Architects of Change: A Guide to Implementing Sustainable Practices By Bridging the Green Skills Generation Gap

Aoife Houlihan Wiberg (Editor), Jennifer Jackson (Editor), Jayanta Mondol (Editor), Raffaella Folli (Editor), Adrian Pugsley, Ben James, Ryan Johnston, Rory Magee, Cathal Mc Kenna, Caolán McCaughley

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

The UK has set a target of a 68% reduction of GHG emissions by 2030 and by 78% by 2035. Its goal is for net-zero emissions by 2050, a commitment the UK government set out in law in 2019. In response to our current era of climate emergency and urgent need to decarbonise the built environment, the studio theme continues to investigate approaches to the integration of climate resilience and net zero GHG emission design strategies. Improving the energy performance of the building stock and developing net zero emission building concepts are critical to avoid increase in energy use and GHG emissions.The concept of climate resilient, net-zero emission buildings is gaining wide international attention and is a key climate mitigation pathway for achieving climate neutrality targets in the built environment. The Architects of Change programme addresses these challenges and has created a knowledge sharing initiative which marries world class academics with architecture students at The Belfast School of Architecture & the Built Environment at Ulster University with business leaders to empower them to deliver real change and net zero knowledge in the region.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherNielsen Book Services Limited
Number of pages128
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-85923-288-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-85923-288-0
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

https://www.ulster.ac.uk/architectsofchange/manual

Foreward by Professor Aoife Houlihan Wiberg 2022
The UK has set a target of a 68% reduction of GHG emissions by 2030 and by 78% by 2035. Its goal is for net-zero emissions by 2050, a commitment the UK government set out in law in 2019. In response to our current era of climate emergency and urgent need to decarbonise the built environment, the studio theme continues to investigate approaches to the integration of climate resilience and net zero GHG emission design strategies. Improving the energy performance of the building stock and developing net zero emission building concepts are critical to avoid increase in energy use and GHG emissions.

The concept of climate resilient, net-zero emission buildings is gaining wide international attention and is a key climate mitigation pathway for achieving climate neutrality targets in the built environment. The Architects of Change programme addresses these challenges and has created a knowledge sharing initiative which marries world class academics with architecture students at The Belfast School of Architecture & the Built Environment at Ulster University with business leaders to empower them to deliver real change and net zero knowledge in the region.

The seeds for the project started with a conversation between Raffi and I in the lift where we met each other for the first time. I introduced myself as a new Professor who had joined Ulster University from Norway and I was telling her how I was embedding knowledge from The Research Centre for Zero Emission Neighbourhoods in Smart Cities (ZEN) in Norway into my architectural Superstudio ‘ZEN Architecture III - Zero Belfast’ and she was describing the need challenges faced by senior leaders on delivering Net Zero in the region. It was during that lift conversation that the seeds for this ambitious project were sown.

The project has successfully achieved its ambition to empower our younger generation of student architects to deliver real change through the development of a training manual and a series of student led workshops to business leaders. It showcases the potential and opportunities of bridging research and design through an international knowledge sharing collaboration between The Research Centre for Zero Emission Neighbourhoods in Smart Cities (ZEN) in Norway and architecture students in the ‘ZEN Architecture III - Zero Belfast’ studio at The Belfast School of Architecture & the Built Environment at Ulster University and showcases Belfast City Council, and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE). This project will create a ‘step change’ in the local outreach from the university to the wider community though the delivery of climate resilient and net zero knowledge for both new build and retrofit so as to decarbonize the building stock in the region and to empower and improve the well-being of our citizens and local communities.

We would like to thank The Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment for supporting our project. The project and partners gratefully acknowledges the use and adaptation of ZEB and ZEN knowledge content from The Research Centre on Zero Emission Buildings (ZEB) and The Research Centre for Zero Emission Neighbourhoods in Smart Cities (ZEN) hosted by The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the support from the ZEB and ZEN partners and the Research Council of Norway.

The successful design and delivery of this training programme and comprehensive manual would not be possible without the contributions from our M.Arch. architecture student ambassadors, Rory Magee, Cathal Mc Kenna and Caolan Mc Caughley, my Ph.D. researchers Mr Ryan Johnston and Mr Ben James, Dr Adrian Pugsley and our research assistant Ms. Jennifer Jackson under the supervision and guidance of Professor Aoife Houlihan Wiberg, Professor Raffaella Folli and Dr. Jayanta Mondol. We also wish to express our sincere gratitude to the Belfast Resilience and Sustainability Board, Councillors and officers at Belfast City Council for their commitment and support to the programme.

The urgent need for knowledge for a Resilient Net Zero Built Environments in an era of Climate Emergency has never been more critical. The student work contributes new knowledge for the transition towards a climate resilient and net zero carbon built environment in the Northern Ireland (NI) context in.This has been achieved through research led design and the studio theme which has enabled our architecture students to investigate and develop climate resilient, net zero approaches to bridge the gap between research and design in a mainstream architectural studio context and to deliver and share this knowledge to civic leaders, anchor institutions and citizens through collaboration to solve climate related problems.

Recent IPCC report stresses we must reduce our GHG emissions by 45% before 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050, if not before, and provides a clear warning, we need to act fast and decisively! The Architects of Change project demonstrates immediate change is possible through the power of international knowledge sharing and calls to action our next generation of architects to enable local leaders and citizens to deliver real change to reduce GHG emissions and climate resilience both immediately and the long term.

Keywords

  • net zero emission buildings
  • zero emission buildings
  • greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • sustainable design
  • sustainable architecture
  • green architecture
  • Net zero energy buildings
  • architecture
  • Climate adaptation
  • Climate Change
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Climate resilience
  • Renewable Energy
  • zero emission neighbourhoods
  • architectural retrofit
  • sustainable construction
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Embodied emissions
  • Carbon emissions
  • Polygeneration
  • climate crisis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering(all)

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