Architecture and Climate ChangeHow the Industry is Adapting

From glacial retreat and shrinking ice sheets to warming oceans and rising sea levels, climate change is here and it continues to grow across the globe. The architecture industry is adapting to combat climate change. Here are some ways that architecture and design jobs are evolving to minimize climate change.

More Focus on Urban Planning

Scientists have found a correlation between the way that major cities are arranged and rising temperatures. Poorly designed urban areas can suffer from increased heat waves and air pollution along with the illnesses associated with them. Many cities that were traditionally built using precise grid-like structures are hotter than those with other designs. City planners and architects can leverage this to their advantage when it’s time to update or add new sections to urban areas. For instance, building on a grid may still be the best option for cities with colder climates, but those that are already hot require different arrangements and materials. Buildings and roads that are made from concrete and asphalt retain heat during the day that is released at night, so experts are looking for cooler, cheaper alternatives.

Architects Becoming Urban Activists

Architects are evolving to become more than just human resources used in the formal planning stages around cities. A growing number of professionals in the industry are using their skills to raise awareness for pressing the issues of climate change. More architects are assuming the roles of unsanctioned urban activists and using art activism to raise ecological concerns in economically challenged and underdeveloped areas.

Reducing Carbon Dioxide

Buildings and automobiles are two of the biggest contributors of carbon dioxide emissions in the urban environment. Reduction efforts have already spread to many architecture firms across the United States that have committed to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2030. Those in the industry will feel increased pressure to promote sustainable building methods and gather data that proves its value. But finding ways to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that building releases isn’t the only climate change related issue that architects are facing. Architecture consulting services are already addressing ways to reduce construction waste, fresh-water consumption, and land use in metropolitan areas.

From taking political action and lobbying to using art activism that brings attention to the climate crisis, the industry continues to evolve, and architects have already assumed a significant role in the climate change movement.


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