Keywords: environmental degradation, resource use, green design, metals and plastics, building
Minimising environmental impacts of building materials in Singapore: role of architects
By 2030, it is estimated that the earth's population will be ten billion. Significant quantities of resources will be required to provide buildings for this population. Questions concerning the capability of the earth to support such a large population have arisen. Moreover, the extraction and utilisation of these resources can have negative impacts on the environment. Efforts are underway to find solutions in several aspects of the building process, including the selection and specification of materials. This paper explores the adverse environmental impacts of building materials. A mailed questionnaire survey was used to study the awareness level of architects in Singapore regarding the environmental impacts of materials and the actions they are taking to protect the environment. It was found that the architects are knowledgeable about the environmental impacts of building materials. However, they are not consciously selecting materials with regard to their environmental implications. It is suggested that architects and other parties must act to enable the Singapore construction industry to minimise its environmental impacts.