In a context of planetary transformations and instability – global warming, water shortages, newly emerging powers – our societies seek ways to respond to these challenges and to create complex tools.

France’s HQE green standards for construction and renovation propose a wide-ranging exploration, but unfortunately leave out the cultural dimension -- and architecture in particular. The ecological quality labels and other certifications such as low-energy buildings, high-energy performance, etc. are based on performance and provide a certain level of efficiency. As architects, we bring into play this technical expertise. In particular, the firm has followed HQE training (AETIC training organization); training for the most advanced performance levels for low energy and efficient energy buildings: B.B.C., Passivhaus, positive energy, effinergy / minergie (Nobatek training organization: Prof Cornu Lausanne University, E. Ballot – GEST Énergie), as well as construction-related medicine (Suzanne Déoux - Médieco).

Nevertheless, these various labels and certifications remain at a considerable distance from social and human issues related to behavior, culture, medical issues etc.

The notion of eco responsible architecture, therefore seeks to refocus on nature,of course, as well as on human beings. A new type of humanism remains to be invented -- and urgently. This must be based on attentive dialogue, in-depth knowledge, and the connection of skills, inventiveness and pertinence. It must avoid set "recipes," whether sanctioned by quality labels or not, in order to establish an "optimum" approach, based on the encounter between client, architect, a social-economic context, as well as the human and natural environment.

The architectural question raises issues of alternatives and meaning. The architectural approach must reiterate the question of our relationship to others, to usages, to the city and to the planet. It is in this context that we are committed to eco-responsible architecture.

 

if architecture - Jean-Marie Pettès
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