HOW TO UPGRADE THE GREEN KNOWLEDGE IN THE CARIBBEAN?
Green architecture is a quite recent development. Only now, since we experience our true influence on the environment, we realize that we need to change the way we build and live. Over the past decades we realize more and more how much energy and money we waste by living and working in non-sustainable buildings.
Green buildings might not yet be common in the Caribbean, but just take a look to the American and European building regulations. You can clearly see recent implemented strict rules about energy-efficiency, health, and comfort. For example, the Dutch building codes demand a insulation resistance which is at least equal to that of SIPS. This means buildings must be built with enough insulation and double or even triple glazing. Health and comfort in Dutch buildings are guaranteed because there is, for instance, a minimum of window surface which bring in daylight. Also, there are minimum and maximum ratios between floor surfaces of rooms with different functions, such as bedrooms, hallways, and bathrooms.
Our regulations and building methods on Aruba are decades behind on Europe. The DOW building code is equal to the Dutch building code of 1963! We need more theoretical and practical knowledge and more experienced engineering professionals to solve the problems.
Sustainable building truly is the best way of building, but here it is still uncommon because it is not demanded by regulation. We need to make ourselves the regulations, so that we put a foundation for the future .We need more awareness about the importance of sustainable buildings, which must be powered by better building regulations (by the government) to make it happen. Until then, it is our ambition to bring Aruba's architecture to the next level.
By going back to the rules of energy saving methods we can reach goals, you could never imagine. It's possible one by one, step by step by making our own regulations and raise our own standards.