Why do we still think of eco-projects as being special?

June 22nd, 2011 - Inspiration - Blog

By Brandon Neuhaus, Co-Founder.

This was the question at the heart of my March presentation to architects and designers at Ecobuild in London, because despite today’s environmental and regulatory pressures all too often a ‘green’ approach to design and construction is still seen through the prism of speciality.

I believe we urgently need to move away from thinking about sustainability as being a ‘project’, to it being the new default of the age. We need a revolution of the mind that embraces new and available eco technologies so that we can plan a future more in tune with the needs of the planet.

We are all creatures of habit but the evidence of the need to change is clear for all to see. Consider the Hoover Dam as a case in point. Lake Mead, which drives the dam’s turbines, is only 40% full and there is the very real prospect of power generation ceasing. It’s a stark reminder that even the most powerful nation on earth feels the effect of declining water resources and energy scarcity…of the impact of climate change.

Moreover, we know that the world’s population is expanding and gravitating towards urban centres. This will mean even greater demand for energy and water and the probability of still higher emissions…unless we create a revolution of the mind.

This revolution starts with you and it starts with me.

We can be the unsung heroes who avoid catastrophe by influencing the way that buildings are designed and constructed. We can do this by adopting a rigorous approach to sustainability, leveraging the benefits of low carbon technologies, selecting high quality products with recycled and re-purposed content, and choosing to work with companies that share our respect for the environment.

As a community of designers, architects and supply partners we are in a privileged position. We can be the visionaries…the game changers, the new generation who embrace a greener way of working and who make the evidence-based case for creating a built environment founded on economic progress, social well-being and environmental responsibility.

Each of us can take responsibility for our own sphere of influence because when we all join together even the smallest changes can make great things happen. In short, it needs to start now and it needs to start here.

 
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