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Alaa Sabae Wants Architects to think More About Emerging BIM Technologies & Building Sustainability

In episode 27 of Think Big Podcast I chat to Alaa Sabae who is an Egyptian PMP (Project Management Professional) and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Associate architect and interior designer with five years-experience in hospitality and commercial projects internationally.

In this episode I wanted to get to know more about Alaa's experiences with her certification and her current masters studies in BIM as well as working internationally. We cover many topics including:

✨ Alaa’s international experience in Architecture and the importance of English

✨What it means to be a LEED Green Associate and her background in sustainability and design and how it has impacted her design process

✨ BIM technologies and the potential it has for making sustainable choices

✨ Learning English as an Architect and which resources you can use

You'll hear lots of vocabulary discussing sustainability, the capabilities of BIM as well as what it's like to learn English for architecture when English is your additional language.

Alaa's details:

✨ Connect with her on LinkedIn Alaa Sabae

Tara's details:

✨ Connect with me on LinkedIn Tara Cull


Extended Show Notes



United Staes Green Building Council

What is LEED Certification?

BBC Learning English

6 Minute English

BIM Building Smart Initiative Podcast

The Aussie BIM Guru


play or do?

Something Alaa talks about in the beginning of the podcast is doing yoga. I wanted to mention that we would normally use the verb do/go when we engage in activities as an individual such as yoga, surfing, swimming.

E.g I do yoga every Saturday

I go surfing on the weekend.

I went swimming last night.

However, as you'll notice in the podcast it's not the worst thing in the world because I still understood what she meant and I wanted to reinforce to you that it's okay if these things happen!

LEED Certification

What is LEED Certification?

What is LEED certification?

Owners and project teams choose LEED certification to inform, benchmark, and celebrate their sustainability goals and achievements. LEED's framework - built on decades of expertise - empowers people to choose green options that align with their project’s vision and needs.

What is a green building?

holistic approach

hiccups - a temporary or minor problem or setback.

Interoperability - the ability of computer systems or software to exchange and make use of information.

open source/open BIM - accessible for everyone for free


make the utmost effort - to do your best as it turns out - used for saying what the situation really is when something different might have happened

my experience has been a blast - an enjoyable experience

usually the other party is an international consultant - the other person / other team -

in the long run - over or after a long period of time; eventually. come in handy - turn out to be useful.

pipe dream - an unattainable or fanciful hope or scheme.

to open doors - to give special opportunities to (someone)

to give someone the heads up - if you give someone the heads up you warn them or tell them about something before it happens


Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 00:00

You're listening to think big episode 27

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 00:11

Hello big thinkers and welcome to Episode 27, deep big English for architects. I'm your host, Tara Cull, Australian language teacher, and coach, and landscape architect. And I'm bringing all these things together to help you build more outstanding communication skills. If English is your second or your third or your fourth language, and you're an architect, a landscape architect, interior designer, or a student, or you work in the built environment, then you're in the right place. To find out more about my coaching programmes, you can go to And as always, you'll find the free transcript with key vocabulary and expressions at to help you with your listening skills. I'm excited today to share a conversation I had recently with Alaa Sabae. Alaa Sabae is an Egyptian PMP and LEED Green associate architect and interior designer. With five years of experience in hospitality and commercial projects internationally. You might be wondering, what does PMP stand for? It stands for Project Management Professional, and LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 01:34

Previously, she lived in the Middle East, where she earned her IG CSE certificate, and moved to Egypt for college. As a learner of the correlation between evolving BIM technologies and sustainable approaches in the architectural design field, she's now a graduate student pursuing her master's degree in integrated engineering at Cairo University. While working as a freelance interior designer for a US firm. I was really excited to interview Alaa and I wanted to know more about her diverse architectural experience, her master studies in BIM technologies, and her understanding of sustainability, as well as working in an English environment, or in an non native English speaking country. And I'll certainly left me thinking a lot about some of the things I don't necessarily think about when it comes to considering sustainability in the design and what we should be thinking about in the design process. I start today's conversation by asking her a fun fact, that has nothing to do with architecture. But as I'm starting to find out, you'll see that everything seems to somehow be connected to architecture in one way or another. And so you'll find that out when you listen to Alaa speak. So let's get straight into the conversation and find out more about her.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 03:06

Let's start with the first question that I always ask everyone, which is fun fact about you, that has nothing to do with architecture, and I haven't asked you this yet. So it's gonna be a surprise, which is good.

