otherwise provide for the needs of the built environment in with the

built environment.

Economically we have spent two hundred years absorbing the 'valueless' resources of the

natural environment. That input of resources has propelled our society to its current advanced

state but at the same time it has made society wholly dependant on those free resources, free in

the sense they are not paid for by the harvester. As those 'free' resources are now drying up from

over use we are faced with having to transition our economy from one predicated on free natural

resources and unfettered growth to one that produces all its own material flows, handles all its

own wastes, and one that reaches a steady state of production and consumption at what ever level

it is capable of.

Already we have seen a vast transition in construction away from natural resource use

toward renewable resource use. Just in the last fifty years the majority of construction lumber has

transitioned to being produced on tree farms and renewable forest projects, in contrast to the

cutting of old growth forests. This quiet success was brought on not because of ethical

considerations but because of necessity, there simply were not enough forests left to fill the

needs of industry. There is an inevitability to resource use, as natural sources are consumed they

will need to be replaced with renewable sources. We can accomplish this today or when the

natural resources are completely consumed and we are forced to. This narrow view of natural









resources as economic products ignores the ethical responsibility we have not to destroy the

remaining natural resources and make the transition to renewables now rather than later when we

are forced to. We know from Deep Ecology that there is more at stake than simply board feet of

lumber or tones of ore, the ecosystems that occupy those same areas are more important to our

survival than cheap building materials.

Cronon argues convincingly for a focus on our current built environment, how we can

improve it and use it as a means for resource production and lifestyle enhancement.

Ecosystem Succession

There is an ethical imperative in the course of biocentric development to encourage,

implement, and actively manage regenerated ecosystems for the most effective production and

consumption of resources that is compatible with the ecology of the place. It is within the ethical

framework of the theory to modify, introduce, or even eliminate existing non-pristine ecosystems

that provide for the maintenance of existing pristine ecosystems and the demands of the built

environment. This can take the form of Leopold's Land Ethic, a guiding hand returning a system

to a state resembling a former ecosystem; it could take the form of invasive species eradication;

it could take the form of bull dozing existing fledging ecosystems in developed space in order to

make way for more productive beneficial ecosystems. There is no ethical justification for

idealized ecosystems. Just as ecosystems go through processes of succession and replacement in

a natural environment they can go through the same process in a managed environment. In

regeneration situation in a degraded environment the introduced and management ecosystem is

almost certainly not going to be an exact duplicate to the degraded pristine environment because

of the added impact of the requirements of the built environment to provide resources for human

consumption as well as ecosystem resource exchange.









Because of the preservation of pristine ecosystems imperative outlined above there is a

limited role for management in pristine ecosystems. That management role must be limited to

ascertaining the inputs and outputs of the system and how the managed systems that share

resource flows with the pristine system can support the pristine environments along with making

the most use of the surplus outputs of those systems. Allen and Hoekstra argue that taking the

fragments of pristine ecosystems remaining out of their larger biospheric context has created an

essential role for ecosystem management in replacing that lost context with the tools of

ecosystem managers. How this is to be applied is left up to the imagination and is beyond the

scope of this research to begin looking at how one would manage the needs of diverse and

disparate pristine ecosystems and their interface with non-pristine ecosystems.

Because there is an established ethical imperative that the biosphere has the right to exist

apart from its usefulness to man there is an egalitarian quality to all species. Beyond the special

case of pristine functioning ecosystems, which have a higher ethical consideration than

individual species or even individual biotic elements, there is no ethical case for preference of

one biotic or ecosystem element over another based on region of origin. There is the real

consideration of appropriateness of species to a specific ecosystem and in most if not all cases

'natural' species will be best adapted, best suited, and most easily introduced and managed.

Despite that heuristic there is no case for native over invasive species based solely on their

region of origin.









CHAPTER 5
FUTURE RESEARCH


This research has revealed the potential for substantial future research to further expand the

theories discussed in this project, compare this project with other ethical theories of construction,

or begin to develop methods of application of these ethics to design.

There are as many ethical approaches to the built environment, design, and construction as

there have been designers and builders. The vast majority of those approaches have been

anthropocentric in nature and a majority of those have not included an environmental

component. Even amongst those ethical theories that contain environmental consideration many

of those are not considerate of the environment in positive ways. There is a great deal of research

that could be performed in comparative ethics of the built environment both empirical and

theoretical.

Data could be collected on the attitudes and beliefs of designers, planners, and builders in

regards to the ethical consideration given to the natural environment versus the build or degraded

environment. The results of the surveys could provide the data needed to develop education

programs or documentation in support of developing a professional biocentric ethic.

Another avenue of future research could be in further expanding the scope of a biocentric

philosophy in construction. A similar study could be conducted in the metaphysics or

epistemology of a biocentric view of the built environment. There are more resources available

in the literature for exploring biocentrics in the context of metaphysics. A study of the

epistemology of a biocentric view of the built environment could lead to new insights into how

to evaluate claims of 'green' or sustainable products and practices.

Ethics is the basis for the actions people take in their personal and professional lives. The

role of professional ethics in design and construction guides the actions of professionals in their









business dealers, apart from that the ethics of the build environment as outlined in this research.

Environmental ethics provide designers and builders with a means of understanding the right and

wrong of their impact on the environment. Most professionals are keenly aware of the

professional ethics them employ in dealing with customers and colleagues, but are probably not

as aware of the ethical implications of the designs they create and the environment they build.

Ultimately this exploration of potential uses in application of biocentric ethics could be the most

impactful expression of this research.

Future projects could attempt to develop programs for teaching ethics to professionals in

the field. Alternatively another approach might be to look at specific technologies or classes of

technologies and develop a means of evaluation of how ethically compatible their use would be

with a biocentric ethic.

A future research project might include a design project, possibly followed by actual

construction of the design that exhibits and adheres to the ethical guidelines of biocentric

development. By utilizing designers and builders in a controlled project environment, conducting

a design, and constructing the resulting design we could better understand the choices different

roles in the process require, how practitioners see their responsibilities and learn where they can

influence the process. The complete project could then be evaluated in such a way as to ascertain

the points of decision making and choices made and the reasoning that went into them.

There is another question that has been raised in the course of this research. A basic

premise of this research has been that the current world view upon which our actions are

predicated is an anthropocentric one when considering the biosphere. For the purpose of this

study Biocentrism was formulated as a reaction to that anthropocentrism. The natural following

question is: is there a third option? If we do not view the biosphere expressly in human-use









terms, and we do not have an egalitarian view of the biosphere including humans and their

actions, then what other option is there? Could there be a mix of the two involving weighted

importance ascribed to the players through some sort of rating mechanism? Will there be a

technological revolution that fundamentally alters our relationship to our planet's environment?

Or a spiritual, or societal revolution for that matter. There could be a future project in a deeper

exploration of the premises of anthropocentrism and biocentrism in an attempt to discover new

means of understanding out place on the planet or the larger universe.









CHAPTER 6
CONCLUSIONS

Application in sustainability is usually thought of as an application of technology problem.

'How can our society maintain its lifestyle and consumption expectations while still preventing

environmental catastrophe' seems to be the depth of analysis that goes into most approaches to

developing approaches to sustainability. Even with the advances made in the course of the

modern environmental movement there is still little end in sight and little hope that our current

approaches have solved the fundamental problems facing our society. The failure of the

technology approach suggests that a more fundamental approach needs to be taken in order to

understand our problems and then create solutions. A broad base of professionals working in

their respective fields, guided by a biocentric based ethic could be the solution to the problem of

understanding the current and future states of achieving a sustainable society.

This research has addressed a range of questions and has strolled down and back up the

paths of inquiry more than a few times. The important question that has been addressed is

whether there can be a biocentric view of development. How can we understand our own actions

with those actions having an ethical constraint outside of them? By applying the three ethical

imperatives of biocentric development; preservation of the pristine, renewable resources must

renewed at a regenerative rate, and integration of the built environment with the current and

future biotic environment; we can guide development in such a way as to enhance and encourage

the continued natural sustainability and evolution of our planet's ecosystems of which we are a

part.









