By Amanda Ross, Architect
Can designing better buildings reduce the impacts of climate change? Can we make every new building carbon neutral? The answer is resoundingly yes. As architects, we have the knowledge, capability and technology to do this today. When it comes to designing more environmentally friendly buildings, the approach we take makes all the difference.
Image: The City of Vancouver has a goal of being carbon neutral by 2030 (Photo: iStock)
By Franz Greenwood, Architectural Designer
It is now all too simple to raise money online to pay for that Dr. Who concept rap album you’ve been wanting to record, or perhaps that dream of building your very own 50ft electromechanical serpent. The relative ease of gathering a number of people together online who are willing to contribute time or money to a common cause, however uncommon, has helped everyone from basement tinkerers to NGOs not only see a demand for their product or project but fund it, test it and eventually realize it.
By Jesse Reimer, Architectural Technologist
I recently embarked on a journey to design and build my own house. This event has been profoundly transformative as I struggle with the weight of all the decisions and the importance they carry. There are plenty of certification programs out there for energy efficiency. Net Zero, for example is gaining in popularity and Passive House certified buildings are popping up around the world. As I gaze at the drawings of my newly designed house, which is currently in the early stages of construction, my mind wanders through the wilderness of energy standards and codes, flooded with contradictory statements and slanted statistics about ‘paybacks’.
By Greg Hasiuk, MAA, SAA, MRAIC, LEED®AP
Practice Leader, Number TEN Architectural Group
Technology is no longer a curious and separate aspect of our lives; it is now part of us. It is as fluid as a conversation, and as complex as our relationships. Buildings are only part of the equation for meeting the educational needs of children if they are to succeed in our exponentially changing times.
As Thomas Friedman tells us, the world truly is flat. Asia’s fast growing population, rise in wealth, and increasing access to education and technology has created a genuinely global world. Traditional careers in western society that generated wealth and stature are no longer guaranteed to do so. “Information Age” careers such as accounting, law, engineering and even medicine are now being challenged by a cheaper workforce from across the globe. China will soon be the largest English-speaking country in the world, with India not far behind. New skills are needed for our children to succeed, and they need to be taught and inspired in our schools.