Alaa Sabae 03:17

Okay, well, this one is surprising for a lot of people. But when I whenever I play (do) yoga, I play (do) it on (with) electronic music.

Alaa Sabae 03:30

Wow. Yeah, I mean,

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 03:32

So you do so you do your by listening to electronical music

Alaa Sabae 03:36

and just people cannot really get it. I mean, who ever was play yo plays yoga, they usually played on a cold music, something that relaxes them, you know, it's kind of a slow breathing meditation session, but for me, no, I like it in electronic music.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 03:53

Wow, doesn't that make you want to get up and dance or

Alaa Sabae 03:56

it does, but I mean, it doesn't really make me feel tired. And the exercise seems a bit of interesting for me, you know, it's kind of a challenge. But it is funny. It gives me this kind of energy that I need to go to go on doing it even for an hour, I won't really feel bored or tired. But when it's on really comb, Lo Fi music. No, I really get exhausted and I just don't feel the hyphen. So that's something that people just give searing me like, Are you really serious about that? But yeah.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 04:33

I'm going to tell my yoga teacher about that. I think she'll be so excited to hear that somebody likes that kind of music when they're doing their yoga. And I guess that kind of makes me think about another question. Is yoga a big part of your life?

Alaa Sabae 04:48

recently? Yes. Because I guess the more I get deep into the market, you know, like I I get promoted so I have the so much work that I have to do. In my job, and just to keep being able to give to the work, I need some time for myself. So yoga is actually part where I can actually breathe, I can turn off my mind of all the work and all deadlines, but keep chasing me throughout the week. So yeah, I mean, it, it became a really interesting and a critical part of my life that I have just to do it so I can feel healthy and I can, I can feel less stressed because also in our work, the more you work, the more hectic it gets in my mind, and I just need to breathe, you know. So I want I won't have a mental breakdown in the middle of the day.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 05:46

Yeah, it's really important to have that time for yourself, isn't it? And yoga seems to be that

Alaa Sabae 05:50

Yeah, exactly

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 05:53

Yeah, great. Alright, so we started with a fun fact that has nothing to do with architecture. As as it turns out, it kind of does, because it kind of keeps you calm, allows you to have that nice work life balance. So what I'd really like to know a little bit more about your story. So tell us where you're calling from now. And what are your interests in architecture?

Alaa Sabae 06:14

Well, I'm calling you now from Cairo in Egypt.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 06:17

Amazing. Can you see the pyramids and outside.

Alaa Sabae 06:23

Actually, yes, I mean, not the full view. But there's inside of your, I can see the pyramids.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 06:29


Alaa Sabae 06:30

And I'm an I'm an architect, I'm PMP and LEED Green associate architect. Right now, I'm working as a freelance because I'm doing my master's degree, which is related to sustainability and design management. And along with BIM, so this is one way and my experience includes working in consult.. consultant firms where I worked on hospitality projects, commercial and residential ones. So my experience has been a blast.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 07:07

Sounds like it and do you work in Egypt? Or do you work internationally? Or tell us a little bit about your projects?

Alaa Sabae 07:15

Oh, well, at first, I did work in a commercial project in Saudi Arabia. And that was kind of a really interesting first experience for me to work in something like that as a fresh graduate. And then eventually, I worked in a hospitality projects, and they were mainly in the MENA region. So somewhere in Egypt, others were in Oman, and there was another project in Senegal. So it was a very interesting experience for me to work on several different projects and different cultures and learning more about the traditions and customs so people can feel really, themselves in the places or the aesthetics that we put in the design. And then finally, I'm actually working freelance and a couple of interior design projects in the US. And they are interior based. So yeah, it is actually interesting.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 08:19

Well, you have a diverse range of projects and different focuses and I guess what I'm interested in to is Do you what language do you work in? Do you work in various languages or one language? Or how does it work?

