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“We’ve declared, but what’s next?” – Architects Declare to hold a series of talks in Melbourne and Sydney

Feb 14, 2020
  • Article by Online Editor

Architects will join academics and campaigners to consider how the industry should respond to the climate emergency at two Architects Declare events next week.

The first meeting is in Sydney on 18 February 2020 at the Hassell Studio, and will feature a talk by outgoing International Living Futures Institute CEO Amanda Sturgeon.

The organisation is behind the Living BUilding Challenge, the world’s most rigorous proven performance standard for buildings, and the Living Community Challenge, a framework for master planning, design, and construction.

Architects Declare NSW will then discuss options for the year, ranging from focusing solely on the three steps of decarbonisation to implementing more ambitious requirements and road testing more stringent building codes for the future to creating templates for Sustainability Actions Plans for practices to adapt and implement.

The second Architects Declare meeting will be held in Melbourne on 19 February 2020 at the Woods Bagot Studio.

It will feature an update from Antony DiMase, principal at DiMase Architects and an active member of the Victorian chapter, and Built Environment ESD Leader Chris Buntine, who will introduce Engineers Declare and talk about opportunities to combine professional activities.

Darren O’Dea from Fabric First is the final speaker, covering how architectural practices can adopt the new NCC 2019 and 2022 ‘ahead of the pack’ to tackle climate change.

The speakers will also be discussing how architects can work together with consultants, authorities, contractors and clients to meet the goals set in the Architects Declare manifesto.

More than 800 Australian practices have already signed the declaration, which includes a commitment to raising awareness of the climate and biodiversity emergencies and the urgent need for action among clients and supply chains, while also advocating for faster change in the industry towards regenerative design practices.

The signatories are also committed to including life cycle costing, whole life carbon modelling and post occupancy evaluation as part of their basic scope of work, adopting more regenerative design principles in their studios with the aim of designing architecture and urbanism that goes beyond the standard of net zero carbon in use and minimising the wasteful use of resources in architecture and urban planning, both in quantum
and in detail.

Both Woods Bagot and Hassell are founding signatories along with 29 other local practices, including 11 Australian Institute of Architects’ Gold Medallists.

The events come as the recent bushfires and extreme weather conditions along the eastern coast encourage national discussions about climate breakdown and biodiversity loss.

The Architects Declare Australia website was launched on 25 July 2019, following a similar declaration from UK and American architects. Australia is the first country to include reference to Indigenous peoples in its declaration.

Next week’s meetings are open to the public and free, but while the Melbourne event is still accepting registrations, the Sydney event is listed as sold out. You can register to attend online. Those who attend the Melbourne event will be entitled to 1.5 CPD points.

To sign the Architects Declare declaration, practices or individuals must be registered with the Architects’ Board in their relevant state or territory, and must provide the email address for their CEO or other senior officer for verification before the practice name is added to the declaration.

Architects can also volunteer to be actively involved in the movement or join the Architects Declare Facebook group. Find out more on the official Facebook page.

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