Sustainability in architecture and modern urban planning has been a topic on everyone’s lips for quite some time now, but it has certainly garnered greater levels of attention as the global climate crisis has hit new peaks in 2019. As we move into a brand new decade, it is more important than ever that the architecture world takes stock, and really looks at effective ways to build in a sustainable way that doesn’t detract from the quality of construction and the quality of life of those using buildings and structures that have been designed in the coming years.

In terms of residential architecture specifically, sustainability is key, especially as there has been a delay in a positive reaction from those constructing big urban residential projects over the last decade or so. As skyscrapers continue to go high up in the sky across big cities the world over, the impact on the environment has increased. Has the approach from architects and designers shifted to offset this impact and make a brighter future for all concerned? We’re not so sure, but it really has to if any of us have a chance to live in a positive future world where the climate emergency is brought under control.

In fact, more people than ever before are thought to be willing to pay that little bit more to buy homes, and to rent housing, if it is within a residential building that has been constructed using sustainable materials, and uses processes that are helpful to the environment, rather than hinder it further. There are small aspects of residential living that can immediately help with this approach to life. This can be seen in recycling provisions within residential buildings, the management of lighting and electricity in general, rainwater collection systems, solar panels built into plans for residential buildings, and the materials used within construction itself being of a sustainable variety, rather than just the concrete that has added huge carbon footprints to cities the world over.

Architects now look at ways that they can improve the entire process of construction within residential projects, from the design stage right the way through to construction and on to the way in which people eventually live in these buildings for many years. Sustainability is now a core (and key) concept of most architecture firms, and rightly so. Passivity is negligent in the current climate, and the creativity and innovation that the architecture sector has always produced will be evident again as we look for new, and brighter ways to be sustainable in the face of a climate emergency and an ever-growing urban population in every country of the world.

This is why it is so important for those in management positions of construction projects take a deep, hard look at the ideas behind the designs, and get on board architects with a clear and effective idea of sustainability as a concept, but also in practical terms and how it can help a residential project get off the ground and be successful within the traditional parameters of time and finance.