Becoming a Green Architect

Green Architect in Malaysia is also known as an architect who specializes in 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 wider 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 what exactly is sustainable architecture? This concept 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, as well as the principles that are used in green building. In Malaysia, green architects operate mainly with the idea of active site specific design which means they are designing a building or a website that has its own unique design that meets the sustainable demands of the local region.

The notion of this idea 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 supported the growth of green developments. In order for a project to be regarded as such, four criteria must be fulfilled. These are energy loss, efficient design, recycling or re-use of all waste and consideration of aesthetics. To put it differently, the idea covers the entire gamut of design methods, including resource efficient design, reduced waste, improved biodiversity, improved site-specific design, reduced energy use and reduced waste.

As these concepts became more prevalent throughout society, so did the need for qualified architects who could uphold these principles. This resulted in the establishment of professional organizations and associations that brought together practicing green architects and other interested professionals. Their primary goals were to promote education about green design in architects practice, train new new talent and provide technical support. They also developed standards and guidelines for green jobs, particularly for projects related to large businesses. Green design training even went to the extent of helping practitioners to join the profession as advisers.

Today, there are lots of schools and colleges offering green design programs. The program is designed around the concept itself, hence the term’green architecture’. However, green programs aren’t limited to this specific field alone. Any job considered green by any college or school must meet the entire 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 execution of the green design will affect the national or local economy in a positive way. The educational and training systems have to have the ability to cater to these needs and make a well-educated professional ready to take on the challenge of designing a sustainable community. Green design is not restricted to building, but encompasses a broad range of practices, such as energy conservation, water conservation, transportation, manufacturing 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, organic structure, site feasibility and much more. The curriculum should 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 consumption, increased environmental consciousness, and reduction in waste. Students will also get a chance to work with projects which are currently in use or under development.

Graduates of a green design academy will have the required experience and skills to design a sustainable community. By working as an architect, he/she can contribute towards making a greener community and may also apply their knowledge to other areas, such as government agencies and colleges. Whether it is a residential or commercial construction, green design makes certain that the site will not be destroyed by construction or other unavoidable factors.