Tourist-haven Thailand is in the forefront to promote ‘green architecture’ and taking the concept beyond its borders as environment protection takes the centre stage in developing economies.
Rising temperatures and water scarcity in growing cities, flooding and drought impacting farmland in rural areas continue to hog the headlines but there is lukewarm response from policy-makers across the globe to address climate change effects.
“We must save resources and should not bother the future generation. We invite policy makers, educators, manufacturers, suppliers to discuss green architecture. It is a good platform to promote smart cities and green buildings for a sustainable future,” Acharawan Chutarat, chairperson of the Architect ‘19 committee, told The Post in an interview in Bangkok.
In Asean, Thailand has gone beyond promoting its touristic destinations to the world which attracted 38 million visitors last year.
Now, the Kingdom is busy promoting eco-friendly building architecture by hosting exhibitions and conferences in Bangkok.
Thailand’s public and private sectors are aggressively promoting green architecture to combat CO2 emissions and make the congested city more livable.
Even, the number of green buildings in Thailand has risen significantly, from merely 55 to 240 buildings last year.
Thailand is preparing to host the 33rd edition of the “Living Green” expo organised by the Association of Siamese Architects (ASA) under Royal Patronage and in cooperation with N.C.C. Exhibition Organizer.
"The mega expo is expected to attract about 850 international exhibitors from over 40 countries, who will exhibit their eco-friendly architecture products and services. About 500,000 visitors are expected to attend the expo," said Ajinveat Vhonthong, Senior Project Manager, N.C.C. Exhibition Organizer Co. Ltd, who is also the project director for the exhibition.
“Our objective is to create awareness and send a message to the community, about green architecture and continue to share common interests among Asean countries in promoting awareness about the environment and innovation of green buildings."
“If we want [to go] green and if people are not aware, it is no point. Green is everything, the way we utilise resources, saving water, how we consume food both local or import, the way we dress – all have an impact on the environment. Mass transportation or individual cars have impact on CO2 emission and we need to design buildings that consume less energy, air-conditions consume lot of energy,” said Acharawan.
"The event will be held at the IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Centre, spanning over 60,000 sqm, in Bangkok from April 30 to May 5," added Ajinveat.
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn is expected to preside over the opening ceremony of the expo on April 30.
This year’s exhibition will be unique as plenty of eco-friendly features are being adopted at the venue.
“The Architect ‘19 is Asean’s largest building technology exposition. The expo aims to showcase the advancement in architectural design, which reflects the potential of the entrepreneurs and the role that architects play in the society.
“Still, Architect ‘19 is not limited only to those in architecture professions but it also widely opens to other related fields as well as the general public who are interested in design and construction,” said Ajaphol Dusitnanond, President of ASA.
“The ‘Living Green’ expo is to promote architectural design concepts and innovative building materials that could revolutionise the industry while bringing in local wisdom to tackle the environmental problems with sustainable solutions,” said a joint press statement from the organisers.
For instance, visitors’ registration is done using face recognition technology, electric cars to transport visitors around the sprawling centre, saving water, and plastic bags are disallowed.