Climate Change & role of an Architect

Article Written by Ar. Muhammad Tariq 
Architect , Env. Designer 

The most recent scientific assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that the global averaged surface temperature on Earth will increase by 1 to 3.5°C (about 2 to 6°F) by the year 2100, with an associated rise in sea level of 15 to 95 cm (about 6 to 37 inches). The  consequences of these changes results in catastrophic conditions that we are witnessing. The world today suffers around 400-500 natural disasters on average in a year, up from 125 in the 1980s (Disaster Risk Reduction: Global Review 2007).

Crop yield growth rates are declining in most parts of the world, partially as a consequence of rising temperatures, while increases in prevalence of climate-induced diseases have also been recorded.

Construction sector contributes to 23% of air pollution , 50% climate change, 40% of drinking water pollution & 50% of landfill wastes.  

Building materials such as concrete, aluminum  & steel are directly responsible for large quantities of CO2 emissions due to high contents of embodied energy.

The way architects design buildings needs attention. Architects have a significant role in all these changes because buildings is one of the main culprit which is responsible for majority of CO2 emission.

Construction sector contributes to 23% of air pollution , 50% climate change, 40% of drinking water pollution & 50% of landfill wastes.  



Building materials such as concrete, aluminum  & steel are directly responsible for large quantities of CO2 emissions due to high contents of embodied energy.

The way architects design buildings needs attention. Architects have a significant role in all these changes because buildings is one of the main culprit which is responsible for majority of CO2 emission.

Globally, buildings consume 35 percent of all energy and 60 percent of all generated electricity — much of which is produced by fossil fuels.

Architects can minimize and play a significant part in producing zero carbon and  environmental friendly buildings. Those buildings will not only help to control GHG emissions but have financial benefits. The architects must minimize those designs elements which are carbon intensive and require more energy such as electric lighting & air conditioning. The architects must also educate their clients to avoid active cooling systems in their projects in order to overcome the climate change issues.

The architect must well educate himself in green building design and environmental friendly architecture by studying & preparing for the LEED AP examination. There are so many green building design program like Living building challenges , architecture 2030 & Estidama of Dubai.

IAP Peshawar Chapter is now working on this to train its regional architects for green buildings and organize workshops and seminars for learning green buildings design strategies. It will not only open for architects but civil engineers, contractors, developers will also be a part of the initiative.

 People are worrying about things that can be come back with efforts but as for the natural resources like fresh air, clean water , it cannot be come back when gone. Days are near when we will have a small cylinder in our bags for fresh air & a mask same like we have water bottles for drinking. Building sector is more responsible for this. We architects have many precedents of vernacular buildings in various location in our region from which we can learn techniques of cooling buildings & day lighting in order to little rely on active systems which are sources of carbon emissions.

Materials selection for a building has also an impact on environment. Architects must search for those kind of materials which has little embodied energy, another thing that we do in construction is that we cut off all trees , disturb the birds communities and then design a bird aviary in buildings with landscape design so why not  the designers make those flora & fauna part of their design which can only be achieve when architects repeat the same site analysis process that did in schools.

Government must also establish green building code & monitor the construction activities with in region if they don’t one day we will wake up in mid night by the alarming sounds with floods that will reach to the height of our landmarks. There is no other planet like this earth so to invest money on searching like this one why not to prevent what we are given from the deterioration.  Universities need to include climate change & environment awareness contents in their courses. When all of us play a role then it is possible to tackle climate change as this is not only the duty of UN or others.

INFO-360

Info-360 is an Online Architecture Projects Directory which has evolved into a Complete Portal to Pakistan Architecture, Construction , Real Estate and Academics. It was Started Back in 2014 by Architect Abdul Ahad ,Graduated from University of Engineering and Technology Lahore . The Idea Behind info-360 is to provide a single platform for Architects,Contractors ,Students to Display their work and Business Profile and to create a 1- Stop Information source for Visitors.

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