INTBAU World Congress
in association with TAG

Local Solutions to Global Challenges
London, 18-19 February 2015

World Congress





The sustainability session continued with Steve Mouzon (the Original Green), who gave delegates a fast-paced and energetic look at some of the simple solutions derived from tradition that can make buildings in the Caribbean more sustainable, more comfortable to live in, and more ‘at home’ in their contexts.

Steve is a principal at Mouzon Design. He is also a principal of the New Urban Guild in Miami, a group of architects, designers, and other New Urbanists dedicated to the study and the design of true traditional buildings and places native to and inspired by the regions in which they are built.
Along with his wife Wanda, Steve Mouzon developed the Original Green proposition: originally, before the Thermostat Age, the places we made and the buildings we built had no choice but to be green. Steve Mouzon is strongly committed to drawing inspiration from traditional techniques to build greener cities, towns and neighbourhoods.


Summary Notes

  • The talk contained a number of quickly presented ideas

    • Sustainability means keeping things going into an unpredictable future
    • What is the original green?
    • It is what kept humans alive throughout human history
    • Think nourishable places. See most of what you need. Edible green gardens. Eg green walls, an orchard rim
    • Accessible places. By foot porches friendly to sidewalk
    • Serviceable places
    • Tiny cottage. Flexible uses, unlike 3-bed house
    • Securable place. Interior of block like mews
    • Build off back of pavement
    • Create civic places
    • Create loveable buildings
    • Shrink a building and it becomes loveable. Big windows look nice
    • Reflect the human body. Use symmetry at entrance
    • Reflect local crafts
    • Details like fairy lights around a doorway attract
    • Masonry lasts long and so does not have a carbon impact
    • Use rot resistant local woods
    • Hipped roofs resist hurricanes better
    • Sacrificial eaves of brackets
    • Shutters
    • Adaptable buildings
    • Homes to many generations
    • Frugal buildings – must be condition people first
    • Starting small – the new luxury
    • Capture tiny spaces
    • Reflective roofing to cool house
    • Breeze chimneys turn into wind