LIST OF REFERENCES


Birkeland, Janis (2002). Design for Sustainability. London: Earthscan Publications, Inc.

Capra, Frank (1995). Deep Ecology: A New Paradigm. In George Sessions (Ed.), Deep
Ecologyfor the 21st Century (pp. 19-25). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.

Devall, Bill (1985). Deep Ecology. Layton UT: Gibbs M. Smith, Inc.

Drew, Wayland (1995). Killing Wilderness. In George Sessions
(Ed.), Deep Ecologyfor the 21st Century (pp. 113-120). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.

Field, Barry C., and Field, Martha K. (2006) Environmental Economics. New York:
McGraw Hill

Fox, Warwick (1995). The Deep Ecology Ecofeminism Debate and Its Parallels. In
George Sessions (Ed.), Deep Ecologyfor the 21st Century (pp269-289). Boston: Shambhala
Publications, Inc.

Grumbine, Edward (1995). Wildness, Wise Use, and Sustainable Development. In
George Sessions (Ed.), Deep Ecologyfor the 21st Century (pp.276-296). Boston: Shambhala
Publications, Inc.

Lippiatt, B.C., (1999). "Selecting Cost Effective Building Products: BEES Approach." Journal
of Construction Engineering and Management, Vol. 125, No. 6, 448-455, November/December
1999.

Naess, Ame (1995a). The Deep Ecology "Eight Points" Revisited. In George Sessions
(Ed.), Deep Ecology for the 21st Century (pp.213-221). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.

Naess, Arne (1995b). Deep Ecology and Lifestyle. In George Sessions (Ed.), Deep
Ecologyfor the 21st Century (pp.259-262). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.

Naess, Arne (1995c). The Deep Ecology Movement. In George Sessions (Ed.), Deep
Ecologyfor the 21st Century (pp.64-84). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.

Naess, Ame (1995d). Deep Ecology for the Twenty-second Century. In George Sessions
(Ed.), Deep Ecology for the 21st Century (pp.463-468). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.

Naess, Arne (1989). Ecology, community and lifestyle. New York: Cambridge University
Press

Naess, Ame (1995e). Ecosophy and Gestalt Ontology. In George Sessions (Ed.), Deep
Ecologyfor the 21st Century (pp.240-245). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.

Naess, Ame (1995f). Equality, Sameness, and Rights. In George Sessions (Ed.), Deep
Ecologyfor the 21st Century (pp.222-224). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.










Naess, Arne (1995g). Politics and the Ecological Crisis: An Introductory Note. In George

O'Neill, John, and Holland, Alan, and Light, Andrew (2008). Environmental Values. New
York: Routledge

Pepper, David (1993). Eco-Socialism. London: Routledge

REN21 Renewable Energy Policy Network. 2005. "Renewables 2005 Global Status
Report."Washington, DC:Worldwatch Institute.

Sessions, George (1995). Ecocentrism and the Anthropocentric Detour. In George
Sessions (Ed.), Deep Ecology for the 21st Century (pp. 156-184). Boston: Shambhala
Publications, Inc.

Sessions, George (Ed.), Deep Ecology for the 21st Century (pp.445-454). Boston: Shambhala
Publications, Inc.

Shepard, Paul (1995). Ecology and Man a Viewpoint. In George Sessions (Ed.), Deep
Ecology for the 21st Century (pp.131-140). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

David Goldsmith grew up in Tallahassee, Florida. David's undergraduate degree is in

political science focusing on the political issues of post-soviet nations and the comparative

politics of the developing world. For ten years David was a competitive fencer in foil and epee

events at the collegiate, regional, and national levels. Upon completion of undergraduate studies

David co-founded an electrical engineering company and operated that venture for two years

before working for a geo-technical company and finally returning to school to pursue a Master of

Science in Building Construction. David's hobbies include, hiking, canoeing, sailing, boat

restoration, naval architecture, gardening, and woodworking. He is married with two dogs and a

pair of bunnies.





PAGE 1

1 BIOCENTRIC DEVELOPMENT ETHICS By DAVID GOLDSMITH A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2 2008 David Goldsmith

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3 To our dog Murasaki, whom we suspect understands all this better than I do.

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I can not do anything by myself, this work is no exception. I would like to acknowledge those that had a direct im pact on this work; my wife Jessica; my parents; my professors Charles Kibert, and Robert Ries; and my friends Bric kman, Tim, and Quimby wh o put up with endless one-way discussions on problems of environmental ethics.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................................6 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................................8 2 MOTIVATION.......................................................................................................................11 Deep Ecology..........................................................................................................................14 Hypothesis..............................................................................................................................15 3 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................17 Deep Ecology..........................................................................................................................17 Wilderness..................................................................................................................... .........18 Sustainability..........................................................................................................................19 Bill Reed...................................................................................................................... ....19 Kiel Moe..........................................................................................................................20 Donald Worster............................................................................................................... 23 Young D. Choi.................................................................................................................26 4 ANALYSIS....................................................................................................................... ......28 Biocentric Development......................................................................................................... 29 Use of Renewable Resources..................................................................................................33 Ecosystem Succession........................................................................................................... .35 5 FUTURE RESEARCH........................................................................................................... 37 6 CONCLUSIONS.................................................................................................................... 40 LIST OF REFERENCES...............................................................................................................41 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.........................................................................................................43

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6 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Building Construction BIOCENTRIC DEVELOPMENT ETHICS By David Goldsmith May 2008 Chair: Robert Ries Cochair: Charles Kibert Major: Building Construction The problem of environmental degradation ha s reached the point that it is no longer a matter of preserving wild spaces and ecosystems for their own sake but has also begun to infringe on our ability to continue with our soci etal functioning at the present rate. The problem is one of an ethical consideration of the biotic environment for its own sake and not simply as a resource for consumption. If those responsible fo r the built environment were to adapt a system of ethics that acknowledges the rights of the bi otic and abiotic environment outside of their usefulness as resources for humans then we would have an ethical framework for solving the technical and societal issues that are arising as those resources and environments are lost. In reviewing the literature of biocentris m and of sustainable development a pattern emerges of considerations. Pristine environments become a major point of ethical consideration and transition from being wild and untappe d unknowns to being a surviving example of productive and fully developed ecosy stems that must be considered as an integral part of the resource flows of the planet along with our buil t environment. The source s of resources, their flow through systems and their disposal as wastes becomes an important consideration as a cycle that includes the consideration of what will promote biotic succession. The built environment is

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7 not a passive consumer of resources but also needs to be considered a producer as well by integrating environmental needs and human needs into the fabric of our build environment. These imperatives are ethical in nature and biocentric in philosophy. The anthropocentric model of nature as resource for use has lead to our current crisis and only by acknowledging our responsibility toward the environment can we ex pect practitioners to understand and appreciate their role. There have been economic arguments fo r sustainable practices that have some affect, there is a growing number of designers and bu ilders personally affected by the metaphysics of the modern environmental movement who are having their own impact as well, but ultimately it will be an ethical transition that allo ws for a truly sustainable future.