Alaa Sabae 08:32

Um, maybe in Egypt, we have to learn English or to speak it because a lot of projects are done with um with both languages and basically the architectural market is is English based, with all the terminologies that are that are used with the software's so yeah, English is a it's a primary language when it comes to to the architecture market. And then yeah, we have to speak English or we have to use English terms in the middle of the natural conversation that comes to architecture. So it is crucial to use it

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 09:14

Yeah. And so when you're working on say projects in Saudi Arabia and Oman, are you working in English or in

Alaa Sabae 09:22

No definitely English? Because usually the the other party is an international consultant. So all the terms all the guidelines and the paperwork and the contracts everything, all the agreements, they have to be in done in English. Yeah, because this this is going to be like an easy understanding or common ground for people to negotiate or to debate whatever kind of puzzle or issue that comes up.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 09:56

Okay, so that's important English is such an important part of being able to communicate across cultures and across the team,

Alaa Sabae 10:03

so yes, I agree.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 10:06

Yeah, I'm interested in about your your certification. You said at the beginning, you were a LEED certified sustainable. Can you tell us a little bit more about what that mean? Well,

Alaa Sabae 10:17

LEED stands for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. So basically, this certificate is teaching architects and not only architects, different disciplines, I mean, once you're over 18 years old, you can actually study it. And it's accessible on the US gvcw website, which is the United States Green Building Council. So you can study the material to know more about sustainability, and how you how you as an individual, or even as a professional, can help build building be green, or healthy for the user and for the planet. And there's this whole thing that gives you different perspectives on how building can affect the water, the energy use the material resources, the environment, and the carbon dioxide and the emissions or the footprint, those that are left behind from the building. I mean, we people, we build a lot of developments in the community, but we don't really know the impact that we are leaving behind for the future generations. So this is really important, you know, and it's not just about the beautiful design of a building, but also the calculations that are hidden beneath this beautiful design or the cost that came after creating this beautiful facade for the public.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 11:37

Yeah, it sounds super important. And I imagine having that qualification or that certification, does that help you to see the design process different?

Alaa Sabae 11:47

Yeah, definitely it does. Because the moment that you start from the very beginning of the conceptual phase of a design, you just have to make sure that you're working in the right path. And in what he say of holistic approach, where people are working collaboratively, and there is this the dynamic where people are all working together, and all parties are involved in the first step, because then design procedure is going to be easy. I head on. But when people are working differently and separated like Silos, so that won't be productive. And that will never achieve success at the end of the project. Because the cost of editing and changing or modifying ..modifying the building as a construction, that is so costly. And in addition, people will never going to put a mind to design guidelines or tips that will help make a building really healthy. And people also don't understand that yeah, the upfront cost of a building can cost so much to make it healthy or to use less energy or the equipment that will be installed. But on (in) the long run, that's going to save a lot of money. And people never think of that because they only think that if they're saving in the beginning, then they're doing the smart move. But on (in) the long run, that's not true.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 13:15

Yeah. Wow. Is there a lot of information on the internet available to people about the guidelines for this type of certification?

Alaa Sabae 13:22

Yeah, it does. I mean, on YouTube, you can find so much information on YouTube. And there are so many PDFs for simple scientific papers that people can read. And they can understand. I mean, not all papers include these hard terminologies to show people that they're like kind of brainiacs, but it is possible for them to understand how the market goes, and there are so many developments for this

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 13:48

topic. Yeah, well, we'll definitely share some simplified or summaries of the of the research. I think, maybe if you could share something with me, and we can put it into the show notes, I think that would be really useful. I know some of the listeners will love it. Absolutely. Excellent. So that's your kind of your summary of what you're doing now. And I know we were going to talk about what are your thoughts for the future? So do you have any ideas about what you're wanting to pursue in the future in architecture in your career?

