In presenting to Architects Declare Australia (April 2020), Paul Haar introduces principles and methods, relevant for addressing our climate and biodiversity emergency, that have been applied to conceptualise and detail some of his projects, including self-help housing with remote indigenous Australians, Candlebark School Library, the Mullum Creek eco-housing project, and CERES Fair Wood. These case studies highlight the overwhelming impact of building materials and building scale in this emergency.
In presenting to Design Matters National (October 2020), Paul Haar explains how our selection of building materials has been and will remain a much more potent driver than we realise, for regeneration or demise of our natural world and the humanity it sustains. He covers three core materials … concrete, steel and timber … highlighting their climate and biodiversity impacts when specified and procured via business-as-usual. Design thinking and a knowledge base to support more ecologically and socially sensitive material selection are then shared. Paul also pays particular attention to timber, the specification of which has been confused by environmental certifications and industry claims to it being intrinsically renewable and carbon sequestering.