Sustainability in Architecture
At present, the general concept of sustainability in architecture and the building industry is largely dependent on an ever-evolving understanding of typology, technology and the use of materials. Erick van Egeraats’ broader vision on sustainability adds to this concept the aim to create and maintain architecture with a timeless value. This vision manifests itself in buildings with a strong character that receive broad support and offer a high level of flexibility in use. By this definition, the designs of Erick van Egeraat are built to last a multitude of the usual 30-50 year lifespan, thus resulting in a significantly lower social, economic and environmental burden. Moreover, a high level of sustainability will at the longer term offer considerable commercial benefits.
The constantly improving techniques and materials that make it possible to lower, or even neutralize, the use of energy and the level of carbon emission of a building should naturally be applied generously in any project with a sustainable objective. However, Erick van Egeraat firmly believes that such solutions only truly add value for the user, the public and the city as a whole if they are fully integrated in the sum of ambitions and requirements of a project. Factors like density, spatial quality, compactness, mixed-use and accessibility may be less quantifiably Green, but they do compose a serious impact on the sustainable character of a building. As such, they considerably expand the current perception of Green Architecture.
To implement this ambitious view on sustainability into projects, a team of BREEAM trained experts monitor all running projects. The results of studies, masterplans and projects under construction are well illustrated by the Sustainable Office Building study for the Dutch rijksbouwmeester. Another example is the mixed use Columbuskwartier project planned for construction in Almere. Currently the team performs design works on a zero emission office building in the Oosterdok Island masterplan next to Amsterdam Central Station, and on a sustainable 5 mln m2 masterplan in Moscow, Russia.