Hmmm.. Some of us have been saying this, and building accordingly, for decades. Better late than never...
Well said Paul. "Value Erosion" is an apt interpretation of "Value Engineering", on much the same level as "Project Management" by people quite innocent of the reasons for iterative and all-embracing evolutions of a design, and its embedded aethetic and technical multi-dimensional web of macro and micro decisions. Might the RIBA one day fight back in promoting the central value of its Members' core skills and responsibilities? I fear not, until the Grenfell Tower Inquiry fully displays the blindingly obvious.
Formulaic? And not yet influenced by any 'Declaration' of 'Sustainability'.
Long ago and far away, Ahrends, Burton and Koralek were invited to build an extension to Butterfield's Keble College, Oxford. A little later Peter Ahrends addressed us students, and pointed out that their first suggestion to the college was that it would be more cost effective (it is not a rich college) to carefully repurpose and connect the big Victorian villas that lined the site. That one of the finest and most sculptural, compelling and beautifully functional pieces of new architecture in Oxford was finally built was only down to the college deciding they were unlikely to raise funds for anything less than a bold new building. In all respects the success was triumphant.
Different prioroties now dominate, and once more the word 'Sustainable' has been abused, seemingly in the interests of a developer's financial spreadsheets, which also happen to enhance an architect's turnover.
Nothing is more sustainable than re-using existing buildings through minimal upgrading, particularly when wholesale reconstruction/refitting means the criminal decanting of settled communities (where to?) and turning powerful architecture into what look like deadly dull speculative office blocks. The "Architects Declare" manifesto looked cynical and meaningless within minutes of the "Tulip" making its hilariously pointless appearance, and it now brings shame on all those who "Declared". How shocking - and depressing.
Halleluiah! Shame about the Condition though - it's not a dressed-stone building; at present the facades are a whimsical but complete expression of the early stages of the 'winning' of the stone and preparing it to size for building. 'Tooling' the sawn surfaces would therefore be an anomaly. Just let it weather in the usual way!