The race to go green has driven the construction of several enormous projects around the world. Some have failed, while others have been resounding successes. While some people have made changes in their own lives to go green, such as driving more fuel efficient cars and switching to organic produce…
by: Elizabeth Diane –
Many people have raised evocative discussions about Green Building lately, dissecting, analyzing and attempting to define exactly what it means. Does it mean racking up as many LEED points as possible? Reversing the greenhouse effect by installing solar panels and insulating well? Or to build like indigenous cultures, with what local, natural earth and organic materials are available?
Perhaps there are many “shades of green” for all the definitions. However you define “green”, it is important to remember why we are even having this discussion. It has everything to do with our relationship with nature and the imbalanced societies we have created. When we produce and build on a massive scale with no sense of “enough”, we have tipped the scales and now we are seeing the results in ever-degraded global environments. Since we live in a material world of opposing/complimentary forces, it is relevant to look at the Divine Feminine and the Sacred Masculine to illustrate what is happening on Gaia, the ancient name for Mother Earth. Most ancient cultures, such as the Greeks, Egyptians, Hindu, Aztecs, Chinese, Norse, Mayan, Celtic and many others, had their gods and goddesses that together balanced their cosmology and affected their societies. Those societies that ignored the lessons of balance created either a matriarchy or a patriarchy. Continue reading “Green Building and the Divine Feminine”
by: Elizabeth Diane –
Home is a powerful archetype. Home is a place of refuge, warmth and safety. At its best, it nurtures and feeds the soul. It requires that we pay attention to it’s heating, electrical, moisture and air quality maintenance to prevent discomfort. At worst, it needs costly repairs to keep it as a worthwhile structure. But deeper in the psyche, it represents what we really are. It represents the body we wear… our soul’s garment.
In Green Building, we have now come to analyze it for its inherent good or bad to the environment. We assign points for every little green detail in order to give it a green seal of approval. We have begun to wake up to some of the atrocities we have done to this lovely blue pearl of a planet we live on and are in the process of triage. We are in a state of analysis with home design, and we sometimes forget about the “soul” of the home.
Great, balanced, healthy home design has soul, along with practical considerations. It has an intentional relationship to Mother Earth, respecting and honoring the plant life, stones and materials that come from her, in order to make a wonderful place to live. Sounds nice, right? But how do we achieve it? A check list, such as ones you can find through LEED or the Living Building Challenge can be a great place to start, but don’t stop there. The soul is about harmonizing and balancing opposites. Checklists can be very linear and left-brained. Balance comes from bringing in an intuitive, right-brained approach. So, be playful with colors, materials, shapes and textures while listening to what “feels” right. Set a clear intent about what you want the building spaces to feel like. Clear your mind and imagine what the series of spatial experiences will be as you move through different parts of the building. And most importantly, listen to and trust your inner-guidance with design decisions. Your heart and soul will fill your future space, before you even begin to build!