Better buildings, better lives?

  • YEAR
    McElroy, Lori B
    2006 Conference Papers
    Sustainable development processes


ABSTRACT: In the face of overwhelming evidence that human activity is adversely influencing the ecological
balance of the earth, and that the built environment and transport account for more than half of the World’s
energy consumption, and solid and gaseous waste – it is incumbent on those designing our shared future
environments to do so with great care. [Bruntland 1987].
Has anyone noticed that the word ‘sustainable’ is missing from the newly coined department for Communities
and Local Government? Apparently the word is now so ubiquitous it’s an embarrassment to the government.
Expect to see it disappearing from more official titles soon…[Building Design 19 May 2006].
The whole issue of sustainability is controversial, and whether or not one believes that humans are the main
cause of climate change, our profligacy in use of finite resources, from building materials to fossil fuels,
necessitates that we change our behaviour. For whatever reason, if the climate continues to change at or
near the predicted rate this will have significant implications for buildings, so there are other good reasons for
trying to “be more sustainable”. If nothing else, all of this will lead to associated legislation with which we will
all have to comply. This paper explores the issues involved in adopting a ‘process’ rather than ‘product’
based approach to the design and delivery of the built environment and outlines how a current Scottish
Executive [Sust. 2002] initiative is fostering a new, partnership-based approach to design and construction
that will better equip professionals to cope with new challenges.


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