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Sarmad Al-Mashta to Present Innovative Solutions for Emergency Housing at Architectural Festivals

Vancouver A49 Principal Architect Sarmad Al-Mashta alongside Aline Bennette, Senior Manager, Climate Risk and Resilience from WSP are set to present their innovative solutions for using urban real estate as emergency housing in the wake of climate change at two upcoming architectural conferences: The Alberta Association of Architects Rebuild and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) Festival.

Born in Baghdad, Iraq, and educated before starting his career in Jordan, Sarmad has over 28 years of experience in the field of architecture. After spending two decades working in Montreal, he now resides in Vancouver, where he continues to push the boundaries of architectural design. Known for his ability to seamlessly blend aesthetics with functionality and sustainability, Sarmad has become a notable figure in the industry, especially recognized for his proficiency in both design and digital project delivery.

This year's focus on the climate crisis is particularly relevant, as 2024 is predicted to be one of the hottest years on record, according to the World Economic Forum. With increasing instances of extreme weather events like heatwaves, wildfires, and floods leading to unprecedented emergency evacuations, the seminar will address crucial adaptations required for urban spaces.

During the presentations, Sarmad and Aline will explore how third spaces—non-traditional areas not originally designed for habitation, such as office towers and shopping malls—can be adapted to serve as emergency housing. The discussions will extend to how these spaces can also support broader disaster response efforts by serving as emergency command centres, and logistics hubs for food and medical supplies.

The seminar aims to equip attendees with the tools to assess the risks associated with future climate events and define the necessary adaptations for buildings to meet the demands of increased emergency evacuations. Attendees will also participate in facilitated discussions to identify opportunities for municipalities and commercial real estate entities to collaborate in preparing urban infrastructure to better handle climate-related emergencies.

By reimagining urban real estate as multifunctional hubs capable of addressing emergency housing needs and supporting disaster response efforts, the insights from Sarmad and Aline have the potential to reshape the way cities prepare for and respond to climate-related challenges.

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