It is hoped that each of the candidates for the RIBA presidency will regard sustainability as a key component of their agendas.
Sustainability is central to architecture, and therefore to the institute. It was dismaying to read Brian Godfrey suggesting that we have 'lost our way' in this respect (AJ 26.10.00). It very much is the realm of architects to 'put the world to rights' rather than leave it to politicians (pollution cited as a 'governmental issue'). The institute's role, championed by its president, should be to lobby government to ensure the raising of statutory requirements in pursuit of sustainability goals.
We face the possibility of a global environmental crisis.
Recent flooding demonstrates the damaging potential of climate change. Buildings are a major burden on the world's resources, and architects play a key role in designing for efficient energy use in construction, operation and maintenance.
Environmental design should be an instinctive and intrinsic part of architecture and not an 'add-on' or a 'specialism'. Sustainability strategies should come as naturally as compliance with fire regulations. Architects have a moral imperative to reduce the environmental burden on the planet and the codes of conduct should be amended to require this as a professional obligation.
The current president has done much to advance the institute's role in the move towards sustainability and it should be the primary objective of the next president to continue the RIBA's efforts to effect change.
Jude Harris, London NW1