Futurarc-The Green Issue 2008
BCI Asia Construction Information Sdn Bhd
It could be said that there shouldn’t be bumper issues, like this one, focused on green design; that green ought to be the way we think every day anyway—no need to hype it up or celebrate it or bring attention to the fact. But the reality is that we live in times when, despite compelling evidence and the charms of Al Gore, there is scant action. And so the drum-beating persists until—as Kevin Hydes, Chair of the World Green Building Council, puts it—we reach a point when we are genuinely surprised when someone does not act on knowledge of climate change. He thinks we are three years from getting there (The FuturArc Interview). The FuturArc team, for its part, wants to nudge things along; this will be the first of many Green annuals. It features projects that speak of serious attempts at making a difference. We give airtime to experts who speak on subjects ranging from design education to life after fossil fuel. We talk with innovative minds and get insights into collaborative enterprises that are the building blocks of successful greening. And yes, for what it’s worth, there is a zero energy building to raise the flag of the good fight. This issue also covers the FuturArc Prize, which wrapped up in January 2008, with great turnout. The results of this—the first large green building design competition in Asia opened to professionals and students—were subsequently announced at a series of eight FuturArc Forums held for the first time in cities across the region (Special Supplement 2008). There is real broad-based momentum on the challenges facing the construction industry in going green (Thor Kerr’s piece on the green market survey). There are also serious differences in terms of awareness and commitment between countries. Developments that are truly green are distinguished by performance that is measurable, verifiable and replicable. So the next time someone paints a building green with a faddish feature or technology, ask them what difference it really makes. And if they can’t tell you how much waste was cut or consumption reduced, what savings in carbon emissions were achieved, chances are that it’s feel-good greening, derisively called greenwash.