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How can you most impact climate change in your career? by City Tech Blogger Yocelyne Portillo

In my future career as an Architect or working in the field of architecture can impact climate change in both negative and positive ways. As Victor Olgyay, a principal architect of the Rocky Mountain Institute explained that, buildings make up around 35 percent of all energy and 60 percent of generated electricity thus they make up a third of the United States’ release of greenhouse gasses. It is our responsibility to help diminish the effects on our planet caused by climate change. If we continue to design inefficient buildings that may only last a couple of years than not only will it have financial impact but also environmental and health impacts like contribute to climate change.

There are some architectural firms that find ways to adapt to climate change by finding long-term solutions to problems we face today. Architectural firms have already found ways to adapt to changes like the sea level rises and adapt their designs to this change. As Reinier de Graaf says that the firm he works for, OMA, “instead of reinforcing protection against flooding, they accept the reality of the sea level rise and incorporate it into the design. Building is confined to safe area, while vulnerable areas become buffer zones.”

Some architects also design buildings that create to solutions to climate change temperature changes. The Dubai Tower by RUR Architecture was created with a concrete exoskeleton that allows hot air to pass through a 3-foot-deep space between its perforated shell and glass windows thus keeping the tower interior cool from the hot temperatures. Not only does this solve the changing temperature conditions but also reduce a buildings carbon footprint. In other architecture designs like an outdoor plaza in Masdar City in the Middle East consists of solar powered umbrellas that move with the sun and release heat at night time to withstand the extreme climate in this region.

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