Architects for Future in Karlsruhe

The association Architects for Future stands in solidarity with the Fridays for Future movement and is committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Convention and limiting global warming to a maximum of 1.5°. They are involved in and with the construction industry, work on a voluntary and non-profit basis in the movement and at association level, and are committed to sustainable change in the building industry. They are international, non-partisan, autonomous and democratically organised. The Architects for Future address both the construction industry and society as a whole in order to work cooperatively at all levels to develop sustainable solutions and initiate sustainable change.

On the basis of public relations, network creation and transfer of knowledge the Architects for Future communicate their demands to the outside world through various media and events, bring together other organisations and actors and build a knowledge base for sustainable planning in order to set the course for a holistic, sustainable construction planning.

©A4F Germany

In order to be able to become active in Karlsruhe, Alisa Schneider and Elena Boerman, two architecture students at the Faculty of Architecture at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, took the initiative and founded a local group of the Architects for Future association in Karlsruhe. In this way, the discourse about the development towards a future-oriented, responsible and sustainable construction industry is to be enriched.

Local spokespeople for A4F Karlsruhe, Elena Boerman and Alisa Schneider, ©Fabio Costa

Architects for Future
Our Statement:

“The construction industry is the main cause of the enormous consumption of resources and energy in Germany.”

We therefore call on all those active in the construction industry:

1. Question demolition critically.
Not only are valuable and dwindling resources wasted during demolition and new construction, but they also require significantly more energy. When looking at the energy balance of the entire life cycle of a building, it is striking that the use of grey energy makes refurbishment preferable to any new construction, even that of passive houses.

2. Choose healthy and climate-positive materials.
Tropical wood, PVC flooring, synthetic resins, chemical solvents – we can choose foreign and cheap materials or think differently. Alternatives are regional, renewable and healthy materials. After all, the choice of building materials has a major impact on the health of the users of buildings and our environment.

3. Design for an open society.
Many construction decisions are made with a view to financial development opportunities. The comfort and use of the rooms are considered secondary in favour of profit optimisation for the investors. We should again ask ourselves the question for whom we actually design and build.

4. Design to be closed-loop compatible.
In addition to renewable materials such as wood, straw, sheep’s wool or flax, recyclable materials must be used that can be removed without destruction and thus reused. The building does not lose value over its life cycle, but can be deconstructed and sold.

5. Avoid downcycling.
Already today, the majority of the building rubble is reused. However, this is less a matter of recycling than of downcycling, the quality and functionality is deteriorating. This must be counteracted by genuine recycling-friendly design.

6. Use urban mines.
If buildings are nevertheless demolished, raw materials must be systematically collected and recovered. Primary raw materials are finite, making the use of secondary materials indispensable.

7. Preserve and create biodiverse habitat.
Construction activities often go hand in hand with enormous land consumption, destroying valuable habitats for flora and fauna. Sealed surfaces also lose their usefulness for food production, local recreation and rainwater infiltration. Responsible planning can not only reduce the destruction of natural areas, but also offers the potential to promote biodiversity and healthy habitats.

Further information:

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Logo Architects for Future Karlsruhe, © Management A4F Germany