conserve: to avoid wasteful or destructive use; to use or manage wisely; to use only what is needed
At the end of "Sustainable Design - Is It?", we were left with a grass hut on a tropical island as an example of truly sustainable design, and the observation that the farther away we are from that island, the less sustainable our buildings become.
Even though sustainability cannot be achieved, it seems reasonable that green design would result in buildings that use as little energy and other resources as possible. Taken to the extreme, this would mean that those of us not fortunate enough to live in San Diego would live and work in well-insulated, windowless cubes. Obviously, this is unrealistic, and would be unacceptable. It is, however, no more outrageous than many of the award-winning buildings that are touted as examples of sustainable design.