Sustainable Design for the 21st Century

Sustainable Design and Shari’s Berries!

Sharia berries 01by Brent Sauser

My wife and I are blessed to have four wonderful children who remember Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  Each child lives in a different time zone with their families, so it is especially exciting to
receive cards and gifts.  This year, our youngest son sent his mother Shari’s Berries for Mother’s Day.  Shari’s Berries are an assortment of large chocolate covered strawberries.  Each chocolate dipped strawberry has a different design of either white, dark or milk chocolate.  The gift was an immediate success!  The
instructions say to consume the contents within 48 hours, but we beat the deadline by 75%.  Without doubt, they were amazing . . . and quite tasty!  The strawberries were in remarkably good condition and tasted fresh.  I asked to see the packaging.

Sharia berries 03After careful inspection of the packaging it was no wonder the strawberries could travel overnight delivery from San Diego to Orlando, Florida in such good condition.  All six sides inside the card board box were insulated with an inch of foam insulation.  But that’s not all.  On top of the gift box was placed another piece of 1/2″ insulation covered in foil, and on top of that insulation was a frozen pack of blue ice.  Then the top insulation was placed over that to make a very tight (and cool) environment for the berries to travel anywhere in the world.

Sharia berries 02I concluded that Shari’s Berries placed as much effort in assuring their product reaches its destination as intended, as they took in preparing the berries for shipment.  Chocolate and strawberries have a tendency to melt and get mushy at room temperature, so careful attention to how the product is packaged and shipped is a “make-or-break” situation.  Shari’s Berries took the time to create a sustainable environment for their berries to travel safely, fresh and as tasty as if purchased directly from their store in San Diego.  Sustainable packaging!

Sharia berries 04Now . . . if we can create a sustainable environment for berries, why can’t we do it for our homes and businesses?  The fact is . . . we can, and should.  The same principles used to package Shari’s Berries can be used in building design.  Implementing passive design principles, much like with Shari’s Berries packaging,  as well as other passive features will help to achieve a Net Zero solution without adding to the overall building budget.

We need to build smarter, not bigger!  We need to insist upon Net Zero design.  If Shari’s Berries can do it . . . so can we!

Category: Editorial
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    March 22, 2015 at 12:30 am

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