Self-sustaining building (SSB) is the practice of building structures, communities and lifestyles that have low to zero impact on the environment whilst providing their own energy, water and waste services.
Self-sustaining buildings range from the very simple to the highly sophisticated. They offer at economical cost the standard of services that the occupier chooses to afford. Few buildings in the developed world are fully self-sustaining, so we have to create the path that will take us there.
By adopting SSB practices for both new and retrofit buildings, developed nations can significantly reduce environmental damage from their buildings whilst developing nations can achieve economic progress without adding to planetary degradation. The adoption of SSB practices addresses directly the issues giving rise to the failure of climate change negotiations, most recently at Copenhagen 2009.
Worldwide there is a multitude of good SSB practices in structures, technologies and lifestyles. It is the well thought out integration of these factors, most appropriate for the location, that achieves self-sustainability.
To achieve global action to avoid further environmental damage from buildings, there is an urgent need to identify, demonstrate and promote the multitude of SSB options.
That is the aim of The Self Sustaining Building Programme.