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Exclusive Interview with Dr. Naveed Anwar for the 6th Annual Vertical Cities Event in Dubai

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An event that will be introducing modern vertical design in high rise buildings while maintaining the heritage feel and local community values, Marcus Evans 6th Annual Vertical Cities is definitely a must attend event in Dubai this March. Don’t miss the Dr Naveed Anwar presenting on ensuring safety and higher performance of tall buildings for rare and strong earthquakes.

In conjunction to the event, Dr Naveed who is a CEO/Executive Director Solutions at Asian Institute of Technology at Thailand shared his thoughts on challenges faced in the ASEAN region as well as mitigate risks in the current environment.

In your opinion what are the challenges faced while introducing cutting edge vertical design in your region?

The continuous population growth, and accelerated urbanization in almost all major large cities and townships in Asia is dictating the need for vertical design and construction solution for housing, work spaces and multiple usage. In the ASEAN region, where most our work is focused, tall buildings are sprouting at an ever-faster rate. However, in many cities, lack of local design expertise, construction technologies as well as the traditional mind set are proving to be challenges to overcome for very tall and vertical solutions. In some cities, the lack of mass transit system provides transportation and commuting difficulties to vertical design clusters. The affordability and need for such hi-tech and cutting edge development is another challenge, with uncertainties in economic development, and memory of collapse of previous real estate bubbles.

How do you develop a systematic approach to avoid implementation bottlenecks?

Many of the challenges are related to the overall urban policy and planning issues, and often difficult to solve only through architectural or engineering solutions. As we work mostly on the safety and improving disaster resilience through application advanced and extended approaches such as performance based design, wind tunnel testing, this is systematically included in the design practice through engagement with the architects, structural engineers, and most importantly with the developer and even the ultimate occupants to raise the awareness of higher safety and performance expectation for tall buildings, as they house many people as well as high value assets. This awareness, and exposure to advanced design approaches and technologies helps to smoothen the adoption and application and raises the overall state of the practice and improves the performance of the vertical built environment

From your past experiences, how do you mitigate risks and deliver results that matches future trends?

Most important is to be aware of the future trends, by keeping a close tab on the developments in various parts of the world, and their present or future relevance to our region and state of local development. Often, adoption of solutions elsewhere in local context, without careful adaptation and localization presents a risk in its long-term success. Being part of an industrial interface arm of an academic institution, provides a great opportunity to do relevant research derived from partial application, and develop solutions, which are well adapted and customized for future application. We generally start a parallel research project for every important design challenge for in-depth understanding and development of solution with local relevance. This significantly reduces the risk with use of new technologies and adoption of upcoming trends and meeting future demands. My current topic in the event on integration of performance based design for strong wind and earthquakes is such an effort.

Any added views that you wish to highlight on your upcoming presentation at this event?

Currently, there is a significant interest and use of performance based design for strong and rare earthquakes. However, the design for wind is still based on traditional or conventional approaches, creating a disparity amongst the design procedures and inconsistent evaluation of expected performance and safety for the occupants, as well for the protection of valuable assets in the tall buildings. This will become more relevant in future, as buildings get taller, and are constructed in high-hazard prone area, as well to mitigate effects of climate change. My current topic in the event on integration of performance based design for strong wind and earthquakes an area of current interest to many engineers, but is not yet part of standard design practices.

How do you find the right balance while designing buildings that are aesthetically pleasing and functional?

This has always been a challenge facing the designers. Creating a balance between the aesthetes and functionality is primarily the role of the architect, and not really my specialization. However, creating balance between aesthetics and structural form and performance is something I can comment. For low rise, or conventional buildings, the architect may preprimary define the aesthetic form, whereas the structural designer may provide the appropriate structural system for safety and serviceability. However, for tall and very tall buildings, a collaborative development of esthetic form and structural form and system is essential. The building aesthetic form effects the wind forces, as well the seismic performance to a large degree. The ideal solution is to integrate structural system and make it part of the aesthetic form. This has been done successfully in many well-known buildings. An attempt to hide structure, in favor of the aesthetic form may impact the performance, as well as cost effectiveness. We often work closely with the architects, understand their aesthetic intention and concept, and offer various solution that fit into or reinforce the concept.

How do you think this conference will contribute as a knowledge platform for this industry?

Planning, conceiving, designing, developing, construction, managing, maintaining and marketing the vertical development and tall buildings requires collaboration and contribution from many experts and stakeholders. Often traditional conferences focus on one or two of these experts and stakeholders, whereas the current event is providing a platform for a wide range of experts, stakeholders including developers and clients. This event will be very useful for developing a common understanding of the issues, as well as to expose each other to the available solutions. It will also help to create network and possibly, teams or collaborations for the future projects. I am looking format to hearing from other speakers, as well interact with the participants.

Click here to read Dr. Naveed’s interview published in Bangkok Post recently.

About 6th Annual Vertical Cities in Conrad Dubai

Happening for the sixth time this year, this Marcus Evans large scale event aims to brings insights on resolving rapid urbanization in highly density cities as a solution for sustainable living. Don’t miss the opportunity of learning how to establish skyscraper buildings as a destination of choice with contemporary designs and unique commercial elements.

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