Dignified Design in the Developing World
Relevant, respectful, and empowering architecture.
MSAADA is known as a guarantor of attractive and appropriately designed projects in different parts of the World:
- We maintain the traditional values of good design and craftsmanship.
- We design according to the social, cultural, and environmental contexts of our clients and project sites.
- Whenever feasible and advantageous, we work with building contractors from the planning stage of a project through its completion.
- Having worked on projects with very limited budgets, we have a clear understanding that good design does not need to be cost-prohibitive.
Too often a project design takes shape without adequate consultation between the people who will work and live in a building and the specialists who design it. MSAADA’s first step on each project is to establish a proper building program through conversations with the people who will use and manage the building after it is built.
MSAADA’s varied experience with a large number of projects in the Developing World has given us a very valuable understanding of appropriate development, as it is expressed through building projects. Our potential involvement in a project does not depend so much on its size, as on the project’s importance for the people it will serve.
Most projects to be built in the Developing World have limited budgets. It is therefore necessary to obtain the highest value for the money spent and to use locally-available materials and technologies in order to plan space efficiently and to arrive at economical design solutions. The need for durable, long-lasting buildings, (thus having low future maintenance costs also), is always a critical factor as well.
Economics is one of the reasons MSAADA always strives to reduce the need for fossil fuel energy in the construction and operations of the buildings we design for our clients. Many aspects of “green” or “sustainable” design, (including day lighting, natural ventilation, reduced electrical lighting levels, orientation of buildings with regard to solar gain, and energy inputs during building construction) have always been basics in designs for us. We have routinely used solar energy for heating water and for lighting, while always working to conserve water and other precious resources in our activities. The first test of the usefulness of these kinds of efforts is that they save resources of all kinds, including money in both the short- and long-term. The developing world can afford little more than what the developed world is now discovering as responsible “green” use of energy and other resources.
When advantageous, MSAADA strives to work in cooperation with local Architectural and Engineering firms. MSAADA also often assists in selecting the best Building Contractor for the project through tendering/bidding and/or contract negotiation. In some cases, it may be advisable to work directly with labor contracts, and MSAADA has such experience also.
More than 95% of the hundreds of projects MSAADA has been involved with from early planning to construction completion were done within budget. That is no small feat in the Developing World, or anywhere else for that matter!