Lexicon + Ion Joins Architects Declare
Lexicon + Ion recently joined the global movement, Architects Declare Climate & Biodiversity Emergency, one of the five founding signatories of the Kenyan chapter. To get an insight into the move, Managing Partner, Arch Felix Lati fielded a few questions.
Q. What is Architects Declare about?
A. Architects Declare is about architects committing to take care of the environment and behave responsibly. This is against a climate emergency background, where a large part of it is due to the built environment. Energy is lost, wasted and there is pollution due to the jobs we do. The movement also looks at sustainable design as one solution to the climate emergency we are facing globally.
Architect Declare gets architectural firms like ours to declare that they are working towards climate change mitigation goals. Many firms already do this.
In Kenya, Grasp Design came up with the initial idea of involving Kenyan firms and so sought like-minded local architectural firms to kick off the initiative in Kenya and say loudly what we believe in regards to the environment. In Kenya, there are five founding signatories, and the number of signatories is growing. While we compete against each other as firms, we have similar sustainability ideals and goals in our practices.
Architects Declare began in Britain and is growing globally. Every country starts a chapter, has its website, and all connect to the global website.
Q. Why did Lexicon + Ion join Architects Declare?
A. We joined Architects Declare because we wanted to be more deliberate about sustainability. There are standards like Greenstar, LEED, EDGE, which we already subscribe to, but they are all developer-led. We realize that there are many things we can do and already do at the design level, which is not about the standards. We work with green principles of reuse, recycle and reduce; we work with natural materials and those green materials with lesser carbon footprints. In short, Architects Declare commits us architects to sustainability practices that safeguard the environment and biodiversity, without for the good of the earth and not just for certification. By committing to Architects Declare, we tell our clients and other people we work with that we endeavour to ensure sustainability for all our projects.
Q. What should we look forward to with Lexicon + Ion as part of Architects Declare?
Architects Declare is a recommitment – we already have been doing it. It is for us to look at all our projects and see if there are opportunities to be more sustainable. Sometimes we are so focused on delivering projects that the simple climate change mitigation elements such as natural ventilation, increasing natural light with more windows, occupancy sensors, and other cheap and straightforward strategies can be forgotten.
Felix Lati can be reached via email at email@example.com