Akademisk Arkitektforening

Sustainability is a must, not an option


Belinda Tato, partner i den spanske arkitektvirksomhed Ecosistema Urbano er på programmet i Århus den 5. november til konferencen "Bæredygtighed i bevægelse". Læs interview:

To what extent do you think that architecture and planning can support  the motivation to exercise –  and better long-term health conditions?
Architects should not forget  social responsibility; we create the habitats: homes, libraries, cities for people to live, relate, interact and become happy. Therefore we have a big responsibility in  providing the context for people to live and behave in a particular way. This is extremely important when doing urban planning, where you are to design the functioning of a new neighbourhood.

Why is it important that sports architecture becomes sustainable?
We already know that 45% of the energy generated worldwide is used to heat, illuminate, and ventilate buildings, and 40% of the water consumed in the world is used in building facilities. Sustainability should be implied in the very concept of architecture. It should not be optional anymore. Buildings should be  sustainable in the same way that they are structurally safe, secure, healthy, etc.

What is your point of view on an official architecture policy for a nation/state or community?
In some Spanish cities there are interesting programs which run international ideas competitions to select the best proposals for these buildings. 

This has become almost a trend all through the country and the quality of  social housing has risen. Many international and prize winning architects from all over the world have designed social housing in Spain.

These programs have changed the landscape of the new neighbourhoods in which these housings are built and therefore the attitude of people towards these areas  has had an important social impact. Living in these areas is cool and the apartments are very carefully designed and built, the owners are finally proud to live there and a sense of community emerges.

What do you see as the biggest challenge in creating new buildings / transforming existing buildings in a sustainable way – as a response to modern lifestyle and future trends  in sports life?
A good building design guarantees a better life for its users and a lower maintenance cost for its whole life, which also makes it more economically efficient. 

There are active as well as passive systems of sustainable criteria which may be applied in order to increase the efficiency in a building. Implementation of new technology and materials are examples of active systems, whereas passive ones are based on design criteria and do not require a budget increase. This means that by simply using the passive systems, we may improve the energy efficiency of the building.

There are multiple examples of solutions in traditional architecture throughout the world. However, during the last few years it seems as if we have forgotten about the most basic and elementary concepts.Buildings don’t respond in an intelligent way to their environment and context anymore.

There is also a very close relationship between architecture and the quality of public space linked to it. This relationship has an impact on the quality of life for citizens, as well as social sustainability. An energy efficient building is unsustainable if it is not carefully situated within its urban context.

The new conditions require new solutions, and it is all about resources.

What about the differences between operation in an urban, a suburban and a rural context? 
The more plural, diverse, compact, mixed and varied the city is, the more sustainable it gets. A compact model allows its residents to move easily by bike, foot or public transportation within a short time.

Sustainability is just a balanced way to manage resources. It is therefore important to pay attention to the management of resources to make the existing urban tissue more efficient.

Any urban operation should take into consideration: green areas and biodiversity, water, energy, waste, noise and air quality, mobility, environmental education and public participation. The need and efficiency of infrastructures within these different contexts varies greatly.

Ecosistema Urbano
Ecosistema Urbano har adresse i Madrid og har eksisteret siden 2000.

Ecosistema Urbano fokuserer på forståelsen af byer som komplekse fænomener i spændingsfeltet mellem urbanisme, arkitektur, ingeniørkunst og sociologi.

Ecosistema Urbano arbejder således med at skabe kreativ, urban bæredygtighed. Ecosistema Urbano har modtaget mere end 30 nationale og internationale priser siden 2000.

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