HKZ2013 Highlights: Sustainable Development
Architecture is an essential arena for sustainable innovation. Buildings represent about half the annual energy and emissions in the U.S. and three-quarters of its electricity. With the built environment growing — the U.S. building stock increases by about 3 billion square feet every year — architects have a historic opportunity to transform its impact for the better. GreenBiz, Lance Hosey,
Qatar brought home 2022 FIFA World Cup by bidding on sustainable architecture and innovative green concepts. Here it showcase is the world’s most sustainable stadium, a radical piece of environmental architecture by Arup Associates. The 500-seat zero-carbon exemplar stadium is a football stadium like no other. It is a proof-of-concept for innovative cooling and climate control technologies and a development platform to refine these technologies for application across Qatar and potentially across all arid regions. The original brief from the Qatar 2022 client team was for a simple pavilion that demonstrated some cooling performance technologies, however after working with the client in workshops Arup Associates developed with them the idea of a radical environmental approach and the idea of zero carbon technologies being differentiators for their Qatar cup bid.
Integrated sustainable systems ensure a mild microclimate, Architect Rudy Uytenhaak was commissioned to achieve this for The Dutch Embassy in Amman within the framework of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ sustainability strategy. In his remodeling and extension of the one-story villa in a walled garden with swimming pool, Uytenhaak drew inspiration from Jordanian architecture. He retained the existing structure and used local materials, like the pale yellow limestone known as ‘Jerusalem Stone’, for the extra story and for the arcade around the house. The thick walls ensure a cool indoor climate, while the use of natural ventilation, shade cloths for sun protection and thermal energy storage via the swimming pool water, make for a highly efficient energy management. Thanks to these innovative green concepts, the embassy can pride itself on being the first building in Jordan, and the first Netherlands embassy building, to be awarded the prestigious LEEDS Silver certificate from the American Green Building Council. With the new embassy in Amman, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues its tradition of deploying high-profile Dutch architecture on Dutch territory abroad.
FXFOWLE Architects’ Museum of the Built Environment (MOBE) explores the role of social, economic, and environmental issues in the development of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the larger region. The museum will exhibit works related to the history of the arts and architecture on the Arabian peninsula, as well as document trends in sustainable thinking and their role in the future of the built environment. The museum puts the traditionally private culture of Saudi Arabia on display, creating a building for residents and visitors. Integrated passive and active strategies maximize sustainability. FXGOWLE Architects used building performance modeling to help shape the building envelope and to incorporate solar shading. Along with the reflective, highly insulated building envelope, advanced HVAC systems reduce energy use. Other energy-saving components include LED lighting, automated lighting systems, and mechanical shading devices. Rainwater is collected and graywater is treated on site. Open offices and internal stairs encourage active work spaces and better internal environments. Sky gardens bring the landscape into the architecture.
Sustainable concepts are not always progressive and high-tech. Here in The Aga Khan nominated project, Salam Centre in Soba, Khartoum by Studio Tamassociati houses what could be used as a template for modern African development in its constructed Medical Housing Compound. Constructed using some 20ft-containers for housing and 40ft-containers for a cafeteria, the integration of local materials and high design level of retrofitting expresses a new level of affordable, sustainable architecture in the third world. Peculiar care has been dedicated to insulation and energy saving. The containers are insulated with a “layer system”. Inside the container 5 cm insulating panels have been placed. The outside “skin” is realized with a second insulated roof and a bamboo brise-soleil panel system. In this way the sun rays never hit the containers. This system involves a huge energy saving. Solar panels also supply hot water for the entire compound.
Another great example of vernacular sustainable concepts is the Eco-Tourism and Rangers Academy in Ajloun, Jordan by Ammar Khammash. This project, now under construction, is located in the northern highlands of Jordan. The site will function as an academy to train rangers of protected areas; it will also have a wide academic/training program related to landscape management in areas of natural or cultural heritage. To assist the academic component, one side of the building will function as a popular restaurant that will generate funds for the academic program and help in financing the management of the nearby protected area. The site is basically an abandoned stone quarry. The dramatic limestone cliff created by the quarrying activities, and left untouched after abandonment, became the profile of the front elevation which followed the random cliff line as accurately as possible. The building will demonstrate green issues to users and visitors. It will have good insulation using straw filling within thick walls, it will use geothermal energy technology, and will benefit from good orientation and passive cooling provided by the shape and details of the structure itself.
Working with local materials and craftsmanship is always a key in making a sustainable architecture that blends with the local architecture. This is what Dar SSH International Engineering Consultants proposed for Gunoot Eco Resort in Oman – to worke with the Earth; a low density Eco resort that will meet the triple bottom line, the economic: cheaper to build using low skilled local labor and materials and higher revenue attracting eco tourists seeking remote and authentic experiences. The environmental: working with local materials and using passive and active green energy. The social: working with and engaging the local population, giving fishermen an additional skill to be used after fishing season, expressing the local culture in the architecture and giving the new town a sense of identity and local pride.
Old fishing nets were mixed with plaster for extra reinforcement, using local stone for flooring purposes, and traveling across Oman in search of local arts and crafts served the team with abundant choices, given the nation’s proud tradition and dedication to keeping the artisanal culture alive. When it came to powering the resort, solar panels played a major role: Solar panels harnessed electricity, a solar heater was put in place, and a solar-powered air conditioning system was introduced. Using the sun’s energy managed to reduce consumption by a staggering 30-40%, and in doing so the team cultivated a growing curiosity towards employing green energy throughout the community with various other clean energy applications.
For sustainable urbanisim and green master plans, check out our Urbanisim in the Arab World Highlights.
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