The Carbon Footprint Fetish: Architecture and Climate Change

Whatever the uses and abuses of climate research lately, buildings are still said to cause 40 percent of carbon emissions. As such, architects see themselves at the forefront against global warming. But why do most contemporary solutions involve evermore constraints? Indeed, it is now common to hear the argument that more restrictions aid creativity. Doesn’t more freedom aid creativity?

And what about the bureaucracy of carbon bean-counters? From Bioregional, the Carbon Trust and WWF to Biffa, WRAP and BRE, who are these unelected bodies that dictate environmental standards? What is the cost of prioritising carbon measuring, rationing, trading – carbon navel-gazing – in terms of design freedom and critical-thinking?

This, the first of three mantownhuman debates asks: Should architects not maximise – rather than minimise – their footprint? This event will take place March 25th, 7pm at BDP, Brewhouse Yard, London. Find out more here.

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Cite: Sebastian Jordana. "The Carbon Footprint Fetish: Architecture and Climate Change" 18 Mar 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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