The Sustainable Design Of A Spa Anthropology Essay


Sustainability does not seem fun, as we know factually that climate change needs restraint at some point. This may sound like a person having to go on a diet due to health reasons.

Ecology has to hurt, joyless discipline and boring abstinence. As far as buildings are concerned, this may not be absolutely true. Can or should ecological performance compensate for bad design?

With sustainability and climate issues in mind, and how a little can go a long way to protecting the environment, how can we build buildings more green and energy efficient as possible?

Sustainability in design should be viewed as "green", "ecological" and "environmental" and take it fundamentally take into account their relationship with impact on environment. The formation of these concepts can be traced back to 1970s, along with labels such as "low energy", "solar" and "passive" are used to demonstrate reducing use of fossil fuels to operate buildings.

2. History of sustainable design

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Let us examine and understand some of these principles of sustainable design discourse and practices.

2.1 Not long ago, a good architecture was a building that is suitable in an environmental context, one that protects the inhabitants from climate. More recently, it is the environment that requires protection. Giddens 1999a quotes "At a certain point...very recently in historial terms- we started worrying less about what nature can do to us, and more about what we have done to nature. This marks the transition from predominance of external risk to that of manufactured risk".

2.2 Manufactured risk means the impact we are having upon the world, risks that humans have never encountered, have no experience in dealing with it. Charles Jenks states "The problem with modern civilization will always keep one step ahead, continue to manufacture new problems, equivalent to greenhouse effect and the hole in the ozone layer. No matter what solutions, it will continue to multiply. Humanity rather than the Earth becomes the dominant background. Players have become the stage. Jenks 1993: 126-7

2.3 Sylvan and Bennett observes "To be green is to have a commitment to reduce environmental impact of humans on Earth in the immediate future term to either reduce population, less impacting lifestyles or improve technology to reduce impact.

2.4 Georgescu-Roegen 1993:105 feels that perhaps, the destiny of man is meant to have a short but fiery, exciting and extravagant life rather than long, uneventful and vegetative existence.

Most of us wish to avoid catastrophic prospects, buildings contribute substantially to manufactured risks because of the amount of raw materials, energy and pollutants that they emit, architects need to play a significant role in reducing such risks.

3. Theory of ESD E - Ecological S- Sustainable D- design

Sustainable is defined in terms of continuity and maintenance of resources, concerned with how to maintain and improve quality of human life through supporting ecosystems. The acronym ESD is adopted often to express concern for sustainability issues in the way humans on this carrying capacity in the future. The meaning E stands for environmental, ecological and economic, S stands for sustainable and sustainability and D stands for development and design.

Some understandings of ESD includes mitigating perceived adverse effects on local communities of trends towards economic globalization and free trade, accepting an argument that sustainable design should express community differences. In these broad views the concept bundles together issues of long term human sociocultural and economic health and vitality, issues that may or may not be linked with concern for the well being of environment rather than solely as a potential resource and necessary support for human beings. The sustainability of all three environmental, sociocultural and economic systems is sometimes called the "triple bottom line" by which viability and success of design and development should be assessed.

Sustainable architecture focuses on sustainability of architecture, both as a discipline and product of discipline. It denotes a broader ideas than the individual understanding of ESD. It includes building's sustainability for its sociocultural and environmental context.

The definition of sustainable development has 2 crucial elements, first is it accepts the concept of "needs", the basic needs of world's poor such as food, clothing and shelter and above all reasonably comfortable way of life. Second, it accepts the concept of "making consistent" the demands of technology and social organizations with environment's ability to meet present and future needs. In this way, it endorses sustainable development as improving quality of life.

How should architects and designers respond? We need to act and make good decisions in our day-to-day with the following:

  • Insists on the coexistence of humanity and nature in a sustainable condition.
  • Recognize interdependence.
  • Respect relationships between spirit and matter
  • Accept responsibility for consequences of design decisions upon human well-being, viability of natural systems and their rights to co-exist.
  • Create safe objects of long term value.
  • Eliminate concept of waste.
  • Rely on natural energy flows.
  • Understand limitation of design.
  • Seek constant improvement.
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Sustained architecture should be conceptualized, by promoting discussion and understanding of commonly ignored assumptions behind the search for a more sustainable architecture, arguing that design decisions must be based on coherent understanding of ethical stances and objectives and systems involved.

Our aim is to:

1. how is "architectural sustainability" conceptualized?

2. Does ethics offer a basis for action?

3. Who and what are stakeholders?

4. How far can indicators of sustainability be quantified and understood in terms of behaviour of systems?

5. How do we deal with non-commensurable objective and advice?

6. How can we make or recognize sustainable architecture?

We are of the opinion that:

1. "Sustainable architecture is a cultural construction of a label for a revised conceptualization of architecture.

2. Within this revised conceptualization, by designing a more "sustainable architecture" is a "beautiful act".

3. A "sustainable design" is a creative adaptation to ecological, sociocultural and built contexts supported by credible cohesive arguments.

4. Introduction of 3 Principles of Sustainability ideas

A sustainable design must be "green", "ecological" and environmental", taking into account their relationship with impact on environment on the 3 principles:

  • Economy of Resource
  • Life Cycle Design
  • Humane Design

4.1 Economy of Resource

  • because the spa customers do not have to travel, they are usually residents at Pinnacle @ Duxton or the neighbourhood , therefore less transportation means less demand needed to be transported, therefore less fuel use and better for environment.
  • We focus on using recyclable material of paper plates and cups and paper, in an effort to conserve in the use of paper and therefore less trees have to be cut to supply this demand, also recyclable building materials that can later be used for other construction buildings so that we can cut down waste and fulfill waste management objective. These waste could also be used to make other products.
  • Energy saving equipments.

