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Skyscraper designers must learn from nature - BRE boss

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BRE boss David Strong has blasted modern skyscrapers as a 'depressing statement of man's arrogance over nature' and urged university boffins to beef up eco-design courses.

Using Nightingale Associates' recent sustainability conference as a platform to decry the 'extinction' of architecture and environmental design, BRE managing director Strong said a green curriculum had 'never been needed more'.

He said: 'It's hugely disappointing that these courses, which were highly successful in training architects and engineers to work as an integrated interdisciplinary team, are now very rare - universities need to start getting these courses off the ground again.'

Strong called for a radical rethink in building design, insisting energy consumption could be cut by up to 80 per cent through sustainable design.

He urged architects to take 'lessons from nature' by following a design strategy called biomimicry, whereby designers work with nature rather than against it.

Architects, said Strong, should be taking greater care in designing climate-adaptive buildings with indigenous materials. It was also the responsibility of designers 'to bring customers to task' on the installation of air conditioning in modern buildings, he said.

by Clive Walker

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