Italian Architects Declare Climate and Biodiversity Emergency

8 architecture firms are calling on all Italian architects to adopt a "shift in behaviour" over climate change

by Rossana Vinci
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8 Italian architectural practices founded the Italian Architects Declare Climate and Biodiversity Emergency, an initiative born in May 2019 in the United Kingdom already counting more than 600 signatories as David Chipperfield, Foster + Partners and Zaha Hadid Architects.

This initiative aims at raising awareness among the architecture sector to front the climate crisis and protect biodiversity. Other countries, including Australia, Norway, Iceland, South Africa and New Zealand are joining the project.

The Italian firm signatories of Italian Architects Declare Climate and Biodiversity Emergency are Piuarch, Schiattarella Associati, Archilinea, Park Associati, architetto Michele De Lucchi, Studio Fuksas, Labics, ABDR Architetti Associati.




The founders of the UK movement have found great interest and attention among international fellow architects and have decided to allow a wider delivery, assigning Piuarch the task of promoting and spreading the intent of this manifesto in our country too.

The Italian Architects Declare Climate and Biodiversity Emergency raises from the compelling need to put into practice the 11 objectives the declaration expresses. Designing energy efficient buildings is mandatory and an increasing priority on the Italian and European political agenda.

ABDR Architetti Associati 



Architects Declare Climate and Biodiversity Emergency

The twin crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss are the most serious issue of our time. Buildings and construction play a major part, accounting for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions whilst also having a significant impact on our natural habitats.

For everyone working in the construction industry, meeting the needs of our society without breaching the earth’s ecological boundaries will demand a paradigm shift in our behaviour. Together with our clients, we will need to commission and design buildings, cities and infrastructures as indivisible components of a larger, constantly regenerating and self-sustaining system.

The research and technology exist for us to begin that transformation now, but what has been lacking is collective will. Recognising this, we are committing to strengthen our working practices to create architecture and urbanism that has a more positive impact on the world around us.



We will seek to:
- Raise awareness of the climate and biodiversity emergencies and the urgent need for action amongst our clients and supply chains.
- Advocate for faster change in our industry towards regenerative design practices and a higher Governmental funding priority to support this.
- Establish climate and biodiversity mitigation principles as the key measure of our industry’s success: demonstrated through awards, prizes and listings.
- Share knowledge and research to that end on an open source basis.
- Evaluate all new projects against the aspiration to contribute positively to mitigating climate breakdown, and encourage our clients to adopt this approach.
- Upgrade existing buildings for extended use as a more carbon efficient alternative to demolition and new build whenever there is a viable choice.
- Include life cycle costing, whole life carbon modelling and post occupancy evaluation as part of our basic scope of work, to reduce both embodied and operational resource use.
- Adopt more regenerative design principles in our studios, with the aim of designing architecture and urbanism that goes beyond the standard of net zero carbon in use.
- Collaborate with engineers, contractors and clients to further reduce construction waste.
- Accelerate the shift to low embodied carbon materials in all our work.
- Minimise wasteful use of resources in architecture and urban planning, both in quantum and in detail.

Founding signatories:
Piuarch Studio, Schiattarella Associati, Archilinea, Park Associati, Michele De Lucchi Architects, Fuksas, Labics, ABDR.
We hope that every Italian architectural practice will join us in making this commitment.




Source: Press Release