This post is part of our Design Ethos series, which explores the deeper thinking and intentions behind Omrania’s work. We strive to create functional, livable, contextual, sustainable, and timelessly beautiful places.
By: Mahmoud Abughazal – Head of Architectural & Interior Design. June 2017
In the most holistic sense, our aim is to design environments that are inhabited and renewable by successive generations in harmony with nature. This is the essence of our commitment to sustainable design. In more tangible terms, sustainable design begins with resource-effectiveness: the effective use of energy, water, and building materials.
Since resource consumption can be measured quantitatively, we can easily track progress on this front. However, resource-effectiveness goes beyond efficiency, defined as more output achieved with less input. Embracing energy-efficient and cost-efficient solutions is only the beginning. We look for the most beneficial, useful, transformative, and therefore effective allocation of the available resources.
This approach is simultaneously good for the planet and good for the client. To be effective means taking into account questions of quality as well as quantity. It means evaluating which sustainable design technologies are most appropriate for the needs of each situation. We reject a one-size-fits-all approach in order to find the most resource-effective design strategy for a given program and context.
Omrania’s approach to resource-effective design embraces the latest emerging technologies and lessons from vernacular architecture. Keeping the practical demands of construction and maintenance always in mind, our multidisciplinary architecture and engineering teams develop and deploy sophisticated building envelopes, active and passive solar design, smart building systems, natural lighting and ventilation, and locally-sourced building materials. We balance human comfort and convenience with resource-conscious design solutions.
The history of architecture in the Arab world offers many instructive for conserving resources, particularly water, and for adapting to strong sunlight and heat through shading, screening, orientation, ventilation, and other techniques. Many of these techniques are highly adaptable to modern buildings, but with different methods or materials and new forms of visual expression.
In addition to resource-effectiveness, our sustainable design strategy includes durable construction and resilient systems. These and many other components of our Design Ethos will be discussed in future posts.