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8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Sustainable and Green construc tion have quickly captivated th e m arket with promises of lower environmental impact, in creased worker productivity, and reduced operating costs. As these approaches to construction go from fad to norm we are forced to reexamine the ethical underpinnings of these new approaches in order to create a more consistent, sustainable, and ethical means of identifying what is green. The difficulty in examining claims of being G reen broadly, or Sustainable specifically comes in operationalzing these terms. As a que stion of language most people could probably agree that Green has something to do with environmental sensitivity of products and Sustainability something to do with resource use in a way that guarantees future availability of the resource. However because neither of those terms is defined specifically and in a broadly accepted and used way than the above vignettes, we are left floating in a sea of uncertainty as to determine whether anything dubbed with these te rms meets our personal definition of them. Without an accurate set of terminology and conceptual understanding it is difficult for sustainable construction to move forward, gi ven that it is open to free interpretation. There is generally agreement that a sustainably constructed building is one which is constructed using practices and materials that neither degrade nor enhance the potential to produce more such buildings in the future and that in operation the building does not consume resources at a rate that is irreplaceable. Anthr opogenic activities merely break even in their consumption and production; if there are any buildings which are not sustainable buildings operating in their theoretically productive state then there will be a net lo ss of resources in the built environment. The transition from anthr opogenic activities as the old paradigm to sustainable buildings balancing on the edge of a knife between consumption and production to

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9 the next logical step of regene rative buildings capabl e of producing more resources than they consume will require not only technical advances but will need to be facilitated by a different ethical understanding of the positi on the built environment occupies in the larger context of the biosphere. This model of three types of buildings ; consumptive, sustainable, and regenerative; must be seen in a larger context of the built e nvironment. In turn the built environment must be seen in the context of it s place as a portion of the biosphere of the planet. Sustainable and regenerative aspects of the built environment lack important when taken out of their larger context in the biosphere as is the case in anthropocentric environmentalism. The philosophy of Deep Ecology has provided th at understanding and ethical basis. Deep Ecology is a branch of environmental philosophy that understands man to be an integral part of the larger environment of natura l features and ecologies of life. By ascribing rights in an egalitarian fashion to the biotic environment a nd even to the abiotic environment Deep Ecology provides a biocentric view of the world. In contrast to the anthropocentric and even most other environmental philosophies the natu ral world is not seen as sepa rate from the man made world and intrinsic value is recognized in the natural world, which also contains man and his actions. Instead of simply a utilitarian pool of resources and a sink for wastes the natural world is valued in and of itself without consideration of utility to man. The shortcomings of green design and sustainabl e design stem from a lack of ethical basis for those design approaches. By providing an ethical grounding in Deep Ecology, developing the built environment will be able to proceed with a theoretical basis and coherent definition of what is and is not sustainable. Given that theoreti cal framework practitioners will be capable of finding technical and design solutio ns to meet human needs without destroying the ecologies that make up the planet.

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10 In order to develop this theory the literatu re of Deep Ecology, regenerative design, and general Ecosophy as it relates to the built enviro nment have been reviewed. Correlations with extant theories of economy and design are examin ed and put into the context of biocentric development. The analysis of the ethical im plications of Deep Ecology combined with recognition of the premise that the built environmen t exists as a subset of the larger biosphere and in interaction with all other aspects of the biosphere provide the means to discover a theory of development that is sustaina ble, ethical, and biocentric. Th e importance of biocentrism in development is that it allows us to view the gestalt of the biosphere including the impacts, degradations, and contribution of mans efforts to alter it. Under a biocen tric view there exist interactions between ecospheres of pristine syst ems, mans built systems, and the future systems that will arise over time as man further manages the ecological aspects of his systems and their interactions with the pristine environment.

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11 CHAPTER 2 MOTIVATION The prim ary motivation for this research is an observation that de spite the popularity and enthusiasm for sustainable building and green products available there was a lack of ethical and philosophical underpinning for defining the methods and materials that fit those monikers. The industry has operated in a conditi on in which virtually anything can be said to be green or sustainable without any validation or even reasoning to believe so, despite efforts to establish certifying organizations there persists many differing ideas about what is green. There is a connotative meaning that green is respectful and helpful to the environment. This can be misleading because more often than not a green product is one which is simply less harmful to the environment than an alternative. The anthropogenic approach to environmental issues gives us this condition in which green products and pract ices are preferred because they are less harmful without taking into consideration a biocentric requi rement that the rights of the biotic and abiotic environments are respect ed. The dichotomy between anthropogenic and biocentric views is a basic prerequisite fo r any discussion of environmental issues. Surely one should be able to establish a preference given two competing substitutable products. Given any two products th at serve the same purpose it shou ld be possible to establish the lower cost product, the most durable, the most aesthetically pl easing, and if green is just another set of criteria to be met then a green product as well. The probl em is that no one knows what green means, and its meaning can be formed to fit any given product, so just about any product can be green depending how de sirable that labeling can be. An example of this would be comparing vi nyl composition tile (VCT) to linoleum tile. VCT is primarily composed of the by products of petroleum distillation (like most plastics), while linoleum is composed of burlap, flax seed oil, and other natural components. A simplistic

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12 view of green might asse rt that the linoleum is the greener of the two since it is composed of natural materials, will biodegrade in a short period of time without aid, and is a direct substitute for VCT in most situations. That is one definition of green. Taking a closer look at a life cycle assessment of the materials involved not just in the production of the produc ts, but also takes into account the transportation and extraction of the raw materials and the final product. When those energy uses are included, at least for use in North America, the VCT is found to be the less consumptive product there therefor e under a life cycle assessme nt model of green, the vinyl product is more green. If the end user lives in Scotland, the linoleum would probably come out ahead. So now there is a requisite geographic component of defining what a green product is. This can be seen as a counter intuitive exampl e of how we cannot use geographic distance as a determinate in whether something is green or not. This disallows a limitation of products, materials, and resources because of an ethi cal prohibition on the transportation (and energy consumed therein) of the items. (Lippiatt 1999) Sustainability is similarly mired in seri es of unanswered questions, conundrums, and marketing about what is and what is not sust ainable. A common definition of sustainability builds on the concept of intergener ational justice; the idea that what we do today should not degrade the ability of future ge nerations to do what we do. (WCED 1987) This concept is fraught with difficulties. How many generations are should we look forward? We can safely assume that the Earth itself isnt going to last any more th an about another 900 million years (end of the suns current phase and the end of the inner planets of the solar system as we know them), so can we work backward from that and determine at what rate we can consume the earths non-renewable resources such that each subsequent generation has the same quantity available until the literal end of the Earth?

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13 Sustainability stands on three legs; environmental, social, and economic. (WCED 1987) The idea of sustainability being a steady stat e of mans personal, monetary, and resource exchanges speaks to it as a Utopian concept by defining it as a steady stat e of balanced use and consumption. By definition of a perfect society (Ut opian) would exist in a static state, if things are perfect then any change would make things less than perfect. Once you are number one any change in your status simply takes you down fr om that top position, there is nowhere to go but down or to a higher level of refinement. Sustaina bility seems to posit this same idea only from the other side of things, it st ates that once we achieve sustai nability then we can continue indefinitely with the lifesty le and economy established. Th is implies an economy without growth, a society without changes beyond the mo st superficial, and an environment not recovering but at least not degrading further. Sustainability can be seen as the antithesis of the last several centuries in which growth has been the mantra in all things; bigger, more power, more; in all things. Sustainability is balancing on the edge of a knife not producing or consuming more than can be produced or consumed tomorrow and indefin itely into the future. The merits of this sort of steady state world are beyond the scope of this research. It is not hard to assert that sustainability will not be achieved through all th ings being equally balanced in production and consumption. That would require the alternation or replacement of every system that currently exists because, even if all new elements are sustai nable, as long as legacy elements exist, in any branch the net system will not achieve a sustaina ble steady state. In order to achieve system sustainability, the requirement is that new elements are not just themselves sustainable but are in fact regenerative. Regenerative elements must produce as much as they consume and more in order to offset what is consumed by legacy elemen ts. In order to achieve sustainability we need

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14 to plan, design, and build regeneratively. Broadly, as society establishes re generative practices it will slowly transition from consumption, past sust ainability, and into a regenerative phase, where surplus goes toward not enrichi ng individual lives but toward re building wilderness, habitat, sequestering resources, and the ecological ly sustainable state of the Earth. If the view that the means to achieve the goals of sustainability lead not to sustainability but to regeneration is accepted, it follows that the most often cited philosophical basis of sustainability, that of intergenerat ional justice, is not sufficient to actually understand nor achieve sustainability. There must be more of a motiv ation for the whole-sale upheaval of modern society and abandonment of the growth-m antra for a biocentric world view. Deep Ecology Deep Ecology is a biocentric environm enta l philosophy. By being biocentric it rejects a world view of nature only in its context of utility for man. Deep Ecology is anti-utilitarian. The philosophy of Deep Ecology was first articulated by the Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess in 1973. Colloquially it can be said that deep ecology is concerned with the ri ghts of the biotic and abiotic environments to have valu e and exist outsid e of any utility, use, ob servation, benefit, or even knowledge of man. Even the ro cks have rights. This intrinsic value argument is key to one of the ethical challenges of any design project. Th at is how do we respect and further the rights of the place where the project is located, as well as the water shed, plant life, wildlife, and other components of that ecosystem. Ethically we must serve the needs of th e human users of the project but should not infringe on the rights of the biotic and abio tic environments any more than is necessary and even then we need to repla ce or enhance those aspects of the environment damaged by the project.

