Sustainable housing design is a matter of everyone involved by Mr. Nitis Sthapitanonda, A49 Company
Today, in the field of architecture or construction, we often hear the word “sustainability”.
“Sustainable” was first used by environmentalists. Later, when architecture became more interested in the environment, the definition has been expanded to architectural works that take into account ecosystem, environment and nature sustainability. This approach aims at having minimal impact on the environment, creating pleasant surroundings resulting in occupants’ good health and well-being including developing, inheriting and enabling the Earth to cope with changes and ensure its continued existence for future generations of mankind.
The Saint-Gobain team had the opportunity to interview one of the drivers of the architecture industry in Thailand, Mr. Nitis Sthapitanonda, Executive Director of Architects 49 Limited and Deputy Managing Director of Architects 49 (Phuket) Limited, with his opinion on sustainable architectural design or sustainability in the profession of architecture.
1. Could you please introduce yourself and your company?
I’m Nitis Sthapitanonda, currently holding the position of Executive Director at Architects 49 Limited and Deputy Managing Director of Architects 49 (Phuket) Limited.
Architects 49 Limited, commonly known as A49 for short, is an architectural design company and the parent company of the 49 group, which comprises 15 multidisciplinary design firms, including architectural design, interior design, landscape engineering, structural engineering, graphic design engineering and lighting design. We can do it all. The only thing we can't do is construction.
2. From the architect’s perspective, we would like to know the residential design trends towards sustainability.
Nowadays, I think that most people focus on sustainability because the Earth and its environment are much worse than before. We have been well aware that if we don't change our way of life, management of multidisciplinary industries including construction industry, our future generations will definitely suffer severe hardship.
Architect is one of the key professions who stays at the forefront to worsen the Earth. Every architect should be conscious of residential design with sustainability approach. I'm not sure whether it can be called “trend” or not. If yes, it will remain with us for a long time and tend to become relatively common.
However, the sustainable housing designs cannot be chiefly created by architects alone. But everyone who is involved in the respective architecture must align with the same concept, be it the homeowner, investor or various product manufacturers (suppliers).
3. Do you think whether sustainability is important? As a designer, how can you participate?
As I mentioned earlier, it is definitely important. As a designer, we must start from the concept associated with the use of the least energy possible in building construction, selection of materials with the low energy consumption in the production process, consideration of alternative materials to replace natural resources. In case of natural resources, they should come from sustainable industries such as planted forests, etc. Furthermore, the building must be able to keep occupants comfortable with minimal energy consumption. It could be the use of energy efficient or passive energy equipment like solar panels which generate electricity everyday life and things like that.
4. Saint-Gobain Thailand has participated in solving global warming problems through our innovative products that can help save energy and natural resources, reduce carbon dioxide emissions including products that are safe for applicators and occupants. What do you think about it?
Well, it’s fantastic! No doubt about it. It sounds like ideal products with all-round performances.
5. What is your opinion on Saint-Gobain's signing the pledge to reach net zero carbon by 2050 or reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to net zero (production process management, transportation, application and handling after demolition or destruction)?
I have not studied the details of this pledge. But I would say it’s about reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero at every step. Only perceived advantages have been explored, right? This would be extremely great.
I think it’s very good that Saint-Gobain has such a vision. As I mentioned, sustainability for all on the Earth can only happen if we work hand in hand with each other. If Saint-Gobain as a supplier has such great ideas to make amazingly innovative products happen, it will significantly help facilitate architects in their design for sustainability. Most importantly, we can save the Earth!!!