On its way to teach self-sufficiency
THE MASTER plan for the Indian Institute of Technology ( iit) campus in Jodhpur, in the desert state of Rajasthan, conceptualises a compact design, focused on resource mobilisation. Envisaged as a “smart intelligent eco-campus”, the design integrates aspects of landscape and biodiversity, food, water and waste, solid waste, mobility, energy and information and communication technology. The campus is expected to become almost fully self-sufficient, meaning net-zero water, energy and waste, by the final stage of the project in 2025.
The design, influenced by traditional desert settlements, consists of several clusters of low-rise buildings, mainly two- and three-storeys, arranged compactly around narrow, east-west streets that are staggered to avoid creating long wind corridors. These clusters are contained within earthen berms, which mitigate noise, dust and heat to create a comfortable living environment in the desert. This design approach will also reduce soil erosion due to wind, and so forms part of the de-desertification strategy along with green buffer zones, green infrastructure and intelligent landscaping.
If the strategies are successful, the groundwater will gradually be recharged and its salinity will reduce. Water needs of the entire campus will eventually be met by groundwater and harvested rainwater. Until then, the municipal water supply and a large tank that stores rainwater will meet its water requirement.
To encourage a low water lifestyle, the iit campus has installed efficient water fixtures and systems to recycle water and treat sewage. Sewage and all organic wastes will be sent to an on-site bio-methanol plant that produces biogas for cooking, fertiliser and compost for farming, and recycled water for irrigation, the hvac (heating, ventilating and air-conditioning) system and flushing. Much of the site will be dedicated to organic farming in the campus to supplement the food requirement.
Car use on the campus will be restricted, and cycling and walking encouraged. Connectivity between areas not within comfortable walking distance will be achieved with electric buses and rickshaws. All service vehicles will be electric. The campus will generate its own electricity from a large 15 MW solar farm and from roof mounted solar panels, and feed the excess electricity into the grid.
SHIFT ARCHITECTS LOCATION Jodhpur, Rajasthan COST Not available INNOVATION The institute campus aims to become almost fully sufficient in water, energy and waste. It follows the design of traditional desert settlements, where each cluster of buildings is contained within earthen berms, creating a comfortable living environment in the desert