Thursday, 5 June 2008

Euro 2009 Candidates - Architecture and Sustainability

Last month I, along with Euro candidates from the other main parties, was asked the following question by Paul McAlenan:

"Now that I know you are a candidate for Europe 2009 I would like to ask what your views are on architecture and our ‘built’ environment.
Do you agree with me that there is far to much pastiche and that the architecture of our new housing whether its private or association has to derive out of the NOW."

The candidates from both the Labour party and the Liberal party didn't respond.  The reply from the Conservative candidate (a trained architect) can be read by clicking here.  My response to the question follows...  

"Of course new builds should be of the now. They should deal with the pressing social/global issues of the time. In the nineteenth century that was the Industrial Revolution. In the new millennium it is dangerous climate change.

30% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from the home. This figure need to be cut by a bare minimum of 80% by 2050 as we fight to save the planet. Much of this will be done out of necessity by alterations to the existing housing stock (effective insulation, CHP systems) but a great contribution can come from innovative new building projects.

Architects need to embrace modern techniques to construct ultra-low and zero-carbon buildings. For example, Passive Solar Design - which pays specific attention to the site and location of dwellings, the prevailing climate, solar orientation and glazing elements - can provide energy consumption reductions of up to 70 - 90%.

Buildings built according to the rigorous German Passivhaus standard (super-insulated, triple-glazed, airtight) use approximately 85% less energy and produce 95% less carbon than properties built to UK 2002 standards. With the addition of Microgeneration Technologies such as Solar Photovoltaics and Ground Source Heat Pumps these buildings achieve zero-carbon emissions.

By their very nature ultra-low/zero-carbon homes appear strikingly different to the ‘traditional’ and mundane designs we have seen replicated up and down the country in housing projects for the last 30-40 years. However, necessity dictates that the contemporary architect and planner must embrace (and continually develop) environmentally sympathetic, scientifically sound, avant-garde ideas now and in the future as we struggle to save our world.

…Hope these thoughts answer your question, Paul. But I’d also be interested to hear more back from you on this, as you probably know more about some aspects of the question, perhaps especially in aesthetic terms, than I do."


You can read the full article and Paul McAlenan's thoughts on my reply can be read by clicking here.

2 Comments:

Blogger Adrian Windisch said...

Its a huge subject that the industry isnt adressing. Im a construction engineer and while there is slightly less waste than before there is no concern for improved insulation or low energy materials. Ive written more at http://greenreading.blogspot.com/2008/05/eco-homes-on-tv.html

There is however the merton rule, encouraging renewable sources for new homes, but its slow in spreading www.themertonrule.org. And some new homes are still built 9n the flood plane.

9 June 2008 at 18:09  
Blogger Riddiford of England said...

The euro 2009 elections will become a transnational Referendum.

11 July 2008 at 06:17  

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29.
Last month I, along with Euro candidates from the other main parties, was asked the following question by Paul McAlenan:

"Now that I know you are a candidate for Europe 2009 I would like to ask what your views are on architecture and our ‘built’ environment.
Do you agree with me that there is far to much pastiche and that the architecture of our new housing whether its private or association has to derive out of the NOW."

The candidates from both the Labour party and the Liberal party didn't respond.  The reply from the Conservative candidate (a trained architect) can be read by clicking here.  My response to the question follows...  

"Of course new builds should be of the now. They should deal with the pressing social/global issues of the time. In the nineteenth century that was the Industrial Revolution. In the new millennium it is dangerous climate change.

30% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from the home. This figure need to be cut by a bare minimum of 80% by 2050 as we fight to save the planet. Much of this will be done out of necessity by alterations to the existing housing stock (effective insulation, CHP systems) but a great contribution can come from innovative new building projects.

Architects need to embrace modern techniques to construct ultra-low and zero-carbon buildings. For example, Passive Solar Design - which pays specific attention to the site and location of dwellings, the prevailing climate, solar orientation and glazing elements - can provide energy consumption reductions of up to 70 - 90%.

Buildings built according to the rigorous German Passivhaus standard (super-insulated, triple-glazed, airtight) use approximately 85% less energy and produce 95% less carbon than properties built to UK 2002 standards. With the addition of Microgeneration Technologies such as Solar Photovoltaics and Ground Source Heat Pumps these buildings achieve zero-carbon emissions.

By their very nature ultra-low/zero-carbon homes appear strikingly different to the ‘traditional’ and mundane designs we have seen replicated up and down the country in housing projects for the last 30-40 years. However, necessity dictates that the contemporary architect and planner must embrace (and continually develop) environmentally sympathetic, scientifically sound, avant-garde ideas now and in the future as we struggle to save our world.

…Hope these thoughts answer your question, Paul. But I’d also be interested to hear more back from you on this, as you probably know more about some aspects of the question, perhaps especially in aesthetic terms, than I do."


You can read the full article and Paul McAlenan's thoughts on my reply can be read by clicking here.
30. 31. 32.