Alaa Sabae 14:21

Well, for starters, I mean, since I'm doing my Masters, so the more I learn, I mean, I do change my mind a lot about the topics that I want to share that

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 14:33

I think you're not alone in that so many people that I've spoken to say this they change their mind, or there's a lot of different areas that you can be passionate about

Alaa Sabae 14:42

Exactly and then with this, I mean I for one, I'm really interested in the sustainability market. And the one thing that I want to do or actually get really in depth with indulging (integrating) it with BIM technology and seeing the the potential it has to either reduce the energy or to save the costs, or even to manage it as a project. So it is very interesting yet, you know, it is I mean, a big picture of the project or of the technology. Sounds nice seems cool and interesting. But when you get really in depth about it, there's so much more to learn than just the beautiful book or the this easy example of building on the internet.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 15:33

Yeah, so you're doing your studies in BIM. And BIM is obviously not new, but it's definitely developing. And there's a lot more hype around BIM and the the positives that we can gain from using it. So I guess I'd really love to know, what are the some of the things that maybe you've learned, things that have blown your mind that you think, Well, we really need to be implementing this. If you could share a few things about what you've learned? What would you tell people?

Alaa Sabae 16:01

Oh, well, um, BIM for many architects, or some mean? Yeah, I mean, even people who didn't, who didn't really start working in the industry, BIM source is stands for Building Information Modelling, and it is not just about the Revit software that they use or the archicad that they need. Yeah, it is so much more than that. I mean, it is a vast, a vast market, about how people from all different disciplines can work on the same project at the same time. I mean, you can have one project, different software is are working on it. And no problem in the interface, everything is going smoothly. I mean, imagine a world where every person working in different industry, even in different locations, can access this project and know anything about it without any kind of hiccups. That is something that the world really needs. And this is called interoperability, where people can where people can work on the project, and they can understand the aspects, extract whatever information they need, do whatever it is they want. And for that reason, there are a lot of industries that are working, or software developers that are working towards something called Open BIM, where there is no kind of a vendor who's taking control of software, where everything is accessible for people. So it's kind of an open source. And this kind of initiative that has started for a while ago. So it can help architects do better on their project manage their projects better. And this also takes us in a different port, where programming languages also come in handy for that part, because these are building modelling like a 3d building. Modelling is just not an image of a model. But it's more, there is more to that. There is programming languages where you can extract information. And for many architects, we don't learn that because I mean, we're not software developers. But as an architect, the only person who can understand the building and translate it to this kind of language. I mean, then architects need to learn the programming languages. And it comes to this, this IFC, and IBM, so many things that they lead to learn ICS Industry Foundation class, where the building is dissected to different aspects like walls, structure, columns, beams, and all of that are then translated into zeros and ones. And a software developer, himself will never understand the building components. So there is always this medium or the architect has to have both kind of knowledge to translate that. And this is really growing very fast. I mean, with this technology of having the VR to go through the building or even architects now are are wishing that not only architects architects, structure, and profession professionals in all different MEPs they are all wishing for this kind of VR, Metaverse technology or they can stand in a virtual building walkthrough it before it's even being developed in as well as an real life building on the construction. And they can print out all kinds of errors that can be seen without using paper, you know, this kind of world architects and other disciplines involved in the engineering industry. They are really looking forward to this kind of revolution and technology.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 19:51

Wow, it sounds like an amazing, amazing space to be in and it definitely sounds like you're very passionate about it. That's for sure. I'm sure we could make an entire podcast about BIM. As a as a landscape architect, also, I've been very interested in BIM, because it's not necessarily as easy to use the software for landscape because you're, you're also dealing with time and natural elements, which aren't always easy as easy to predict as more structural elements of a building. So do you do you see there being more integration with all the different consultants and it working? Well?

Alaa Sabae 20:32

No, actually, at all.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 20:36

I was gonna say it's like, an ideal world, but I don't see.

Alaa Sabae 20:41

That's what they really aim for. But for now, no, people are just fighting til someone else find a solution for this open vision.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 20:52

Yeah, I mean, it seems like a pipe dream, something that we were trying to see happening in the future that I mean, and I was laughing when you were saying, no, no clashes, or no problems with the drawings as if that ever

Alaa Sabae 21:05

likely and then in real life, everything is full of clashes, and people are losing their minds. And the community really is horrible. And people are just know, it's really hard for them at the moment. So yeah, there is this dream where everything is going to go so smoothly, and there will be no any kind of discrepancy between the design or different disciplines on a project.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 21:29

Yeah, so it seems though, that there is a lot of room for development, and exciting room for development. So it sounds like you're in the right space.

