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Heritage: An Asset for Sustainable Development - Dr. Benny Kuriakose

December 31, 2022 at 6:30:00 AM

Climate change is becoming a threat to humanity. Floods, draughts, and tsunamis are on the rise, and our actions are slowly drowning us. We don't have much time, but we can still make a difference.

In this talk, Dr. Benny Kuriakose speaks about how we could contribute to lessening a building’s environmental impact through conservation, as it has already had an impact on the environment. He also stresses the use of traditional materials like timber, laterite, lime, earth, etc. He strongly believes that timber is the building material of the future, as it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen. There is a general misconception that all traditional materials are sustainable. Laterite, which was one of the most common building materials in Kerala that could be dug out on site, became a quarry ground, thus becoming less sustainable. Hence, simply being traditional does not make a material sustainable; rather, factors like how a material is sourced and how far it is from the intended use are considered to all contribute to the sustainability of a certain product.

Dr. Benny Kuriakose makes a strong argument on the impact of climate change and why it should be taken seriously. He urges that it is time to find a solution now, and conserving the built heritage and making use of traditional materials is the key. He delivered this speech at the National Convenors' Convention 2022 dedicated to heritage conservation after he was made the Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Architectural Heritage Division by the Indian National Trust for Art and Architectural Heritage (INTACH).

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