At Design Haus Medy we are constantly looking at how to support sustainable development by addressing the difficult and complex issues which encompass the scope of almost every aspect of human life and how they are related to design.
The UAE is the flag-bearer of building sustainability within the region, with some of the highest rates of accredited green buildings in the world. Further, the UAE has pledged 24% clean energy by 2021 and Design Haus Medy will continue to actively support this forecast by implementing sustainable design recommendations across its commercial and residential projects.
Founder Medy Navani says sustainable and eco-friendly architecture can be one of the main drivers for improved living conditions and a better life for all, and moving towards greener architecture is key in promoting serious environmental, social and economic benefits. He says that environmentally, green architecture helps to reduce pollution, conserve natural resources and prevent environmental degradation. “Sustainability is of vital importance to all because it deals with the survival of human species and almost every living creature on the planet,” he said.
With sustainability being a consideration at all points of design, Navani and his team at DHM studio conceptualise dramatic re-designs in a dynamic and forward thinking approach. The Ghana project recently undertaken by the architecture firm used steel as the main resource.
“In Ghana we were commissioned to build a luxury project and we suggested steel as the key material over concrete. Steel is a great sustainable option in design due to its strength as you don’t need a lot to do the job. It is endlessly recyclable, as some steel mills only use scrap to produce new steel. There’s relatively little energy used to produce steel and the waste it produces is reusable and is non toxic to humans and the environment. It is also available in multiple forms; stainless, galvanized, carbon, and mild. Each has a different aesthetic and slightly different physical properties for your application. Overall, it’s a great structural and decorative material for architecture, as well as a sturdy industrial and construction material,” said Navani.
Further to the sustainability factors, the project also became a hugely profitable commercial venture, showcasing the opportunities that can be found and capitalized on when acting ‘green’. “When we started to build this luxury project we realised that the cost and speed of construction was optimised, so much so that the government realised that we could do a lot of low cost housing developments for a huge local community. Further to this, what was interesting was that our client in this project owned the bank, and he also observed that many of his employees working in his own bank (which was two or three thousand people), are living mostly in rented houses. He realised that he could provide his own employees with a loan, and build those buildings and sell the private homes to his own employees. So not only supporting the community but supporting his own business but creating a very interesting combination of win-win situations for everybody,” he said.
The Concept of Green Architecture, also known as “sustainable architecture” or “green building,” is the theory, science and style of buildings designed and constructed in accordance with environmentally friendly principles. Green architecture strives to minimize the number of resources consumed in the building’s construction, use and operation, as well as curtailing the harm done to the environment through the emission, pollution and waste of its components.
“There were many elements converging when looking at it from a bird’s eye perspective, and it really opened up the eyes of a lot of people who were extremely sceptical toward this kind of construction. Since building this project we have had so many enquiries from different companies to come in and develop low cost housing concepts, which help the community and and the environment harmoniously”.
To design, construct, operate and maintain a building new materials must be utilized with a consideration of how to remove any negative effects to health and the environment. In order to limit these effects and design environmentally sound and resource efficient buildings; “green building systems” must be introduced, clarified, understood and practiced.