Forum 16 provides a demonstration of the complexity that faces us when setting out to design Low Carbon Buildings (LCBs). In the 1990s we focussed on energy efficiency in buildings, following the simple design mantras like those embedded in the Passive House movement: Good windows, no draughts or cold bridges and lots of insulation. Towards the end of the 20th century the fashion appeared for relying largely on mechanical ventilation and heat exchange for air changes, though how this led to low carbon emissions than simply opening a window in most seasons is unclear. By the 2000s the integration of solar energy into buildings provided a very successful means of substantially reducing carbon emissions from buildings and so became popular. By the 2010s the falling price of solar energy made it a must have feature of LCBs, except with some architects who could not grasp its benefits and some who felt that solar panels spoilt the clean lines of their designs.
DEVECI, G. 2017. Low carbon building design. In Roaf, S., Brotas, L. and Nicol, F. (eds.) Design to thrive: legacy document of the 33rd Passive and low energy architecture international conference (PLEA 2017), 2-5 July 2017, Edinburgh, UK. London: NCEUB [online], article ID F16, pages 34-35. Available from: https://plea2017.net/wp-content/themes/plea2017/docs/PLEA2017_legacy_document.pdf