BGBC Experts Discuss Sustainability at Architecture Department of AIUB

The launching event of Bangladesh Green Building Council (BGBC) was held at the Department of Architecture at the American International University-Bangladesh on July 5th 2011. It was followed by a roundtable forum for discussions and dinner. It brought together some of the most prominent national and international architects, builders, as well as sustainable development experts. Founded in 2008 as the Sustainable Built Environment Initiative of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Green Building Council recently became the 84th Nation to set up a National Green Building Council representing the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and its building industry to the World Green Building Council. LEED AP architects at BGBC offers LEED Certification consulting to any building projects in Bangladesh. Renowned national and international architects, technology experts and researchers came together to decide the future of energy and environmentally sustainability of Bangladesh and discussed solutions to the pressing national and global issues. The renowned personalities formed committees and structured a resolution to move this organization and the building industry forward. This forum included prominent national architects such as BGBC Events and Education Committee Co-Chair, Dr Saleh Uddin, the Head of the Department of Architecture at AIUB, who acted as co-convener, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture Nominee and green living expert, Rafiq Azam spoke about at the event. He defined BGBC platform as a way for Bangladesh to define ‘Green’ according to the National circumstances. Jalal Ahmed, the Secretary General of the Institute of Architects Bangladesh (IAB) talked about the adaptability of sustainable principles in the national architecture community. He also designed Scholastica School in Uttara. Selina Afroz, Additional Chief Architect of the Ministry of Housing and Public Works, Government of Bangladesh talked about the government’s role in a National Green Building Initiative. Prominent Green Building Sustainable Design Expert, Architect and Assistant Professor of BUET Architecture, Sheikh Ahsan Ullah Majumder, the First Prize winner of the 2010 Holcim Green Built Competition for Sustainable Construction and BGBC Committee member was also present at the event. Internationally acclaimed eminent architect, Mustapha Khalid Palash, the Chairman of the BGBC Practicing Professionals Committee spoke about the sustainability standards of his renowned building, the Grameen Phone Head Office in Dhaka, which also won the 2010 Holcim Green Built Sustainable Design Competition. He spoke about energy and water efficiency and waste water management in his designs. Dr Saiful Haque, Co-Chairperson of the Index, Tools and Technology Committee at BGBC, who is a Member of the National Renewable Energy Committee of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, and also the Executive Board member of Bangladesh Solar Energy Society talked about the utilization of Renewable Energy in Bangladesh especially building integrated photovoltaic systems.  Dr Kamrun Nahar, prominent national Biofuels researcher and founding member of BGBC spoke about the need to lower dependence on foreign oil by producing low carbon and sulphur emitting biofuels from the second generation energy crops cultivated in the unutilized wastelands of Bangladesh for use in home generators to supplement power. Emerging Energy Solutions Limited, a provider of Building Integrated Renewable Energy Sources also graced the occasion. EESL pioneered the installation of an urban grid-connected solar-utility hybrid model in buildings to encourage government in introducing feed-in tariffs to promote solar energy and reduce dependence on conventional power. BGBC’s education and events committee members also spoke at the event. They included representatives from Architecture Departments in leading Bangladesh Universities such as Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), American International University of Bangladesh faculties (AIUB), North South University, BRAC University and University of Asia Pacific. Institutions agreed to form student chapters and highlight green projects to the international community. Sanwar Azam, BGBC Founder and Executive Director spoke about BGBC’s goals in securing the future for the Building Industry of Bangladesh. Sanwar formerly also worked with the US Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Cell Research Projects in 2010. He spoke about the building industry and the need to have a unified and authoritative body. As the co-convener of the event, he also proposed changes to the current national infrastructure to stabilize the national power sector. A current instructor at the Department of Engineering and Computer Science at North South University, he said that this will provide jobs for the many electrical engineering and telecommunications major graduating each year. A former prodigy, Mr Azam also co-founded the award winning Sustainable Automotive Energy Project called the KU Ecohawks at Lawrence, Kansas in the US which later received grants from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Starting his final year at 15, he finished the four years of American High School Program in less than nine months as an Honor Roll Student and an inducted member of the US National Honors Society. He accepted a merit scholarship at the University Of Kansas School Of Engineering at the age of 16 to study Mechanical Engineering and was a final year engineering student by the age of 18.
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