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Whereas most ar­chi­tects see sus­tain­abil­ity as one of the ap­proaches to ar­chi­tec­ture, co-founder of Goa-based Mozaic De­sign, Dean D’Cruz says that it is the only ap­proach “con­sid­er­ing the sui­ci­dal way the world is g oing in terms of con­sump­tion.” He lays em­pha­sis on the greater pur­pose of con­ser­va­tion ar­chi­tec­ture, as other than just re­call­ing his­tory, “it is about re­cy­cling build­ings and re­duc­ing our foot­print.”

Prop­a­gat­ing sus­tain­able ar­chi­tec­ture since the be­gin­ning and us­ing low-cost ma­te­ri­als al­ways, ma­sonry, ac­cord­ing to him is a method that lasts for cen­turies, even in roof­ing sys­tems as this en­sures that the rain does not seep into or erode the build­ing. For in­stance, D’Cruz em­ployed sus­tain­able tech­niques even 20 years ago when he worked on a her­itage bou­tique ho­tel, Ni­laya Her­mitage in Goa. Con­structed on top of a hill, it is made out of stone ex­ca­vated from the pool and uses co­conut wood for roofs, doors and win­dows. The light frames were cre­ated out of waste steel.

D’Cruz draws in­spi­ra­tion from the In­dian his­tory and preaches that we get ideas from our past to cre­ate ap­pro­pri­ate ar­chi­tec­ture. “The key is just to be sen­si­ble and sen­si­tive in choice,” he says.

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