Achieving Carbon Zero

In our opinion the delivery of architectural quality carbon zero projects will require a fundamental re-evaluation of the traditional design development and procurement processes.

The challenges faced by the construction industry today may appear technical, but are indicative of a deeper contextual disparity. The traditional approach to problem solving is often constrained by our fragmentary view of the world a consequence of which is social & environmental degradation.

As designers we are well placed to solve these problems by questioning this traditional approach. In order to evolve, the industry needs to soften its fixation with “surface value” thinking and individualistic expression in order to allow integral solutions to emerge. In this sense architects should engage with design in its most pure form, as problem solvers. We cannot tackle the problems we face without collectively negotiating the often complex and conflicting objectives faced by the natural systems, the built environment, organisations and individuals.

Future solutions will require increasing levels of technical understanding, the embracing of more powerful design tools and new construction methods, but this will need to be underpinned by an even greater level of sobriety and open mindedness. In our view, it is perception that is most fundamental to the delivery of genuinely sustainable solutions. If we should distinguish the terminology of Zero Carbon in any way, first and foremost perhaps we could agree its definition as:  "zero ego".