Singapore Architects and Structural Engineers Join Construction Declares

10 January 2020

Singapore, although somewhat protected by its equatorial location and its “City in a Garden” policies, has been experiencing the twin crises of climate breakdown and loss of biodiversity with increasing periods of drought and higher temperatures. The Climate Emergency is the most serious issue of our time, and buildings and construction play a major part – accounting for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while also having a significant impact on our natural habitats.

Construction Declares is a global petition uniting all strands of construction and the built environment. It is both a public declaration of our planet’s environmental crises and a commitment to take positive action in response to climate breakdown and biodiversity collapse. Singapore is the first Asian country to join Construction Declares with both architects and structural engineers as founding signatories.

Founding Signatories of Singapore’s Construction Declares

Architects: CSYA, DP Architects, Forum Architects, Guz Architects, HASSELL, SCDA and WOHA

Structural engineers: Arup, DP Engineers, RSP, Web Structures and WSP

This Climate Declaration is a call to action for everyone working in construction and the built environment to meet the needs of our societies without breaching the earth’s ecological boundaries. This will demand a paradigm shift in our behaviour. If we are to reduce and eventually reverse the environmental damage we are causing, we will need to re-imagine our buildings, cities and infrastructures as indivisible components of a larger, constantly regenerating and self-sustaining system.

Appendix A: Structural Engineers Declare – Singapore

The crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss are two of the most serious issues of our time. Buildings and construction play a major part, accounting for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions whilst also having a significant impact on our natural habitats.

For everyone working in the construction industry, meeting the needs of our society without breaching the earth’s ecological boundaries will demand a paradigm shift in our behaviour.

Together with our clients, we will need to commission and design buildings, cities and infrastructures as indivisible components of a larger, constantly regenerating and self-sustaining system in balance with the natural world.

The research and technology exist for us to begin that transformation now, but what has been lacking is collective will. Recognising this, we are committing to strengthen our working practices to create structural engineering outcomes that have more positive impact on the world around us.

We will seek to:

  1. Raise awareness of the climate and biodiversity emergencies and the urgent need for action amongst our clients, collaborators, supply chains, and the public at large.
  2. Advocate for faster change in our industry towards regenerative design practices and a higher funding priority to support this.
  3. Establish climate and biodiversity mitigation principles as the key measure of our industry’s success: demonstrated through awards, prizes and listings.
  4. Share knowledge and research to that end on an open source basis.
  5. Evaluate all new projects against the aspiration to contribute positively to mitigating climate breakdown, and encourage our clients to adopt this approach.
  6. Advocate to upgrade existing buildings for extended use as a more carbon efficient alternative to demolition and new build whenever there is a viable choice.
  7. Promote life cycle studies, carbon footprint assessment and post occupancy evaluation for specific structural components as part of the basic scope of work, to reduce both embodied and operational resource use.
  8. Adopt more regenerative design principles in practice, with the aim of providing structural engineering design that minimises embodied carbon footprint to help achieve the standard of net zero carbon.
  9. Collaborate with clients, architects, engineers and contractors to further reduce construction waste.
  10. Accelerate the shift to low embodied carbon materials in all our work.
  11. Minimise wasteful use of resources in our structural engineering design, both in quantum and in detail.

We hope that every structural engineering practice operating in SG will join us in making this commitment. 

For more information on Construction Declares, please visit www.constructiondeclares.com

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