What we mean by sustainable architecture
Instead of talking about sustainable architecture, we could also talk about people-friendly and efficient construction. We are committed to architecture that makes people feel good. It’s about building more simply and modestly, rather than wastefully. “‘Simple building’ means stripping down to the essentials and using sturdy, long-lasting materials to minimize resource consumption.” In other words: avoiding imposing glass facades and oversized reinforced concrete buildings. But also no eco-labels at any price.
All three pillars of sustainability are important to us: social, ecological and economic. Sustainable architecture must do equal justice to people and the environment worldwide – in industrialized countries as well as in countries of the Global South. Building for the future means advancing people and climate-friendly architecture in both prosperous and disadvantaged communities.
Must new buildings be built at all?
The most important question we should ask ourselves at the beginning of a construction project: Do we need to build at all? After all, the best thing for climate and environmental protection and resource conservation is not to build at all. Can demolition, new construction be avoided – by converting or renovating a building, by adding on to it, by finding other solutions?
Especially in the Global North, it is important to critically question new construction projects: What is really necessary? How can living space be used more efficiently? How can we avoid wasting building materials such as steel, concrete and glass? Of course, people need a roof over their heads – for living, working, learning and living. But this should be well thought out from the start and planned sustainably in every respect.