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Sustainable Design


Central to our design ethos is the need to design buildings that perform better than the industry average and raise the bar for ethical construction standards.


We partner with our clients to deliver integrated sustainable solutions for a diverse range of building types and environmentally challenging situations.

Current building technology and construction practices still limit our ability to achieve net-zero, i.e. a building that manages to generate as much energy as it consumes. However, thoughtful design can measurably reduce the amount of energy that a building needs & each tiny improvement adds up to a significant change in the overall environmental impact of our work. 


Global best practices recommend adhering to one standardized system or the other and they certainly have their merits – LEED, BREEAM and GRIHA document and measure thousands of criteria to achieve better sustainability standards. Nevertheless, there are many site conditions that simply cannot be understood and translated into identifiable positives. As a firm, we have developed a simple system of parameters that guide our approach to formulating innovative design solutions. Some are as simple as using energy efficient appliances and lighting, while others are more complex such as sourcing local materials and ensuring optimum orientation.


Each finished project is measured against these parameters and is often the best way to define the success of the project. Given the urban environment that we inhabit, rarely can we claim to have achieved quantifiable impact from all of them, yet it remains a constant endeavor on our part as a design studio to be conscientious about the long-term sustainability of our work.


Over the last thirty years, it has become clear that the risk associated with climate change will pose serious challenges to society. Architects are constantly presented with the challenge of creating durable buildings that respond to a changing environment. Architects have a major role to play, given the fact that 75 per cent of global energy consumption is produced by buildings and transportation. Buildings, neighbourhoods and cities should be designed to minimise pollution and carbon emissions. This implies not only using renewable energy sources (including wind, sun and water), but designing energy efficient buildings and masterplans that encourage vegetation and biodiversity.


New urban developments need to be designed with the ultimate aim of achieving carbon dioxide neutral environments. Working with clients and the public to increase awareness of the benefits of environmental design can help form the basis for a brief, and result in buildings that contribute positively to the city.


AKDA employs an holistic approach to the physical form of each building, from the massing, orientation, and the arrangement of its constituent parts, in order to ensure a responsible approach to the buildings' overall environmental performance. The practice endeavours to employ technologies that sustain rather than pollute, that are durable rather than replaceable, and that add value over time rather than falling prey to short term economies.


Structure and the conservation of energy play a major role in giving form to our buildings. Speed, cost and energy efficiency often contribute a lightness of structure, transparency and clarity of design. Many projects have been developed that explore to a very high degree the use of alternative sustainable energy solutions. Our visionary thinking offers the best possible economic, social and environmental value in the projects we deliver, through sound choices.

Optimum Orientation


Seasonal Optimization

Natural Ventilation

Local Materials

Double Glazed Materials

Energy Star Appliances

Efficient Lighting


Mitigating Heat Gain

Rain Water Harvesting

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Making buildings sustainable is no longer an option. The long term economic and social gains from energy efficient buildings are far too important to be neglected anymore. Also, existing buildings should be modified in every way possible that makes them more efficient and less reliant on passive systems. If you feel your new project or existing asset should be better for the environment, we can help you.


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