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15 Development of pristine ecosystems is impossi ble when taking into account the ethical considerations of Deep Ecology. There are so fe w pristine ecosystems remaining that it would seem that finding areas to redevelop does not represent such a hur dle as first assumed. That redevelopment should be done with a goal of a regene rative design. Because all ecosystems are interrelated, that each one is a part of all others, in order to maintain the pristine nature of one defined ecosystem it is essential to minimally al ter the ecological proce sses, inputs, and outputs of any redeveloped area. A regene rative project is one which retu rns a degraded ecosystem to a functioning state with regard to th e rights of the biotic and abiotic not only within itself but in its larger context in the biosphere. Hypothesis My asser tion is that it is the anthropocentric nature of all current approaches to sustainable and regenerative design has prevented thos e theories from achieving their goals. The revelations of the science of ecology have implied an available and deeper understanding of our planet, environment, and bi osphere. Recognition of that fact can be thought of biocentrism, the idea that the continued life of the planet is mo re important than mans ability to consume its resources. Taking the focus off of the immediate needs of man and his industry and instead understanding the larg er processes at work in the ever evolving and changing ecosystem of the world can have a humbling eff ect. There can be charges of misanthropy or accusations of wanting everyone to live in a mud hut. These are not really arguments against the theory but are knee jerk reactions against a challenge to the anthropocentric hegemony of western thought. Biocentrism is not a limit to the development man achieves in his environment. Biocentrism does however provide ethical standards and a means to understand how what we do affects not only the limits of the property line but to one degree or anothe r then entirety of the biosphere.

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16 An understanding of the ethics of a biocentric view, particularly that of Deep Ecology, will provide the foundation for understanding what future developmen t, construction, and use of buildings, must be in order to continue providi ng for the needs of its occupants. With that understanding the practitioners of design, construction, regulations, and development can better participate with the environment and biosphere not only to provide for our needs in such a way that does not prevent future generations from doing so, but can also preserve and promote the health of the entire biosphere in ways that have never been considered before.

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17 CHAPTER 3 LITERATURE REVIEW Deep Ecology Naess founded and wrote extensively on the philosophy of Deep Ecology. In trying to specify particular works of his that s poke dire ctly to the problem of ethics and to the built environment I selected a few essays. The first is Ecosophy and Gestalt Ontology. (Naess 1995) Naess lays out a fundamental philosophical difference between Deep Ecology and the dominant anthropocentric viewpoint While both contain aspects of internal and external relations Deep Ecology disavows it self of the dualism of Christianity that allows for the separation of man from nature. In Deep Ecology there is a re lationship between man and himself that is connected and mutually active, that sa me relationship (which th e anthropocentric view lacks) extends from man and himself into the ecosy stems in which he is a part and ultimately to the entire biosphere. From this basic ontological assertion the context of the metaphysics and ethics of Deep Ecology become apparent. Naess further argues for the preservation of the gestalt in ecosystems, that by diminishing those in any way, even a seemingly minor one, through development we are altering and destroying the gestalt of the spontaneous experience that we have as an internal part of those ecosystems. There is a tendency in design that comes from a desire to appear objective and scientific to try and quantify each aspect of design, from square footage of area, to BTUs of cooling. Extending even to our own field of sustainable de sign we take the science of ecology and use it to define the ecosystems we build in with terms like solar inputs and types of waste outputs. This is all in an effort to make the art of design seem more legitimate in a world that values quantification above appreciating the gestalt of a designs function. In Naesss essay The Place

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18 of Joy in a World of Fact he condemns this view and asks us not to try and reduce our experience to a simple knowledge of the basic ph ysical realities of our surrounding world, but to appreciate them for their experi ential reality of sounds, sights, smells, and feelings. While the reality we live in is really just an expression of an abstract mathematical reality, that is not the reality we live in and we should take more account of this living reality in our efforts to commingle our singular needs with those of the biosphere that supplies them. Wilderness A central tenet of Deep Ecology is the use of pristine environm ents and ecosystems as a benchmark. The pristine is thought of as being the pinnacle of ecological achievement and the goal of any environmental policy. George Sessio ns specifically argues for the pristine, or generically wilderness in Chapter 7 of Deep Ecology. Sessions argument for wilderness is that wilderness is an essential part of any biosphere. Without the habitat and environment provided by wild areas there simply cannot be the coherence and ecology needed to allow species and landscapes to evolve and devel op naturally and sustainably. Substitution of wilderness with zoos, gene banks, parks, or other compromise solutions misses the point that the wilderness contains the gestalt of an ecosystem and even if each part can be recorded and stored individually it will lose its ability to evolve a nd develop over time as a whole. The important of wilderness, he argues, is that it is the only place where complete and functional eco-systems can exist and without functioning ecosy stems to provide support and c ontext then species alone are meaningless. He concludes that the current anthropocentric view of stewardship and conservation are insufficient to protect the exis tence of wilderness areas. Without a dramatic shift of the dominant world view toward the one espoused by Deep Ecology there is little hope of retaining the biosphere of the planet in its functional, pristine, condition.

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19 William Cronons The Trouble with Wilderness reviews and critici zes contemporary views of wilderness or pristine environments from severa l perspectives. His thesis is that there exists a dualism in modern thought about wilderness; that ma n that is separate from the natural and even his presence in wilderness degrades the conditi on of it. This dualism is a roadblock to understanding a sustainable place for man in the environment. A bulk of Cronons piece is an attempt to track and describe the history of wilderness as a cultural construct. From the barren and unta pped wastes of history, the sublimity of the Romantics, to Gods own Eden of the transcendentalists, post-civil war ideas about wilderness recreation, and modern notions of wilderness as pristine lands apar t from mans interference (or as a rich resource for industry.) Ultimately Cronons conclusion that the wilderne ss is not a natural construct at all but a cultural one makes a needed distinction between the pristine that many writers have addressed and the wilderness that is all too often used as a synonym. Cronons suggested method of considering wilderness and all natural life comes down to reductionism. He argues that a planted tree in a garden is as natural as any in the forest, even taking into account the ecological important of biotic communities. This draws an interesting distinction and could be used as a basis for biocentrism, that the tree is the impor tant unit rather than the biotic community it may be a part of. Sustainability Bill Reed Bill Reeds article Shifting from sustainab ility to regeneration, looks at the current practices in sustainability; namely rating systems and anthropocentric approaches to environmental evaluation; and makes an argument fo r using Deep Ecology to create a biocentric approach to design.

