Business Insider

David Staats: Beauty and commercial buildings

When we think about the environment, we usually mean the natural world and how humanity has altered it: climate change, water and air pollution, roads in the wilderness.

But we spend most of our lives indoors. It is the built environment of buildings and houses where we tap our keyboards and look at our computer screens, collaborate with colleagues, catch up on the news, read or watch TV or sleep.

That’s where commercial construction, the focus of this month’s Business Insider, comes in. You can’t build a building without a builder. Most of the time, the builder won’t build without a customer, and for commercial buildings, that means a developer. A developer won’t hire a builder without a building plan, and that requires an architect. These people have enormous influence on our lives, physically and psychologically.

We need safe, comfortable, functional and energy-efficient buildings in Downtown Boise and elsewhere, and today we are getting them. But I think we also want the places where we spend time to help us feel uplifted. We also need our built environment to offer beauty, inspiration and a sense of belonging – the same things we seek from the natural environment.

As the Treasure Valley prospers, that is the challenge I hope Boise’s architects, developers and builders take it upon themselves to meet.