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Floating marina building at Cottonwood Cove on Lake Mohave, Nevada.

By Dan Natchez* A

Sustainability fatigue?

few years ago, the buzzwords were double dip inflation and then clean marinas, and now we hear

green marinas and sustainability. In fact, sustainability seems to be just about everywhere, whether it’s rebuilding from a hurricane, constructing a house or a skyscraper, growing apples, raising sheep or building and running a marina. Google ‘sustainability’ and

you will get some 39 million hits. In some respects, it’s great that sustainability is so omnipresent, but

Steel frame pontoon with composite decking.

at times I must admit to a certain amount of sustainability fatigue and I know that if you put five people in a room you will come up with over 15 different meanings, which is part of the problem. What is sustainability? The United

Nations took a stab at defi ning sustainability way back in 1987, before it was even popular: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

There really is no official

definition, which can lead to all sorts of confusion. That, in turn, can lead to marketing departments going wild and making any and all sorts of claims. There is also the old adage ‘buyer beware’. Enter the US Green Building

Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) program and similar entities across the globe such as the BCA Green Mark in Singapore), whereby private organisations are attempting to bring structure

and meaning to sustainability. San Diego’s Sun Harbor was the first marina to achieve LEED certification. Meanwhile, Forever Resorts’ Cottonwood Cove on Lake Mohave, Nevada, promotes itself as having developed the first Gold LEED certified floating marina building, but therein lies some of the juxtaposition that frequently comes up – a LEED certified floating building. In the North-Eastern US, no regulatory agency would ever consider a floating building as approvable on environmental


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