“Sustainability is deeply integrated into the building design and conceived as a larger rejuvenation project for the city”

Regional Jury Report - Asia Pacific

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    BRAC University campus, Dhaka, Bangladesh

    Social interaction spaces are incorporated throughout the university to allow for both planned and spontaneous student activities. Differing scales and types of social spaces cater to varying group sizes, all designed for maximum comfort and interaction, with dynamic visual links across levels allowing students to observe activities happening across voids. The building section is designed to catch the breezes and direct them to these gathering spaces, while providing shelter from sun and rain.

Last updated: July 01, 2017 Melbourne, Australia

This project achieves the impossible: it adds both built and open space to the city. The site is polluted swampland within Dhaka. Working with the client, an NGO-run university by BRAC (Building Resources Across Communities), the project team proposes a building that floats above the pond. First, the water itself is remediated into a bio-retention pond. The whole ground level of the project is opened to the public. Above, sustainable thinking permeates the design of the university building. Brise-soleil and planted façades optimize the interior climate, reducing cooling demand by 40%. Water recycling and rainwater collection reduces water use by nearly 50%. Photovoltaic panels and beekeeping transform the roof into a productive environment. In total, green areas cover more surface than the area of the entire site.

When this project is built, the jury believes that it will set a new benchmark for sustainability in Asia. Rapid urbanization has deteriorated Dhaka’s water bodies and natural habitats. The design remediates a natural area and opens it back up to the city. It situates the building in a way that allows both the university and the public to inhabit the site. Sustainability is deeply integrated into the building design, from thermal zoning to serious reductions in the use of energy and water. Particularly commendable is the way a single building is conceived as a larger rejuvenation project for the city.