Architect James Timberlake charts a course for making ethical decisions about unsustainable Modernist architecture.
UN Headquarters CC by Neptuul
Written By James Timberlake, FAIA
Last week at the climate talks in Paris, world leaders committed a full day to discussing public policies and financial solutions to reduce carbon emissions within the building sector. It’s widely documented that buildings are the culprit for at least 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile in the building sector, there’s an ongoing discussion about what to do with inefficient buildings from past eras. Debate around historic value versus economics inevitably leads to the big question: Are these buildings worth retrofitting, or do we tear them down and start over?