Upcircle were invited by Knauf AMF to a round table discussion focussing on sustainability in the construction industry, with a leading question of ‘Is sustainable design and construction becoming better understood?’ Joined by 8 experts from the profession, Ophélia Gisquet represented Upcircle in the roundtable.
Sustainability – have we
missed the message?
Sustainability; one word comprising 14
letters and one significant meaning. A
definition we've all grown to familiarise
ourselves with. Whether it be opting
for sustainable components to achieve
that sought-after BREEAM 'Excellent'
accreditation, frantically chasing WELL
and LEED credits or even at home
reaching for that Bag for Life prior to your
weekly dash around the supermarket; in
a way, sustainability has subconsciously
attached itself to many of our lives –
regardless of your professional status.
That said, with such strong recognition,
how has sustainability managed to trickle
through the fingers of many within the
construction realm? Does it stem from
financial restraints? Time pressures?
Or is it construction chain matters
that have placed sustainability on the
backburner? With sustainability at the heart of the company, Knauff assembled a number
of sustainability experts during the first
week of October for a roundtable event
to address these issues and invited
FC&A along to deliver the discussion to
the rest of the industry.
The customer is always right?
Shikha Bhardwaj, Senior Environmental Consultant at ChapmanBDSP, stated that:
"Sustainability generally is understood as a 'checklist' or a race to the finish line to
achieve certification, however it is, personally, a mindset and a design approach." Bhardwaj
revealed that, in her experience, clients, and designers, often relate sustainability only to
certification and compliance and rarely to the building design itself. She went on to explain: "Some clients are passionate and more intrigued to explore the potential and long-term benefits of sustainable strategies, yet some are purely focused on achieving a high BREEAM certification. However, it’s our responsibility, to highlight the potential, possibilities and benefits of a sustainable design, rather than limiting our int