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20 Kiel Moe Kiel Moes article Com pelling Yet Unreliable Th eories of Sustainability directly addresses the reasoning behind different approaches to sustainable design. He reaches conclusions about which topics should be emphasized in architectu ral education in order to give professional architects a means to evaluate and deve lop methods of achieving sustainability. Moe delineates different approach es to the problem of sustaina bility into four categories: energy crisis, construction indus try waste, technological determinism, and vernacular/regional determinism. Moe asserts that none of these a pproaches solves the problem of designing for sustainability. His thesis is to extract positive aspects from each of these approaches their positive aspects and combine them into a comp lete understanding of th e problems and their solutions. In his first analysis of sustai nability issues he addresses th e argument that there is an ongoing energy crisis. Moes main assertion is that in reality there is not a lack of energy available but that we are not harnessing the energy available to us. That un-harnessed energy is in the form of solar radiation and other natural sour ces that are as yet untapped. Moe goes on to assert that the current approach of increasing the efficiency of build ing by reducing the energy consumed is a losing approach and architect s should instead be focusing on capturing, channeling, and producing energy available in the milieu of a project. (Moe 2007) This argument is in line with Batesons ecological learning Level II. (Reed 2007) There is any number of experimenters in solar, wind, tid al, and other forms of energy production. The application of photo voltaic solar to buildings, that has been the most prevalent form of distributed energy production, but there are othe r options that have been less extensively explored. Global renewable power production is larg ely hydro electric, powe r generating stations

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21 in the form of dams and a growing number of wind farms, building attached renewable energy is primarily solar. (Renewable Energy and Policy Network 2005) Summing up his discussion of energy use as a criteria in sustainabl e design Moe concludes that it is as much a social c onstruct as a technica l one. This is a double edged sword, while the social momentum of our most flagrant uses of energy in buildings will be a marketing and acceptance hurdle rather than a technical or design one, it will also be that much easier to design a workable and useful solution with the only hurdle to acceptance be ing the aforementioned social factors. The current regimen of teachi ng building systems does not address whether those systems, particularly HVAC, are effective, only th at people expect them, th ey have been codified in certain ways, and how to meet those requirements. Moe states that while the wa ste stream from construction accounts for half of the land filled waste in the United States, because architec ts are only responsible for a tiny percentage of the designs built they are not culpable for the pract ices that lead to the waste production. Because of this condition the architect shoul d assert more control over the ma terials flow in the process of construction. The first step in creating this contro l is to take an in dept h look at materials flows from production to consumption to disposal. Pr oblems with dematerialization, recycling, and increasing populations consumption patterns (even if they are reduced from current levels, the ever rising population means there is still a net gain in material flow in the system) are broached but not discussed in depth. In leaning more a bout the materials used in construction, it is suggested, the architect will take more control of the process, engage the owner and builder, and ultimately (through an unspecified mechanism) produce a building using materials in a sustainable fashion.

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22 There is a theme throughout post in dustrialization western societ ies that there will always be a technological solution to any problem and if it has not arrived yet th en it is just around the corner. In fact, if all the just a few years away technologies suddenly arrived then we probably would not have as many problems as we do in su stainability. Moe calls this meme technological determinism. Going a step further he define s technological determinism as providing a false sense of control by offering a means of quantific ation that without the context of statistical understanding provide a false sense of understand ing. This is the basis for the U.S. Green Building Council LEED program, by quantifying thi ngs, assigning them ratings it gives the impression of not only understanding the problems but also of solving them with ever larger numbers. Technology is used as a descri ptor for risk evaluation and management. The problem with quantifying everything is once a cert ain level of abstraction is reach ed it is impossible to tell if the originating information is still relevant. In other words, there is no reality check in most technology. Ultimately Moe suggests that arch itects should center their designs around technology while Presenting the culpabilities of technology al ongside its capabilities The addition of a disclaimer of any design work that revolves around a techno logy of some sort will probably not serve to disavow the audience of their own notions about the promise of the technology. In his final claim Moe asserts that regiona l and vernacular architecture are inherently sustainable responses to their re spective sites and contexts of production. The problem is how those contexts are defined. Moe suggests several interpretations of context and concludes that spatial and material contexts are not sufficient to develop sustainable architecture. What is

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23 needed in order to develop sustainable architect ure is not only a vernacula r use of materials and styles but also a contex tual understanding of cultur e, place, and history. Moe concludes that there is a need for grea ter technological educati on for architects that they must understand the details and history of the materials, tec hniques, and ecology of buildings in order to develop a deeper understa nding of how their work fits into the broader social and ecological context. Donald Worster Donald Worster, in his essay The Shaky Ground of Sustainability goes to the heart of the problem in the current world of sustainability in general and the problems of sustainable construction specifically. His basic argument is that since sustainability is ill defined it is not useful as a measure or goal of progre ss toward environmental preservation. Worster discusses the nascent environmenta l movement in the 1970s and 1980s as having a clear goal of reversing the trends that were discriminating the environment. It was clear at that time that the way to achieve this was by the elimina tion of growth as criteria for success. Growth in population, wants, and technology was seen as th e means to achieve a ba lance with the natural worlds environments and species. This simple but drastic solution to the problems of the environment proved untenable as a policy recomm endation. In having to adapt to work within the broader economic, social, and political contexts of the day (where gro wth was and still is the mantra) there was a compromise reached and sustainable development became the rallying cry in all sectors as a solution to the obvious problems of envir onmental degradation. This tidy solution brought together disparate groups from around the globe in what they believed was a solution to a very real problem, it couched th e debate in current economic and political terminology, and it allowed for compromise th at created the chimera of sustainable development.

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24 There are two easily identifiable problems Wo rster sees in sustainable development. Without defining the duration of the sustainability there is no way to identify what is sustainable. The second has to do with exper tise. Each respective field of endeavor views and defines sustainability in different context and with differe nt criteria. What is sustainable for economists bears little resemblance to and is in direct confli ct with what is sustainable for agriculture, which in turn has the same incompatibility with indus try. The solution that Worster sees in much of environmental literature is that the bottom of the pyramid of experts and technicians working toward sustainability in their fields is the study of ecology. At the heart of the idea of sustainable development there is still a noti on that the sustainable part of it is referring to sustaining the ecology of the environment. Worster suggests that it is a problem of reducibility, by arguing that the ecologists have the final say we are merely replacing one set of na rrowly focused experts with another set that lack th e understanding of economics just as the economists lack the understanding of ecology. Worster discusses the changing science of ecology. Ecology ha d previously been through of as the study of natural systems, ecosystems, which ebbed and flowed and interacted with each other throughout time in a relatively steady state. This idea is now being challenged by ecologists that see nature not as a steady state system that fluctuates along predictable and repeating paths but as a constantly evolving set of criteria in which each organism plays its limited role. Worster discusses Daniel Botkin, a Califor nia ecologist, whose contribution to the discussion is using the symphony metaphor of ecologies; the individual instru ments play their own parts, but they play them with each other, and when we look at th e larger biosphere we see that there are many symphonies all playing different pi eces beginning and ending at diffe rent times. Botkin then goes on to suggest that it is mans role in the bi osphere to conduct these ecosystems into useful

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25 environments for man. Worster is immediately critical of this ecol ogical revisionism and labels it permissive ecology. The contradiction pointed out in Botkins as sessment of permissive ecology is that it presumes a constant flux of ecosystems in such a way that management of those same systems would be impossible owing to our inability to de termine appropriate yields while maintaining the integrity of the system. When it comes right down to it this school of o ptimum yields does not make any suggestions as to how to determine those yields, other than circular guidelines suggesting to do so in a sustainable fashion. Thes e machinations suggest to Worster that there simply is not enough understandi ng of individual ecologies availa ble in order to make specific management suggestions. Because sustainabil ity has not been satisfactorily defined by ecologists, but has been by economists (in economi c, not ecological terms) it is the economist that will define resource use without re gard for the ecology of the system. In conclusion Worster makes the basic argument that the sustainable development model is at odds with a biocentric view of the environment: the sustainability ideal rest s on an uncritical, unexamined acceptance of the traditional worldview of progressive, secular materialism. It regards that worldview as completely benign so long as it can be made sustainabl e. The institutions associated with that worldview, including those of capitalism, soci alism, and individualism, also escape all criticism, or close scrutiny. We are led to believe that sustai nability can be achieved with all those institutions and their values intact. Worster does offer some suggestions. The ceasin g of man-caused extinctions of species is paramount, along with preservation of the habitat needed to support the wi dest array of genetic diversity possible. He suggests revaluing natural beauty and ecological systems as our planets millennia of heritage in preference to the last fe w centuries of fulfilling of our personal material desires. Worster concludes, much as all the ot her proponents of Deep Ecol ogy that there is little chance of adoption of these idea ls through conventional political and economic means, but what

