Focus 2019: Sustainability – Meet Sahr
Starting from 2006, Pakistan has observed a major shortfall in the production and demand of electricity. Today, about 140 million people in Pakistan have no access to the power grid and suffer for more than twelve hours of load shedding daily. One of the major contributors towards the energy crisis in Pakistan is non-eco-friendly architecture, that leads to excessive energy consumption by buildings. According to the recent studies, around 22.5 percent of energy is used in buildings just for using electronic appliances for heating, cooling or lighting.
These figures alone bring to attention that architecture that consumes less energy can pave the path to mitigating energy crisis in Pakistan. Today, typically new buildings operate on expensive non-renewable energy sources, however, utilizing contextual low-cost vernacular solutions and sustainable design strategies, would instead create a responsible world. I intend to bring these to lime light, the studies of vernacular design and heritage – that aims to incorporate traditional design in to modern architecture in order to provide a cost-effective solution to reduce the energy consumed by modern buildings.
After practicing in the field in a developing country I have come to realize major challenges faced by sustainable design are lack of awareness of the need for sustainable development amongst general public and lack on investment to bare the increased initial building cost due to incorporation of green building technology. I would like to use this platform to focus on low cost vernacular solutions for sustainable development. In context of Pakistan vegetated courtyards and water features that have been a part of our regional architecture for centuries helps build micro climates that bring the temperature down significantly. Elements like these minimizes the electrical load without violating clients budget. Making these passive techniques a common architectural practice again would help deal with the exacerbating energy crisis and will bring down the glaring figures of energy consumption in buildings for lighting and thermal comfort.