EXPLORING PRINCIPLES OF REGENERATIVE ARCHTECTURE IN ECORESORT DESIGN OF FALGORE GAME RESERVE
The aim of this study is to explore principles of Regenerative Architecture in eco-resort design, such that the built environment acts as a medium to enhance the natural environment. Resorts destroy the ambience of natural settings because they are poorly sited and poorly designed to cope with the climatic conditions of their regions, while efforts are spent on style, features, frills and extras without any understanding of the actual design requirement.
Regenerative Architecture (RA) identifies and merges the significance of environment, people and economy. By applying RA principles, eco-resorts are boosted to a more active and positive paradigm. These principles include: integration to landscape; bold ecology; intelligent construction; intelligent limit; culture and place.
A case study approach is applied; in a qualitative research, however using quantitative means of assessment. This is achieved by applying a ‘regenerative based checklist for design and construction of eco-resort’ based on the principles of regenerative architecture, to evaluate cases studied. Consequently, a strategy for eco-resort design is developed.
This research establishes contributions that include: the existence of a relationship between RA principles and Eco-resort design considerations (that include: waste, water and pollution management, impact of building materials and construction technology; energy management, water management, and relationship between tourist and site); proposal of ‘regenerative based checklist for design and construction of Eco-resort’ as a method for evaluating the level of RA exhibited by eco-resorts; a strategy to approach eco-resort design through RA principles need to consider two aspects of RA principles (regenerative and degenerative); the proposed Falgore Eco-resort design exhibits potentials of achieving RA principles in Eco-resort design.
This chapter discusses the importance of tourism to the growth and development of a nation. It discusses that a nation’s economy can develop through job opportunities in construction and hospitality industries. It establishes the significance and limitation of sustainable tourism or eco-tourism by identifying that a solution lies in a Regenerative approach. The problem statement, aim and objectives, scope, justification and research method are discussed in this chapter.
1.1 Background of Study
Tourism is a booming industry that could contribute largely to a nation’s economy and development. According to World Bank Report (2013) tourism contributes more than 9 % of global Growth Domestic Product (GDP), 5.8 per-cent of all exports, and 4.5 % of world’s investment. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC, 2010) also estimates that 3.8 million jobs could be created by the tourism industry in Sub- Saharan Africa over the next 10 years. However, tourism is yet to attain its full potentials in developing African countries, especially Nigeria (Iain, 2013).
Nigeria is a potential regional tourism powerhouse in West Africa, (Iain, 2013), it has many beautiful and natural destinations, a few are converted into ecologically friendly resorts, these include: Okomu Eco-resort developed employing eco-tourism principles (Jeremy,
2007); Farin Ruwa (White Snow) eco-tourism resort project which is listed as a tourist site in Nigeria by the United Nations World Tourism Organization report (Lephilippe, 2007); Obudu mountain resort reflecting the site’s cultural identity while preserving the site’s natural site feature (InfoNubia, 2013); Fifth Chukker polo resort (Administrator, 2012); and Yankari
National Park (InfoNubia, 2013) .
Although tourism answers social and environmental problems especially in developing countries (McMinn, 1997), Green Globe (2012) states that it has also become a source of negative environmental and social impact by searching for new attractions, tourist travel to even remote areas where important habitats serve as the last refuge for endangered species, due to uncontrolled human activity, these locations begin to lose their natural features. A typical example is where sporting and leisure facilities need high air quality, this weighs heavily on the environment if man insists on achieving this by altering the eco-system (Bromberek, 2009).
Tourism also negatively affects the socio-economy of local and undeveloped areas; by displacing traditional customs and social interactions within communities (Bromberek, 2009). The influence of foreign activity tends to replace the existing local customs and traditions formerly present, foreign currency becomes an influence, foreign labour replaces the local labour, foreign customs are also practised. This deprives the environment of any local heritage.
Eco-tourism is defined as a responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people (TIES, 2015). Eco-tourism appears to be a valuable approach to tourism in attaining a sustainable environment (Bromberek, 2009). It explores local nature and cultural environments without destroying them, its key features include low impact operation, education about environmental issues, and a positive contribution to conservation and to communities (Buckley, 2012). Eco-tourism is yet seen as fashionable because it emphasizes on direct contact with nature and preservation and conservation of the natural environment (Bromberek, 2009).
Resorts contribute highly to the tourism industry, because they provide recreation, entertainment and relaxation (IHRA, 2008). However, resorts have become sources for negative environmental and social impact by destroying the ambience of the natural setting, which is the essence of visiting the place (Ismail, 1999). Bromberek (2009) opines that alternatives to ‘energy-consuming mechanical air-conditioning’ exist, which improves the interior environment while conserving energy in resorts buildings. In addition the greater use of natural daylighting and ventilation improves the indoor experience of tourist. Many resorts are poorly sited and poorly designed to cope with the climatic conditions of their regions and efforts are spent on style, features, frills and extras without any understanding of the actual design requirements (Bromberek, 2009). This suggests that maximised leisure becomes the focus in contrast to the ‘experience of place’ (Littman, 2009).
Eco-resorts on the other hand, are resorts that make minimal impact on the environment without compromising guests’ comfort and safety (Bromberek, 2009). Eco-resorts minimise use of energy, utilise the renewable resources of sun, water and wind, making minimal impact on the environment by limiting waste, emissions, pollution and other undesirable effects of its operation.
Hodges (2006) opined that ecological designs or sustainable designs remain energy and resource consuming, making them linear and degenerative. Arguments have also deemed sustainability as a theory that focuses mainly on efficiency, rather than on active and positive contributions (Owen, Hes, and Howard, 2008). This has been agreed to when the focus is only on ecology; however, sustainability should be able to cater for more than just the ecology, an approach that suggests such is ‘regenerative design’.