4.2 Life Cycle Design

  • the spa provides a stress release avenue for people in the community and outside of the community. The exercise facilities also help people take care of their health.
  • we use natural lighting through solar energy and see through glass.

4.3 Humane Design

  • the best way to bond through exercise as it can be common goal amongst friends or relatives.
  • The spa environment has flora and fauna attraction to provide the feel of nature and bring people to communicate with nature.
  • The surrounding nature promotes very clean and fresh air especially in such high altitude/high floor with lush greens.
  • It is also easily accessible for disabled persons if they should just decide to come up and enjoy the natural surroundings instead of spa and exercise experience.

5. The concept of eco friendly design

5.1 What is eco-friendly? It is one that focuses on the use of natural ingredients of spa products, the emphasis on the use of water, both for drinking and for use in spa, all focuses on the wholesome nature of a truly different spa experience, in pursuit of a rich & luxurious wellness package.

5.2 Products & Services

The spa products come from very renowned spa products manufacturer in France, using the purest form of minerals and thermal spring water, blended with a special concoction of the latest and most advanced rejuvenating and anti aging cosmetic ingredients. We do not only focus on the products, but the spa retail shop also advocate consistently the use of organic food products and our food outlet only sells the most nutritional food products and drinks.

5.2 Concept

Furthermore, the concept of eco friendly spa goes beyond just food and products, the main unique factor lies in the in-built special water purification system that enables every drop of water from the taps are of the purest like nature and without alkaline. Why are we known as a spa of a difference is that the source of water when swimming in the swimming pool or soaking in the jacuzzi originates from the same water purification system that enables one to come out of it with baby soft skin.

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Besides the spa in the area of its products and services and special technology in water purification, comes the design of spa in an energy efficient as possible form, that is why there are and the use of solar panels and water heater on the roof top, to balance the use of technology in water purification which has a definite energy usage. Furthermore, the design enables collection of rainwater from the perimeter drains and store it in a water tank that is connected to tap points situated in the garden. The water tank is placed at the far corner of the floor, carefully and tastefully hidden from the site of people. The water is also used for watering of plants for the garden landscape and for washing of the floor and other washing purposes.

The services offered are executed in conformity with modern facilities and contemporary decoration. Various indigenous materials, colors, plants and other elements are combined to create a unique experience. Thus, you can enjoy a massage or another treatment in front of the spectacular view of city and while listening to the pleasant rumour of a water feature. This is so important as very often, we like to have spa in tropical resorts in high mountains, purely for pursuit for the freshest air and as close in proximity to nature as possible in the surrounding experience.

This is why the specialty in design, particularly using the high altitude experience, being situated on the 50th floor, thus in creation of that kind of experience using lush surrounding greenery, and enhancing sensitivity to environment by using timber panels for façade, concrete and earthy stone brick walls complimenting the overall surrounding. This helps to solve the problem of having to travel to remote and exotic places for spa and they can concentrate in spending much less with this.

6. Case studies:

6. 1 Newton Suites by WOHA (Featured in SA245)

This is a good example of a high rise living in a densely built Singapore. The design integrates several sustainable devices into a contemporary architectural composition, creating a sustainable, contemporary addition to the city skyline.

The building sits at the edge of a high rise zone and fronts a height-controlled area that affords expensive views of the central nature reserves, a rare luxury indeed.

6.2 Manitoba Hydro Building, Winnipeg, KPMB

The project demonstrates the value of the integrated Design Process to achieve the environmental and ecological.

The form and massing of the building are driven by solar and wind energy operating in three seasonal modes. It simultaneously prioritizes the quality of human experience and the need in the future by creating healthful, supportive work spaces and active that contribute to Winnipeg's civic life.

6.3 Jacques Ferrier Architectures, Hypergreen

The Hypergreen project used most of the technical devices available today to create a fresh image of the skyscraper.

The sharing of collective spaces such as gardens, the production of sufficient energy by the building itself to cool and heat workplaces and dwellings, and optimal use of parking area ensured the building maximal performance.

3. Conclusion

Sustainability in design should be viewed as "green", "ecological" and "environmental" and take it fundamentally take into account their relationship with impact on environment. The formation of these concepts can be traced back to 1970s, along with labels such as "low energy", "solar" and "passive" are used to demonstrate reducing use of fossil fuels to operate buildings.

Understand the theory of Sustainability ideas in spa concept - 3 principles:

  • Economy of Resource
  • Life Cycle Design
  • Humane Design

In conclusion, to be green in more than a token fashion is to have some commitment to containing or reducing the environmental impact of humans on the Earth or regions of it, that means commitment in the immediate future term to either human population reduction, less impacting lifestyles for many humans or improvements in technology to reduce overall impact.

What is achieved here is a fresh design of a non-typical spa, a combination of communal living and yet with such unique and comprehensive wellness centre that provides spa, club house facilities, just like a luxurious condominium living, in a prime district of Singapore, but definitely with more state of art spa experience and technology of a undoubted ecological spa experience.

List of references

1) Sustainable site Design, Claudia Dinep and Kristin Schwab, Published by John Wiley and Sons, Inc, New Jersey, 2010

2) Sustainability by Design, William Carlos, Published by John R Ehrenfield, United State, 2000

3) Designing Sustainable cities, Riched Cooper, Publishing Blackwell Publishing Ltd, United Kingdom, 2009

4) Understanding Sustainable Architecture, Terry Willamson and Antony Radford and Helen Bennetts, Published by Spon Press, London, 2003

5) Sustainable Design, Daniel Vallero and Chris Brasier, Publishing John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Hoboken, New Jersey, 2008

6) SA Issue #254. Singapore Architecture Firms - Newton Suites by WOHA Page 60.