Sustainable Development

Hurricane Dorian from space on 2, September ’19 by NASA Astronaut Christina H. Koch

The time has come to seek a shift in the way we design and detail buildings.  In truth, it came a long time ago given the principles of Environmental Design have changed little in decades!  There is an almighty ball of gas in our sky, fiercely omitting harvestable energy for sustainable consumption by the habitants of this Planet Earth.

Sustainable Architecture
I’ve been privileged to be educated to postgraduate level by a collective of sustainable specialists and practitioners.  Now is not the time for excuses Adam!  It is time to change my approach to how I design and implement Architectural and Urban interventions.

For the past fifteen years, I can count on one hand how many clients have approached me with Sustainable Development at the top of their agenda. This is somewhat unfortunate… the time has now come to realign my practice of Architecture to contribute to the much-needed reduction in carbon depletion.

Buildings, unfortunately, consume extreme levels of energy.  In addition to extreme amounts of carbon being depleted through the manufacturing of construction purpose products and processes on-site.

How will we make a difference?
For a start lets be sensible. Lets design buildings that maximise energy from the sun, whilst reducing unnecessary overheating caused by unwanted solar gain. Just the simplest steps in the initial design process fundamentally affect the way the buildings perform. Let’s design out such problems from the onset. We can even limit the need for heating or cooling when implementing the principles of Passivhaus

My door is shut to profit-driven individuals and organisations. Please refrain from ringing my number unless you’re sensible in making a difference; rephrase that – intelligence enough to understand the effect of our actions on future generations of this fragile planet.

Reflection

I’ve had a blockage for a couple of months now! A mental blockage. A state of mind that caused me to question what it is I do in my professional life.  

Proudly and also privileged to be offered the opportunity to sit and listen for a while; a particular thread has slowly infiltrated my thoughts. I tend to find that influences come and go from time to time. Potentially moving cities has coincided with this particular thread or influence. The City I now call home is said to be one of the greenest UK cities for initiating steps toward reducing depletion of Carbon

Save Our Planet! – what exactly does that mean? Until recently, or even still now I think it difficult to comprehend the globe and its inhabitants as a physical entity. Given its scale and our subliminal individual existence. Given the terminology, ‘planet’, ‘save’ is completely unobtainable in our minds! How can our daily indirect actions have a subliminal effect on the destruction of Planet Earth?

What could it be that’s causing such harm to the wide-ranging species upon the globe? How could the way I travel to work in the morning affect the accumulative change in climate, that we so clearly see disrupting communities and civilians globally, infiltrating our newsfeeds on a weekly and now daily basis?

Thinking back, I’ve historically had clients install oil boilers in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the irony… These locations couldn’t be more greatly unsustainable to inhabit, regardless of little thought toward the inherit consumption of fossil fuels to maintain a ‘comfortable lifestyle’.

Having recently reflected upon the past fifteen years of work, I considered for instance – How many boilers have I helped or been part of being installed? Projects run to hundred, ranging in small residential interventions to buildings accommodating 500+ people. How could I have made a difference?

It’s now clearer to me and it’s time to invest energy in sharing this with future Clients, for collectively we need to make the difference for current and future inhabitants of our communities.