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Hardwood a hard choice for the environment

I read your article 'Clean living' (AJ 4.9.03) on Azman Owens Architects' courtyard house with concern. The article was full of admirable architectspeak and original ideas, but gave no indication of the source of the large volumes of hardwood used. At a time when the rainforests producing this wood are being systematically ravaged by both legal and illegal loggers, it appears to me to be highly irresponsible (especially towards the generation of those children for whom provision is made in that very same house) to be advocating a hardwood as a material of choice, thus helping to create the very market the supply of which results in the logging.

Like Norman Foster's marvellous steel and glass buildings, this house fails to make any concession towards the use of natural resources entailed in its construction and use. Am I wrong to think that despite the increasing lip service being paid to the subject of the wider environment by architects and other building professionals, the reality is that few are actually developing consistent policies that take the environment into the equation?

Please prove me wrong.

Richard Burgess, via email

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