FuturArc Prize 2024 Juror Highlight: Farizan d’Avezac de Moran
January 19, 2024
Farizan d’Avezac de Moran, Senior Partner and leader at GreenA Consultants, is involved with sustainable projects in Asia and Africa. An engineer by training, she is a board member of Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) and chairs the Carbon Committee. Some of her notable projects in Singapore include the Super Low Energy Singapore Discovery Centre, Zero Energy Nee Soon South Community Centre and Positive Energy DSTA (Defence Science and Technology Agency) Hangar.
She has been conferred the Institute of Engineers Singapore Sustainability Awards 2023 for the project on PSA Tuas Maintenance Base; BCA (Building and Construction Authority)-SGBC Green Building Advocate Award 2015; and Schneider Green Award 2023.
Farizan shared her insights on driving Green targets at the macro and granular level for FuturArc’s 4th Quarter 2021: Year-End Issue. Click through below to read an excerpt of the article and for case studies of the projects where her firm has been involved in as a key environmental consultant.
A Singapore Perspective: Carbon Goals for the Built Environment
Despite many explanations by organisations, NGOs and various publications on this, the term zero is still confusing for many. Some associate it with the use of photovoltaic (PV) panels while some just could not relate it to building systems design. There are others who simply use the term loosely, replacing it as a new definition for Green building. This needs to be addressed immediately, and the true message and definition need to be repeated until it is understood.
One of the greatest challenges would be to spur building designers to think out of the box, to design buildings and construct them with more sustainable materials. There is comfort in adhering to status quo, i.e., using concrete and cement, but there is a stronger need now to start utilising other materials.
Building an affordable Green residential complex in Tanzania
Dar es Salaam—a city whose name translates to “house of peace”—is the largest urban area in Tanzania and is reportedly the second-fastest growing city in the world. It is home to 6 million citizens, most of whom have immigrated from rural areas in the country, with the population projected to double by 2030. However, 80 per cent of its residents live in unplanned and unserviced areas, and the lack of infrastructural organisation means that problems such as poverty, congestion and sprawl are compounding within the city.
Under these conditions, it is of paramount importance to build an inclusive, self-sustaining and healthy environment as a benchmark for resilient communities in Dar es Salaam. Kigamboni Housing Estate is an affordable housing project with the aim to eradicate poor living conditions and improve the quality of life for 200 families.
This project was developed by the National Housing Corporation, directly under the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements in Tanzania, and it is the first to be awarded the Green Mark certification by Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA).
PSA Tuas Maintenance Port: SLEB PSA
PSA Tuas Port Maintenance Base consists of eight buildings6 that serve various functions of maintaining the facility. The buildings have achieved Super Low Energy (SLE) status, and one of the buildings, a six-storey Admin Building, has been awarded the Green Mark Platinum Award under the SLEB category7.
Behind these awards, a cohesive effort from all parties was required, and environmental sustainability consultants like us had to consistently conceive ways and integrate various technologies in a seamless manner that reap environmental benefits while keeping costs low. In the Admin Building, innovative technologies have been implemented to increase energy efficiency. Some of these technologies include a Smart Energy Management system that uses sensors to collect building behavioural data to predict future use of resources, as well as an innovative air-conditioning system8 incorporated in the building design.
With various energy-efficient features being put in place, the Tuas Maintenance Base Admin Building will have a projected energy savings of 58 per cent, relative to a similar sized building9. Another point worth noting is that it did not reach zero energy due to its sheer size and high intensity energy use owing to its function.
DBS: Net Zero Energy Building
DBS Bank has committed to ensure net zero operational carbon emissions across the board by 202211 and to use 100 per cent renewable energy for their operations in Singapore by 2030. We have supported them to achieve net zero for their existing four-storey office building at Newton, as well as being the System Integrator for the technologies used under the Green Building Innovation Cluster (GBIC) funded by BCA.
The net zero technologies will help DBS Newton to bring down annual energy consumption by over 580,000 kWh annually12; the rest of the energy demand will be supplied by on-site solar panels. This was possible with creativity, where an extra overhang was created for additional solar panels, as well as bi-facial modules to harvest additional energy off the roof surface. Driving energy efficiency is an effective way to reduce operational carbon from buildings.
However, there must also be a focus on embodied carbon in construction materials. Materials being used in the project were selected based on embodied carbon simulations, which were also certified by the Singapore Green Building Council’s Product Certification scheme.
A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) Hangar: Net Positive Energy Building
Conceptualised and developed by the Defence Science and Technology Agency in close partnership with the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), the hangar for the RSAF’s A330 MRTT aircraft in Changi Air Base (East) is a Green Mark Platinum (Positive Energy) building certified by the BCA13.
The hangar is able to generate 30 per cent more electricity than it consumes, with the additional energy used to supplement other energy demands in the air base14. Rainwater is harvested and recycled for non-potable uses such as general washing, irrigation of the hangar’s green roof and toilet flushing15. Large-span louvres at the back of the hangar promote natural ventilation and reduce energy consumption.
Besides energy-efficient buildings such as the RSAF’s A330 MRTT hangar, the Singapore Armed Forces implements environmentally friendly initiatives in other areas, such as the use of hybrid vehicles that reduce carbon emissions, as well as food waste management systems that convert food waste to biogas for energy generation16.
The competition ends 9 February 2024! Don’t forget to submit your entries for FuturArc Prize 2024: Architecture for Life After … and get the chance to win cash prizes!