Nick Ames meets Tristan Francis whose background in finance is vital in the role of convincing clients that sustainability makes economic sense when designing a project.
Sustainability, along with increasing the awareness of clients of their responsibility to the environment when it comes to design, is at the core of the work of Tristan Francis.. And a background in finance is one of the key factors he uses in convincing those commissioning a project that it makes monetary sense to think green.
“Where I come from in Demark sustainability is one of the most important factors in any building project,” said Francis. “Here that is not yet the case – although the government has been very good at raising the issue in the hope that it will become much more broadly accepted.
“But when it comes to awareness of the importance of sustainability I feel it still needs to be pushed.”
Francis said he brings in the issue of ecological awareness at an early stage in any concept.
“What I do is talk to the client about how sustainability makes financial sense,” he said.
“There may be a larger initial outlay – but it isn’t usually that much and the rewards come further down the line. If I can prove using my financial background that it may cost a certain amount to build in more sustainability, but in five years time the client will be saving this amount of money then they will usually accept it. This seems to be the best approach at bringing sustainability forward successfully.”
Francis’ initial interest in architecture was sparked by his two uncles in Denmark, one of whom worked as a carpenter and the other built structural foundations.
“I remember them building a summer house when I was growing up in Denmark,” he said. “They were taking into account the wind and which way it blew and how it would have an impact on the building. I had never realised so much thought went into the design and construction business and it intrigued me.
“Then when I came to live in Dubai I looked around me and saw the amazing architecture which was going up in the city. It was really inspiring to see so many cultures and influences all combining to create a new and very vital environment. It was something I knew that I wanted to be a part of.”
A native of Denmark Tristan Francis, 26, studied business and economics at the UK’s Exeter University before completing an MA in investment finance at the University of London.
He moved back to Dubai, where he went to school, and was working as a teacher when he became increasingly aware of the ambitious architectural projects which were driving the growth of the city.
While working at Pumpkin, Francis is also working towards his LEED certification to increase his ability to design current sustainable projects.