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Reinterpreting Sustainable Architecture by Helen Pangestu

In this article, I would like to share with you six alternative logics of ecological design which have in competing conceptions of environmentalism, and explores the ways in which each logic prefigures technological strategies and alternative visions of sustainable places.

1. Eco-technic Logic This logic explains how you can make a building that in the technical way is environmental friendly. The architect’s design strategy is adaptive to nowadays high-technology system, they maximize efficiency of building in spatial, construction and energy terms. In this system, the architect tends to use all of the materials and they also make a construction that environmental friendly. For example, energy-efficient lighting, passive solar design and daylighting, the use of natural and mixed-mode ventilation, more efficient air conditioning and comfort cooling, combined with sophisticated energy management systems are all part of the High-Technology approach.

2. Eco-centric Logic This point challenges us on how you can make a sustainable building that is not against the environmental. There are assumptions that sustainable building is too complex, the unnatural form of the building sometimes interrupting the natural cycles of nature. In terms of building materials, preference is for renewable, natural materials such as earth, timber, and straw combined with a reduction of the use of virgin building materials through reuse and recycling. This is a new perception of making buildings, we can reuse all materials that the earth already gave us, so instead of making a ‘green’ building with a fine architectural, we can also help to reduce the waste that our earth have.

3. Eco-aesthetic Logic This logic represents the adaption of the architectural design from the natural shape. This is like the new paradigm or the new concept of architecture, which emphasizes spiritually in social and environmental relations that lead to the establishment of whole new civilizations and cultures because today’s concern is more to nature. Beside this aesthetic way can emphasizes nowadays technology like advances in structural engineering, the ability of making curved forms use the computer technology and another improvements, this new concept of architecture that based on the natural shape hoped can be deliver the environmental messages to the people surrounding.

4. Eco-cultural Logic
This point emphasizes a fundamental reorientation of values to engage with both environmental and culture concern. Eco-cultural means that we don’t follow the universal development, but we do preservation for the diversity of our culture. This also means that we use local architecture, local materials and of course local architect. Because local architect knows well about the weather, the contour and the psychological side of local people. Local materials is genuinely can adapt the local weather. So this logic, advise to keep the local architecture with the local materials.

5. Eco-medical Logic
This logic symbolizes the sustainability concerns about appropriate form and wider cultural context of design towards humanist and social concern for the sustaining human health. How building can effects the health of the human that live in the building for example some health issues such as quality of air, water and urban space. A wrong concept of a building can impacted the built of environment and the causes of stress that endanger health, both physical and psychological.

6. Eco-social Logic
This point talks about the social agenda of sustainability that concern the ecological crisis seeing from the social factors. A building can also control the social life of its resident. Social means communication between people, so for example if in one house they have three bedrooms inside but the distance between each room is too far or maybe the distance between the family room and the bedrooms, people tend to stay inside their rooms and refuse to walk and gather with others outside. Another example is the decreasing of natural communication, its like no communication between people with nature. One more time, a wrong architecture can make bad impacts.

Therefore we may conclude that it is possible to  reconstruct sustainable architecture, although this six logics are competing with each other, but it is practical in order to make a sustainable and eco-friendly building. To make an architectural plan for a building we must see from every aspect, considering all the problems from previous architecture and learn from all the mistakes. This is a challenge for every future architects to study what sustainable building is and how they can make one of it in the middle of the high-level of development.

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Sustainable Architecture II by Helen Pangestu

Sustainable urban architecture is actually about a sustainable environment as a whole. It is not just only about one building or architecture. It is about the whole ensemble such as a village, city, or even a country. We should not only think of how to make a sustainable area, but also how to achieve a more sustainable area. Green building often takes advantage of renewable resources like using sunlight through passive or active solar devices or using the plants and trees for increasing the water system, etc. Green buildings are identical with efficiency and effectiveness. The designs are all about how to make an efficient and effective building. This starts from siting and structural design efficiency, energy efficiency, water efficiency, materials efficiency, indoor environmental quality enhancement, operations and maintenance optimization, and water reduction.

