“We must make carbon considerations as important as our safety calculations. Every project must change”.
‘Business as usual’ is incompatible with climate emergency, and deep changes across the design, construction, use, and re-use of buildings and infrastructure are required if we are to have any chance of providing a sustainable environment for the 9.7bn people who will share our planet in 2050.
Overdesign results in bad buildings. This guide explains why overdesign is so prevalent, and its impact on material consumption and CO2
The guidance covers the design process, through to fabrication, assembly, use, and deconstruction - building on the findings of MEICON (Minimising Energy in Construction).
Part 1 examines the origins of certain design practices and sources of carbon emissions.
Part 2 presents a vision for the future, supported by case studies of real projects that have successfully reduced carbon. The case studies have been deliberately chosen - highlighting commonly-encountered scenarios, rather than showcasing glamourous extremes.
Part 3 offers advice on how to advocate for improved design, and the ways an individual can contribute.
Why aiming for zero carbon emissions is essential
Recent successes in reducing the operational
carbon demand of built assets must now be matched by similarly deep reductions in their embodied
carbon demand. This means a radical shift in thinking, in terms of our approach to structural material use.