A Franco-Lebanese architect seeks a transformation of pro-climate construction

A Franco-Lebanese architect seeks a transformation of pro-climate construction

Picture by Joel Saget. Video of Madeleine Pradel

Lina Ghotmeh has targeted her profession on sustainable building.

The French-Lebanese architect desires to see his business rework by drastically lowering the usage of concrete – a significant contributor to CO2 – through the use of extra native supplies and reusing current buildings and supplies.

“We have now to vary our worth system,” the 42-year-old advised AFP final month.

The objective is to cut back the carbon footprint of the development business and create buildings that may higher stand up to the impacts of local weather change.

However it’s not a simple battle.

The business accounts for practically 40% of worldwide greenhouse fuel emissions, in accordance with the United Nations.

Ghotmeh, who designed the Estonian Nationwide Museum and taught at Yale College, would not advocate fewer buildings — she is aware of that is an unrealistic objective in a world with a rising inhabitants.

“It might be like saying ‘cease consuming,'” she stated.

As an alternative, we should always “hold what already exists, not demolish”, however renovate and modernize previous buildings in a sustainable means wherever potential.

Constructing a brand new indifferent home consumes 40 occasions extra sources than renovating an current property, and for a brand new set this rises to 80 occasions extra, in accordance with the French Company for Ecological Transition (Ademe).

Lina Ghotmeh’s ‘stone backyard’ in Beirut makes use of conventional constructing methods

Joseph E.I.D.

And the place new building is required, native supplies and design must be utilized in a means that integrates the pure setting and saves vitality.

Ghotmeh has used greater than 500,000 bricks comprised of native earth for a brand new Hermès constructing in France, which is because of open early subsequent yr.

The bricks additionally regulate the temperature of the constructing and cut back vitality necessities.

The constructing will produce as a lot vitality because it consumes, being vitality environment friendly and utilizing geothermal vitality.

Architects ought to, early within the undertaking course of, “suppose circularly,” Ghotmeh stated, selecting reusable natural or pure supplies like wooden, hemp, linen or stone.

It should not get in the best way of the design course of both, she insists.

“In Canada, they construct picket towers, in Japan too. It’s a materials that’s fairly able to getting used for high-rise buildings,” added Ghotmeh, who will construct a picket tower in Paris. in 2023.

One other key strategy is to construct lighter, utilizing fewer supplies and fewer toxins.

Remodeling the concrete jungle

Jonathan VALTER

After which there’s concrete, the first materials in so many fashionable buildings and maybe the toughest to go away behind.

“We have to drastically cut back the usage of concrete,” she stated, insisting it ought to solely be used for important functions, similar to foundations and constructing in earthquake-prone areas. earthen.

Some 14 billion cubic meters of concrete are used every year, in accordance with the World Cement and Concrete Affiliation.

It emits extra CO2 than the aviation business, largely as a result of intense warmth required to fabricate it.

Alternate options to concrete exist already, similar to stone, or the manufacture of cement — a part of concrete — from calcium carbonate. There are additionally pushes for low-carbon cement comprised of waste from the metal business.

Constructing extra sustainably typically comes with the next price ticket – it prices extra to double or triple home windows and correctly insulate a house – however the long-term payoff is decrease vitality prices.

For Ghotmeh, it’s an crucial funding in our future.

It was her hometown of Beirut that impressed her to turn into an architect, sparking a need to rebuild the so-called “collapsed metropolis” ravaged by warfare.

The wall of the ‘Stone Backyard’ of Ghotmeh

Joseph E.I.D.

In 2020, she is finishing the “Stone Backyard” residential tower within the metropolis, constructed of concrete coated with combed plaster, a way typically utilized by native craftsmen. She used concrete within the building because of earthquake hazards.

The constructing was sturdy sufficient to outlive the port explosion in 2020 which destroyed a lot of town.

And town continues to encourage him at present, even on the subject of local weather sustainability.

“As there may be virtually just one hour of electrical energy per day, all buildings at the moment are outfitted with photo voltaic panels. There’s a sort of vitality independence that’s beginning to take maintain, by drive”, says- she.

“Does it take a catastrophe just like the one in Lebanon to make this transition?

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