However, even though the global health crisis kept disrupting on-ground operations, it by no means stopped creativity. 2021 brought the launch or development of some of the most ambitious architectural projects of our times, many of which united under the themes of sustainability, inclusion, and robust public spaces.
The world’s urban population more than quadrupled in the last 60 years and recently reached 4.4 billion, with no signs of slowing down. Hence, unsurprisingly, cities are responsible for about 75 percent of the global carbon emissions.
Following the industrial revolution, much of our consumption followed a linear model of “take-make-waste", and buildings are no exception. A rising alternative to this is the circular economy, a holistic approach to economic progress to benefit businesses, society, and the environment.
Logistics is a crucial part of doing business in the modern world, but it comes with a high environmental cost. About 8 percent of the global carbon emissions come from logistics, which is also a significant contributor to air pollution including particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds.
Wood delivers excellent results for projects of all scales: It's light and versatile, eco-friendly, provides insulation and energy benefits, and aesthetically pleasing.
Modern historians often trace the beginning of the environmental movement to 1970, when Gaylord Nelson, a former Wisconsin governor (1958-1962) and a senator (1963-1981), wanted to foster dialogue and conversations about environmental issues. Nelson's teach-ins formed Earth Day, a catalyst moment that brought the environment into the political and cultural zeitgeist, forever changing its perception by the masses.
Biodiversity is the variety of life on the Earth. Its spectrum might include anything from the number of species of plants, animals, microorganisms, and the gene pools in these species to the different ecosystems on the planet, such as deserts, rainforests, and coral reefs.
Floods are among the most common and destructive natural disasters. They affected more than 2 billion people worldwide between 1987 and 2017, according to the World Health Organization. As floods keep increasing in frequency and intensity due to climate change, flood-proof architecture is becoming an issue of growing importance.
Buildings and construction are responsible for 39 percent of the carbon emissions in the world. Operational emissions, meaning the energy required to heat, cool, or light a building, account for 28 percent of overall emissions.
Over the last decades, natural disasters have been growing in strength and frequency as a result of climate change. The number of weather-related disasters has tripled over the previous 30 years. Furthermore, among the 20,000 earthquakes that shake the world every year, about 16 are in the magnitude of seven or higher.
Around a billion people worldwide live in slums, informal settlements typically populated by the urban poor. These residents represent a third of the global urban population and drive over 90 percent of its growth. By 2030, there'll be two billion slum dwellers, residing primarily in Asian and African countries.
While buildings fulfill the most basic human needs like shelter and security, architecture impacts the emotional state of any person who interacts with it. Whether it's intended or not, a building can provoke a range of emotions such as belonging, awe, fear, or hope.