The trichotomy of technical-philosophical-local factors is key to produce a bespoke sustainability scheme. Technical leads are experts in building pathology, heritage preservation and environmental sustainability; philosophical leads focuses on management and practicality of the scheme; local leads on the domestic knowledge and governance. It is well documented that conservation, maintenance and upkeep of heritage buildings are poor (Idrus et al., 2010; Harun, 2011).
Past schemes focus only on technical competencies, which led to unhappy stakeholders and poor community participation. This workshop will put into focus the people and process factors and will be specifically discussing on stakeholder management, social perceptions and the younger generation.
The main objectives of the workshop:
Critically appraise, assess and synthesize pertinent literature and industry practice surrounding environmental sustainability schemes within the built environment, with specific reference to key issues, enablers and barriers appertaining to heritage buildings.
Explore, survey and establish heritage projects as a social value among the younger generation and their relationship with historic monuments.
Cogitate, investigate and scrutinize applicable assessment criterion for assessing refurbished heritage buildings regionally and globally, vis-à-vis, Key Performance Indicators.
Define, evaluate and develop a heritage refurbishment assessment scheme bespoke for Malaysia, with specific input key stakeholders.
Pathway to impact
The UK will have 28 million buildings to be refurbished/retrofitted by 2050 to meet national carbon targets – this will be the major work for the construction industry in the next 20 years. Malaysia can now start to mitigate risks and start improving environmental resilience for heritage buildings by gathering intelligence and making informed decisions in redesigning existing buildings; not demolishing them. This process will improve energy performance, lower emissions and lower costs, benefiting poor and vulnerable populations.
There is much to benefit and take lessons learn from UK's heritage and construction industry – the effects of the economic downturn on the construction sector, building sustainability schemes, technological advancements, and much more. This is now the opportunity for Malaysia to take control to improve environmental sustainability for heritage buildings, cut carbon emissions and integration into smart cities. The Malaysian economy has grown over 5% in the past decade, defied the global economic crisis and continue to grow at a rapid pace - adding the pressure to maintain, improve and invigorate heritage buildings in prime real estate areas.
Currently, the process to refurbish heritage buildings carry high risks, very expensive, lack of accurate building plans, lengthy and subject to planning permission. In the short term, this project will offer building Malaysian Owners (Government or private) the opportunity to evaluate heritage refurbishment standards to suit future sustainability requirements, lower running costs and cut emissions.
In the long term, sustainable heritage buildings will ensure countries achieve their carbon emission targets. In the UK, non-domestic buildings are responsible for about 18% of the country’s CO2 emissions. The UK must start to resolve this quickly (and costly), but Malaysia will now have the opportunity not only to lower emissions, improve social welfare of the community and care for heritage buildings.
This Workshop is fully funded by the Newton-Ungku Omar Fund. Travel and accommodation expenses of successful applicants will be covered by the British Council and Akademi Sains Malaysia under the Newton-Ungku Omar Researcher Links programme. This grant will cover costs related to the participation of the workshop including travel (international and domestic), accommodation and meals. Costs of visa, travel and medical insurance will also be granted. All activities not related to the Workshop will not be considered.
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