Regeneration is the act or process of coming back to life. Regenerative Design is design that replenishes, supports and enhances our life sustaining ecosystems.
A sustainable system is balanced between taking and replenishing. A system that is not sustainable has a negative impact on life. Regenerative goes beyond this neutral balance, to a positive bottom line. Businesses that want to go the extra mile to be Regenerative are calling themselves “Net Positives” today. A “Net Positive” goal or vision empowers them with the clarity and boldness to actually achieve it.
Regenerative buildings produce all of their own energy, capture and treat all of their water, and are designed and operated to have a net-positive impact on the environment, including repair of surrounding ecosystems. They result in zero net pollutant emissions to the environment, no negative health impacts to the occupants, and are flexible enough in design and operation to adapt as needs and conditions change. They not only provide for all their own needs, but also contriute
to the health of the environment around them, increasing biodiversity, and creating a symbiotic relationship with that environment.
Regenerative Design is long-term integrated whole systems thinking that considers everything from site, water, materials, and energy to plants, microbes, human social systems, and culture. This requires a different way of engaging the design team, far
beyond the simple recognition of green technologies.
In contrast, current economics stress short-term results. Our economy must quickly evolve to preserve and enhance finite natural resources, rather than destroy them, while simultaneously improving quality of life. Increasingly, wealth is becoming closely tied to responsible environmental performance.
We are now just playing in the outer rings of ecological improvement. Sustainability and Regeneration require us to quickly explode into the inner rings. Unfortunately, survival wiring in our brain often prevails over logic and conscientious behavior. Can we evolve fast enough? We must all take responsibility for our actions – to ourselves and others.
“It’s going to take an entire ecosystem to make the built environment more sustainable. And
the RegenNetwork seems to be pulling that together, with other sustainable leaders.
Good people, good network, good alignment.”
~ Aman Desouza, former Director of Innovations and Product Sustainability, CertainTeed