On its way to teach self-suf­fi­ciency

Down to Earth - - LIFESTYLE -

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

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