Alaa Sabae 21:37

I hope so. Really?

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 21:40

Yeah. Would you What would you say to students who are just starting out as architects now, would you recommend making themselves more aware about BIM and the and the capabilities of BIM software? Yeah,

Alaa Sabae 21:52

definitely. Because that's, that's the future. Because, on one hand, yeah, there learn, of course, a lot of information in university, but they need to know that there are a lot of different topics that should be self studied. In, yeah, in the architecture department, or in any kind of discipline, there are so many things that architects will never, I mean, speaking, as an architect myself, there are many things that architects will never have it easy, they need to go hard and do their utmost effort, they need to, they need to know that the knowledge is accessible, but it will take time. So they have to be patient. And they have to be patient understanding the different terminologies and the different scientific areas that are inter rated with the architecture of departments. So you think has to be very ..., or there have to be passionate in the first place. Because once you're passionate, you will just have this so much potential inside of you to do whatever you want into Excel as an architect and as a professional in the industry.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 23:05

Yeah, and I mean, I was just thinking, as you were saying that there's so many diverse paths, I think you can take as an architect, and it can be overwhelming can't it as a not really knowing which path should I take? But yeah, what if you have the passion? And yeah, I also was thinking about this idea that a lot of students have had this argument, that university doesn't necessarily prepare you for life as an architect. But then, as you say, maybe there are things that you need to self study. And I guess that's the nature of the profession is that it is so diverse, and there are so many options, and you can't possibly learn all of that at University.

Alaa Sabae 23:45

Yeah, you know, and I, for one, I learned that the hard way, where I actually thought like them, I thought that university had to teach me everything I need to know. And then I was really hit with the truth when I went down in the working industry. So yeah,

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 24:01

it's a big difference, isn't it sometimes? Yeah. Well, I appreciate you sharing your experience with BIM and I hope that your masters goes well. And that out of it, you get to work in something. The Metaverse or whatever it is, that's going to keep you passionate about what you're doing. I think it's a great avenue to take. Another part of your story that I'm really interested in is the fact that you're bilingual. It's amazing, being able to speak two languages. And I think just hearing your experiences really intrigued me. What are some of the advantages for you that being bilingual brings to your profession? And how do you think it helps you to see things differently?

Alaa Sabae 24:42

Well, for starters is being on this podcast?

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 24:46

For sure, yeah. So

Alaa Sabae 24:48

So it actually opens a lot of doors for me, I mean, the potential actually having different languages gives you this potential to be exposed to different markets and had different opportunities, you know, because it actually gives the other person this kind of trust that this, this individual can communicate their ideas. And it is interesting to know that speaking different language will create this different, this common ground where you can communicate ideas, share visions, and the perspectives that have brings on the table. It is just mind blowing to know, how they, how they can be discussed and shared. And so this exposure actually gives you a bigger potential or a stronger, great in the market industry, where you can work in probably international projects. So yeah, as you have been Yeah, exactly. So, yeah.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 25:52

And have you spoken English or your life? Or what was your experience with English?

Alaa Sabae 25:56

Well, actually are from since I was a kid, I was in English school. I know I don't speak the English accent. Well,

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 26:06

I can't really tell what your accent is. Actually, I was just trying to think before, I don't know. But that's probably not a bad thing. Doesn't matter.

Alaa Sabae 26:14

Because the Egyptians are not really accustomed to the English accent, they don't really get it, they think is kind of difficult for them to grasp the kind of words you get up. So I try to speak in American English language, which will be easy for them. And I think I got you I got used to it.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 26:33

Yeah, you I think you probably lean more towards the American accent. But I think I'm so used to hearing so many different accents in English now that I can't, I find it hard sometimes to pinpoint where where the accent comes from. So what would you say then to somebody who so you've been speaking English, or pretty much all your life, you've been learning it? If somebody was, say, thinking about improving their English, say they live in Egypt, or they live somewhere and they're wanting to improve their English for having more international opportunities? What would you say to them to encourage them?

