On October 3, South Ural State University was visited by Kirsten Ritchie, Director of Sustainable Design of Gensler firm (USA), the largest architecture and design company in the world. She delivered a presentation on the topic of ‘green’ construction for students and lecturers of the Institute of Architecture and Construction.
Gensler Company not only project and design buildings, but also conducts measurements in the field of energy consumed by buildings. Kirsten Ritchie presented three large projects of Gensler which reflect the way that architecture affects ecology. Among them are: the tower at PNC Plaza which produces more energy than it consumes, Etsy headquarters, the largest building constructed based on the Living Building Challenge concept, and the Shanghai tower, the tallest building in China which received platinum certificate of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
Kirsten Ritchie noted that it is important for people to have access to natural lighting, fresh air, natural textures and materials – that is exactly what determines the future of architecture and construction.
“The most important advice for students is to constantly study, and not allowing yourself to stop at what you have achieved. Architects should think not only about creating a beautiful form, but also about how to measure quantitatively the advantages which their project will ensure. We should constantly measure and improve both design and the sphere of construction. But the thing is, this industry is one of the slowest from the perspective of implementing innovation, despite the fact that there are more and more technologies providing ecological compatibility which are more healthy and principally change the world around us. Construction industry depends on design engineers and architects in the matter of implementing these technologies,” said Kirsten Ritchie.
At the end of the presentation, students asked questions about ‘green’ building and about the ways to decrease the impact on the environment in Russia.