"Our aim with the Building Sense Now initiative is to foster a new understanding of architecture, moving away from global standardisation towards buildings and cities that blend in meaningfully with their respective climate zones and cultures," says Dr Christine Lemaitre, DGNB CEO and co-initiator of Building Sense Now. The global network of like-minded architects sees climate- and culture-friendly construction as a key lever in mitigating climate change and the scarcity of raw materials. "By joining forces with MISEREOR, we want to pool resources and organise a series of online events that will offer access to specialist knowledge so it can be applied directly to building methods – in ways that make sense on a local level.
MISEREOR supports people all over the world in realizing construction projects that tap into local potential, traditional methods and resources. "Many of our partner organisations offer outstanding expertise underpinned by years of experience in this area," states MISEREOR Chief Executive Pirmin Spiegel. "Our experience shows, that legal regulations in many countries, for example, make it difficult to build with locally available materials. There are unjustified reservations about building with earth, wood or bamboo, especially in urban contexts. The MISEREOR Chief Executive sees the partnership with Building Sense Now as a good opportunity to address such concerns: "It's important to make as many people as possible aware of the tremendous potential offered by the traditional building methods of local communities. For example, they require significantly less production energy than steel, concrete or cement – and create a good living environment."
Master classes featuring experts from different continents
The joint master classes will revolve around practical examples and field reports on building projects in different climate zones around the world. A variety of building experts from the MISEREOR and Building Sense Now networks will speak at the events, which apart from presentations, will also offer plenty of chances to exchange views and ask questions. All events are scheduled to last around one to two hours, cost nothing and will take place in English or with English subtitles.
To kick off the first Master Class on 15 July 2021, the two initiators of Building Sense Now Christine Lemaitre and Prashant Kapoor will provide an introduction to the vision of the initiative. This will be followed by a talk on 27 July by the architect Anna Heringer, who is famous for her award-winning mud buildings. The series continues in August and September with climate-friendly building in Latin America and Nigeria, low-tech strategies and the use of local building materials in Delhi. To view the full programme and to register, go to www.buildingsensenow.com/events/.
Applications open for the Building Sense Now Global Awards
Applications can also now be submitted for the second Building Sense Now Global Awards. The awards honour building professionals worldwide facing the multitude of environmental, economic and social challenges associated with climate-compatible, culturally sensitive design. Award winners are deemed to be driving change in the building and property industry with respect to sustainable development. Participation in the awards is free, and submissions are still open until the end of August. The award ceremony will take place at the Glasgow Climate Change Conference in November. For further information and submission details, go to www.buildingsensenow.com.