It takes someone with particular experience to remember that buildings do not exist in a vacuum, they’re meant to be inhabited, to be used, and to thrive in the context in which they’re built. Foster + Partners does extensive research on the community and surrounding areas that their developments will inhabit.
Having a full image of the community they build in informs any sustainability feature they apply into the design. While weather patterns are the more obvious contextual clues that help the firm make design decisions, Foster + Partner takes it a step further by exploring the anthropological context: what kind of person is using the space? Are there any historical building best practices that local culture may have that already solves the problems we encounter in the space? Making these the guiding principles of design ensures any Foster + Partners development is not only future-proofed, self-sustaining, and community building, but also useful and optimized for its target audience.
No Carbon Copies, Nor Carbon Emissions
While the firm maintains that it’s currently impossible to reduce carbon emissions to zero, even with the most carbon efficient design, any residual carbon emissions should be balanced through other means. This is why they’ve decided to build “beyond best practice”: applying everything they know and then some, making use of renewable energy or helping in reforestation efforts to neutralize existing and future carbon emissions.
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