What are the key benefits and value of sustainable design for clients?
Incorporating sustainable design practices will encourage designers to think more holistically about developments.
The basic idea of a holistic approach to sustainable development is to provide a whole solution which addresses all the three key pillars of sustainability; social, economic and environmental sustainability. It will also foster a new generation of designers to think of architecture as more than just buildings.
Sustainable design also has a great influence on the typology of a building.
This creates an opportunity for designers to rethink the way people live or work through new design of building typologies. The typology of a building can improve the quality of life, whilst also helping to maximise the environmental gains through form, orientation and density.
Sustainable design also provides opportunities to incorporate nature into our urban environments, with the objective of making people feel healthier and happier.
Nature has many benefits for our wellbeing. Nature has a calming effect, it makes us live in harmony, improves our memory, reduces depression, boosts workplace performance and bonds people together.
Ultimately the key benefit of incorporating sustainable design practices is to provide residents and workers with the highest quality of life together with the lowest environmental footprint. It will create destinations that will make people feel healthy to live in, inspired to work in and want to visit.
One of the key questions asked by many clients and developers is: What are the incentives for incorporating sustainable design solutions into their projects?
Sustainable design adds value to a project and can diversify a client’s economy through a mix-use approach to developments. Contrary to common belief, sustainable design does not require an increase in client budget or construction cost. Passive design strategies such as orientation, density and form will provide the biggest environmental gains, yet these require the least financial investment. These basic decisions must be addressed at the early stages of the project, to reduce a large amount of energy demand without the extra costs.
Sustainable design also minimises maintenance costs and increases the durability of buildings. This means more cost savings over a project’s lifetime as well as an increase in longevity.
What about the added costs of incorporating active strategies?
Whilst active strategies such as incorporating renewable energy or recycling systems into projects do require an additional investment, the paybacks on these systems are recovered over the years from significantly reduced energy and water bills.
Sustainable design provides a USP to developments.
In a highly competitive market, sustainable design can also provide a unique selling point. It can add a competitive advantage to a client’s project, as buyers look towards properties with access to a range of desirable amenities, as well as providing minimum maintenance fees and reduced energy bills.
About the author
Baharash Bagherian is a Designer working holistically at all scales, designing for a higher quality of life whilst also protecting the environment. He believes that great Architecture is more than buildings: “It’s about creating resilient destinations that make people feel healthy to live in, inspired to work in and want to visit.”
In his work, each project is driven by a process of investigation and experimentation. The outcomes of these studies form the basis of the design. He strives to develop innovative and creative solutions that make a positive contribution to our current and future generations.
His award-winning design studio, Baharash Architecture, have worked on projects in various scales, from urban scale; such as master plans, landscape design and buildings, to smaller scale; such as interiors, furniture and products. Recent projects include the Oasis Eco Resort in Liwa and phase 2 of The Sustainable City in Dubai.