Michel Prégardien / Project manager, professor Umons

Umons / Civil engineer architect, doctor in the field of architecture and urbanism

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

As an architect, I see how architecture consumes energy and complex products. The implementation of these complex materials poses three problems: it is accessible only to specialized firms that hold the market, it is difficult to access for maintenance services, products are impossible to recycle (more and more products are glued) and produces increasing wastes. This is a daily fight to try to simplify and make my work more accessible for human, simply.
Each projects is the opportunity to try a research including real durability: reuse, construction without concrete, reflection on the maintenance, simplicity of implementation…
Nowadays, I see three obstacles to such reflections:

  1. difficulties for companies to extricate themselves from a system structured for the implementation of more and more efficient products, but increasingly more complex to master. Offering reused siding or buildings without concrete is not in the manners of companies and the reticence is numerous, including from clients;
  2. establishment of increasingly numerous standards (safety, energy…): how to insert in a flow of highly standardized goods (modeled for the shaping by specialized firms) products coming deconstruction, less well finished, rough, without legal guarantee ;
  3. subsequent increase in working time for architects and companies. Each project leads to new reflections, interesting on technical and philosophical levels, but time consuming. The entire profession, subject to tough economic competition, is not ready to economically assume such commitments with the risks that these new practices inevitably entail.
    It is therefore difficult to tackle all these problems without also exposing oneself personally. This world dominated by questions of responsibilities (which lead to administrative inflation: email, confirmation, validation, insurance …) leaves no space for creative adventures with their potential risks, inherent in these processes less compliant.
    Before any legislative change, it is imperative to give people the dignity of their work and to enable them to find the meaning of what they do. Many architects build, forgetting their daily mission to provide quality spaces for eminently sensitive and multiple people; many are the workers who work without love of their profession. The laws are already too numerous and do not include any margin of openness. It is the structure of the system that needs to change first ; allowing more freedom and trust to people will greatly simplify everyday life and change the society.
    This is possible. It’s the personnal energy to assume it that makes the task difficult. But, it’s possible !

Originally posted 2018-05-21 13:04:26.