I think there is a conference going on at the Excel next week which showcases 3 days of eco-friendly building businesses.
So this is their website pitch: “Ecobuild is the world’s biggest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment and the UK’s largest construction event of any kind.”
I don’t care how environmentally sustainable a building practice is, if the building itself will never used efficiently, what’s the point in having the building there in the first place?
I recently learnt that The Shard, London’s next great architectural landmark has yet to find tenants. This is London’s tallest building, or at least it will be when it is complete, but they are having just a few difficulties finding someone to occupy it.
Don’t they get it? People don’t want offices anymore! Out of city working, flexible working, increasing entrepreneurship and a general flow of commuters leaving the city is causing offices to become empty and remain empty.
the evidence is everywhere to see
2 weeks ago I was in Liverpool speaking about a World Without Offices and as I was walking from my hotel down towards the Royal Liver Building, I walked past many offices which had the dreaded signs out saying they were up for rent.
In fact the next time you are out in London, look up and take a look around and see how many offices are actually available. I believe there is an abundant supply of them now.
So back to this conference. I’m not sure if there could ever be a completely sustainable solution to buildings. Inevitably they will require resources of iron, wood, glass, metal, and more, and these need to come from somewhere, and they need to be refined from their raw states into something workable for the building construction.
Can they truly do all that and still be carbon neutral? I don’t believe so, and you shouldn’t either. Construction companies are already realizing the move towards efficiencies and in order to keep their businesses afloat, of course they want to push the next new angle.
Now I’m not saying that buildings shouldn’t be built. After all we do need living spaces and recreational areas, I am however saying that offices don’t need to be built because quite frankly they are only ever used at maximum, 25% of the time. That’s an estimated 75% empty down time, the whole time of which it is using the planets resources.
Unnecessary, that’s what I say.
The future is cloud, the future is mobile, the future is officeless.
What do you think?