A Green Architect in Malaysia is also known as an architect that focuses on sustainable architecture. Sustainable architecture is basically architecture which aims to minimise the negative environmental impacts of buildings both on the local community and about the broader environment at large. This idea is also known as active eco-system layout and is also known as active landscape design. It simplifies the layout, construction and placement of the building on the surrounding land, climate and land availability and utilizes the resources efficiently.
So what exactly 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, and the principles that are used in green building. In Malaysia, green architects work mainly with the concept of active site specific design, meaning that they are designing a building or a website that has its own specific design that meets the sustainable requirements 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 supported the growth of green developments. For a project to be regarded as such, four criteria must be fulfilled. These are energy reduction, efficient layout, recycling or re-use of waste and consideration of aesthetics. In other words, the idea covers the entire gamut of design methods, including resource efficient design, reduced waste, improved biodiversity, improved site-specific design, decreased energy use and reduced waste.
As these concepts became more prevalent throughout society, so did the need for qualified architects who might uphold these principles. This resulted in the establishment of professional organizations and associations which brought together practicing green architects and other interested professionals. Their main goals were to promote education about green design in architects practice, train fresh new talent and supply technical support. They also developed criteria and guidelines for green jobs, particularly for projects related to large businesses. Green design training even went to the extent of assisting practitioners to enter the profession as advisers.
Today, there are lots of schools and colleges that offer green design programs. The program is designed around the concept itself, hence the term’green architecture’. However, green programs aren’t limited to this particular 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 should have strong environmental pursuits and must have the ability to demonstrate how his/her execution of the green design will influence the local or national economy in a positive manner. The educational and training systems must 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 restricted to building, but encompasses a wide selection of practices, such as energy conservation, water conservation, transportation, production and design, sustainable communities, etc..
In order to be a green design professional, one must attend a green design academy. This training would cover subjects such as sustainable building, green buildings, energy efficiency, community design, environmental consulting, natural architecture, site feasibility and much more. The curriculum should 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 decrease in waste. Students will also get a opportunity to work with projects that 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 creating 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 building, green design makes sure that the site won’t be destroyed by construction or other unavoidable factors.