Becoming a Green Architect
A Green Architect in Malaysia is also known as an architect who specializes in sustainable architecture. Sustainable architecture is essentially architecture that aims to minimise the negative environmental impacts of buildings both on the local community and on the broader environment at large. This concept is also known as active eco-system design and is also known as active landscape design. It utilises the design, construction and placement of the building on the surrounding land, climate and land availability and uses the resources efficiently.
So just what is sustainable architecture? This idea is actually very different from green building, green living or green design. Sustainable architecture focuses on design principles such as those utilised in the efficient design of traditional buildings, and the principles that are used in green building. In Malaysia, green architects operate mainly with the concept of active site specific design, meaning that they are designing a building or a website that has its own specific design that meets the sustainable demands of the local region.
The concept of this idea is relatively new but has been developed and used in countries such as France and Italy. It was first introduced in Malaysia in the early 1990s when the government encouraged the growth of green developments. For a project to be considered as such, four criteria must be fulfilled. These are energy loss, efficient layout, recycling or re-use of all waste and consideration of aesthetics. To put it differently, the concept covers the whole gamut of design methods, such as resource efficient design, reduced waste, increased biodiversity, improved site-specific design, reduced energy usage and reduced waste.
Because these concepts became more prevalent throughout society, so did the demand for qualified architects who could uphold these principles. This resulted in the establishment of professional associations and organizations that brought together practicing green architects and other interested professionals. Their main goals were to promote education about green design in architects training, train new new talent and provide technical support. They also developed standards and guidelines for green projects, especially for projects associated with large businesses. Green design training even went to the extent of helping practitioners to join the profession as consultants.
Today, there are many schools and colleges that offer green design programs. The program is designed around the concept itself, hence the term’green architecture’. However, green programs are not limited to this specific field alone. Any project considered green by any school or college must meet the entire requirements of a sustainable community.
To be considered a green architect, an individual must go beyond the design phase. He/she should have strong environmental pursuits and have to be able to demonstrate how his/her implementation of the green design will influence the local or national economy in a positive manner. The educational and training systems have to have the ability to cater to these needs and create a well-educated professional ready to take on the challenge of designing a sustainable community. Green design isn’t limited to building, but encompasses a broad selection of practices, such as energy conservation, water conservation, transportation, production and design, sustainable communities, etc..
So as to be a green design professional, an individual must attend a green design academy. This training would cover subjects such as sustainable building, green buildings, energy efficiency, community design, environmental consulting, natural architecture, site feasibility and much more. The program must include a balanced mix of theoretical analysis and practical application. During the course, students will learn about the benefits of green design, such as reduced energy intake, increased environmental consciousness, and reduction in waste. Students will also get a opportunity to work with projects that are currently in use or under development.
Graduates of a green design academy will have the necessary experience and skills to design a sustainable community. By working as an architect, he/she can contribute towards making a greener community and can also apply their knowledge to other regions, such as government agencies and colleges. Whether it’s a residential or commercial construction, green design makes sure that the website will not be destroyed by construction or other unavoidable factors.