How can we house millions of people in a short space of time while having the minimum effect on our environment?
We architects are not scientists, climatologists or chemists, not energy experts or materials engineers. Architects and designers are generally fairly mainstream, often finding ourselves collecting and filtering quite specialist information into the makeup of everyday buildings, which is exciting.
I believe is that the most important issues facing humanity are those of burgeoning world population and climate change. Therefore, in architecture it would seem a fundamental responsibility to be at the forefront of finding solutions to these issues. We have to house millions of people in a very short space of time while having the minimum effect on our environment.
Please no more ‘eco-friendly’ or ‘green this or that’, or ‘sustainability led’. All these things must inherently be part of what we do
This immense task needs to be kept securely in the mainstream. The development in the way we design and build should not be marginalised.
We really need to do away with the monikers that set these values to one side…so please no more “eco-friendly” or “green this or that”, or “sustainability led”. All these things must inherently be part of what we do and what we build.
I am concerned that as an industry we allow any ideas that we might have regarding the sustainability of our projects to be fashioned by checklists; whether Part L, or BREEAM. We need to marshall a general and proper understanding of the principals behind these standards and design to those.
This is such an exciting and challenging time to be building buildings and it is so vital that we don’t fiddle at the edges of the calamities that face us but rise to meet these challenges.
Andrew Waugh is director of Waugh Thistleston Architects