A Green Architect in Malaysia is also known as an architect who focuses on sustainable architecture. Sustainable architecture is basically architecture that aims to minimise the negative environmental impacts of buildings both on the local community and on the broader environment at large. This idea 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 quite different from green building, green living or green design. Sustainable architecture focuses on design principles such as those utilised in the efficient design of conventional buildings, as well as the principles that are used in green building. In Malaysia, green architects operate mainly with the concept of active site specific design, meaning they are designing a building or a site that has its own specific design that meets the sustainable demands of the local area.
The notion of this concept is relatively new but has been developed and used in countries like France and Italy. It was first introduced in Malaysia in the early 1990s when the government encouraged the growth of green developments. In order for a project to be regarded as such, four criteria must be fulfilled. These are energy reduction, efficient design, recycling or re-use of all waste and consideration of aesthetics. In other words, the idea covers the whole gamut of design methods, such as resource efficient design, reduced waste, increased biodiversity, improved site-specific design, decreased energy use and reduced waste.
As these concepts became more widespread throughout society, so did the demand for qualified architects who could uphold these principles. This led to the establishment of professional associations and organizations which brought together practicing green architects and other interested professionals. Their main goals were to promote education about green design in architects practice, train new new talent and provide technical support. They also developed criteria and guidelines for green jobs, particularly for projects associated with large businesses. Green design training even went to the extent of assisting practitioners to enter the profession as consultants.
Today, there are many schools and colleges offering 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 college or school must meet the overall requirements of a sustainable community.
To be considered a green architect, a person must go beyond the design phase. He/she must have strong environmental pursuits and must have the ability to demonstrate how his/her implementation of the green design will influence the local or national economy in a positive way. The educational and training systems have to be able to cater to these needs and make 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 wide selection of practices, such as energy conservation, water conservation, transportation, manufacturing and design, sustainable communities, etc..
In order to become a green design professional, an individual must attend a green design academy. This training would cover topics such as sustainable building, green buildings, energy efficiency, community design, environmental consulting, organic architecture, site feasibility and much more. The curriculum must include a balanced mix of theoretical study and practical application. During the program, students will learn about the benefits of green design, such as reduced energy consumption, increased ecological awareness, and reduction in waste. Students will also get a opportunity to work with projects which are currently in use or under development.
Graduates of a green design academy will have the necessary expertise 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 is a residential or commercial building, green design makes certain that the site will not be destroyed by construction or other unavoidable factors.