Meeting with Olivier Betting, head of Asali Bali, one of the main companies based in Bali and specialized in bamboo construction engineering in Indonesia and abroad.
In recent years, an effort had been made by PLN, the national company which has the monopoly of distribution and sale of electricity in Indonesia, to allow the export of electricity produced by the solar panels of individuals which is not self-consumed, this is called Net Metering.
The longest axis of buildings should be oriented east-west, to provide optimal shade. The openings leading to east and west should be kept to a minimum in order to reduce heat input in the early morning and late afternoon.
Builders who reconnect with those ancestral techniques take advantage of possibilities of the climate and the immediate environment to meet the needs of renewal of air and comfort in a building. There are 2 good reasons for ventilate (health and thermal comfort), 3 ways to cool buildings (direct overventilation, delayed overventilation and air movement) and 4 technical and architectural types (through ventilation, mono-oriented, by draft thermal or assisted and controlled).
In partnership with professionals, we have developed a three-level specification to make the greenest houses possible in Bali. Our goal is not only to share all our knowledge but also to build model houses that will incorporate all the techniques and green building materials.
If there were only the aesthetic criterion and the part of dream it brings to construction, bamboo would be the first of all materials. But in addition to the fact that this plant must be treated against the sun, water and parasites with sometimes products that can harm the health of occupants and workers, bamboo creates deforestation and loss of biodiversity. Based on a durability of 40 years, the maintenance and reconstruction of an all-bamboo structure will weigh on the final ecological footprint of the building.
We are neither architect nor builder but we provide advice and a series of important criteria to respect, to build with a neutral carbon footprint
Yes, catastrophic because everyone draws from the water table to the point that the sea water has started to penetrate it. The pressure on water resources is so great that some farmers no longer have water to supply their rice fields. Water is also polluted by discharges from septic tanks and effluents from jewelry workshops. It is currently the number 1 environmental problem in Bali far ahead of plastic pollution and traffic. There is no other solution than to equip all houses, villas and hotels with gutters and tanks.
This is a real concern that can only be explained by the opaque management of the national electricity operator (PLN). Indonesia may well be the world’s third largest coal producer, but that does not explain why there is so much reluctance to develop solar photovoltaic or geothermal energy (the world’s leading deposit). This is why we are campaigning for the abolition of taxes on the import of solar panels and above all for an incentive system of NET metering up to 100% for resale.
There is a Green Building Council in Indonesia since 2009 but we haven’t seen yet any green building code for villas and hotels. However, there are baby steps in progress for the building permit which should respect a maximum land/built space and even a tax incentive to use solar panels.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. It is the quote from the anthropologist Margaret Mead that inspires this approach. We are convinced that the most conscious eco-lodges and hoteliers will change the game by leading by example and attracting more and more customers. Those who will remain on the platform and will not have wanted to get on the train will only have to report to their shareholders and explain to them why they are bankrupt.
Our foundation, through its work for the preservation of coral and now for green building, is fully involved like so many other people in Bali to preserve this little corner of paradise unique in the world.
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