Alaa Sabae 27:09

Well, I do remember, during my GCSEs, I used to practice on the BBC. Od attractions, there is a website for the BBC, where you can actually listen to different topics, and they provide you with this transcript. So you'd know what the speaker is talking about, or whatever, new definitions that are terms that I might not know. So I go and google it so I can learn more. And also movies with English subtitles that help a lot.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 27:43

Yeah, what about in architecture? Do you tend to listen to podcasts or watch videos or anything to do with architecture? Yes, I

Alaa Sabae 27:50

do. I do. Because they're there, I ride the bus. So sometimes I really get really bored, and I want to learn. So I put on both tasks, and I listened to it. Yeah.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 28:04

Can you do you have any recommendations for good? Well,

Alaa Sabae 28:07

actually, there is one that talks about BIM and the the owner of the this book cast in the building smart initiative that is aiming for this Open BIM approach.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 28:21

Wow, okay, so we'll share that and backcast there's a there's there's actually an Australian BIM His name is the Ozzie BIM Guru, I don't know if you know his, his usual I'm going to take him out. He's name is Gavin. And we did a little speak. I did a talk with him once. Gavin is great, Gavin Crump. These the Ozzy beam guru, and he shares a lot of his ideas about I don't really know him very well. But he shares a lot of his ideas and what he uses and his workflow and things like that, it's very useful. So you'll have to watch his future video will

Alaa Sabae 28:58

do definitely.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 29:02

You might find them useful. Alright, so you would tell them to, I guess, expose themselves to as much English as possible, and perhaps what they're interested in as well. Obviously, you you're listening to to be podcast, because that's what your interests

Alaa Sabae 29:17

are. Yes. And, you know, listening to English or practising it doesn't have to be boring. You know, it doesn't have to be like study materials. Songs, sometimes help. movies and TV shows, you know, this stuff really are interesting for people to get in depth with the culture.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 29:35

Yeah, I've just been a little bit of a side note, but because I'm learning French, I'm watching Parisian agency and it's about these brothers. They're their agents in Paris, and they show people to these houses and I'm learning a lot of architectural language in French just by watching that. You're interesting. Yeah. Yeah, and it's funny as well. So trying to you know, kill too. birds with one stone by watching something that's interesting. But also related to what I'm interested I

Alaa Sabae 30:05

did watch as previous show for French and French for for agency that they were. They were helping the actors the celebrities.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 30:05

Dix Pour Cent

Alaa Sabae 30:16


Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 30:17

Yeah. Call My Agent I love. Very good. It's not so architecture related, but I guess it's it's kind of related.

Alaa Sabae 30:26

Yeah. This reminded me of her thing about the agent and French team.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 30:32

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it's very good. I do like that one. That's good one. And it's very funny. I like funny. Anything that's funny, for me just automatically helps me to be interested in staying interested.

Alaa Sabae 30:44

I couldn't agree more.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 30:47

Yeah, so being bilingual, it's an advantage. All right. I think we've I've asked you all the questions, I felt like I was going to ask you, but I do have a question that I'd like to ask you. And is it it's about? Are there any questions that you would have? liked that I asked you? That I haven't already asked you?

Alaa Sabae 31:08

Um, well, yeah. Um, how can architects help sustain the buildings, this is really one thing that people, people just don't really forget about.... people forget about it. Because this one, architects have this duty to bring beauty to the world. But they have to teach people how to maintain it. I think this is one duty we have as architects, we have to teach people how to maintain the building and how this building can live, as long as it's heard without being demolished, or without losing his failure. Because sometimes people, people really blame the professionals for not giving them the heads up, you know?

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 32:02

So how would you? How would you know how to understand how to maintain a building or to maintain a space is, is that information that we should be reading or making yourself aware of while you're doing the design? Or how do you normally do that and approach that?

