climate change

UK architects declare a ‘climate emergency’

Jun 5, 2019
  • Article by Natalie Mortimer

Foster + Partners, Zaha Hadid, Stanton Williams and David Chipperfield Architects are among 17 UK-based architecture firms that have banded together to release an open letter affirming their commitment to addressing climate change. 

The letter highlights the “twin crises” of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss and points out that buildings and construction play a major part, accounting for nearly 40 percent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions whilst also having a significant impact on our natural habitats.

“For everyone working in the construction industry, meeting the needs of our society without breaching the earth’s ecological boundaries will demand a paradigm shift in our behaviour,” the letter reads.

“Together with our clients, we will need to commission and design buildings, cities and infrastructures as indivisible components of a larger, constantly regenerating and self-sustaining system. The research and technology exist for us to begin that transformation now, but what has been lacking is collective will.

“Recognising this, we are committing to strengthen our working practices to create architecture and urbanism that has a more positive impact on the world around us.”

The group is calling on other UK architecture firms to sign up to the pledge and take measures such as; advocating for faster change in the industry towards regenerative design practices, sharing knowledge and research, upgrading existing buildings for extended use and minimising wasteful use of resources in architecture and urban planning.

So far 310 firms have signed the pledge.

You can read the letter in full here.

Image: 123RF’s cek23 © 123RF.com

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