Sara A. Yacoub

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Is the green design effective in the third world? The balance of intitial cost and running cost with in consderation of per person income

I am a Sudanese Architect impowered and effected by green design and the soluations we create for the long time period, but as i am trying to desgin green i limited to so few low cost materials which is poorly fullfil my designing desiers and the clients are not interested too to increase the budget which is already too high with extra green soluations. With non supportive govermental programs, clients refuse and materials limitation it is so hard for me as architect to proceed green. I do really need to hear from other collages espically in the third world

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    Aug 25 2011: As interesting person to look into is Michael Reynolds. He builds off the grid homes largely from gathered recycled materials. He uses tires packed with earth as bricks, and then covers them with stucco or mud much like an adobe house. He'll use water bottles the same way to let light in to the house, and orients the design around the sun for passive solar heating. The homes also collect, store and conserve water very efficiently. They were designed for a desert, and still had enough water. Some of those water systems are quite high tech though. He's done a lot of work in developing countries. He's featured in a documentary called The Garbage Warrior.

    I'm not sure about the electricity. Electricity is expensive. Solar panels are expensive, but so is the grid. I live in canada, and there are a lot of off the grid homes running on solar. Most of them pick that option because it is cheaper, because they are far from the grid. Here if you want to get power and you are not connected you have to pay the power company to hook you up, and its expensive. If you are building a home that is only a few hundred meters from the nearest power pole its cheaper to build with solar panels.

    It all depends on where you are and what you have.
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    Aug 19 2011: I am also from a third world country to the east of sudan.Green design doesn't only come from the material. Last week I visited a high rise building in Addis Ababa city. I can hardly say light comes from the outside.All floors on the building were artificially lit. It is air conditioned using electricity. you can improve the heating and cooling of the building by using natural methods like trees. you can improve how light enters the building .using more sunlight and less artificial light during the day. And all green materials are not expensive some are even cheaper. you can use cheaper ,greener alternatives until governments subsides the green alternative
  • Aug 6 2011: Hi Sara,

    I recently read about a woman in Morocco who began a huge 'green' business by using waste materials that were clogging her landscape... excess plastic bags! By mobilizing communities to collect them (rather than letting them go as litter and waste) and paying a small amount, and then training local women how to clean, shred, and weave them into bags and purses and other items, she created an entire industry that transformed litter and waste into a lucrative and very green local business. I believe she began selling the purses at a massive profit online and used the proceeds to start up other local businesses... it was inspiring!

    Anyway. I'm not sure how the same sort of result could work with architecture, but finding ways to collect and use common 'waste' materials is a terrific idea.
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    Aug 2 2011: Thanks, I agree and that very thought is what the Tea Party is all about and why the Deficit spending debate has been in the news in the U.S. Green building is always initially higher in cost but does usually pay off in the long run in cost to operate savings. So the initial outlay is higher but the cost over time saving will eventually pay it off and then savings can begin. I am looking at going solar to cut the cost of using electricity for my home and when I have surplus the power company will buy it back. The initial cost is very high but over a decade or so I will be able to show a savings is an example of what I am talking about.
  • Aug 2 2011: It will be hard for a third world country to go green without the necessary supplies, infrastructure and corruption.
    The developed countries have gone through the whole gamut of steps to achieve their current position. Going green is the next step. But for third world countries without that background can find it difficult. what third world countries need are leapfrog technologies that side step intermediary ones without too much trouble. Things like bio-gas reactors and wind power. Drip irrigation, rain water collection, re-using air conditioner water, planting trees and plants for shade and a wireless infrastructure. These things rely on local technologies and innovative design. They might use non-green materials but going green does not mean building green. It means using technology to reduce the energy footprint or the co2 footprint of a building. A building made using aluminum but using less than 50% of the energy can still be considered green since during its lifetime, it will consume less energy than was needed to produce the aluminum. There are many innovative solutions out there. Have you tried using coconut husks as insulation or mixed in with concrete to improve its strength? You can use bamboo too as a building material. Old tires, bottle and cans can also be included in a building. I am sure that if you look around there are many things you can use. Reusing is also a green option.
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    Jul 30 2011: It is possible but for that the implementing body have to put behind exhaustive profit and self centered approach. Then it can have greater future in third world or else it is difficult to implement.
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    Jul 30 2011: Thank you all. Ed i appreciate your offer to help it is a great pleasure to me.
    I think the problem is a continous dilemma not related to specific project but as the project get larger it became harder to control. and the reality that nor client either goverment is supporting it let me down more once again.
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        Aug 1 2011: Dear ED, hello

        I am so satisfied wih your contribution. i think you a real supportive collage i promise u to come to TED stage as soon inshallah
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    Jul 30 2011: i'm no architect, but my advise is the following. to paraphrase einstein, we have to go as green as possible, but not greener. it is NOT the task of the third world to invent and apply green technologies. where available and cheap, sure, try to do it, but don't get overzealous. it is fine to use not-that-green technology. the task of the third world now is to catch up, and increase life standards for billions of people.
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      Aug 2 2011: I like what you said about them getting caught up. How do we help them do it?
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        Aug 2 2011: strangely, by fixing our own economies. normally, capital flows from the relatively rich to the relatively poor. it is because they are in bigger need and they need the capital badly. but at the moment, the western world does not save, but borrows instead. the developing world can't get capital to jump-start their own economies. there is no capital formation.
  • Jul 30 2011: I don't definitely know whether china has jumped out of the 3rd world because while my govenment declare the prosper in my society, I see deficiencies in many spheres,such as the education. Those colleges that are not financially ample are in a poor situation on developing high-techological technique,including Green Design.
    So it's normal for a money-inadequate college to be in dilemmas. in my submission,you can find better conditions in Europe after you contrive to begin studying there.
    Wish you accomplish your goal.
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    Jul 30 2011: With my limited knowledge about design , what I understand if you come up with deisgns aligned with your own environment & resource by controlling intention of jumping on some great ideas of developed countries (might be right for that environment) it shouldn't be a issue.

    Rather clients' desire can be a challenge as I know most clients call Architects or designers just for image reason and then try to push all their demands and ideas related to design not being a designer or architect.
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    Jul 30 2011: Thank you Rafif, ya i know POOR IS GREEN but i think in my backward dreams i dont want to spend my life designing for poors it may be hursh talk but sciencerely it is the truth. I raise these debate so we can manage effective solutions for both poor & rich because if we keep thinking as POOR IS GREEN so how we can develop our countries not develop it alone but develop it green with the lowest cost
    • Aug 4 2011: we can cuz thank Allah, we are as poor countries in better level than other countries. * using the green energy like bio-gas, solar energy * using the native material for the construction( we have to develop it to match the future and the present needs) and here i have to mention that all the historical buildings which is alive til now have been made from natural and native material * design to our needs and from our nature * create smart solutions for our problems * do not follow other countries without think abt the side-effects.
  • Jul 30 2011: salam alukum Sara, how r u ?
    1rst we need to set a definition of this green building, Eco- building or ecological one. There are different from eash other. And, green building itself is different from each region to other cuz ts depends on the environment, culture, resources, and the users backgrounds'. In the next few years, green building will be demand or necessary whatever is the client, government,... agree or not. And by the way the most poor countries is the most green one. POOR IS GREEN. If u reead more about ecologically foot print u wil see that we are facing climate change not based on the human behaviour in the third world but we need to be green to treat the 1rst world problem and to support the new generations. I do not think it is a problem to implement Green building in 3rd world in contrary, 3rsd world are more green that other countries.