The decalogue for sustainable architecture
9/11/2009 - In Rome, the WWF disseminated the decalogue for sustainable architecture during the day "Building for the climate" organized by the generation clima campaign

The first requirement of an 'ecological' building is ... That it is indispensable!

Thus began the WWF handbook to distinguish truly sustainable architecture from that which is attributed the title for fashion or market interests, but which often has only the facade green. But an ecological building must also be energy efficient, designed specifically for the place where it stands, built with appropriate materials and aimed at the well-being of the community. The decalogue that WWF presents today on the occasion of the day "Building for the climate", organized by the Association together with the Edizioni Ambiente under the patronage of the Province of Rome, leaves no room for approximation, as a step towards the fateful Conference on the Climate of Copenhagen in December, in which the world will have to decide how to face the great challenge of climate change.

Yes, because the construction of buildings with high environmental quality - therefore with low impact and with minimal energy consumption - is a fundamental tool for reducing CO2 emissions, one of the main causes of global warming.

How? First of all, by changing the needs upstream, through a reduction in the demand for buildings and an increase in its environmental quality. And then through the dissemination of appropriate practices, materials and technologies, which can be managed directly by local communities.
Here are the ten requirements that a truly ecological building must have, in order not to be confused with the array of more or less sincere 'green', 'ecological', 'sustainable' projects, which modern architecture often boasts:

  • 1) its construction is indispensable

  • 2) is properly localized

  • 3) is specific to a location

  • 4) recover or upgrade the existing one

  • 5) minimize the size

  • 6) you use low-energy, healthy and low-impact materials

  • 7) reduce the need for energy

  • 8) give the inhabitants an active role in planning

  • 9) express the social capacity of building

  • 10) is aimed at the welfare of the community

From theory to practice, today's conference - introduced by the honorary president of WWF Italy and architect Fulco Pratesi, and by the president of WWF Lazio Vanessa Ranieri - reviewed very concrete projects and elements of sustainable construction: the study of materials and techniques for the thermal insulation of buildings and energy efficiency (arch. Paolo Rava, University of Ferrara); an architecture project "of the essential" in a poor area of ​​Africa, built with local resources and materials and with a strong social value (arch. Emilio Caravatti). The construction of a residential neighborhood in Pieve di Cento, in the province of Bologna, based on a close relationship between nature and built, and a close comparison between bioclimatics, technological choices and local traditions (arch. Angelo Mingozzi, University of Bologna).
The day was also an opportunity to present the book "Sustainable architecture and brick" by Adriano Paolella, architect and President of WWF Research and Projects published by Edizioni Ambiente, which traces a panorama of sustainable brick architecture between climates, cultures and profoundly different economic realities, to underline the extreme versatility of a simple and local building in the face of the challenges posed by climate change and the global economy.
"Sustainable architecture is one of the most concrete and immediate tools we have to reduce the impact of our societies on the planet and face the challenge of climate change already underway - said Fulco Pratesi, honorary president of WWF Italy and architect he itself - In this crucial year for the climate and the territory, with the Copenhagen Conference on the one hand and an ever-increasing constructive enthusiasm on the other, it is essential that real sustainability becomes a standard of practice in every aspect of architecture requalification of the existing building to create new works ".

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