Home > Uncategorized > 6 Competing Logics of Sustainable Architecture

6 Competing Logics of Sustainable Architecture


Marvin Julian


These are the six competing logics of sustainable architecture,

1.Eco-Technic  logic

Description : Technocentric approach, science and technology can solve environmental issues.

Method : Through rational analysis and management of the environment.

Definition of sustainable architecture according to this logic : Energy sufficient architecture, the development of technology to create energy-efficient built environment.

How? The usage of translucent insulation, new types of glass and solar shading, intelli- gent facades, double-skin walls and roofs, and photovoltaics. Energy efficient lighting, passive solar design and daylighting, the use of natural and mixed-mode ventilation, more efficient air condi- tioning and comfort cooling, combined with sophisticated energy management systems are all part of the High-Tech approach.

2.Eco-centric logic

Description : Natural approach, building is against the nature.

Method : Reducing ecological footprint.

Definition of sustainable architecture according to this logic : Zero ecological footprint, natural buldings came from natural materials. Building can be a part of nature itself.

How? In terms of building materials, preference is for renewable, natural materials such as earth, timber, and straw combined with a reduction of the use of virgin building materials through reuse and recycling.

3.Eco-aesthetic logic

Description : Here the role of sustainable architecture is metaphorical and, as an iconic expression of societal values, it should act to inspire and convey an increasing identification with nature and the nonhuman world, what is required is a “new language in the building arts.

Method : Shifting the paradigm of the society to new age-ism ,a sensuous and aesthetic society.

Definition of sustainable architecture according to this logic : A sensuous, stylish,creative “Green Architecture”

How? A move back towards organicism, expressionism, the chaotic, and the non- linear is the “aesthetic . . . growing out of this new world view; a language of building and design close to nature, of twists and folds and undulations; of crystalline forms and fractured planes.”

4.Eco-cultural logic

Description : Eco cultural logic emphasizes sustainable architecture as preservation of culture.

Method : Preserving culture

Definition of sustainable architecture according to this logic : Within this logic it is suggested that sustainable architectural approaches should move away from universal and technologically based design methodologies as these often fail to coincide with the cultural values of a particular place or people.

How? The eco-cultural logic emphasizes both the preservation and conservation of the variety of built cultural archetypes that already exist, combined with a concern for cultural continuity expressed through the trans- formation and reuse of traditional construction techniques, build- ing typologies, and settlement patterns, each with a history of local evolution and use.

5.Eco-medical logic

Description : This logic utilizes a medical rhetoric to focus attention on the adverse impacts of the built environment and the causes of stress that engender health problems, both physical and psychological.

Method : Designing healthy system of housing and architecture

Definition of sustainable architecture according to this logic : The creation of “healing environment”,sustainable buildings which supports the healthy lifestyle of the people.

How? The use of natural and tactile materials and traditional build- ing methods utilizing organic treatments and finishes, natural light and ventilation, and the use of color to promote health.

6.Eco-social logic

Description : The eco-social logic extends the social agenda of sustainability beyond a concern for the individual to encompass a political discourse that suggests that the root cause of the ecological crisis stems from wider social factors. It addresses the emblematic issue of democracy as the key to an ecological society.

Method : Participation of the people

Definition of sustainable architecture according to this logic : A building that embody the spirit of the society, freedom, and togetherness.

How? The aim throughout is to construct appropriate, flexible, and participatory buildings that serve the needs of occupiers without im- pacting on the environment unnecessarily by using renewable natu- ral, recycled, and wherever possible, local materials.

What do you think about these logics? Which one do you think is the most effective to solve the lack of sustainability in Indonesia? Share your opinion.


Guy, S. & Graham Farmer, Reinterpreting Sustainable Architecture,’ op. cit., 2001, pp. 140-148

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Sheiren Felicia Jaya
    March 30, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    thank you marvin for sharing this.
    hope it will help for our writing about sustainability.
    so, i would like to ask, does eco-technic always analyze about the energy system and how to use it more sufficient?

    because according to your explanantion,your description is always explaining about energy system. Is it can be possible for other “eco-technical stuff” ?
    thank you

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