Wannabe Eco Architects: Get Educated or Get Left Behind

Architects have a tough job. They have to understand so many aspects of design construction and project management it’s a wonder that some homes get built as successfully as many are.

At Mesh we spend much time talking with many architects across the UK and the range in practice size, sector speciality and project size vary considerably. More generally there seems to be a split between those architects who are embracing sustainable projects and those who try to avoid them like the plaque; whether that is due to a bad experience or sheer pig-headedness.

What cannot be denied is the steady progression of energy efficiency within building fabric design through updated 2013 Building Regulations and the requirement from aspirational clients to consider more sustainable schemes at least in initial project conversations.

For architects willing to embrace sustainable projects and hoping to market themselves as ‘Eco Architects’ I can tell you that it is going to take a little work and background reading to start honestly providing worthwhile and trustworthy sustainability advice to potential or current clients.

Your client isn’t expecting you to know everything about sustainability but it sure helps if you can have a high level conversation about building techniques, materials and current technology that is ‘greener’ than the rest. There are numerous outlets for information be it books, specialist publications, magazines, blogs. The list is endless, but start with a medium and a subject matter you enjoy and simply digest a small piece at a time.

In parallel, talk with consultants in the area who may be able to provide invaluable support for potential or current projects and give you the confidence you need for your first project.

Even the most specialist ‘sustainability’ consultants and “green” architects started somewhere and I guarantee starting today will make it so much easier for you to become a respected ‘eco’ architect sooner than you may think.

Doug Johnson

Doug is a chartered mechanical engineer and has had the pleasure of being involved in the UK renewable sector since 2008. With wide-ranging operational and design experience in both the domestic and commercial sectors across a wide range of recognised technologies he hopes to be able to share his experience to help enlighten and save you hassle along the way.