1200 Owen article blog image


The choice of whether to “go green” or not is often simply linked to the dollar and we as designers and building owners have the option to seek environmental certifications such as LEEDS, Green Star, Energy Star and Green Global for our projects.


This does help to provide us with some incentive and direction to reach a certain plateau.


However, in endeavoring to have an environmentally sound and inspiring development, there is one most important element which is often overlooked. This is education.


What does it mean to “go green”?


I was fortunate enough to work in a small Asian country a few years ago. One day a friend of mine, a school teacher, told me how he had observed his students’ parents throwing their rubbish into the main river. This had been an acceptable practise for hundreds of years.


He arranged to meet with the 20 students’ families after school one Friday evening. At this meeting he gave them all a rubbish bin and suggested that instead of throwing the rubbish in the water, they should put it in the biodegradable bags he had also bought for them.


His serotonin level was peaking when he left that day, as he felt that he had achieved something wonderful for the village. When he returned after the weekend, he saw 20 bags of rubbish floating down the river.


At the end of the day, we need to understand the big picture and what it means to go green.


Are we doing it for the right reasons? Is it for certification? Is it to win clients? Is it a trend which may pass? Or is it something so altruistic that we are driven to help this planet remain beautiful for generations to come? This is what I believe it should be.


     Owen Merodon
     Senior Architect / Senior Project Manager


     Published in the Spring 2017 issue of Inside Out magazine