Statement by Univ.Prof. Mag.arch. Françoise-Hélène Jourda

Architect and Initiator of the Blue Award

From 1999-2015 head of Department for Spatial and Sustainable Design, Vienna University of Technology



The world is undergoing lasting changes.  We are all confronted with this reality.  Every one of us recognizes that our current way of living must be reformed, our way of consuming corrected.  The building industry consumes roughly 40% of available material and water resources, and produces roughly 30% of the greenhouse gas emissions.


Sustainable architecture is neither a question of style nor of technical solutions.

Sustainable architecture can be described as a responsible approach towards the task of building.

Sustainability touches every aspect of design: an act with social, economical and ecological implications.

Sustainability means going beyond a one-dimensional approach and taking a comprehensive view of the tasks at hand in order to achieve results and protect an environment worth experiencing.


We, as architects, carry a particular responsibility in the building industry:  we want to set an example, one using alternative construction methods and innovative planning strategies.  For quite some time, we possess the know-how and building materials necessary to answer, in an unconventional yet professional way, the needs of our environment and climate.  New forms of construction and planning will have to differentiate themselves from current methods in many ways.


For this reason it is of utmost importance to academically outfit planners and builders with this new interpretation of architecture.  In particular, it is in the future projects of current students in architecture and planning where the nucleus of a revised and respectful attitude and architectural approach towards our environment will be found.


Prof. Françoise-Hélène Jourda

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