StructuralEngineersDeclaration, ClimateChange, SustainableEngineering

12 November 2019

Share

MNP signs the “Engineers Declare Climate and Biodiversity Emergency” Declaration

We are pleased to be one of the early signatures on The Institution of Structural Engineers declaration

For everyone working in the construction industry, meeting the needs of our society without breaching the earth’s ecological boundaries will demand a paradigm shift in our behaviour. Together with our clients, we will need to commission and design buildings, cities and infrastructures as indivisible components of a larger, constantly regenerating and self-sustaining system in balance with the natural world.

We declare we will seek to:

  • Raise awareness of the climate and biodiversity emergencies and the urgent need for action amongst our clients, collaborators and supply chains.
  • Advocate for faster change in our industry towards regenerative design practices and a higher Governmental funding priority to support this.
  • Establish climate and biodiversity mitigation principles as a key measure of our industry’s success: demonstrated through awards, prizes and listings.
  • Share knowledge and research to that end on an open source basis.
  • Evaluate all new projects against the aspiration to contribute positively to mitigating climate breakdown, and encourage our clients to adopt this approach.
  • Upgrade existing buildings for extended use as a more carbon efficient alternative to demolition and new build whenever there is a viable choice.
  • Include life cycle costing, whole life carbon modelling and post occupancy evaluation as part of the basic scope of work, to reduce both embodied and operational resource use.
  • Adopt more regenerative design principles in practice, with the aim of providing structural engineering design that achieves the standard of net zero carbon. – Collaborate with clients, architects, engineers and contractors to further reduce construction waste.
  • Accelerate the shift to low embodied carbon materials in all our work.
  • Minimise wasteful use of resources in our structural engineering design, both in quantum and in detail.

Climate change is an issue that many of our engineers want to make a difference in, not only in their everyday lives but in the structures they build.

Natasha Brown, Engineer had this to say:

“I think it is hugely important that this initiative is coming from high level within the construction industry. Real, meaningful change can only happen if it is driven from above and I hope that the Institute pushing this initiative will incite a change to practices at engineer level. I look forward to future discussions and seminars at the IStructE on sustainable design, how we can better incorporate it into our day to day work and new technologies and construction methods that can help the industry become more sustainable.”

 

Nadir Coowar, fellow Engineer said

From an environmental perspective, climate change is the biggest existential threat that humans are facing at the moment. We are already seeing the lasting, direct and indirect consequences of climate change in our everyday life. I think a lot of people understand what they can do in their personal lives to help climate change but, like me, miss most of the opportunities to help in their engineering life. This movement is a way of trying to highlight the ways we can help in our work life.