EKODesign Green Building Summit April 14th2011

What ‘s retained in mind from theEKODesign 2011 conference held in YEM last week…

The Green Summit of the Building Sector, EKODesign 2011 brings together the decision makers of building and architecture fields for the fourth time by focusing on“ecological necessity of construction” in EKODesign Conference. Turkish and international speakers specialized on green buildings and cities brought up the award-winning studies on green buildings, the legislation in force, current and striking topics to the agenda of fourth EKODesign Conference organized by YEM (The Building Information Centre).

So, what images remained in my mind? In the conference, the speeches were about the sustainable construction in Turkey, regulation of energy performance in buildings, sustainable building projects such as Eser Holding Headquarters in Ankara that acquired LEED Platinum, Toyota Onatça Adana building, Tekfen Levent Office building… But I won’t tell you that what attracted me most was Toyota’s building from Turkey. It really doesn’t strike a chord! They used energy-saving bulbs, so what?! A big applause…

But I should say that the presentation of Prof. Susan Roaf,”Decreasing the risks of Constructed Environment in changing world” was one of the most impressive speeches I listened on sustainability.

“Change will come about individuals and people from banding together – the transitional movement, eco-village movement and local mayors…” says Roaf.

According to Roaf, Architecture seems to be moving in the opposite direction.“Instead of designing buildings where humans are comfortable and energy consumption is minimised, they create huge monoliths of glass and steel that gobble up energy and alienate the occupants. By continuing to design such buildings architects are committing a climate crime.” says Roaf. She showed us the absurdity of talking about energy efficiency in huge glass masses and the failures of LEED nad BREAM certification systems with graphics and data.

While talking about which buildings will increase and decrease in value in time, she cited the prices of apartments going down to drain in gigantic skyscrapers like MGM Mirage City Center, Las Vegas. Their value decreased well to $100.000, though they were marketed for millions of dollars.

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MGM City Center, Las Vegas

Roaf also had a comprehensive knowledge of Turkish architecture. She mentioned our local architecture examples, engineering marvel old constructions that have natural ventilation systems as examples. She expressed that, when she came to Istanbul years ago, she had thought the city was pushing her towards the sky with its architecture, minarets. Now, the impression of the city was not like up to the heaven but down to the earth according to Roaf. She was also surprised how we are not able to benefit from solar energy.

Another worthy presentation was fromEcosistema Urbano which is a creative company being quite competent on sustainability and successful on Social City Design. We had previously mentioned their“Air Tree” project in our blog.

“Air Tree” exhibited in Madrid pavilion in Expo 2010 Shanghai. Besides contributing to our environment by producing oxygen just like a tree, these structures loaded with solar panels which produces energy for itself and sells the rest of the energy to power companies are also social attraction centers.

Also, Partick Bellew’s speech was very likable. Being the co-founder ofAtelier Ten, Patrick Bellew is a Chartered Building Services Engineer with more than twenty-five years’ experience in the design of high-performance buildings and their systems. With extensive experience in the integration of environmental and building systems with architectural and structural schemes, Patrick has particular expertise in thermal mass energy storage technologies and high-efficiency radiant conditioning systems. He shared his views on how high-performance buildings are informing the target of zero-carbon solutions. In his presentation ‘Anthills to Labyrinths’ he spoke of the lessons drawn from nature and bio-mimicry throughout the development of his environmental prototypes-Including Termite nests:

Nest of the African termite… These little ants do architectural miracles. Moreover, they are blind!

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African ant’s nest_naturally ventilated…

There were also images in his presentation from the projects they carry out together withAvci Architects. I also want to introduce you Selcuk Avcı who gives particular importance to ecological approaches in his designs and his projects on Architecture Of Life.

For more information on projects of Atelier Ten, you can visit their web site or find more images in Facebook page of Architecture of Life. “New Approaches To Sustainable Cooling For Non Domestic Buildings” of Patrick Bellew as PDF file can also be downloaded here.

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