Moreover, architecture relates to the positive and negative spaces. Architects do not only think about the object or the building, but also the spaces created by the buildings, the flow that is created by the existence of the architecture. Sustainable urban architecture is about the connection between one building and another, the flow and the movement of the humans living in the architecture. Sustainability is about how effective and efficient the urban area is as a whole, in all aspects, and about how people living in the city enjoy urban architecture and the environment. Nevertheless, there are plenty of things that we as architects and urban planners can do in order to achieve a more sustainable urban architecture. Below is the list of technical things that the urbanist must plan in order to achieve a more sustainable city

– Design sustainable urban drainage systems, then the city will require less input of water and less output of waste water
– Respect the Genius Loci (the protective spirit of a place) and use local materials. Then the city will require fewer import of construction materials.
– Orientate buildings correctly and design with microclimate. Then less energy will be required for heating and cooling.
– Make greater use of native and local plant materials. Then the planting schemes will require less irrigation, less maintenance and less input of chemicals.
Design beautiful and convenient paths then people will walk more and cycle more. When people get more exercise, they will have better health, so that the costs for healthcare will also be reduced and there will has less medical problem.
– Design buildings with vegetated roofs. Then the buildings will be better insulated, and will therefore require less heating in winter and less cooling in summer.
– Design beautiful sky parks and sky gardens. Then the city will be more compact because there will be fewer roads, fewer parking lots and more green spaces.

In conclusion, a more sustainable environment can be created through making a more sustainable urban architecture. Our environment is architecture. We live in architecture. Our job as a future architect is to make architecture and the urban environment more sustainable.

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Sustainable Architecture I by Helen Pangestu

Sustainability, in general, is the capacity to endure.  Our environment logically needs to be enduring to make a better life, both for the sake of humans and our earth.  Urban architecture is our environmental challenge. In order to create a more sustainable architecture, this action equals creating a more sustainable environment. To create a more sustainable urban architecture, this equals creating a more sustainable environment. We live in a world full of architecture, whereas architecture dominates our environments in today’s oil-powered life style. Therefore, this essay is about sustainable urban architecture and sustainable architectural environments.

Sustainable architecture can be defined as a general term that describes environmentally conscious design techniques in the field of architecture. In the broad context, sustainable architecture seeks to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by enhancing efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, and development space.

The Bruntland Commission may have set back sustainable urban design by half a century with a definition: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. This statement is a basic concept of sustainability. Sustainable development means that the current generation uses only what it needs and does not borrow from future generations. Basically, sustainability is a relative concept, we have no absolute definition, like big or small. The earth is big enough for humans, but the earth is small in comparison with the universe. We should think about how to make a ‘more sustainable’ city instead of making a ‘sustainable’ city. In order to achieve that, architects should think of designing a city with fewer inputs and fewer outputs.

The role of individual architecture in the urban environment is quite important. Before creating a sustainable urban architecture, we should design the lower level of sustainability, the sustainable architecture. Sustainable architecture means sustainable energy use. That is probably the main consideration. The most important and cost effective element of an efficient heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is a well-insulated building. A more efficient building requires lower heat generating elements. More ventilation capacity is required to expel polluted indoor air. There are alternative devices that help us create a sustainable architecture by making renewable energy generation such as solar panels that help to provide sustainable electricity. Wind turbines help circulate the air. Solar water heating may be a cost-effective way to generate hot water for our house. Heat pumps can act as a reversible air conditioners. Therefore, green buildings are needed in order to design a sustainable urban architecture. Green buildings aim to reduce the environmental impact of buildings and human health. Buildings generally require a large amount of land use, energy and water consumption, and air and atmosphere conditioning.

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Sustainable Living on Urban Design Project for a Better Future

by : Sheiren FJ

Susan Maxman has suggested that “sustainable architecture isn’t a prescription. Its an approach, an attitude. It shouldn’t really even have a label. It should just be architecture” .[i] It describes environmentally design techniques in architecture. The purpose of this research is to analyze the concept of eco city or eco building, based on sustainable living. “ Sentul City,city of Ennovation, is located in Bogor, Indonesia and was launched with four pillars concept. One of those pillars is eco city, city development to ensure harmony based on the concept of Green Property in Kawasan Argenia Sentul City. The percentage of green area is 65%. Another green development is Gujarat International Finance Tech-City or GIFT, under-construction in Gujarat, India. The main purpose of this project is to provide high quality physical infrastructure such as electricity, utility systems, and broadband, so that finance and tech firms can relocate their operations there from other cities, such as Mumbai, etc. By identifying those projects, it will help for analyze the eco-city concept to define sustainable urbanism green cities.
Key word : eco city, sustainable, green city

