Saturday, March 06, 2004

Climate Change

Although University of Oregon has a relatively good architecture program when it comes to ECS (Environmental Control Systems), with an emphasis on ecological considerations, I have noticed that a crucial factor is left out of the education and discussion: climate change.

There is no longer much doubt that we are in for - possibly sudden and dramatic - climate changes (for instance a stop in the ocean currents warming Northern Europe).

Architecture is connected to climate change in two major ways: (a) The energy consumption of constructing and operating buildings (amount and source), and (b) architectural responses to climate change. Expecting possible sudden climate changes, we need to take that into acount in our designs. We cannot assume that the current climate at any one location is what we are actually designing for when we look at the lifetime of the building.