Alaa Sabae 32:19

Well, for starters, people need to pretend that living in a building is not just a box that they get acquainted to, it's more of an environment, a smaller environment that they live in for a really long time in that impacts their mental health, their well being so many different things. And architects have to raise awareness, because maybe this this topic is not as viral as it should be. But people are learning more about it, since the mental health topic is having the spotlight. And then maintaining a building is not just cleaning it, but also people have to work as an integrated community. So whenever there's a problem, the architects should speak to the facility managers or the user, how to maintain and building how to fix a problem right on spot and not keep it till it get ruined, then then is the crisis is bigger, you know, all of that. All of these things are not about a manual that are that is distributed on people, but it's from lessons learned. Experience.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 33:43

Yeah, and I guess that comes through material selection and understanding about the durability of certain things, and, and also the durability of the design or the space as well. There's so many different factors that we consider

Alaa Sabae 33:59

Exactly. And with architects creating this beauty, they have to give people the level of expandable materials that are being used, and the kinds of uses that people are expecting this material to have. And this is one thing that is very limited as a topic. But it is very important because at the end of the day, when a building is gets ruined, everyone loses. And this is not really this is not kind of a future where buildings are going to get demolished and all the records are left on the side and then another kind of pollution is taking place. So maintaining a building is something interesting and something is important because eventually this is going to be a part of our history for the future generation, you know, leaving something behind a sustainable building that has this concrete base and a long living Potential instead of demolishing it because people couldn't maintain it, and not just the end user, but everyone involved from A to Z.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 35:11

Yeah, absolutely. I'm so glad you mentioned that. Actually, I think it's such an important aspect. And you're right. It's not something that is always spoken about so much. In architecture. Interestingly, as a landscape architect, this is something we think about all the time. Because when we design something with, we're working very often with plants which grow. And we have to think about the long term impact of what we're designing, because it's constantly changing over time. So it's definitely something maybe we think about, that maybe architects need to think about more so as well, and that integrated approach. So I appreciate that you mentioned that I think it's such an important aspect of sustainability. And particularly, we're going into, you know, so so many discussions about climate change, and we can see it, we can physically see what's happening now. And, you know, we need to do something about Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Okay. Well, we've we've crossed a lot of topics today, we've talked about sustainability, we've talked about BIM, we have talked about being bilingual. And we've talked about the importance of understanding how to maintain a building and and trying to incorporate that into the design. I guess my last question for you would be what, what do you want people to take away from your conversation with me today? Well,

Alaa Sabae 36:40

my experience will never match to anyone, because the experience of people that I've met in the market will never match to me and every person have this mind blowing story mind blowing experience. So nobody knows what they're doing. But we're all learning.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 37:01

I'm glad no one knows what they're doing. We're just designing your buildings.

Alaa Sabae 37:08

Pretending to be very confident about it, but just know. Well, yeah. And students should know that everyone, everyone is having their stories, everyone having their struggles and their learning curves. So never give up on your learning curve. Because the more you learn, the more doors are opening for you. And they will never be the same doors for me. But we're all learning whenever we're working together. So this is something that there is beauty in that.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 37:40

absolutely well, I couldn't have said it better myself. I think you're right, we are always learning being in this profession is like a lifelong learning process. So I appreciate that. Well, thank you Allah for the conversation, I have learned a lot. I'm going to go on do a lot of reading after our conversation, particularly about different certification. Thinking about the durability of spaces and design. I think that's you've raised some really important aspects. We talked a lot about different vocabulary. So thank you

Alaa Sabae 38:11

So thank you so much for having me.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 38:14

You are very welcome. You are welcome on the podcast. Again, maybe when you finished your masters, you can tell us all about how you're going to save the world with BIM.

Alaa Sabae 38:22

That's so good.

Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 38:26

That brings us to the end of the episode. Thanks again Alaa for your time, and sharing your experiences I had such a great time chatting to you, and finding out more about what you do and the joy that you bring to the profession. You can reach Alaa by connecting her with her on LinkedIn and I'll put those links in the show notes. And as always, thanks for listening to think big English for architects. If you enjoyed the show, make sure you subscribe for more English tips for architects and share with someone else who you think might find this episode useful. And remember, you can find the free podcast transcript and key vocabulary and useful expressions at Until next time.

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