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26 he suggests is the right path to take while the specter of sustainable development leads to quicksand. Young D. Choi There is one field of design where the theory went straight to regeneration without making the stop at sustainability, lands cape design. It is easy to see w hy, when we think of landscapes, particularly those that have b een degraded by one action or anot her we see the ideal condition of them to be that which they were before they we re degraded, regenerated in other words. It could be argued that a re generated landscape is a sustainable once since it almost always means one which requires little or no maintenance and cons ists of a close approximation of native species and features. Choi takes this idea a step further, as an analogy one might say that as sustainable is to regenerative in buildings, regene rative is to Chois futuristic restoration in landscape design. Choi discusses different strate gies for the restoration of natural ecosystems from degraded states. Particularly th e idea of serial succession, in which a series of species and ecosystems transform a landscape to a final sustainable eco system, is mentioned as being a major hurdle because of an inability to predict the final out come of the successions. Already we can see that Choi understands ecosystems as cycl ical but basically in a steady state is at odd with Worsters view of ecosystems as multiple symphonies playi ng at once and out of cadence. Even with that goal of restoring an ecosystem to its pre-degradation level ther e are conditions that limit the effectiveness of such plans: it is impossible to determine th e pre-existing condition of the ecosystem before degradation, ecological degrada tion is often irreversible, economic or socials costs could be too great, and we simply do not understand how those ecosystems worked and as such cannot realistically reinstate them. Work ing within these conditions any regeneration project should set realistic goals.

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27 Choi introduces the idea of defining eco systems as being either original ( sensu stricto) or being an alternative ecosystem ( sensu lato .) This is a convenient naming convention to define natural untouched ecosystems and functioning ecosys tems that are either modified by artificial means or designed to both restore ecosystem function to an area and contribute social or economically at the same time. One of the major hurdles in either type of regeneration is monitoring and maintaining. Severa l factors contribute to the ongoi ng effort needed in creating a regenerated ecosystem. The intercon nected nature of all ecosystems means that any restored site will be limited in its ability to function as a st and alone system without substantial maintenance of the interconnected systems it would have depended upon for va rious inputs and outputs. This leads to Chois conclusion, which is that even in a regenerated ecosyst em there will likely be ongoing intervention required since it will not be capable of functioning as a pristine system without all other systems being pristine as well. Th is seems to take the idea of the biosphere to its logical conclusion and does provide an expl anation for why restored functioning ecosystems often do not fully replicate the intricacies of the natural systems they replaced.

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28 CHAPTER 4 ANALYSIS Using a biocentric view of the build environm ent it is possibl e to construct a theory of design and development that will satisfy the hum an requirements of the built environment and provide for the preservation and regeneration of existing and degraded na tural ecosystems. The essential difference between the current basis for theories of sustainability and regeneration and the proposed theory is one of anthropocentr ism versus biocentrism. Deep Ecology is a philosophical label that stands in for biocentr ism, it is the defining characteristic of that Ecosophy and the two are largely synonymous with in the context of de sign theory. There is seemingly a very basic contradiction in the creation of a theory of design of the built environment with a biocentric worldview. How can something created by man, for mans use, and with a necessary impact on the biotic e nvironment be biocentric in nature? Where Bill Reeds article differs from my approach is he uses the metaphysics of Deep Ecology, the spirituality suggested by the philosophy as a basis for his approach; I prefer to use the ethics of Deep Ecology for the same purpose. (Reed 2007) There is a distinction to be made between the two philosophical tacks being taken. The metaphysics suggested by Deep Ecology has been a major driving force within its development and the spirituality that many proponents have experienced is a touchstone for the movement. The nature of spirituality, while very powerful, does not as readily allow it to be utilized in providing the basis for professiona l practice. I hope not so much to take the whole of Deep Ecologys ethics and then graft it onto regenerativ e design, but to take the ethics of design and construction and alter its ethics to reflect those same ethical values in Deep Ecology. The problem with using the spiritual implicatio ns of Deep Ecology as a basis for design is that it allows too much interpretation and cont ention. Spirituality is a personal experience, one

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29 that is often shared or communi cated, but basically personal. Ma ny individuals may find spiritual inspiration for design but for a general theory of design, an ethical approach which is independent of individual interpretation and vac illation should be more consistent in creating built environments that contribute to the health of ecosystems. The correct way to view the scope of a projec t is not to begin with the building and then expand to include surrounding and influential environments but to being with the entire biosphere and zoom in until we find we can unde rstand and focus on the influence the project will exert. With this large-scale first viewpoint we can begin to see the influence of materials extraction, energy use, labor source s, and all the other factors that culminate in the final product. The further away materials originate, the more en ergy is required to bring them to the project, and the larger the net we have to cast in order to understand the complete impacts of a project. Geographically the closer to the project materials originate, and the less transport and processing required of the materials the less energy is requ ired, the narrower the view of the projects impacts can become. Biocentric Development A biocentr ic theory of the built environm ent will have three elements: a prohibition on developing pristine environments; it must be built, utilized, and succeeded without use of renewable resources at a rate greater than they ar e renewed; it must integrate with the current and future biotic environment. Wayland Drew points out that in the classics of dystopian literature, Zamiatins We Orwells 1984, and Huxleys Brave New World wilderness is consistently used to represent a contrast to the perfectly rationa l State, where the state offers rational mandates for the greatest good, freedom consists largely in ir rationality, in instinct ual response, and in the right to reject oppressive but reasonable options. The wilder ness is necessarily a wild and unknown place,

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30 apart from and in contrast to technocratic soci ety. (Drew 1995) Wilderness is pristine but there can be pristine ecosystems outside of the wild erness. That connotation of wilderness as irrational and unknowable sets it apart from ecosyst ems that are pristine but are knowable as in the context of the build environments material and resource flows. For this research we are considering pristine ecosystems as knowable and wilderness as unknowable and therefore outside of the range of manageable resource flows within the knowable (and partially) pristine biosphere. An overly simplistic way of viewing the pristine is as follows: A pristine ecosystem is one that has not been degraded. All ecosystems are codependent and in a web of interconnectedness a nd each ecosystem is dependant to some degree on all others. Some ecosystems are degraded Because some are degraded and all are depend ant, then all have been degraded to one degree or another Therefore there are no pristine ecosystems. Another argument against the pristine is to turn biocentrism on its head and argue that since man is part of the natural environment he is therefore not degraded a pristine ecosystem since he is part of that pristine ecosystem. Just as fire is a natural, essential, and destructive element of many natural ecosystems. To compare man to a forest fire however one would have to concede that it would be a fire that covers the entirety of the earths surface, burns for hundreds of years, and may never extinguish. There is a method to viewing environments in judging if they are pris tine or not. We can think of this as the cute animal problem wher e animals that are cute often receive more attention than less cute animals in distribution of conservation re sources. In order to evaluate whether an environment is pristine or not we need not just to look at th e attractiveness of the environment, a pristine desert is just as pristine as a similarly pristine rain forest and accrues equal consideration. Similarly we cannot equate pristine with at tractive. While a healthy look

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31 to an ecosystem can be enjoyable it is not enough for an ecosystem to app ear attractive, in order to be pristine it must also function naturally. Pristine must be seen in shades of green, the previous argument against the existence of pristine ecosystems provides a valid point. The very minute portion of the earths environments that can still be considered pristine from a neve r-been-actively-developed perspective leaves us with few restrictions on the remainder of the earths surface. There n eeds to be a means of considering how pristine a place is. There is a natural period of recover and succession that occurs on degraded environments and over time they will develop functioning ecosystems, generally functioning in a similar wa y as the previous pristine systems. These areas could be said to be nearly pristine or pris tining. When that is the case th ere is an incentive to disallow development on those sites, while they are degr aded, they are minimally degraded and show signs of recovery. It is in our best interest to allow as ma ny pristine ecosystems to continue to exist, or come back into being, as possible. An ideal situation would be one in which th ere is no degradation to any ecosystem, a condition in which all of mans needs of the built environment are met without reducing the capacity of the biosphere to maintain and evolve itself while also provi ding for the needs of human society. The condition we are in now is that nearly all of the plan ets environments are less diverse and less capable of surviving under in creased stress but we are still consuming what few resources remain because we have not created a system in which new resources are created. The condition to be reached now is to return t hose degraded environments to a regenerative state where they are producing the resources mankind requi res to fulfill his needs and at the same time return those areas to the natura l productivity for the biotic en vironment they supported before their resources were originally removed. For th ese reasons future development must occur on

