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.
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