Architecture claims to remedy some of the world’s major problems. On the turn of the twentieth century it meant to solve the hygienic conditions of the increasing urban population, and it rapidly lead to the mental welfare. Nowadays, one of the biggest concerns of the world is the sustainability. Many contemporary architects note the importance of designing sustainable projects. All in all, the truth is that architecture is still a problem instead of a solution. Buildings pollute a lot and passive sustainability measures are not enough to solve the energetic problems, while active measures are still expensive for the average client.
However, not too many architects realise that they can do better. Apart from the sustainable design whose drawbacks ought to be discussed with clients, architects can also take some decisions regarding materials. They can for instance choose the materials according to certificates of good environmental practises. For example, there is an outstanding certificate for wooden products called FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). Basically, it certificates that all the stages of the industrial process have followed the basic principle of the sustainability. It is that the extracted goods are less than the existing ones, and that extraction follows measures which are respectful with the environment. The FSC certification includes the surveillance of the forest care, the timber extraction and the wooden products by a company which is not related with the process.
Clients do not know or do not care about this. It is actually difficult to get to know which certificate is really excellent and which one is just rubbish. There are even certificates which do not follow measurable requirements and yet others which allow the companies to certificate themselves. Deeming the worth of such a thing is a new task for the architect since he must choose the materials of his project. In doing so, he could take a small action which helps the world.