Green development is a practical design orientation that seeks to enhance human health, ecosystem vitality, community, and economic resilience in human settlement patterns. By “green development,” we mean that the design and implementation of infrastructure, buildings, energy systems, landscapes and other features at a site maximize the livability and functionality of human spaces while regenerating the ecological integrity of the environment in which they are situated.

The Whole Systems Learning Center at the Thompson Creek Ranch is Sustainable Settings’ flagship green development model that incorporates the following core elements:

  •     Biological waste treatment
  •     Community development
  •     Economic renewal
  •     Green building
  •     Habitat restoration
  •     Historic preservation
  •     Energy efficient infrastructure
  •     Holistic land use planning
  •     Respect for cultural integrity
  •     Efficient transportation
  •     Renewable energy systems
  •     Resource & energy efficiency

Collaborative design is essential to green development. Just as a diverse array of inter-dependent organisms are the basis of a robust ecosystem, a variety of stakeholders from different fields and backgrounds forms a dynamic green development team. This green team utilizes the synergy of multiple perspectives, diverse knowledge, real-life experience and a range of skills to:

  •     Promote teamwork and the open exchange of ideas
  •     Generate integrated whole-systems solutions
  •     Reduce and often eliminate capital & operating costs
  •     Achieve environmental and social goals
  •     Anticipate & avoid technical difficulties
  •     Produce “big picture” vision that goes beyond the original problem
  •     Permit one solution to be leveraged to create many more solutions