Renowned architect launches research book on zero-energy structures in waterborne communities

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Prof. Jason Pomeroy signing a book for a student after delivering a lecture hosted by the School of Architecture, Industrial Design, and the Built Environment.

On July 28, internationally acclaimed architect, professor, and TV personality Jason Pomeroy visited Mapúa Institute of Technology to launch his new book POG: Pod Off-Grid| Explorations into Low Energy Waterborne Communities, discussing the possibility of sustainable communities amidst rapid urbanization in mega-cities

The book is a year-long research project discussing some of the pressing issues facing global cities: flood risks, land shortage, population increase, and carbon emission. POG examines the possibilities of self-sustaining communities on water that push towards zero-energy. It considers how water-borne communities, made possible by a combination of floating or pier architecture may present an answer to future urban growth helping to alleviate urbanization pressures in overpopulated inner city centers.

Artist’s perspective (photo courtesy of Pomeroy Studio)

“Most cities grew as a result of trade via water, hence why the majority of the 35 global mega-cities with over 10 million inhabitants are located by a lake, river, or ocean. As the global population increases and the trend continues towards inner city migration, cities will become denser, and land more scarce—their real estate values soaring ever higher. But with increasing prosperity comes the proportionate risk of more financial as well as physical damage caused by rising sea levels and more frequent flooding,” said Pomeroy, the founding principal of Pomeroy Studio, a Singapore-based urbanism, architecture, design and research firm and the team behind POG.

Pomeroy was also an adjunct professor in Mapúa’s School of Architecture, Industrial Design, and the Built Environment (ARIDBE), who started the vertical urbanism track in the Institute’s graduate program in Architecture. Vertical urbanism is the designing and construction of buildings that incorporate communal space, such as sky courts and sky gardens, within the structure. These spaces replenish the loss of open space to achieve a socio-environmental infrastructure.

“We believe in the principles of [Pomeroy’s] designs,” shared Arch. Gloria Teodoro, Dean of the School of ARIDBE. “His take on urban development and his fresh ideas on achieving a sustainable yet modern society could be embraced by our students.”

Artist’s perspective (photo courtesy of Pomeroy Studio)

Sustainable and green building is actually embedded in the school’s curriculum, Dean Teodoro added, wherein students are given design problems tackling sustainability of the structure and the site.

For Pomeroy, a change of focus is necessary for future Mapúan architects to fully adopt sustainable architecture and design. He stated that instead of focusing on technology, future architects and designers should begin focusing on the natural environment particularly on the “importance of natural light, natural ventilation, and the use of natural materials.”

“The starting point should always be a form that matches the climate of the place where you are designing; embrace of natural light and ventilation, the use of natural materials, and a sparing use of technology,” Pomeroy concluded.

Artist perspective (photo courtesy of Pomeroy Studio)