University of Southern California (Emily)



Aug '08 - Jul '09

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    3.4 :: Using Architecture to Fight Global Warming

    Emily Kemper
    Sep 6, '08 1:20 PM EST

    Following my recent post about over-involvement, it stands to reason that often in my academic work I have a tendency to "go big or go home." But ... I'm in grad school. I didn't quit my job and move nearly 3000 miles to just sit around. I was adamant about finding something that I was passionate about to work on for my thesis, which consumes my second year in the program. And I've decided to do something that my thesis chair refers to as "a big bite", but which I think is pretty typical for me.

    So I'm going to stop global warming by educating people about architecture. Ha ha! There, that's it, done! No more global warming.

    OK so it's not that simple, obviously. But when you realize that buildings account for half of all greenhouse gas emissions, something's gotta give. And there's a lot of great designers out there who are doing their part to learn about sustainable building, and implement it into their designs. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that this is enough. If clients aren't educated about how and why a building can be more energy efficient, (and therefore emit less greenhouse gases), then how can we expect them to shell out the money for more expensive technology?

    Some of this is based on reality and some of it is based on speculation on my part. But it's at the heart of my hypothesis, and it's the problem that I'm going to be tackling this year. It is my intention to create a learning tool that presents clients and homeowners with design strategies that save energy - the how and the why of architecture's environmental responsiveness.

    Comments and suggestions welcome.

    • 1 Comment

    • David Cuthbert

      Emily this post read in conjunction with the previous one about the trees at Berkley shows the diversity of architecture students, and more specifically how important your thesis is.

      question how do building's emit green house gases? Is it the houses themselves, their mode of contruction and/or materials? A tongue-in-cheek curiousity.

      btw I am really enjoying your blog so far...

      Sep 6, 08 2:42 pm  · 

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