How disruptive are we willing to be?
In the Guardian this week, its outgoing Environment Editor, Oliver Wainwright, made some bold claims that are worth taking note of. He asked: what if we never demolished another building again?
The construction industry is wasteful and creates huge CO2 emissions. But what if new buildings had to be adapted and reused or built only with materials already available? That's an interesting argument just to start with. And, if the change movement that CEWales is meant to be all about challenging convention, disrupting and modernising then we need to be able to take a different point of view.
Wainwright goes on to argue that we might have no choice, given the way our voracious urban consumption habits are going. In the UK, the construction industry accounts for 60% of all materials used, while creating a third of all waste and generating 45% of all CO2 emissions in the process. It is a greedy, profligate and polluting monster, gobbling up resources and spitting out the remains in intractable lumps. On our current course, we are set to triple material extraction in 30 years, and triple waste production by 2100. If we stand any chance of averting climate catastrophe, we must start with buildings – and stop conceiving them in the same way we have for centuries.
Read the full article here. It is worth it. Think differently – start now and then let us know what you think. We'd like to hear from you because if this theory has any potential at all then it is worth further examination.