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  • At K/M2K Architecture and Interior Design, we strive to make our projects as sustainable as possible. The type of work varies widely, as do the locations, so we’re constantly considering what being sustainable means; standards and ratings recognized in developed countries don’t always apply to other locations. Just as our designs are unique and evolve from particular settings, so does the way we approach sustainable design. Sometimes sustainable design has meant using solar hot water geysers, energy efficient lighting and low flow water fixtures, other times it has meant using what is locally available, like a hand-made clay tile. Regardless of the specific interpretation for a project, the principles remain the same. We believe that sustainability starts at the concept design phase, as steps that are put into place at this point become integral to the development of the project. At Nyungwe Forest Lodge, the most sustainable part of the project was the careful and considerate organization of spaces and individual buildings so that all spaces could receive natural ventilation and daylight. By simplifying things at the outset, the need for many mechanical and electrical components was reduced or eliminated. This is a key principle of sustainability for all of our projects and applies to work in developed and developing countries, as well as large and small budgets. By reducing and simplifying, the need for many things can be impacted, resulting in less material consumption during construction, and smaller energy needs during operation.

  • Just as we take design direction from the site and its surroundings, we also draw from a location to determine what is the most appropriate in terms of sustainability. As much as possible, we try to embrace local materials and methods, reducing the carbon footprint of the project and also having the greatest social impact on an area. An important component to sustainability is social responsibility. A project can be used to provide jobs during construction while also training people with skills for future employment. It can provide income and employment by using local materials and crafts, and upon completion, a project can provide employment in its operation.

    Ultimately, for us a sustainable project is one that is environmentally and socially responsible, as well as being successful, enduring in its lifespan, and integral to its site and location. Just as the meaning of sustainability is constantly evolving, so is our approach to it. We are constantly learning, pushing our boundaries and eager for the next challenge.