Sentul City started to be developed in 1993 covering with 3.100 hectares. It is well-known as the largest and exclusive Urban Development Project in the South Jakarta. It won an award from the Indonesian Property & Bank Award 2010 as the Most Favorite Cluster with Green Wall Implementation & Eco Friendly Development [ii]. Developing this eco-city project, PT Sentul City Tbk (BKSL) and Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) created a cooperation to make the area in Sentul City into eco-friendly urban areas or ‘Eco City’. A good plan has been released, then BKSL and IPB will implement the greenery, ecological buildings and performance methods for environmental management. They will use approximately 2.000 hectares of the area to build for integrated residential areas. Herry Suhardiyanto, the Rector of IPB, regards this cooperation as a form of corporate responsibility for businesses to address the severity of the impact in global warming [iii].

The second project is Gujarat International Finance Tech-City or GIFT which is under-construction as a world-class city in the Indian state of Gujarat. It will occupy a green field site of more than 500 acres in the developing state of Gujarat. It becomes the world’s largest international financial services center and IT hub when it is completed in 2017. GIFT will function as an environmentally friendly eco-city, incorporating renewable energy sources like solar power, energy-efficient intelligent buildings, and district cooling. The site is located on the bank of river Sabarmati is about 12 kilometres from Ahmedabad International Airport [iv]. The development of GIFT offers a significant opportunity to give sustanaible living in various fields and the important part is an environmental protection. The purpose of the design is used for the global finance services industry which control the residential activity along with other social infrastructure provision to keep the city alive and active .

Comparing to the Sentul City and GIFT,India, both of them have same goal to reach sustainable living for urban design project. GIFT provides more than 500 acres for green space and Sentul City has built more than 50% of 3.100 hectares for green space. Sentul City has new systems, such as green map and using green wall and roof for construction. The landmark project of GIFT is reaching the target of financial growth and improvement of high technology in several sectors. Sentul City has a target to be a role model developer building integrated and reaching Eco-Friendly city by using local human resources, so it will decrease the cost of building development.

Sources :
[i]Susan Maxman,”Shaking The Rafters,”Earthwatch (July/Aug.1993):11
[ii]Sentul City.2008. (accesed on May 11th,2011)
[iii]Sentul City Gandeng IPB Rintis ‘Eco City.24 Juli < ipb-rintis-eco-city> (accesed on May 11th, 2011)
[iv] GIFT<>(accesed (accesed on May 12, 2011)

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Architecture as Advertising

By Marvin Julian

Architecture has been a marketing tool for companies, big or small. Using architecture as an icon is a tool to give public a avant-garde high end impression of the company. Many arguments are flowing from architects, critics, and public whether architecture is an advertising tool. Let’s just take a look at our own campus. After the completion of the new avant garde UI library, UI has used the building to promote the campus and eventually raise the public awareness that UI is not the “old-same-university” but the new revamped pimped out fresh hip and happening university whose library is very stylish and jawdropping. It’s not only a very effective advertising gimmick but also an agenda to overthrown other big private universities that has known for its monumental facilities. Whether you realize it or not, it’s an advertising agenda and also very effective one to attract public.

Architecture has become icons for century. Eiffel tower has brought countless revenue to France’s tourism for centuries, same thing with England and Big Ben, China with The Great Wall, and etc. But in the modern world, where no building is as iconic as those mentioned previously, high end avant garde building designed by world known architects are the main weapon in advertising. I’m talking about the Disney Hall by Frank Gehry, Guangzhou Opera House by Zaha Hadid, CCTV Tower by Rem Koolhaas. All are a very effective tool to market the country. The tourist will simply attracted to see in close those larger-than-life contemporary buildings. Those modern structure is as magnetic as those old iconic buildings , and it has been an indication that public is now equally attracted to modern architecture in the same way they are attracted to Eiffel Tower and those old buildings. That is a great news for modern architecture and advertising world, and also for countries which don’t have iconic medieval buildings, just call Gehry make one crazy contemporary building and put it in your banners, people will come like snap. Voila!

