Building Surveyors – fighting climate change

green building

Building Surveyors, we’re the heroes of fighting climate change, who knew? I’m talking specifically about those involved in maintenance, repair, conservation and refurbishment. You know the mantra; REDUCE > REUSE > RECYCLE; we’ve been doing that for years.

We reduce the need for new-build. We keep existing buildings going, save what we have, refurbish, refit, re-use. We recycle them. All this cuts carbon emissions associated with new building work, as well as reducing consumption of materials and preserving history, modern or ancient.

This is especially so with historic buildings and the principles of building conservation where the ethos is to do the minimum necessary to conserve, repair and protect. Historic England know this well and have focused on the many benefits beyond preserving history. They say “Buildings must be recycled and reused to help tackle climate change. Our new report shows that recycling historic buildings is essential to cutting the UK’s carbon emissions“. Take a look at their tweet, video and report below.

Now the Architects’ Journal has started a campaign to promote reuse of existing buildings. Of course many architects have been working, leading and innovating in this field for years, but its great to see it being promoted to the mainstream. #RetroFirst says “The greenest building is the one that already exists“. You can read more about their campaign here:

So it’s great to know that we’re the good guys after all. There is always more we can do; bringing energy efficiency improvements, using sustainable materials, using less material or recycling what is there, getting local material, local contractors and trades, reducing waste, travel, and pollution. And if you really, really, have to build something new, you can do all these things too.