Fast + Epp participates in dialogue on sustainable cities

January 31, 2019

Fast + Epp Partner and Founder, Paul Fast, recently participated in a London-Vancouver Dialogue on Sustainable Cities, hosted by New London Architecture and Diamond Schmitt Architects.

Live streamed from London and Vancouver, speakers from both cities discussed how climate change and shifting economic opportunities have changed how we plan and build, and how city leaders and the built environment industry are working together to create sustainable places.

“The construction industry emits 10% of global CO2 emissions, which still has considerable environmental impact,” says Fast. The manufacturers of structural materials, whether it be steel, concrete or wood, all have competing interests, claiming the environmental benefits of building with their products, he explained. “As design professionals, we have to let the dust settle and ask ourselves which materials make the most sense for optimizing sustainability.”

He went on to explain that there are some good reasons for building sustainably with mass timber: 1) wood is a fast-growing, and abundant resource, although we have to be careful to manage our forests properly; 2) mass timber sequesters carbon; 3) building with mass timber can be done quickly and quietly due to pre-fabrication, making neighbourhoods quieter, and cutting down on construction times and costs.

Other speakers on the London and Vancouver panels included:

Gil Kelley, General manager of Planning, Urban Design, and Sustainability, City of Vancouver
Derek Wilson
, Senior Sustainable Development Manager, Transport for London Property Development
Dave Ramslie
, Chief Sustainability Officer, Concert Properties
Emma Cariaga, Head of Operations, Canada Water, British Land
Paul Fast, Founder, Fast+Epp
Hadani Ditmars, author, journalist, and photographer
Donald Schmitt, Principal, Diamond Schmitt Architects (Vancouver chair)
Marion Baeli, 
Partner, PDP London
Peter Murray, Chairman, New London Architecture

The London-Vancouver dialogue was  part of the New London Architecture International Dialogues programme which brings together cities for discussion and debate. A video of the event will soon be available.