JOC ARCHIVES

February 4, 2009

2030 Challenge’s call to action proves that architecture matters

It has been encouraging to see concern for the environment gaining prominence in the media, government and in the minds of many.

However, with the focus shifting towards the economic downturn, recent advancements in decisive action to slow climate change may be shelved.

The environment and the economy are not mutually exclusive and I encourage all architects to continue to design and build lasting and sustainable projects that inspire future generations to invest in the future, without cutting corners on the things that matter.

Architecture Matters

Stacy Christensen

Now is the time to work together and support a simple but important message: architecture matters.

One way to do this is to get on board with the RAIC to achieve the goals of the 2030 Challenge, an ambitious call to action for architects and the building industry started by architect Edward Mazria (www.architecture2030.org).

The RAIC identified an information gap as one of the obstacles to achieving carbon-neutral buildings by the year 2030.

A tool was needed to allow architects from across the country to share best practices and encourage each other to work towards mutual goals. To achieve this, the RAIC developed the 2030 Challenge Wiki (www.raic.org/2030wiki).

The site is based on the same concept and software as wikipedia.

In this case, RAIC members are able to add, edit and create a website specifically for architects in Canada.

Architects and experts can share best practices and lessons learned in green building, post links and product reviews, share reports and data, talk about their experiences and ask questions to their peers.

This website is a tool built by architects to help build a community while helping each other achieve the goals of the Challenge.

The wiki site is an exciting venue that the profession can use to share ideas and spur efforts towards ever more sustainable building. I’d like to give you a brief tour of the site, but I encourage all RAIC members to log on and explore it.

Though anyone can read the content of the wiki, only RAIC members can edit and add content. This will ensure relevant information is up to professional standards and help us expand the community of architects interested in green building in Canada.

The first step is to log in. Enter your RAIC member number. Your password is your last name in capital letters. You can change this password in My Preferences once you’ve logged in.

The site is divided into broad categories.

Choose one you are interested in contributing to or reading, or search for a term or subject.

If no one has contributed yet, you can click on “edit this page”.

If there is already text, look at the tabs above the content and click on “edit”.

Unlike wikipedia, this editing tool does not require knowledge of codes or symbols.

The interface is very similar to word-processing programs.

You can simply type text and highlight a few words and press the bold button, or insert a link in a pop-up box.

There are several other options that you may find familiar if you use wikipedia.

“History” lets you see the evolution of the page; “Watch” lets you bookmark the page – then when you log on next time you can click on “My Watchlist” up top here and it will indicate if that section has been edited. At the top you can also see a list of contributions and edits by clicking on “My contributions”.

There is a lot more to the site. Contact Denise MacDonald at the RAIC at dmacdonald@raic.org or at 613-241-3600 with any questions or if you experience any difficulties. I look forward to seeing this site grow and develop with your knowledge and expertise.

Stacy Christensen, MRAIC, is the chair of the RAIC 2030 Task Force.

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