Indonesia: How Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction helps to raise sustainability awareness at national level

Holcim National Awards 2015 for Sustainable Construction highlighted the 6 best sustainable projects in Indonesia on 26th February 2015. A total of 420 projects were assessed, all focused on the proper way of implementing practices aligned with the visions of creating structures that are environmentally responsible and resource efficient.

This initiative by Holcim aims to spur fresh solutions in the green building industry and allows architects, engineers, developers involved in these projects to highlight the needs of the local communities and provide solutions fitted for the regions. Nevertheless, the awards do not only target the technical aspect of the building; it also focuses on other things many have not yet paid enough attention to, e.g. social inclusion, leading again to importance of how people connect themselves to the space they live within and their environmental consciousness.

Being divided into two different categories, the Main and the Next Generation categories, both are actually interdependent. The first one usually involves individuals with an already great exposure to the sustainable construction market and they provide the example upon which the youngsters in this field look at for guidance. The latter category addresses to students mainly and their projects can also be valuable lessons for the seniors in the market as they bring a dose of freshness and innovative ideas and solutions in sustainable design or architecture.

The winners of the Main Category are EnvironmentalEducation Center in Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta by Yu Sing Liem of Akanoma, Orangutan Haven by Ian Singleton of PanEco Foundation and Beranda Jakarta at Museum National Indonesia by Ary Indrajanto of Aboday.

The winners of Next Generation are Pasar Senen – Integrated Public Market by Pungky Dwi Arfanto, student of Urban Design of Gajah Mada Univeristy, Yogyakarta, Livable Autonomous Circle by Ray Prasetya Thamrin and his team, students of Architecture of University of Indonesia and Pondok Pesantren Panti Asuhan “Hidayatur Rahman” by Hidayatur Rahma Islamic Boarding School and Orphanage by Mudammad Rochim, student of Architecture of Sebelas Maret University, Surakarta.

What distinguishes these projects is firstly the fact that they address spaces used by the public. They are not residential buildings, as it would have been expected, given the fact that Indonesia is in strong need of investing in sustainable and, at the same time, affordable housing that can benefit the vast majority of its citizens. Taken for example the Environmental Education Center in Gunung Kidul, this institutional project aims at offering the inhabitants a center of information and knowledge about coastal and marine biodiversity, promoting the local, rich culture and pushing towards community participation by the cultural programs. Meanwhile Pasar Senen project – Integrated Public Market is an upgrade of one of the most crowded public markets in Jakarta, offering better shopping experience in the current built environment.

A solid base for the development of the green building industry represents firstly the education in this field in the educational system in Indonesia. Architect and urban planner Gunawan Tjahjono is a well-known professor and also head of the jury commission for the Holcim National Awards for Sustainable Construction in Indonesia. In an exclusive interview with AsiaGreenBuildings, he states that educational programs related to architecture and urban design are quite popular right now and are also becoming a priority for the government. He continues: “It is important for them as we need to teach as well as learn from the future generation on the development they will be initiating and carrying out in the coming future”. According to Prof. Gunawan, there will be an increase of potential industry practitioners with plenty of opportunities to build and develop across the country, especially Java island, the most populous island of Indonesia.

The projects assessed by Holcim also represent an additional incentive for the public authorities to develop more relevant policies for permitting the development of sustainable buildings. In prof. Tjahjono’s opinion, the country is in need to build up “programs to help people understand their social responsibility”. In Indonesia’s case, in order to prosper with respect to sustainable constructions, the social efforts go beyond the very much required architectural, designing and building skills; it also calls for cooperation of local people. Once they cultivate properly their sense of belonging to a community, they will also grow the desire of protecting their own environment and this can act as a powerful tool which is vital for developing the existence of green buildings in the next few years.

In relation with the above mentioned points, Holcim National Awards for Sustainable Construction help to shape the Indonesian environment in a sustainable way and come as a proof for the potential this country has for improving the situation of already existing buildings or offer innovative solutions for the local needs. ( – ARM)

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