Over the years, the buzz of the “Green” trend has gotten louder. It’s been streamlined in the media, conferences, and coffee table discussions. But on a deeper level, how does all this translate into design operations.
Are interior designers willing to embrace it as a challenge or a reality that should be met with serious measures? Has the trend been reduced to plain old propaganda and in turn, is it being misused as a marketing tool for businesses?
According to Christian Merieau, managing director, Samuel Creations, Dubai, in consultation with Melden Francia, the masses are weary of the push to be more environmentally responsible, hence the term “green fatigue”.
The overwhelming information of green products has led to speculations on the adequacy of the efforts of “saving the earth” strategies. This could be brought about by the escalating attitude of society that everything is fast tracked.
“The UAE’s construction industry is thriving but is beset with wasteful practices and the excessive use of materials,” said Merieau.
“Although local authorities have realised the significance of energy efficiency and conservation, the adoption and integration process is painfully slow.
The Emirates is developing a rating system that measures green credentials that will conform to its climatic context and will be region specific.
“In addition to this, the recently formed EGBC (Emirates Green Building Council) is taking steps to ensure sustainable building practices in the UAE.
Attempts are being made to transform the perception of property developers and prospective owners. EGBC says its vision is ‘to be the prime driver in facilitating the UAE’s prominent position as a global leader in the ecological footprint reduction of the built environment by 2015’. This is a bold statement and the task is extremely challenging.
“We, as responsible design consultants, must rally to the cause and form a unified front to help facilitate this vision. We have the ability to suggest ‘lifestyles’, how difficult could it be to suggest responsible ones?”
Siddarth Peters, managing director, The Total Office, is not sure if his company is part of the problem regarding ‘green fatigue’. He said his company joined EGBC three years ago to understand and contribute to a bigger cause outside of the perceived “bottom line”.