Protecting Carbon & Character 

Lauren Forde 


Proposal: An experimental housing tower aimed at redefining material procurement
Location: North Wall Quay 

We must now seek to protect the embodied carbon present throughout our built fabric. We must recognise the value of locally sourced materials from times gone by, that shape the character of the NEIC as it sits today. This value extends to the carbon inherent in material durability, exemplified through the mass of granite relied upon to construct North Wall Quay, transported some 42KM from Ballyknockan. The character historically understood through the procurement of local materials must now be reimagined as we endeavour to dismantle and rebuild in a manner deemed appropriate for the needs of today. Stone as a well tried, nuanced product of local culture ought to be relied upon as we seek to design a resilient city for the future. A resilient future centred around the protection of carbon and character. We can no longer rely on the granite outcrop located at Ballyknockan. But instead, we must view our city and the NEIC as the quarry of today. Quarried material that no longer exists with valuable use ought to be paired with alternative infinite resources such as timber to arrive at a hybrid construction technology and the total decarbonisation of construction. Change and adaption emerges as we try to understand buildings through time, we ought to anticipate the change of today and its potential for reflection through history. This thesis paper seeks to look at energy and its influence on humanity in the context of the procurement of stone and how the tradition and craft attached to a material as such might allow us to reclaim an architecture centred around decarbonisation. Relying on our historical understanding of stone and its position within the context of of energy to perhaps inform this new way of thinking. This idea has been tested through the design of a key worker housing tower, located at North Wall Quay in the NEIC an area of the city urgently requiring many forms of critical care. The critical care my work considers seeks to decarbonise construction by 2050. A critical care intent on allowing for durability and the continued endurance of both use and materiality. A critical care that holds central a placemaking of resilience.