“Actions must be made to increase the importance of environmental values” Solongo Bayar on sustainable architecture

In July we visited Solar Decathlon 2019 in Szentendre, an exhibition on sustainable architecture in practice. This was a lovely opportunity to chat to Solongo Bayar, our colleague with Mongolian roots, on similarities and differences between the ways we see the same topic, also, to share her unique knowledge on architecture and design.

Solongo, how do you see sustainability and eco-consciousness in your home, Mongolia?

Mongolia is home to one of the world’s last surviving nomadic cultures, and these nomads still live in traditional ways of housing – ghers. However, Mongolians are increasingly abandoning the traditional nomadic way of life and moving into urban areas.. Consequently, Mongolia faces a number of serious environmental problems including severe air pollution in Ulaanbaatar, mismanagement of water supplies and water pollution, land degradation and desertification. It is important that Mongolia takes the necessary steps to solving these environmental issues as part of its economic development.

  1. What differences do you see in the Hungarian and Mongolian attitude towards this topic?

The Mongolian climate consists of long cold winters, short summers and low annual precipitation. Temperatures can fall to -40°C in winter and reach 40°C in summer. Recent increases in urban migration are partly due to poor weather conditions. However many of these migrants cannot afford to live in apartments or houses, and remain in “semi-nomadic” conditions and live in traditional “gers” (ger = yurt. The traditional housing in Mongolia) on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. These dwellings are not connected to utilities such as water and heating, and many residents use pit latrines.

Now I am studing Master of architecture. Studying here made me realize that  actions must be made to increase the importance of environmental values in both countries of Mongolia and Hungary and environmental  knowledge  must  be  strengthening. More comprehensive environmental education programs and PR campaigns are required to increase the  knowledge  base  of  customers.  The  more people  know  about  the  most  important environmental  issues,  the  more  probable  that  their behaviour  will  be  more environmentally conscious.  Events like Solar Decathlon are essential in rising eco-awareness through an international competition that challenges university teams to design and build houses powered exclusively by the renewable energy sources and promotes of architectural solutions related to solar energy, renewable energies and innovative technologies.

Which was the most interesting solution you saw at Solar Decathlon?

Solar Decathlon was a new experience for me. I am very happy that I got a chance to see this worldwide sustainable buildings in this competition. It was really inspiring me to see each houses have their own different ideas and innovative solutions. I have found the most interesting was the house that proved that the building can be constructed by using eco-friendly materials from natural and recycled materials and also can be recycled.

  1. Is there anything you saw there that you wish to include in your future creative work?

There was so many ideas and solutions that most buildings can use in their future projects. For me, I have noticed that although all houses have their own unique system and design, all of it have the same idea of simplicity and nature friendly designed interiors using eco materials. So in my future projects I would like to develop works by using more natural materials and more greenery design by applying more plants and trees. I would definitely go after PCM Green wall system that allowing people to enjoy nature and also functions as an air precooling.