How we think and develop architecture can determine the impact on climate change, the access to natural resources, the fundamental conditions for biodiversity and the quality of life for people.
Our responsibility is to incorporate sustainable tools and goals in our architectural practices, using what we know, working together and challenging the existing practices.
Make sure that raw materials, parts, and products retain their value for as long as possible. This minimizes the impact of construction on the planet, spares the environment, and limits carbon emissions.
Circular designing starts with a circular business model. You need to look further than the circularity of the building work itself. The entire process counts – right until the demolition. In addition, as the burden of proof is on you, you need to ensure complete transparency on hidden consequences of a design, such as a building’s carbon emissions. Another difference with traditional design is that you maintain a long-term connection to the buildings you design, as a circular design architect.
If something does not function, you take responsibility and find a solution.
The European Union wants to be climate-neutral by 2050. This means that the Netherlands needs to substantially improve sustainability in the coming years. At the same time, with 66% of the world’s population predicted to live in urban areas by 2050, it is important that we create new buildings and transform properties – especially in cities. We therefore face a colossal challenge. Hence, it is essential to take a closer look at existing building methods. By using wood and other bio-based alternatives, much can be gained in terms of sustainability.
Making a conscious choice to use wood is a good starting point, as demonstrated by the previous design principle. But constructing from wood entirely would not do our forests any good. Furthermore, 100% wood construction is not always efficient or financially feasible. Our advice is therefore to combine various types of building materials. Bring together the best of several worlds to create a strong, aesthetic, and functional construction that is financially feasible.
The material pyramid
The material pyramid is a handy, interactive calculation tool that makes it possible to compare the carbon footprints of different materials. In addition, the material pyramid provides insight into the environmental effects of alternative building materials. It gives you a quick overview of the sustainability of the problem-solving approaches that have been put forward. It also provides an ideal basis for discussing how to minimize the CO2 impact of a design.
Climate change calls for a greener living environment – especially in our cities. To do so, We are keen to build on the ecological context that already exists, with the aim of improving it. Not only by looking at what is less harmful to nature, but by searching for ways to nurture nature. This includes, for example, promoting biodiversity in as many ways as possible.
The Whole Life Carbon approach
Circular designing goes further than reducing CO2 emissions during the utilization phase. As the building process and material usage also determine the CO2 impact, We work in accordance with the Whole Life Carbon approach. This is a framework for achieving a carbon dioxide-free construction sector and includes target dates, definitions, and practical case studies that can help to achieve zero CO2 emissions during the entire service life of buildings.