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Irish Architects Declare Climate & Biodiversity Emergency

Published: Friday, October 04, 2019

A group of Irish architects has declared a climate and biodiversity emergency, following the lead of UK colleagues. Ireland is the latest country in the world to launch Architects Declare. Architects Declare is now calling on other Registered Architects in Ireland to join the group and to work together on creating a new future.

All signatories of the declaration commit to raising awareness of the climate and biodiversity emergencies and the urgent need for action among clients and supply chains. They also advocate for faster change in the industry towards regenerative design practices and a higher government funding priority to support this.

Irish architects can sign up to the declaration at www.ArchitectsDeclare.ie

Irish Architects Declare Statement

The twin crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss are the most serious issue of our time. Buildings and construction play a major part, accounting for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions whilst also having a significant impact on our natural habitats.

For everyone working in the construction industry, meeting the needs of our society without breaching the earth’s ecological boundaries will demand a paradigm shift in our behaviour. Together with our clients, we will need to commission and design buildings, cities and infrastructures as indivisible components of a larger, constantly regenerating and self-sustaining system.

The research and technology exist for us to begin that transformation now, but what has been lacking is collective will. Recognising this, we are committing to strengthen our working practices to create architecture and urbanism that has a more positive impact on the world around us.

We will seek to:

  1. Raise awareness of the climate and biodiversity emergencies and the urgent need for action amongst our clients and supply chains.
  2. Advocate for faster change in our industry towards regenerative design practices and a higher Governmental funding priority to support this.
  3. Establish climate and biodiversity mitigation principles as the key measure of our industry’s success: demonstrated through awards, prizes and listings.
  4. Share knowledge and research to that end on an open source basis.
  5. Evaluate all new projects against the aspiration to contribute positively to mitigating climate breakdown, and encourage our clients to adopt this approach.
  6. Upgrade existing buildings for extended use as a more carbon efficient alternative to demolition and new build whenever there is a viable choice.
  7. Include life cycle costing, whole life carbon modelling and post occupancy evaluation as part of our basic scope of work, to reduce both embodied and operational resource use.
  8. Adopt more regenerative design principles in our studios, with the aim of designing architecture and urbanism that goes beyond the standard of net zero carbon in use.
  9. Collaborate with engineers, contractors and clients to further reduce construction waste.
  10. Accelerate the shift to low embodied carbon materials in all our work.
  11. Minimise wasteful use of resources in architecture and urban planning, both in quantum and in detail.

Irish Architects Declare hope that every Irish architectural practice will join us in making this commitment. To sign the declaration, individuals must be on the RIAI Architects Register or Practices in the RIAI Practice Directory, and must provide their email address for verification before the practice name is added to the declaration.

Sign up now at ArchitectsDeclare.ie

About Architects Declare

Architects Declare was first launched in the UK on 19 May 2019. It is organised by a group of UK architects and has no political or institutional affiliations. Architects Declare Ireland is organised by a volunteer group of six architects/practices. In late August, the group contacted the UK organisers to seek permission to replicate Architects Declare in Ireland. The UK organisers were immediately supportive and created the Irish version of the website to use.

Irish Architects Declare launched on Tuesday 10 September 2019, making Ireland among the first countries to take up this initiative, with Australia and Norway Architects Declare also recently launched. The UK organisers have now set up Construction Declares in response to the interest shown in replicating the declaration by other groups internationally.

Categories: Architecture


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