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Title: Sustainability in Architecture and the Limitations of Environmental Assessment Tools
Authors: Sipahioğlu, Işıl Ruhi
Keywords: Building Environmental Assessment Tool
DGNB Certification System
The Procedure HQE
Issue Date: 17-Nov-2012
Publisher: Konya Technical University Faculty of Architecture and Design
Abstract: The methods to achieve sustainability in architecture have continuously entered the architectural scene with different conceptualizations of the tie between the elements of the 'tripolar mode l:' Society, environment, and economics. Although the roots of this model are first delineated in Brundtland report (1987) and concretized at the Rio Conference (1992), there is actually no consensus on how to conceptualize its framework. The model acts as a discourse, but it hasn't yet reached such a status to define a Khunian paradigm that might lead to a universal way of interpreting the elements of the model. Despite the lack of a generally accepted paradigm, the field is in the search of defining "best practices." Current researches on building environmental assessment tools best illustrate this trend. The paper aligns itself with researches that aim to take benefit from multiple perspectives of designing sustainably to enable the making of "green knowledge." In order to pave the way for this multiplicity, the paper discusses the influence of environmental assessment methods on design process, through three case study methods: BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), la Demarche Haute Qualite Environnementale (HQE) and Deutschen Gesellschaft for Nachhaltiges Bauen (DGNB) certification system. While underlining the aspects of design process that is tom between objective and subjective decisions, the paper discusses the role of assessment methods in framing these decisions. The paper first delves into the epistemological and theoretical point of views that have prepared these methods. This examination bases on the design epistemology of Nigel Cross, that is, the study of "designerly ways of knowing." The paper, then criticizes these tools as to their positivist approach to design problems and their influence on limiting the design alternatives. This discussion is essential because due to the appeal of these assessment tools in marketing the projects, they would become the mainstream practice.
Description: 84
Appears in Collections:ICONARCH - International Congress of Architecture and Planning

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