World-Leading Architects Call for Action on Climate Change

Some of the world’s leading UK-based architects have joined forces to call for industry-led action on the twin issues of climate change and biodiversity loss. The “Architects Declare” group, which includes firms such as Foster + Partners, David Chipperfield Architects, and Zaha Hadid Architects, has so-far grown to 69 firms, with the original 17 signatories all past winners of the RIBA Stirling Prize.

The group highlights the fact that buildings and construction account for almost 40% of energy-related CO2 emissions, and impact significantly on natural habitats. The group therefore calls for architects, together with clients, to “commission and design buildings, cities, and infrastructures as indivisible components of a larger, constantly regenerating and self-sustaining system.”

Measures put forward by the group include establishing climate and biodiversity mitigation principles as a key measure of industry success, recognized through awards, prizes, and listings, as well as proactive, open-source knowledge sharing. The group also calls for the upgrade of existing buildings for extended use as an alternative to demolition, and the inclusion of life cycle costing, whole life carbon modeling, and post-occupancy evaluation as part of the scope of work.

The group calls for the adoption of more regenerative design principles within studios, and for a collaboration with engineers, contractors, and clients to further reduce construction waste, and minimize wasteful use of resources in design itself. As well as advocating for faster change within the industry, the group advocates for a higher Government funding priority for climate change and biodiversity loss.

Now standing at 69 listings, the group was formed through a collaboration of AL_A, Alison Brooks Architects, AHMM, Caruso St John, David Chipperfield Architects, dRMM, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Foster + Partners, Haworth Tompkins, Hodder + Partners, Maccreanor Lavington, Michael Wilford, RSH+P, Stanton Williams, Wilkinson Eyre, Witherford Watson Mann and Zaha Hadid Architects.

The group is aiming to capture the attention of every UK architectural practice, and calls on firms to sign up on the official website here, as well as using the social media handle #architectsdeclare on Twitter and Instagram.

6 Architectural Responses to Climate Change in 2018

As part of a global, interdisciplinary effort to tackle climate change, architects are devoting resources towards optimizing the energy efficiency of buildings old and new. This effort is more than justified, given that buildings account for almost 40% of UK and US emissions.

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Cite: Niall Patrick Walsh. "World-Leading Architects Call for Action on Climate Change" 30 May 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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