Recognizing that for most people sustainability is synonymous with sacrifice, the block brings options, information and opportunities designed to improve work and life to within arm's reach of its occupants.
Influencing behavior is at best difficult, and at worst dangerous. Our approach is not to dictate behavior modifications, but to increase the quality of urban services through smart technologies, attractive choices, information, tangible economic benefits and a better quality of life with the aim of reducing the carbon footprint of people living and working on site.
Our design team's research has shown that up to 15% reductions in carbon emissions per occupant can be reached when behavioral change incentives are successfully implemented. Our objective is to improve this even further by creating a sense of distinct identity for the community that lives and works in the block. To achieve this, services will be provided that set a new standard for low carbon urban living. These range from community to commercial services supporting everyday activity that make change and benefits visible, to demand management solutions (smart meters, web services, urban informatics and other interfaces, sensors, control systems, etc.) with intuitive and engaging interfaces that help people manage their lifestyle toward better, happier and more sustainable behaviors.
From our perspective, it will not matter how environmentally innovative or financially feasible a project is. If the market, or users of the buildings are not satisfied, then the project has not served its purpose. Be it pricing, aesthetics, culture, or programming, the user must find value that is tailored to their interests. In some cases, this may require educating people—such as to the value of mixed use communities or the productivity of working within naturally lit environments. In order to make the project more sustainable, people must always be considered.