Do you really need an architect to build a house? Could it be done by others?

Architecture and the Environment

In our previous article, we discussed on how to distinguish between “Designers” and “Architects”; their duties and responsibilities, and what the profession entitles. In this article, we will be elaborating on the professional description of a Chartered Architect and the services and responsibilities they have.

It is common knowledge that no matter how much we advance in our technological areas, we cannot survive without our natural environment. Global warming, the melting of glaziers, the rise of sea levels, the depletion of the ozone layer, increasing cases of forest fires, Tsunamis, floods, landslides, etc are commonly discussed disasters caused due to the imbalances made in nature. It is also acknowledged that the main reason for these disasters is the man-made environmental changes. While humans build creations to ease their needs, we tend to make damages or changes in the environment, causing this imbalance. Is there any way that we can do these changes without causing damage to nature? Can these creations be built without harming our environment?

This is the reason the field of “Architecture” has been introduced to the world. Architecture can be considered the study of creating “Built environments” or human-involved buildings, and the techniques, science and technology behind it. Architects are the professionals trained to put these theories and knowledge into practice. In our country, this prestige is offered only to Chartered architects; while others (Architects & Architectural Licentiates) are allowed to support, their involvement is limited.

Though we now have an idea what an architect’s job is, it is also well acknowledged that an architect cannot do this job alone. They will need the support and advice of Environmentalists, Landscape Architects, Designers, Engineers, Quantity Surveyors and Project Managers throughout the project.

You probably don’t realize that the harm to the environment that begins in your garden can affect the entire Globe’s environmental pollution. According to the information gathered by environmentalists, 40% of the CO2 released onto the environment is from buildings which are not environment-friendly. This can be considered a major cause of Global Warming, considering how high this percentage is. When talking of buildings, it is not just physical houses that is considered; it includes all man-made creations added to the environment like roads, parks, lakes, gardens, etc. too. The main intention of this article is to make you consider the effect these minor additions can do to the environment as a whole.

There is a common saying of the American indigenous people that “Mother Nature is not just something that we inherited from our forefathers, but rather something that we borrowed from our “children”. By understanding this statement properly, you will understand that our environment is not something we have the right to use and change according to our every wish.

Living in an era where our natural resources are being spent rapidly, with the widely increasing population, now it should be clear to you how important it is to get the support of a professional in this field.

Our next article will cover an Architect’s education, history, quality and traditional knowledge of traditional Vaasthu.

Author : Architect Damith Premathilake

Translated by Udari Mohotti (Interior designer)

Professional in charge – Architecture

Damith Premathilake
Chartered Architect

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