With a growing number of people spending the vast
majority of their time indoors – 90% according to the
World Health Organisation – it is no surprise that we
have become disconnected from the natural world
which, evidence would suggest, is strongly to our detriment.
As a result, building trends that connect us with nature have
never been so relevant, with research projects such as the BRE’s
‘Biophilic Offi ce’ seeking to gain a better understanding of biophilic
refurbishment and its impact on the health and wellbeing of a
building’s occupants (see this month’s Green Building feature, starting
on page 18).
The benefi ts of biodiversity within the built environment are
explored further by Habitat Aid founder, Nick Mann, on page 20,
who says there are fi nancial gains to be had as well as ecological ones.
According to Nick, our very own ‘green and pleasant land’ is one of
the most nature-depleted countries in the world and he urges us to
put biodiversity into practice, rather than simply preaching it.
In a similar vein (see page 34), Forbo’s Mark Bauer explains why
we should all be striving to make a conscious choice when it comes to
choosing the building products we use, asserting that “if we continue on
our current path then the world will change – and not for the better”.
He is, of course, referring to the impact of climate change; a
problem of such epic proportions, that it is diffi cult to know where
to start when it comes to tackling the issue. Sometimes it might seem
easier to just ignore the problem and carry on as before, in the vain
hope that things will be alright in the end.
However, in the words of architect and Passive House designer,
Thomas Denhof, who has this month’s ‘Final Word’ on page 58,
“climate change is an existential threat to life on earth” and as a
result, “inaction” is simply “not an option”.
I hope you enjoy the issue, and if you have any comments or
suggestions with regard to future issues of Building Products, I would
love to hear from you.
Sophie Stevens, Editor
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