Fortunately, we have come to a point where one cannot create a building of this significance without having a sustainability strategy.
I could use this blog post to bore you with all the “minor” but important technicalities that are crucial for making a sustainable building; however, I would rather share some overarching thoughts related to sustainability.
Since the early competition stages, we became aware that Banque Libano-Française has the ambition not only to get the points needed for a certain certification, but to actually become a figurehead in terms of how sustainability is thought of, perceived, and practiced in Beirut.
Beirut is probably not a city known for its contribution to sustainable buildings, as the word sustainable is most commonly used there as a “must-have” buzzword.
Beirut is roughly 5000 years old; having ruins, antiques and several archeological layers must mean that Beirut in itself is a very sustainable city that has been able to sustain time.
Having the ambition to capture the past, the present and the future, it is crucial to focus on the physical longevity in order to create a truly sustainable building.
Therefore, the choice of a stone-like building is paying homage to all that has sustained time in Beirut, and aiming for this building to sustain.
The most sustainable buildings are the ones that a city and its users fall in love with, the buildings a community is proud of and take care of and pass on to future generations.
These are the buildings that sustain time and manage to stay relevant over and over again.
A New Sustainable Figurehead
Achieving sustainable development is paramount in responding to future employee requirements. The parameters for sustainability evolve with these requirements and project specific criteria. The overriding factors will be to ensure:
Social Sustainability – we must deliver a project that gives back to the city and complements the existing urban context;
Environmental Sustainability – we must deliver a project that responds to the environment both in regard to the energy consumptionand the embodied energy of the structure. An occupied building is a sustainable building.
The new BLF headquarters contributes to its urban setting by being a lively and social space. If the functional and financial conditions for a commercial office scheme are unable to adapt to the changing demands of the market, and unable to meet the commercial requirements, it will not be able to contribute to its surroundings nor to the environment at large.
Economic Sustainability – we must be able to deliver a project that is fundamentally economically viable.