Radhika Mehta is an Architect working primarily to build structures that adapt to climate change. She is a sustainability consultant with certification in LEED AP BD+C and has contributed to certify several projects spanning India and UAE with LEED, Estidama, Griha and IGBC ratings. She believes in designing sustainably in order to increase visual and thermal comfort thus prioritizing occupant wellbeing and productivity for the entire life cycle of the structure. During her time at BuroHappold she focused on energy modelling and building performance analysis for various architectural and urban interventions building on circular solutions. Her aim is to increase awareness about circular solutions that can enable the transition to a low-carbon, nature-positive and just economy. She believes that if a building adopts a circular approach in its design, operation and demolition, then over time it is possible to maximize its value, both financially and socially, while minimizing the negative environmental impacts.
Reuse is a crucial tool in achieving a net-zero carbon economy and the wider Sustainable Development Goals. Circular economy is one such practice that seeks to reduce resource consumption and keep materials and products in use through ongoing adaptation. Adopting a circular economic model for buildings will promote economic, environmental, and social benefits for various stakeholders involved in developing sustainable future cities. The goal of developing this model is to better understand the value and viewpoint of several participants and thus bring together qualitative and quantitative research in order to bring about circularity in the built environment. The existing market still provides challenges for widespread uptake of circular economy as the cost of virgin materials is lower than that of reused materials and costs associated with the upskilling and logistics required for circular practices. As material supply chains are increasingly sensitive to disruptions both due to geopolitical and climate impacts, implementing circular material chains is the only way forward to meet Net zero targets. My project aims to use SDG’s as a basis to develop circular market framework to be used at the various stages of the project thus driving larger outcomes and upskilling teams to consider sustainability in their work.
This idea of developing a circular building pathway emerged out of a simple idea that in order to maintain the law of conservation of resources, it is important to create a closed loop of resources where resource is not lost or wasted. Upcycling materials into a product of a higher quality will not only celebrate craftsmanship and support local industries but also expand the lifespan of a product. Also, as circularity in materials ensures transparency in meeting regulatory compliances, utilizing them in the construction sector will not only drive branding but also meet emerging policy requirements.
MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET
Climate change and its impacts have affected all of us and especially the economically weaker sections of the society. The homes that we all live in today are not climate resilient and that brings about immense opportunities in the field of sustainability to utilize and upcycle resources in order to make well-insulated sustainable homes for all. I believe that working locally to respond to climate change and addressing critical challenges to make living sustainable for the common man is something that has inspired me to take up this initiative. I look forward for this opportunity with the C40 mentorship program to bring in building circularly as a pathway for the sustainable construction industry.
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