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32 previously developed lands rath er than pristine ones. Pristin e ecosystems represent a major source of natural resources as well as reserves of a wide range of species biodiversity that could serve to repopulate regenerating ecosystems. We need the resour ces of pristine lands not as timber and fish but as models and still func tioning ecosystems that can support our coming regenerative development. To use an automotiv e analogy, pristine ecosystems will provide the jumpstart to our degraded lands dead batteries. Bill Reed argues for a biocentric approach w ithout stating it explic itly. (Reed 2007) Reed is caught up in arguing for an ecological understanding in nature stemming from recognition of the metaphysical implication of ecology. While persuasive to those who share a similar metaphysical view of ecosystems it falls short of describing that metaphysical system, only that it is holistic or it has a s tory of place. The more important conclusion drawn from this ecological realization is that th ere is an explicit ethical standa rd that we can discern from an ecological understanding. Because the means to survive depends on other living things interacting in an evolved and interconnected way, and because we are part of that system of life, it would be wrong to destroy any portion of the biosphere of ecosystems because it would ultimately destroy or degrade the ability of those within the systems to survive (us included.) Reed skips this logical step and asserts a metaphysical need when the ethical argument is sufficient and more persuasive. The criticisms of Cronon aimed at current vi ews of wilderness are la rgely deflected when consideration is taken of wild erness not as a construct of man by and for his recreation or idolized for the romantic notions about frontie rsmen but biocentrically as a rights holding member of the global biosphere. Cronons critic isms of the wilderness experience or the idolizing of pioneers is an appropriate point but he fails to take that next logical step in seeing

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33 that the real argument for the con tinued existence of wilderness is not to be found in some useful purpose for man either recreationally or in harves ting but simply because it is there and needs to be there both for ourselves and for itself. Use of Renewable Resources Biocentric developm ent has an ethical impe rative to reach a balance of net resource consumption. A biocentric view recognizes the in terconnected nature of the biosphere in which each respective ecosystem has influence and materi al flows with each other system. This is as simple to understand as migratory birds covering geographic distance and as complex as carbon sequestration of vast time scales. Because each ecosystem impacts each other and we recognize that the built environment not onl y is part of the human ecosystem but also has dramatic impacts on the extant and future ecosystems of a site. Ethically that built ecosystem needs to be as compatible and beneficial to the existing and future ecosystems both locally and globally as possible. Ecosystems can be understood to express th eir functionality in terms of resource production and consumption. A fully functional ecosystem is one in which all resources produced and consumed are handle d in an effective and complete manner. Surplus resources are desirable but only so far as they can become the input to other ecosystems in such a way as to balance or complement their own resource produc tion and consumption. Ther e is little incentive for producing surplus resources. Ex isting built environments have material and resource flows, often overly long ones. Energy, water, and waste are just the beginning. We can understand that all resources begin with solar en ergy input to the system and can be divided further and further until we start seeing different species of lumber Construction materials and energy required for construction are sourced in other ecosystems. Globally we could argue that the built environment is a balanced series of resource flows, they si mply are not sustainable because they require the

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34 imbalanced input of resources from pristine ec osystems and they produce degraded waste that does little to contribute to th e production of future resources and must be disposed of. The required shift is simply one of changing the source of resources and the sink for wastes from being outside the built environment to being within the built environment. Implementation can be seen as largely a technical ma tter outside the scope of this rese arch but it should be possible to generate, grow, locate, and otherwise provide for the needs of the built environment in with the built environment. Economically we have spent two hundred years absorbing the valueless resources of the natural environment. That input of resources has propelled our so ciety to its current advanced state but at the same time it has made society w holly dependant on those free resources, free in the sense they are not paid for by the harvester. As those free resources are now drying up from over use we are faced with having to tr ansition our economy from one predicated on free natural resources and unfettered growth to one that produces all its own ma terial flows, handles all its own wastes, and one that reaches a steady state of production and consumption at what ever level it is capable of. Already we have seen a vast transition in construction away from natural resource use toward renewable resource use. Just in the last fi fty years the majority of construction lumber has transitioned to being produced on tree farms and renewable forest projects, in contrast to the cutting of old growth forests. This quiet success was brought on not because of ethical considerations but because of necessity, there si mply were not enough forests left to fill the needs of industry. There is an inev itability to resource use, as na tural sources are consumed they will need to be replaced with renewable sources. We can accomplish this today or when the natural resources are completely consumed and we are forced to. This narrow view of natural

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35 resources as economic products i gnores the ethical responsibility we have not to destroy the remaining natural resources and make the transition to renewables now rather than later when we are forced to. We know from Deep Ecology that there is more at stake than simply board feet of lumber or tones of ore, the ecosystems that o ccupy those same areas are more important to our survival than cheap building materials. Cronon argues convincingly for a focus on our current built environment, how we can improve it and use it as a means for resource production and lifestyle enhancement. Ecosystem Succession There is an ethical im perative in the course of biocentric development to encourage, implement, and actively manage regenerated eco systems for the most effective production and consumption of resources that is compatible with th e ecology of the place. It is within the ethical framework of the theory to modify, introduce, or even eliminate exis ting non-pristine ecosystems that provide for the maintenance of existing pr istine ecosystems and the demands of the built environment. This can take the form of Leopol ds Land Ethic, a guiding hand returning a system to a state resembling a former ecosystem; it could ta ke the form of invasive species eradication; it could take the form of bull dozing existing fl edging ecosystems in developed space in order to make way for more productive beneficial ecosys tems. There is no ethical justification for idealized ecosystems. Just as ecosystems go through processes of succession and replacement in a natural environment they can go through the same process in a managed environment. In regeneration situation in a de graded environment the introduced and management ecosystem is almost certainly not going to be an exact duplicate to the degraded pristine environment because of the added impact of the requirements of the built environment to provide resources for human consumption as well as ecosystem resource exchange.

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36 Because of the preservation of pristine ecosy stems imperative outlined above there is a limited role for management in pristine ecosystem s. That management role must be limited to ascertaining the inputs and outputs of the system and how the managed systems that share resource flows with the pristine system can s upport the pristine environments along with making the most use of the surplus outputs of those syst ems. Allen and Hoekstra argue that taking the fragments of pristine ecosystems remaining out of their larger biospheric context has created an essential role for ecosystem management in re placing that lost contex t with the tools of ecosystem managers. How this is to be applied is left up to the imagin ation and is beyond the scope of this research to be gin looking at how one would manage the needs of diverse and disparate pristine ecosystems and their in terface with non-pristine ecosystems. Because there is an established ethical impera tive that the biosphere has the right to exist apart from its usefulness to man there is an eg alitarian quality to all species. Beyond the special case of pristine functioning eco systems, which have a higher ethical consideration than individual species or even individual biotic elements, there is no ethical case for preference of one biotic or ecosystem element over another based on region of origi n. There is the real consideration of appropriateness of species to a specific ecosystem and in most if not all cases natural species will be best adapted, best suited, and most easily introduced and managed. Despite that heuristic there is no case for nativ e over invasive species based solely on their region of origin.

