Shaping the Future of Sustainable Architecture

Shaping the Future of Sustainable Architecture

Recent studies in sustainable architecture have resulted in articulations of an influential body. Possibilities of sustainable architecture as a form of low-carbon, environmentally sustainable building. These theories argue that sustainable architecture is a form of eco-friendly design that promotes long-term ecological management. Through active involvement of the design, construction and use of space. This form of architecture seeks to use its building design in a way that can create a sustainable impact on its use. While preventing further degradation of the environment. The theory goes that sustainable architecture should be viewed from the perspective of the users’ marketplace. An individual who wants to take active responsibility for his or her environment. Rather than a careless buyer who only feels that he or she is being forced to do so by legislation and regulatory pressures.

The International Academy of Sustainable Architecture (IASA) is a global governing body that offers certification to practitioners of sustainable architecture. The International Standard Association for Construction Research (ISCR) also has a framework agreement with the United Kingdom’s Green Building Council (UKGBC). This allows the latter to endorse sustainable building as part of its certification program. An assessment by the UK Government’s Department for Energy last year supported the ISCR’s endorsement of the risk concept. This implies that the primary energy efficiency of buildings should be achieved in the entire life cycle of the building. Rather than on a monthly basis. The United Kingdom, together with Germany and France, are the only G7 countries that have not yet endorsed the RIBA concept. The governments recommend that other G7 countries include this sustainable architecture approach as part of their building certification programs.

United Nations Environmental Program

As stated by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), there are two separate, but closely related objectives of sustainable architecture. The first is to achieve the reduction of the net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that result from the construction of buildings, including the heating and cooling used by the occupants. The second objective is to ensure that the net energy consumption of occupants of buildings is consistent over the life of the building. With a focus on energy efficiency. Because the two objectives of risk are at odds with each other, it is unlikely that the combination of the two will be accepted by the architectural community.

“There is no significant difference between the views of the international community regarding the development of sustainable architecture and those of architects”.

United Nations Environment Program

Currently, there is limited debate within the architectural profession on the value of the risk concept. Despite the endorsement of the United Nations Environment Program and the World Health Organisation’s global strategy for action against climate change and environmental pollution. A recent review of the literature concluded, “There is no significant difference between the views of the international community regarding the development of sustainable architecture and those of the architects”. Similarly, a consensus was expressed at a 2021 seminar; “Sustainability and the environment are not mutually exclusive terms”. In conclusion, the recommendations of the conference call for an evaluation criterion, as well as the identification of priority setting for sustainable architecture, are likely to be adopted as official policy.

Architects are still divided

The recommendation of the conference is likely to cause tension between the different international professional groups involved in the global construction industry. Architects world-wide are divided between those who support the development of sustainable design and those who are opposed to it. A group of prominent architects, led by Peter Eisenman, released a statement in support of the proposal. While a similar group of eminent architects gathered at the recent World Congress of Architectural Designers declared that they would never accept the RIBA recommendations. The architects who responded to the letter from Eisenman formed a new group within Friends of the Earth. Their stated purpose is to promote “sustainable design as a progressive perspective in architecture“.

Should sustainability be compromised?

The architects stated that they were concerned that the criteria are too strict, especially given that the RIBA program already includes some voluntary elements. However, they welcomed the chance to participate in the dialogue process, as it allows them to “play an active role in shaping the future of sustainable architecture”. The statement also suggests a potential compromise between the RIBA and the architecture. From a point of view that they feel could be acceptable to all parts of the architectural design community. In addition to the statements from the architects, there has been some negative criticism from one of Europe’s leading sustainability specialists. The expert has accused the entire committee of the European Sustainable Architecture Network of being too rigid in their deliberations. This critique is certain to continue the ongoing debate about the future of sustainable architecture in Europe.

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About the author

While our founder, Richard Nolan, knows what he's talking about (mostly), he does like to get copywriters involved.

And he's always on the lookout for good copywriters. So if you fit the bill, get in touch!

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