Thought Leadership

The Role of Architects in Addressing Climate Change

In this Thought Leadership piece DB3 Senior Associate, Mark Baggoley shares his reflections on the climate changes and the role that architects need take on in order to address this urgent issue.

Climate Change is now widely accepted as the biggest issue humanity faces, and it will have a major impact on life on Earth as we know it.  

The urgency for architects to play their part is well overdue, and this must be the profession’s principal focus.  Net zero carbon design is a generally accepted aim, but we must go beyond this and create whole life carbon buildings that also positively reduce atmospheric CO2. 

Net Zero Carbon buildings are not enough.

Elon Musk’s $100 million carbon capture competition is an exciting move to find new and innovative ways to create devices that permanently sequester carbon dioxide to reduce the impact of climate change. 

But we already have amazing living entities in the form of plants and trees, which have helped sequester carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for millions of years. 

Architects and the wider design team can play a pivotal role in ensuring new trees and planting form part of our designs. Architecture and landscape design need to be symbiotic and help tackle the other critical issues of habitat loss and the collapse of biodiversity.

But architects and designers can’t do this alone.  It is only through collaboration with others – contractors, suppliers, clients, funders, investors – that we can tackle this head on.  Climate change needs to now lie at the heart of everything we all do.  The climate emergency has changed all our lives. 

We need to act with urgency and a collective will to tackle it, in the very short time that remains to do anything about it.

Date Published: 04 March 2021
Tags: climate change, Environment, sustainability



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