Prof. Doug King urges construction paradigm change

At the Lignacite Lecture 2013 Professor Doug King spoke about Building on Evolution, and called for the need to change the construction paradigm to ensure high performance, low impact buildings, which are essential to the future of humankind.

The Lecture, which was this year held at The Royal Society in London, was attended by architects, specifiers, designers, environmentalists and representatives from construction and local authorities, who came to hear Professor Doug King speak about the need to learn from the evolved wisdom of historic builders. He said:

“In the next 40 years, to accommodate the rapid growth in urban population, humankind will likely have to build as much new urban fabric as already exists today. We will not have time to correct mistakes. We need to ensure that the buildings we put up are genuinely sustainable: appropriate for their cultural and climatic locations, as well as minimising use of resources.

“Everywhere I look, I find evidence of underlying physical properties that have influenced the choices of generations of builders. From structure to roof tiles to paint, the properties of certain materials and methods have brought benefits to buildings, despite these rarely being overtly recognised. We need to examine these with a view to identifying new opportunities for creating high performance, low impact buildings that have not yet even been imagined.”

Chairman of leading masonry products manufacturer, Lignacite, is Giles de Lotbiniere. He was delighted Professor King accepted his invitation to address this year’s Lecture:

“He is a building physicist and one of the most influential figures on sustainable construction in the world. He raised some important points, and at Lignacite we are already working to address his challenge of developing high performance, low impact buildings and conserving resources by using up to 50% of recycled materials in our products.

“Recently we also launched The Carbon Buster, which is the world’s first carbon negative building block, and incorporates recycled materials and carbonated aggregates derived from by-products from waste to energy plants. We believe this block has an important role to play in helping to meet the UK’s zero carbon homes targets and build a more sustainable future.”

The Lignacite Lecture is an annual event, which dates back to year 2000. Since then, a variety of topics ranging from The Relationship between Art & Architecture to Biomimicry and the Ecological Age have been covered by high profile speakers, including Michael Pawlyn, Sir Terry Farrell, Anthony Gormley OBE, Ken Shuttleworth and Professor David Mach.