Regenerative architecture: carbon sequestration and habitat provisioning through building design
Kamiya Varshney is a PhD student at the School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington. Her research aims to investigate how architecture itself can contribute to increasing biodiversity while concurrently providing carbon sequestration. After completing her Bachelors in Architecture and Masters in Building Engineering and Management, she served the construction industry for more than eight years in diverse fields of Architecture, Project Management and Sustainability. She received a Pidilite Excellence Award 2008 for "Environmental and eco-friendly buildings". Her research interests include regenerative architecture, innovation in sustainable design, project management for sustainable development and performance management of sustainable buildings.
The expansion of the built environment is a significant driver of climate change and biodiversity loss. Building industries tend to minimise the adverse ecological and climatic impacts rather than generating quantifiable positive socio-ecological impacts through building design. Therefore, a fundamental rethinking of architectural and urban design is required to stop the degeneration of ecosystems and instead increase their regenerative capacity. This research thus explores the relationship between two aspects of regenerative design, i.e. carbon sequestration (the process of actively removing CO2 from the atmosphere) and habitat provisioning (providingliving space for plant and animal species), through building-integrated vegetation, which has multiple co-benefits that can synergistically work towards climate change mitigation and adaptation agendas, increased biodiversity, and enhanced human wellbeing.