JCI Architects Inc. (with JET Architecture, Terraplan Landscape Architects and Ecovert sustainability consultants) have been commissioned to design a new community for 10,000 people on the edge of the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka.
Called Shabuj Pata (Bengali for green leaf), the development proposes a typology that effectively balances density and efficiency with ecological sustainability to create 4,800,000 square feet of residential, and another 1,000,000 square feet of amenity and service space. Seeking to evoke the lushness found in the natural Bengali landscape but rarely in its cities, the development engages numerous strategies to enrich the site including the planting of thousands of shade trees, green walls, and a system of bioswales and cisterns to alleviate excess rainfall during monsoon season.
Sustainable technologies and strategies are found throughout and at all scales, from the orientation of the buildings to promote air flow and provide maximum shade, a thin building profile to allow cross ventilation and light penetration through units, solar panels and rainwater cisterns on the roofs, and louvered facades and green walls to improve air quality and mitigate heat gain. An effort is also made to create a more community-oriented development than most people are offered in Dhaka. A treed central plaza with several refreshing water features is at the heart of the scheme, ringed with a school, mosque, and abundant commercial shops.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2012, with occupancy by 2015.