Following the laws of nature
The easiest and most efficient way to ease the pressure on the ecosystem is to reduce needless resource consumption at the end-user level. The impact is 100% upstream in the system. Thereafter, the task is to strive for more efficient use of the necessary resources. The efficiency of contemporary resource use is often as low as a few percent and the balance is waste. Lower resource consumption, in material and energy flows, plus more efficient use of our resources is ecologically as well as economically sound.
Even if we avoid unnecessary consumption and use our resources more efficiently we will continue to require large volumes of energy and material. All natural cycles are closed, i.e. there is no waste. Therefore, to the greatest possible extent, the resources we use should be renewable. All material and energy used for the GreenZone facility are either renewable or recyclable.
MAINTAIN NATURE’S BALANCE
The land’s appearance and conditions have been important in the planning and design of the site in Umeå. By considering the structure of the ground it has been possible to minimize measures such as excavation and landfill. The natural balance of the earth and land has been maintained as much as possible. All green areas that were required for the facility have been replaced elsewhere in the area, for example, the buildings’ green roofs.
CONSIDERATION OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
On the facility’s site there are several pine trees which initially were to be felled but the discovery that an endangered species of beetle had its habitat among the pines resulted in the trees being left standing. An oak tree has been transplanted, a major undertaking, the results of which remain to be seen.
By taking both trees and insects into account the area can retain most of its biological diversity. Furthermore, a house that once stood on the site hasbeen moved to a lot outside Umeå and continues to serve as a home.