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Architecture And Social Consciousness : Lenteng Agung

Lenteng Agung is a region located in sub-district Jagakarsa, South Jakarta. With a population of 51,778 people distributed over a land area of 227.74 hectares [i], Lenteng Agung is one of the most populated regions in its sub-district. Being located near Depok, ‘the city of education’, makes Lenteng Agung a busy district since there is a lot of traffic caused by commuting from Depok and vice versa. Lenteng Agung is also a borderland between Depok and Jakarta, the busiest city in Indonesia.

Like any other region, Lenteng Agung also faces the typical urban issues.  Jakarta, known for its megapolitan lifestyle, is the perfect example of urban inequality.  Modern towers and fancy buildings occur amidst slums, making a distinct gap between the rich and the poor.  The contrast between fancy houses and inhabitable houses is very clear, making housing the indisputable problem in Jakarta’s urban development. The exact same thing occurs in Lenteng Agung. The contrast is crystal clear. Lavish formidable houses are located right next to large areas of slums and blocks of inhabitable houses are hiding behind large luxurious complexes. This evidence supports the fact that urban development in this area is unbalanced.

Urban inequality has been a huge problem in Jakarta, as well as Lenteng Agung.  When I went there a week ago, I witnessed an unforgettable portrait of injustice in this area.  Many of sumptuous houses were built in this area. However, it is such an irony to see a lot of sub-standard houses among them. Robin Shell, senior vice president of Habitat for Humanity International, defined sub-standard house as, “A substandard house is where the family is always getting sick. It’s where they never know when someone might come and sweep away the slums. They’re at the mercy of the rich and powerful.”[ii] So how is ‘a sub-standard house’ defined? According to Habitat World Online, a house can be called a sub-standard house if it fits characteristics such as:  1) It doesn’t fulfill physical adequacy of the structure, 2) Overcrowded, and 3) Poor health.[iii]  Based on three characteristics given, we could easily draw a conclusion that those sub-standard houses are part of Lenteng Agung.

A lot of effort has been taken by both government and civilians to reduce social inequality in Jakarta throughout the years, but none seems to be a very effective solution.  The most important thing to improve the situation is the willingness of the residents to unite and solve the problem together.  An improvement of neighborhood quality in Lenteng Agung can be beneficial to both parties, the poor and the rich. A program like cross-subsidization can be effective.  The poor can improve their life by receiving the funds from the rich, while the life quality of the rich will automatically be improved if the neighborhood is clean and healthy.  So the benefits are mutual. A ‘Green’ approach is another possible solution, by using green and sustainable methods of living,  the society will also improve their quality of life especially improvements in health and hygiene. Therefore, Lenteng Agung inhabitants must take some action and dare to make some changes to create a perfect harmony in their living space.

[ii] Graydon,Rebekah.What is Poverty Housing?,

[iii] Graydon,Rebekah.What is Poverty Housing?,

By Marvin Julian


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Online Architecture Degrees

So, this subject of online architecture degrees emerged from a phone call from my father, who mostly talked about my education.

Having a higher education is a matter that doesnt exactly need to be questioned, we all know a college/university degree will help us pursue our future dreams and whatnot and for general living of course. But, most students who are keen on applying to universities always have to look at the finance: the tuition and fees. Even though most universities and institutions are open about their tuition and fees, some  schools keep them hidden. This is a burden for low-income families and a disadvantage for schools with talented students who cant afford to stay in their schools (or apply to them). Well, my father asked me whether you could get an online degree in architecture (i assumed one couldnt at the time) and upon my research I found that in America, there are SOME states that accredit online architecture degrees such as universities in Ohio and Arizona, and that there is one promising university that offers them in Canada. Unfortunately, I haven’t found anything else (although I found that according to the NAARB, there are no universities that offer a complete architecture degree online..)

Personally, I would go about the architecture degree on-campus instead of online. Studying on-campus for your undergraduate has more of an advantage since you create social networks and get direct feedback from peers.

What is your opinion of online architecture degrees? Would you pursue them for undergraduate, masters, or PhD? If you have information about any universities offering them, please do tell. 🙂

-Sofie Januarti

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