The following open letter is inspired by our UK colleagues, gently adapted for the environment here in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The twin crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss are the
most serious issue of our time. Buildings and construction play a major
part, accounting for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2)
emissions whilst also having a significant impact on our natural
For everyone working in the construction industry, meeting the needs
of our society without breaching the earth’s ecological boundaries will
demand a paradigm shift in our behaviour. Together with our clients, we
will need to commission and design buildings, cities and infrastructures
as indivisible components of a larger, constantly regenerating and
The research and technology exist for us to begin that transformation
now, but what has been lacking is collective will. Recognising this, we
are committing to strengthen our working practices to create
architecture and urbanism that has a more positive impact on the world
We will seek to:
Raise awareness of the climate and biodiversity emergencies and
the urgent need for action amongst our clients and supply chains.
for faster change in our industry towards regenerative design practices
and a higher Governmental funding priority to support this.
climate and biodiversity mitigation principles as the key measure of
our industry’s success: demonstrated through awards, prizes and
Share knowledge and research to that end on an open source basis.
all new projects against the aspiration to contribute positively to
mitigating climate breakdown, and encourage our clients to adopt this
Upgrade existing buildings for extended use as a more
carbon efficient alternative to demolition and new build whenever there
is a viable choice.
Encourage life cycle costing, whole life
carbon modelling and post occupancy evaluation as part of our basic
scope of work, to reduce both embodied and operational resource use.
more regenerative design principles in our studios, with the aim of
designing architecture and urbanism that goes beyond the standard of net
zero carbon in use.
Collaborate with engineers, contractors and clients to further reduce construction waste.
Accelerate the shift to low embodied carbon and non-toxic materials in all our work.
Minimise wasteful use of resources in architecture and urban planning, both in quantum and in detail.
Andrew Patterson, Architype, Assembly Architects, Ben Hudson Architects, Black Pine Architects, Context Architects, Drawing Room, Gordon Moller, Graeme North EcoDesign, Herbst Architects, Jack Manning, Jasmax, Jeremy Salmond, Jessop Architects, Judi Keith-Brown Architects, Marshall Cook, Pacific Environments, Patrick Clifford, Pete Bossley, Pip Cheshire, Rafe Maclean Architects, Roger Walker, RTA Studio, Stuart Gardyne, Team Green Architects, Tennent Brown Architects, VIA Architecture
Supported by Tony Watkins and Tony van Raat
We hope that every NZ architectural practice will join us in making this commitment.