Regenerative Architecture (RA) identifies and merges the significance of environment, people and economy. By applying principles of RA, eco-tourism through eco-resorts is boosted to a more active and positive paradigm.
Resorts being part of tourism activities have also become sources for negative environmental and social impact. This is experienced by destroying the ambience of the natural setting (Ismail, 1999); being energy-consuming; adopting foreign interventions that are alien to the environment, people and culture. Also, in order to achieve maximum leisure, resort designs are poorly sited and poorly designed to cope with the climatic conditions of their regions and efforts are spent on style, features, frills and extras without any understanding of the actual design requirements (Bromberek, 2009).
Natural destinations in Nigeria are degenerating, some of which are resorts are due to uncontrolled human activity and global warming ( Akingbohungbe and Oni, 2013). An example is Falgore game reserve which is an environmentally sensitive zone and the location of the research.
The aim of this study is to explore principles of Regenerative Architecture (RA) in ecoresorts design such that the built environment acts as a medium to enhance the natural environment.
1.4 Objectives The objectives to achieve this aim are as follows;
- To identify RA principle applicable to Eco-resort design.
- To provide a method for assessing the level of RA principles exhibited by
resorts. iii. To examine ways these principles have been applied in resort and Eco-resort designs.
- To propose a design for an Eco-resort in Falgore Game Reserve by applying principles of RA to harness the built and natural environment.
The research reviews sources of RA principles that particularly focus on the concept of
‘place’. The research also studies resorts that;
- depict RA principles;
- are located in Environmentally Sensitive Zones (i.e. vulnerable natural environment),
- are located in hot-dry climate, and
- are easily assessable (due to security challenges).
A case study approach is used, and a ‘regenerative based checklist for design and construction in Eco-resorts’ is used for evaluating cases studied.
The natural environment has always been a victim of man’s activities. It either gets polluted by industrial activities or the site features are completely eliminated to achieve iconic structures. RA tries to establish a connection between architecture and nature. It makes the land/site a focus of the design considering other elements as subsidiaries. RA demonstrates an architecture that improves the natural environment through the built environment making our natural environment regenerative.
1.7 Research Method
The research is qualitative in nature; however a quantitative means of assessment is applied. Three cases are selected and based on some set of criteria that include; resorts depicting RA principles, resorts located in environmentally sensitive zones, resorts located in hot-dry climate, and resorts easily accessible.
Method of data collection include; observation; documentation and interview. Instruments used for data collection are; checklist and a camera.
The checklist adopted, evolves from a ‘Wilderness based checklist for design and construction’. This checklist proposes indicators that describe how RA can be approached. It is also based on a quantitative measuring scale that ranges from a -100, -75, -50, -25, 0, +25, +50, +75, and +100. Society of Building Science Educators (SBSE) revised the ‘Wilderness based checklist for design and construction’, and classified the indicators into ‘site’ and ‘building’ to propose a ‘regenerative-based checklist for design and construction’. This research went further to classify indicators into the six principle of RA adopted. That include; integration to landscape; bold ecology; intelligent construction; culture; intelligent limit and place. However, ‘Intelligent limit’ fails to have any corresponding indicator. Based on ecoresort design considerations, indicators for the principle ‘intelligent limit’ will include: abandons space/ changes use of space; replaces materials and components/ restores materials and components; space is not designed/ space is designed; neglects standard space requirements/ adopts space requirements
1.8 Thesis Structure
Below is an introduction to subsequent chapters;
Chapter 1- This introductory chapter discusses the importance of tourism to the growth and development of a nation. It discusses that a nation’s economy can develop through job opportunities in construction and hospitality industries. It establishes the significance and limitation of sustainable tourism or eco-tourism because conventionally, identifying that a solution lies in a regenerative approach. The problem statement, aim and objectives, scope, justification and research method are discussed in this chapter.
Chapter 2- This chapter presents a theoretical background of the research topic. It provides an insight into previous works by and reviewing relevant theories, concepts, current issues and debates. RA solutions that concern prevailing issues of degenerating environment, the regenerative nature of resort design, eco-resort design and planning considerations as well as spatial requirements are addressed.
The chapter further establishes a relationship between Eco-resort design considerations and RA principles.
Chapter 3- This chapter describes the methodology and the procedures applied to achieve the objectives of this research. It consists of: research strategy, method of data collection, instruments of data collection. A case study approach and the evolution of a ‘regenerative based checklist’ are explored within this chapter.
Chapter 4- This chapter presents data collected from three case studies visited. These are: Fifth Chukker Polo Resort, Saminaka Holiday Resort and Porto Golf Resort. The objective is to evaluate the level of RA principle the cases exhibit. A ‘regenerative based checklist for design and construction of eco-resorts’ is used for evaluation. This checklist is guided by the following principles: integration to landscape, bold ecology, intelligent construction, intelligent limit, community and place. A strategy for approaching Eco-resort design through RA principles is developed.
Chapter 5- This chapter discusses the site’s location and analysis. Site analysis is based on
RA principles that include; integration to landscape, bold ecology, intelligent construction, intelligent limit, place and culture. Each principle highlights the relevant aspects and distinct feature of the site that can be incorporated within the design of Falgore Eco-resort.
Chapter 6- This chapter presents a design proposal for Falgore Eco-resort. This would cover a brief development, concept development and application of RA principles in the proposed design.
Chapter 7- This chapter provides a summary, a conclusion, contributions to knowledge and recommendations. The summary of all six chapters is discussed; the conclusion encompasses how each of the four objectives is achieved; contributions to knowledge establish the significance of the research; while recommendations pose area for further research.
EXPLORING PRINCIPLES OF REGENERATIVE ARCHTECTURE IN ECORESORT DESIGN OF FALGORE GAME RESERVE