Robarts Library, University of Toronto. Image credit Roens, Creative Commons
TreeHugger readers have heard Carl Elefante's rallying cry "The greenest building is the one already standing" many times; now architectural writer Dave LeBlanc presents the Architecture Lover's Manifesto that reinforces the point. Some of it is a bit Toronto-centric, but most points are relevant anywhere. Dave writes:
Have some respect for your personal architecture because it benefits all of us. Below are a dozen things to consider. Clip and save, and pass these along if they resonate with you:
1. In this age of soaring energy prices, I will ask myself if I really need 4,000 square feet and more bathrooms than people in my home. No matter how green I buy or build, 2,000 square feet will always be more efficient than 4,000. If I falter, I will repeat this quietly to myself: "I didn't have an entire basement playroom when I was a kid or my very own bathroom, and I turned out fine."
2. I will consider buying an older home over a new one. Older homes are usually in established neighbourhoods; this means I can walk to do some errands, just like my grandparents did. Even if I must replace a furnace, a roof or windows, or even take down a wall, I am still celebrating the fact that the greenest building is the one that already exists.
3. Before I demolish, I will Google "embodied energy."
Number 11 is important in an era where the brutalist style of architecture is so out of favour.
11. While I may think the University of Toronto's Robarts Library [photo above] is ugly, I will endeavour to understand why other people like it. I will remind myself that there was a time when E.J. Lennox's Old City Hall was considered ugly and expendable too.
More at the Globe and Mail
More brutalist buildings under threat:
Why Are So Many Paul Rudolph Buildings Being Torn Down?
Big Steps in Building: Ban Demolition