Monday, 23 Oct 2017

Green establishments in urban areas

Updated at Friday, 14 Jul 2017, 09:42
The Hanoitimes - To achieve rich green vegetation and a healthy ecosystem and environment for Hanoi is a long journey with various creative ways.
The trend to bring the nature into the living space combined with the greenery on the sidewalks is creating harmonization and enhance the ecological characteristic in architecture. Indeed, a fresh and beautiful aspect seems to be added to the face of the city. 

From houses hiding behind trees 

The city government’s efforts to green Hanoi have inspired millions of citizens. The harmony in the journey to return a green color to the capital encourages each individual to interact more with nature. From then on, the desire to establish green architectures motivate citizens to integrate with the environment. 
Marriott Hotel – a modern and green design in Hanoi.
Marriott Hotel – a modern and green design in Hanoi.
Throughout the streets, there have been many green architectures and projects initiated by citizens. On the busy street of Dong Da district, the building which displays many products of a company attracts people with its unique architecture, but is still harmonious with the street landscape. The walls surrounding the building are made of red clay bricks. From the outside, the building has five floors, built on a 72m2 surface. There are no windows, but light still shadows on the building thanks to the ventilation of the red clay bricks. From a straight angle, the architecture impresses people with the roof decorated with neatly-organized flower beds, shielding direct sunlight from the concrete and reducing the amount of heat entering the home. 
With the same green highlight of the trees, a 40m2 house located deep inside the alley in Hao Nam Road also reserves the maximum of architecture for nature: The space in front of the house and a garden winding just next to the side of the house. Both works are bearing the imprint of Mr. Vo Trong Nghia, the architect who is absolutely passionate about green buildings. 

“The construction using concrete blocks is destroying the nature. Therefore, I want to create an architectural style that will bring green space back to the Earth. This is not the responsibility of anybody but the common problem for all people. With the efforts of the city and the desire to have more green areas in the future, everybody needs to be conscious of the green space surrounding them and integrate nature into their living space,” Architect Vo Trong Nghia shares. 

In Australia and two cities Sydney and Melbourne, green roofs have been implemented on commercial centers to attract tourists and at the same time to improve the environment for residents and workers in the area. The City Government also encourages citizens to plant trees on the roof and turn the walls of their offices into green walls. Planting flower beds or vegetation on roofs is indeed a trend with many creative styles, from a small and simple plant box to a 2,600m2 garden on the roof of the MCentral building in Harris Street, Pyrmont district, Sydney. 

…to green the urban areas

According to urban planning experts, the face of Hanoi has recently transformed dramatically because of efforts to plant trees on various streets. From that foundation, the next steep will be to green roofs of houses. Only a few green areas in Hanoi can be named such as Ecopark, Vinhomes Riverside, etc. Meanwhile, the majority of areas in Hanoi that are not integrated with nature lie in the modern urban areas of My Dinh, Lang Ha, Le Trong Tan, etc. Those areas are also rarely improved and green spaces are fragmented. As a result, for those areas, if investors want to construct some architectural projects, there should be a requirement to leave space for green areas. In order for Hanoi to become greener and more beautiful, more trees should be planted and the urban planning should be conducted in a transparent manner. The issue here is not the difficulty of the project, but whether or not the project would be executed.

Architect Vo Trong Nghia assumes that with many apartment complex in the modern urban areas as of nowadays, greening is totally possible. For example, if an apartment complex has an area of 1,000m2 per floor, the roof has to ensure 1,000m2 green areas. 

In Canada, many investors negotiate with the governmental agencies that if they reserve more spaces for greenery, they will earn some benefits. Up until now, the standards for well-constructed architecture are aesthetics, creativity and steadiness. However, a new standard needs to be devised with regard to planting flower beds or trees surrounding architecture. Indeed, architectural projects need to have green areas during the registration for projects in urban areas. 

“The idea of green development needs to be integrated in urban planning, design and establishment of urban infrastructure. In addition, many other green projects need to be implemented such as green transportation, energy saving, garbage reduction, renewable energies, etc. The application of advanced technologies in the development of green architecture is also very important,” Architect and Dr. Le Thi Bich Thuan, former deputy director of the Insitute of Architecture, Urban and Rural Planning, Ministry of Construction.

Nguyen Tung
Duc Dinh -
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