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37 CHAPTER 5 FUTURE RESEARCH This research has revealed the poten tial for substantial future research to further expand the theories discussed in this project, compare this project with othe r ethical theories of construction, or begin to develop methods of application of these ethics to design. There are as many ethical approaches to the built environment, design, and construction as there have been designers and builders. The va st majority of those approaches have been anthropocentric in nature and a majority of those have not included an environmental component. Even amongst those et hical theories that contain e nvironmental consideration many of those are not considerate of the environment in positive ways. There is a great deal of research that could be performed in comparative ethi cs of the built environment both empirical and theoretical. Data could be collected on the attitudes and beliefs of designers, pl anners, and builders in regards to the ethical considerati on given to the natural environmen t versus the build or degraded environment. The results of the surveys could provide the data needed to develop education programs or documentation in support of deve loping a professional biocentric ethic. Another avenue of future research could be in further expanding the scope of a biocentric philosophy in construction. A similar study co uld be conducted in the metaphysics or epistemology of a biocentric view of the built environment. There are more resources available in the literature for explori ng biocentrics in the context of metaphysics. A study of the epistemology of a biocentric view of the built environment could lead to new insights into how to evaluate claims of green or sustainable products and practices. Ethics is the basis for the actions people take in their personal a nd professional lives. The role of professional ethics in design and construction guides the ac tions of professionals in their

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38 business dealers, apart from that the ethics of th e build environment as outlined in this research. Environmental ethics provide desi gners and builders with a means of understanding the right and wrong of their impact on the environment. Mo st professionals are keenly aware of the professional ethics them employ in dealing with customers and colleagues, but are probably not as aware of the ethical implications of the designs they create and the environment they build. Ultimately this exploration of potential uses in ap plication of biocentric ethics could be the most impactful expression of this research. Future projects could attempt to develop progr ams for teaching ethics to professionals in the field. Alternatively another approach might be to look at specific tech nologies or classes of technologies and develop a means of evaluation of how ethically compatible their use would be with a biocentric ethic. A future research project might include a design project, possibly followed by actual construction of the design that exhibits and a dheres to the ethical guidelines of biocentric development. By utilizing designers and builder s in a controlled project environment, conducting a design, and constructing the resulting design we could better unde rstand the choices different roles in the process require, how practitioners see their responsibi lities and learn where they can influence the process. The complete project could th en be evaluated in such a way as to ascertain the points of decision making and choices made and the reasoning that went into them. There is another question that has been raised in the course of this research. A basic premise of this research has been that the current world view upon which our actions are predicated is an anthropocentric one when c onsidering the biosphere. For the purpose of this study Biocentrism was formulated as a reaction to that anthropocentrism. The natural following question is: is there a third op tion? If we do not view the biosphere expressly in human-use

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39 terms, and we do not have an egalitarian view of the biosphere including humans and their actions, then what other option is there? Coul d there be a mix of the two involving weighted importance ascribed to the players through some sort of rating mechanism? Will there be a technological revolution that funda mentally alters our relationship to our planets environment? Or a spiritual, or societal revolution for that matte r. There could be a future project in a deeper exploration of the premises of anthropocentrism and biocentrism in an attempt to discover new means of understanding out place on the planet or the larger universe.

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40 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSIONS Application in sustainab ility is usually thought of as an appl ication of technology problem. How can our society maintain its lifestyle and consumption expectations while still preventing environmental catastrophe seems to be the depth of analysis that goes in to most approaches to developing approaches to sustaina bility. Even with the advances made in the course of the modern environmental movement ther e is still little end in sight a nd little hope th at our current approaches have solved the fundamental pr oblems facing our society. The failure of the technology approach suggests that a more fundament al approach needs to be taken in order to understand our problems and then create solutions. A broad base of professionals working in their respective fields, guided by a biocentric base d ethic could be the solu tion to the problem of understanding the current and future states of achieving a su stainable society. This research has addressed a range of questions and has strolled down and back up the paths of inquiry more than a few times. The im portant question that ha s been addressed is whether there can be a biocentr ic view of development. How can we understand our own actions with those actions having an ethical constraint outside of them ? By applying the three ethical imperatives of biocentric development; preserva tion of the pristine, renewable resources must renewed at a regenerative rate, and integrati on of the built environment with the current and future biotic environment; we can guide developm ent in such a way as to enhance and encourage the continued natural sustainability and evolution of our planets ecosystems of which we are a part.

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41 LIST OF REFERENCES Birkeland, Janis (2002). Design for Sustainability London: Earthscan Publications, Inc. Capra, Frank (1995). Deep Ecology: A New Paradigm In George Sessions (Ed.), Deep Ecology for the 21st Century (pp.19-25). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc. Devall, Bill (1985). Deep Ecology. Layton UT: Gibbs M. Smith, Inc. Drew, Wayland (1995). Killing Wilder ness. In George Sessions (Ed.), Deep Ecology for the 21st Century (pp.113-120). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc. Field, Barry C., and Fi eld, Martha K. (2006) Environmental Economics New York: McGraw Hill Fox, Warwick (1995). The Deep Ecology Ecofem inism Debate and Its Parallels. In George Sessions (Ed.), Deep Ecology for the 21st Century (pp269-289). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc. Grumbine, Edward (1995). Wildness, Wise Use, and Sustainable Development. In George Sessions (Ed.), Deep Ecology for the 21st Century (pp.276-296). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc. Lippiatt, B.C., (1999). Selecting Cost Eff ective Building Products: BEES Approach. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Vol. 125, No. 6, 448-455, November/December 1999. Naess, Arne (1995a). The Deep Ecology Eight Points Revisited. In George Sessions (Ed.), Deep Ecology for the 21st Century (pp.213-221). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc. Naess, Arne (1995b). Deep Ecology and Li festyle. In George Sessions (Ed.), Deep Ecology for the 21st Century (pp.259-262). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc. Naess, Arne (1995c). The Deep Ecology Movement. In George Sessions (Ed.), Deep Ecology for the 21st Century (pp.64-84). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc. Naess, Arne (1995d). Deep Ecology for the Tw enty-second Century. In George Sessions (Ed.), Deep Ecology for the 21st Century (pp.463-468). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc. Naess, Arne (1989). Ecology, community and lifestyle New York: Cambridge University Press Naess, Arne (1995e). Ecosophy and Gestal t Ontology. In George Sessions (Ed.), Deep Ecology for the 21st Century (pp.240-245). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc. Naess, Arne (1995f). Equality, Sameness, and Rights. In George Sessions (Ed.), Deep Ecology for the 21st Century (pp.222-224). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.

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42 Naess, Arne (1995g). Politics a nd the Ecological Crisis: An In troductory Note. In George ONeill, John, and Holland, Alan, and Light, Andrew (2008). Environmental Values. New York: Routledge Pepper, David (1993). Eco-Socialism. London: Routledge REN21 Renewable Energy Policy Networ k. 2005. Renewables 2005 Global Status Report.Washington, DC:Worldwatch Institute. Sessions, George (1995). Ecocentrism and th e Anthropocentric Detour. In George Sessions (Ed.), Deep Ecology for the 21st Century (pp.156-184). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc. Sessions, George (Ed.), Deep Ecology for the 21st Century (pp.445-454). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc. Shepard, Paul (1995). Ecology and Man a Viewpoint. In George Sessions (Ed.), Deep Ecology for the 21st Century (pp.131-140). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc. World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) (1987). Our Common Future. London: Oxford University Press Worster, Donald (1995). The Shaky Ground of Su stainability. In George Sessions (Ed.), Deep Ecology for the 21st Century (pp.417-428). Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.

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43 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH David Goldsm ith grew up in Tallahassee, Fl orida. Davids underg raduate degree is in political science focusing on th e political issues of post-soviet nations and the comparative politics of the developing world. For ten years David was a competitive fencer in foil and epee events at the collegiate, regional, and nationa l levels. Upon completion of undergraduate studies David co-founded an electrical engineering company and operate d that venture for two years before working for a geo-technical company and fina lly returning to school to pursue a Master of Science in Building Construction. Davids hobbies include, hiking, canoeing, sailing, boat restoration, naval architecture, gardening, and woodworking. He is married with two dogs and a pair of bunnies.