Georgia is no stranger to the existing tendency of the world of developing green (sustainable) architecture and approaches, which implies not only one specific discipline but also a unified approach and philosophy to life and the environment. The “Training and Demonstration Center for Green Architecture and Engineering Technologies” will soon be launched in the country, where interested people, especially professionals in the field of architecture and engineering, will learn about the latest approaches and solutions in this area.
The center is located 60 kilometers from Tbilisi, on the shores of Lake Bazaleti, on 1200 square meters, and combines various functional spaces. Zaal Kheladze is the founder of the training-demonstration center. The main motivation for him to create all this was the active development of green technologies in Georgia, which in turn promises great support to the country’s overall and circular economy.
“Green architecture is a way of life that combines many components, including energy efficiency, use of green materials, waste management, etc. By the principles of green architecture as a way of life, our ancestors lived long ago. If we look at the old buildings, even in different parts of Georgia, we will find a lot of amazing elements. For example a ventilated facade reduces humidity in the building, while shutters regulate the intensity of sunlight. Bathhouses and thick walls are a good example of heating. In fact, it’s all well-forgotten old methodology. There are two concepts in green architecture: High-tech and Low-tech. Low-tech is all that we residents and homeowners need to do, and High-tech is about switching to technology and using it. However, green architecture in terms of management is not necessarily a complex or high-tech phenomenon. It’s about a straightforward, green lifestyle and our inner culture. In the center of Bazaleti, the existing technologies in this direction are presented, so that society can get better acquainted with all this, and those interested can make a comparative analysis and see what they need and what they do not,” said Zaal Kheladze.
Since the client entrusts the decision to the architects and engineers when constructing a building or a house, they should know the latest approaches and technologies best. They should explain to the building owner what it will cost to take energy-efficient measures and how many years it will take to make a profit. In Bazaleti, it is possible to get acquainted with all this in detail.
The introduction of the green principles in all directions is supported by the environmental non-governmental organization CENN.
“Green architecture is really our future. Various natural challenges, including climate change, pose problems to the economies of all countries. Green architecture is a part of the green economy, the importance of which our traditional economic model has always pointed out to us in a free market system. We need to move to a green economy, which aims to reduce and prevent harmful external factors and encapsulate the whole value chain. What is being done in Bazaleti is a big step towards the future, from which the West is actively advancing with its own policy,” said Vakho Kochoradze, a representative of the non-governmental organization CENN.
“Green economy is often called a circular economy because it is characterized by constant turnover, and the law of energy permanence is well reflected in it. We have the following data in Georgia: Since there are no factories in Georgia on a large scale, the two main factors polluting the environment are transport and the building sector. Clearly, transport is a major polluter, but so is the building sector. Because we constantly heat and cool them, we use a lot of energy, which means a lot of emissions. Architects and engineers make decisions in the arrangement of buildings, therefore, green architecture plays a special role in Georgia. We need to build buildings that consume as little electricity as possible so the country is characterized by low or zero emissions,” said Kheladze.
In order to provide the right knowledge to the decision-makers, the team of the Bazaleti Green Architecture Center is ready to provide full support to the professionals – be it on the spot or with the help of the next consulting agents.
“Our role as consultants is in this matter and that is why we built this center. We want to help people find the right needs and solve them. By demonstrating and introducing our products, it becomes possible to deliver them. This is a business with an eco-friendly task, which coincides with the vision of environmental NGOs,” Kheladze noted.
Thematic training programs in the center will be available in both professional and unprofessional directions, including for journalists, to further develop sectoral green journalism.
“CENN’s strategy in this area is as follows: We are moving in the direction of the green economy and we are trying to support private businesses that offer consumers alternatives that reduce the impact on the environment. We are also working on encouraging locals to find employment in this business. This is not an easy task. There are certain environmental barriers that are largely unreasonable in regulations and business. We are actively working in this direction, and trying to explain the meaning of all this not only in terms of qualitative indicators and theories but also in numbers. We want to explain how all this affects the economy and the welfare of the people,” Kochoradze said.
With the gradual introduction of new healthy regulations and the adherence to the principles of the green economy, effective steps are being taken to establish a “green” lifestyle. Georgia will start a new phase for a sustainable future in April 2021 with the official opening of the Bazaleti Green Architecture and Engineering Technologies Training and Demonstration Center.
By Salome Kushashvili for Entrepreneur
Translated by Nini Dakhundaridze