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“Sustainable Buildings and Design: Build Back Better Architecture in Reshaping Built Environment”

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tbculture 13 May 2022

“The best way to predict future is to create it.” As Peter Drucke describes the easiest and best way to predict future is to make sure that it certainly exists. Rather than moaning over hindsight, we should make sure that we live a prosperous and safe future for our generation down the line. These lines are the basic foundation for the concept of sustainability. According to Gro Harlem Brundtland, “Sustainable development is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Sustainability not only focuses on improving the present condition but also making sure that the future remains stable and feasible.

In the field of architecture and engineering, sustainability has a niche of its own. While the concept of strong and durable building structures is a recurring theme, the concept of sustainable building structures is still a noble ideology in today’s realm of building design and construction. In context of a developing countries such as Nepal, while the concept of sustainability is not new to engineers and architects, it still hasn’t been formally incorporated in building norms and byelaws. In order to aid in acceptance of sustainable building structures from the general public, SONA invited Ar. IDr. Alice Leong Pek Lian to share her ideas and experiences to the enthusiastic attendees of the webinar held on 25th February 2022. The presentation titled, “Sustainable Buildings and Design- Build Back Better Architecture in Reshaping Built Environment” contained a plethora of energy efficient design strategies visualized through multiple national big scale sustainable building projects that Ar.Pek Lian is part of in her country, Malaysia. The webinar was moderated by Ar. Apekshya Ghimire and was formally inaugurated with an opening remark from Ar. Prabal Dahal.

Ar. IDr. Pek Lian graduated from the University Science of Malaysia with a double degree of Bachelor in Science Honors in Architecture in addition to Bachelors in Architecture. She has been practicing as a professional architect registered with the board of Architect Malaysia and has been working as a manager and an architect for more than 18 years at Arkitek MAA Sdn. Bhd. She is a qualified GBI facilitator as well as accredited GBI panel in the technical committee in Malaysia. She is also the honorary treasurer of Malaysia Institute of Architects. She is a former honorary secretary of Malaysia Institute of Architects as well as Malaysia Green Building Council and a GBI Board of Directors. She is a representative and a committee member in Architects Regional Council Asia (ARCASIA)- Green and Sustainable Architecture Committee since 2017. She is SDG Commission Committee of Region 4 of international unions of Architects (UIA). She is also a qualified professional interior designer and is a member of Malaysia Institute of Interior Designer. She has obtained her accredited building inspector qualification with PAM architects center and has also passed and qualified herself as an arbitrator under PAM panelists. As a professional and a model architect and interior designer, she is constantly invited to multiple national and international universities and institutions as a speaker and as a judge as well as an external panel critic for student works. Along her journey, she has constantly contributed in development and advancement in the field of Green and Sustainable Architecture.

Initially, the presentation encompassed multiple passive design strategies that could be incorporated during the design as well as construction phase of the building in order to make it energy efficient. Furthermore, the slide progressed towards different energy rating systems prevalent in different countries of world that provides ranking to buildings on the basis of point aggregated from different energy efficient measures. She proceeded towards presenting different projects that she was involved in its designing phase. The first project she presented was PFCC tower which consists of three towers. With heights in descending order having a transitional concept that included the interplay of concrete structures, aluminum facades and glass openings. The building was awarded silver ranking in energy rating by the local energy rating system Green Building Index (GBI). The building had blue color glasses and vertical as well as horizontal external shading devices to reduce glare inside the office and create a cool ambience. There was provision of proper cross ventilation and building also generate its own electricity through solar panels on its roof.

The main theme of the presentation was basically building the infrastructures in a better and sustainable way. The presentation ended with an encouraging message from Ar. IDr. Pek Lian that basically gave us energy and inspiration to contribute more actively in the field of sustainable building development. The webinar was formally concluded with an insightful closing remark from Dr. Sanjaya Uprety who is the chairman of the Green and Sustainable architecture subcommittee.

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