Architecture student at the Arts University Bournemouth. From Italy. Passionate about architecture, design and travelling.
Alternet.com stated that "86% of the world's population live in countries that require more from nature than their ecosystems can provide". In the UK, 80% of carbon emission is produced by buildings (according to designbuildings.co.uk). Such data, more than being alarming, should be a wake up call and a call to action for countries around the world to be inventive, innovative and practical.
Numerous are the countries around the world that have already taken steps and implemented sustainable policies and countries like the United Kingdom and like my home country, Italy, should take inspiration from. Iceland, considered the first most ecologically sustainable country in the world, is now producing 100% of its electric energy from renewable resources. In second place, Switzerland, with 31% of its land covered by forests, is now using its own resources to build new houses (According to Alternet.com).
A more ecologically sustainable United Kingdom should not only implicate tighten regulations, but it should implicate a radical change in everyday people's lives. Along with other subjects, schools should be used as a way to educate and grow awareness about the consequences of our actions on the environment. That will already become a starting point for future generations. However, houses and public buildings should become one individual organism that imitate a natural ecosystem, meaning that they will be self sufficient. Buildings in the future should be able to produce and renew the energy used in order to create a continuous cycle of production and recycle.
Another aspect to be kept into consideration should be the use of locally source materials. In the food industry in Italy, something called "kilometer zero" food has been highly promoted; this means that the food is grown, produced and distributed locally. Something similar should become a norm for materials and production and become a "Mile zero" architecture. Architects, builders and industries should become aware and promote the use of local materials, so that each area in the country will mainly use the resources found in the territory, as well as for clients to support and engage only with local industries and builders.
This is just the beginning, but it can only happen if it starts from us, the people, by us, and for us.
Gummow, J. and AlterNet (2014) 12 ecologically sustainable countries and why they should be admired. Available at: http://www.alternet.org/environment/12-ecologically-sustainable-countries-and-why-they-should-be-admired (Accessed: 17 May 2016).
Ltd, D.B. (2016) Make buildings better - designing buildings Wiki. Available at: http://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/Make_buildings_better (Accessed: 17 May 2016).
Featured articles and news
Read about RSHP's British Museum extension which has been shortlisted for the 2017 Stirling Prize.
Read our introductory article to building a house extension.
More updates from DCMS about the large-scale testing of cladding systems and the number of buildings affected.
UandI secure resolution to grant planning consent for major new regeneration project.
IHBC article considers how heritage is dealt with when infrastructure schemes are authorised.
It was the tallest structure in the world for 3,800 years, but to this day the exact construction techniques are a mystery.
Shortlist for the industry's most coveted award announced.
Government responds to Mark Farmer's review of industry, rejecting the call for a levy on clients.
Peter Hansford to examine what wider lessons can be learned from the fire.
Every project is subject to uncertainty. How can construction better understand uncertainty for performance improvement?
MAD Architects reveal their designs for a futuristic campus for electric car manufacturer.
Homebuyers could borrow more with better forecasting of energy bills, according to industry consortium's new report.
Read our introductory article on carbon capture and storage.