Architecture and urbanism are the key factors in defining our cultural environment. Buildings and cities are also the key factors in the health of our natural environment: no other element of human endeavour impacts carbon footprint, climate change and natural resources more. Architects and urban designers have a huge responsibility then, to work towards the conservation of our buildings and cities and to do so in intelligent, sustainable ways.
Built heritage conservation and green building have the same roots and the same goals. Natural and cultural conservation, at their core, simultaneously seek to preserve for future generations that which we value. The significant creations of nature and man both have great value to us. Maintaining them both in harmony is of further, definitive value.
MTBA Mark Thompson Brandt Architect and Associates Inc. created this interactive website in order to foster knowledge, debate and sharing of all things that relate to state-of-the-art interventions into existing buildings and cities, particularly their conservation – both natural and cultural, either as original content or conveniently consolidating information from other sources.
MTBA works at the nexus of “sustainability” and “heritage”. Our métier is constantly defined by what we call “sustainable conservation”: finding thoughtful, optimal solutions to enhance and conserve our valuable built environment in ways that serve to protect our natural resources today and in the long term.
Best practises for both heritage conservation and sustainable building also share the same processes: collaborative, broadly-based, multi-disciplinary, holistic, deep understandings of the resources, and problem-solving in multivalent matrices rather than linearly. In fact, high achievement in building sustainably and in conserving heritage value is essentially the state-of-the-art for all building endeavor.
MTBA are established leaders in the emerging field of sustainable rehabilitation, focusing on both the environmental and cultural benefits of retaining, upgrading and adaptively reusing existing buildings with or without heritage value. Within the MTBA office, sustainable rehabilitation is fully integrated into our project approach for existing buildings to reduce complication while providing intelligent, project-relevant and sustainable solutions that often outperform conventional solutions. When contributing to larger design and construction teams we work to accommodate the diverse range of project objectives, while being mindful of the value present within an existing building, to achieve a more balanced level of environmental and cultural sustainability, and reduce roadblocks to higher levels of sustainability.
To promote the growth of the sustainable rehabilitation field on a national and international level MTBA is involved in various international organizations including Association of Preservation Technology International – Technical Committee on Sustainable Preservation where Mark Thompson Brandt serves as Co-Chair. On a national level, MTBA are the principal authors of the national standard, Building Resilience: Practical Guidelines to Sustainable Rehabilitation of Buildings in Canada for the Federal Provincial Territorial Heritage Places Collaboration (FPTHPC), published in 2016.
While created and maintained by MTBA, we invite others to submit stories and information that they feel would contribute to the on-going discourse surrounding sustainable conservation of our built environment. Please use the contact page to submit suggestions.