The concept of “decarbonization” has been in vogue recently in political speeches and global environmental events, but it has not yet gained enough attention in the field of architecture to profoundly change the way we design and construct the world of tomorrow. Buildings are currently responsible for 33% of global energy consumption and 39% of greenhouse gas emissions, indicating that architects must play a significant role if we are to stop or reverse climate change. With carbon acting as a universally agreed upon metric with which the greenhouse gas emissions of a building can be tracked , one of the most important ways through which this goal can be achieved is therefore the decarbonization of buildings.
Hospitals and projects related to healthcare must follow specific guidelines based on the rules and regulations of their country. These standards help us to design complex spaces, such as those located in areas of surgery, hospitalization, diagnostics, laboratories, and including areas and circulations that are clean, dirty, restricted or public, which create a properly functioning building.
There are a few spaces that we, as architects, can develop with great ease and freedom of design: waiting rooms, reception areas, and outdoor spaces. These are spaces where architects can express the character of the hospital. To jump-start you into this process, we have selected 43 projects that show us how creativity and quality of a space go hand-in-hand with functionality.
As technology moves forward, so does architecture and construction. Architects, designers, and planners around the world now have infinite tools and resources to design and build the cities of today and the future. As promising as this may sound, new construction is also consuming our world’s limited resources faster than we can replenish them.
This situation leaves architects with an important responsibility: the rehabilitation and reuse of the existing built environment. This means using creative thinking and design to save and incorporate old or historic buildings that currently exist, in the present and future of our cities, by adapting them through creative and sensitive treatments.