Speaking at the 24th World Architecture Congress in Tokyo, Joint Group Managing Director (JGMD) at Woods Bagot, Ross Donaldson, tabled a solution to empower the design industry to defy sustainable ignorance and meet the climate change challenge.
"One of the principle reasons there is inertia within the architecture profession around mainstreaming sustainability, is ignorance; not so much about the reality of 'climate change,' but around what to do about it, and how to do something about it," Donaldson explained.
Since the release of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, in 2006, the resurgence of the environmental movement took stead, and the public awareness and drive for addressing climate change spread across the globe. It would be four years later, in which Ross suggests, that although public support to address climate change was very much present, 2010 was a watershed in an attitudinal change with regard to climate change and action.
"Whilst not universally acknowledged, there is much evidence to suggest that within that year a groundswell of attitudinal change arose, resulting in a diverse range of government and private enterprise initiatives such as, major economies acknowledging the principles of the Copenhagen accord, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development committing to zero nett energy for buildings, taking place.
Through this time, there was little coming from the supposed best minds in the design profession still immersed in the motions of empty formalist gestures, with little serious scientific rigour in addressing climate change," continued Ross.
Enter Zero Emissions Design (ZERO-E). In a response to confront sustainable ignorance, and develop a tool that would look to enable architects to be relatively autonomous, Woods Bagot and Buro Happold devised a new model - a tool, an interactive deign platform that tracks energy and carbon footprints for design solutions.
"Together in partnership, Woods Bagot and Buro Happold since 2009, have invested in research and development of a Zero Emissions Design platform with a customised software operational interface, enabling designers to understand the energy impact of their design in real time - as they design.
Today, at the 24th World Architecture Congress, as we gather to address the future of our cities, it is time for the design industry to confront sustainable ignorance, and embark on a journey, such as ZERO-E, to reserve and evolve the trend of global climate change," said Ross.