Waldo Galle

Waldo Galle

http://vub.ac.be/arch/ae-lab/projects/designforchange

Innovation and InfrastructureSustainable Cities and CommunitiesResponsible Consumption

Role

Scenario developer and life-cycle analyst

Quote

“Why do we live in monolithic, brick buildings?”

Who are you?

Why do we live in monolithic, brick buildings? As a PhD candidate with a master’s degree in architectural engineering, the static nature of buildings challenges me to support the transition to a more dynamic building stock, i.e. structures, systems and products that are adaptable and offer fast and affordable refit options to their users. Adaptable buildings with demountable and versatile components can be easily modified. Moreover, such a refit can be carried out in a material-efficient way since adaptability facilitates reuse and recycling of materials and even allows for a circular economy. To persuade designers and investors I analyse the environmental impact and financial feasibility of such adaptable buildings. Including in my life-cycle analysis future needs and changing lifestyles already yielded eye-opening findings.

Why are you part of Generation T?

It’s all about scenarios. You could call them ‘imaginable futures’. As the future and our changing lifestyles cannot be predicted with certainty, scenarios help us assess and compare the long-term effects of the options we have today. What if the expected scenario occurs? What if another one does? Would we still take the same decision? I develop scenarios to challenge people’s prejudices, to communicate ideas and co-create resilient strategies. They even prove a powerful decision tool when turned into numbers by life-cycle analysis. Anticipating change and creating dynamic buildings and cities is in my opinion the most sustainable way to cope with uncertainty. This vision I would like to share with Generation T.

A specific example on how your project or activities make a difference and initiate change:

Last year, I had the opportunity to be part of the Design-for-Change research project. Together with researchers from different universities, research institutions and architectural firms I developed tools to help architects and local governments implement adaptable building. Clear examples, a common language and hands-on evaluation criteria; decision makers need them to design, discuss and select innovative strategies such as adaptable building. The project was just one step in the broader transition to a more dynamic building stock. In this ongoing process all stakeholders in the different stages of a building’s life-cycle should play a contributory role. After all, we will all reap the rewards of a more adaptable and sustainable world.