Aga Khan Academy Dhaka Recognised for Commitment to Building Green | Aga Khan Academies

Aga Khan Academy Dhaka Recognised for Commitment to Building Green

03 May 2022

Mitigating climate change and developing a more environmentally sustainable future is one of the key aims of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and the various agencies within it. This includes – but is not limited to – collaborating with local communities on recycling projects, planting trees with local governments and schools, conserving and protecting marine life, and designing and constructing buildings for its institutions that reduce carbon emissions. An example of the latter can be seen with the award-winning campus of the Aga Khan Academy (AKA) Dhaka in Bangladesh, which recently received the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) certification, making it the first project in Bangladesh to receive this certification. 

This highly acclaimed certification not only acknowledges the Academy’s campus as a leading sustainability benchmark in Bangladesh, but it will also act as a catalyst for future projects in the country to develop more eco-friendly buildings.  

“Our commitment to designing and building in response to the climate crisis has never been as important as it is today,” said AKA Global Head of Design Moyez Alwani. “Our hope is that through excellence in environmental design, the projects of the Aga Khan Academies will offer future leaders of tomorrow clear signs that their future can and should be better connected to the realities of our environment and our collective responsibility to it.” 

EDGE is a platform of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which aims to mainstream green buildings to mitigate the effects of climate change. According to the IFC, the EDGE label is awarded to outstanding buildings that demonstrate resource efficiency of 20-40% in energy, water and embodied energy materials when compared to other local benchmarks.

To offset carbon loads, the Academy in Dhaka employs several assorted best practices that involve various aspects of the campus. The buildings on campus are strategically oriented around a central maidan, creating a cool microclimate in the area’s hot and humid environment. A series of courtyards and breezeways are aligned with prevailing wind directions to allow for the passage of air through the buildings to cool them and reduce the use of energy for user comfort. Each façade is carefully designed with added depth and solar shading devices to avoid overheating. This is all supplemented by ceiling fans, air conditioning and low energy LED light fittings which add to the limited usage of electric power.

Investments in infrastructure for improved water stewardship are in place at the campus, with strategically planned landscaping as well. Recycled water is used for landscape irrigation, with rainwater also collected to replenish the city’s underground aquifer. In addition, trees and hanging gardens across the campus not only provide shade and comfort but they also contribute to the reduction of pollution and production of cleaner air. 

This certification for the Academy in Dhaka is just one of the many steps the Aga Khan Academies is taking towards tackling climate change. For the future, the Academies also aim to develop zero carbon projects, such as the Academy in Lisbon, Portugal – still in the design stages – which will be the first of its kind in Portugal, paving the way for a greener and sustainable future.

Click here to view the Academy's EDGE certification. And to see our monthly construction updates for AKA Dhaka, please check out and follow our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube pages.