For Ru­ral Up­lift­ment

The de­sign of the Academy of So­cial En­trepreneur­ship in Kaliyanoor, Tamil Nadu, by Green Evo­lu­tion Ar­chi­tec­ture com­plies with IGBC New Green Build­ing rat­ing stan­dards

MGS Architecture - - Greening India -

The de­sign was de­vel­oped for Hand in Hand In­dia, an NGO work­ing for ru­ral de­vel­op­ment and up­lift­ment of women. The client’s brief for the cam­pus in­cluded an eco-friendly set­ting for of­fer­ing cour­ses to pro­mote so­cial en­trepreneur­ship.

The cam­pus in­cludes the main train­ing cen­tre which con­sists of train­ing halls, li­brary, a mini au­di­to­rium, staff lounges and ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices; a din­ing hall and cen­tral kitchen; and a cen­tral green space that houses a small tem­ple, open air theatre and a rain water har­vest­ing pond.

The 1.5 acre site is very lin­ear and first in­ten­tion was to en­sure a con­tin­u­ous line of sight all the way from the front to the back of the prop­erty. Ad­e­quate ven­ti­la­tion was en­sured by open­ing up the build­ings from the south (pre­vail­ing wind di­rec­tion) to the north, thereby cre­at­ing a breeze­way through the build­ings. A cen­tral court­yard forms a key de­sign fea­ture of the train­ing cen­tre that fosters so­cial in­ter­ac­tion while fa­cil­i­tat­ing the ex­haust of warm air from in­te­rior spa­ces. The court­yard,

land­scaped yards and bal­conies en­cour­age phys­i­cal and vis­ual ac­cess to the out­doors at all times.

The main train­ing cen­tre is a cir­cu­lar form cut out in the cen­tre and split across the di­am­e­ter, form­ing an ef­fi­cient solid-void re­la­tion­ship, thus cre­at­ing in­doorout­door spa­ces for an in­ter­est­ing learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. The ra­dial shape for all train­ing halls is ideal for learn­ing max­i­miz­ing vis­i­bil­ity and en­cour­ag­ing seat­ing ar­range­ment for group in­ter­ac­tion.

The client logo, cut out in stone and il­lu­mi­nated from be­hind, forms an in­ter­est­ing landscape fea­ture and cre­ates the build­ing’s iden­tity. Hand-made card de­signs from the ru­ral de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives were cho­sen and cus­tom­ized in tiles used for façade cladding. This is yet an­other fea­ture that adds to the iden­tity of the build­ing.

The academy has been de­signed to be en­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able right from con­cept to ex­e­cu­tion. Some of the key sus­tain­able fea­tures in­clude: • Build­ing shape, ori­en­ta­tion and plan­ning for ad­e­quate

nat­u­ral light and ven­ti­la­tion. • In­su­lat­ing build­ing ma­te­ri­als for ex­te­rior walls and roof to min­i­mize heat ingress in the warm hu­mid cli­mate of Kaliyanoor. • Un-plas­tered ex­te­rior walls to save on plas­ter­ing

ma­te­rial and cost. • Avoid­ance of RCC lin­tels by use of brick arches. • Use of ce­ment floor­ing in train­ing rooms to avoid un­nec­es­sary use of ad­di­tional floor­ing ma­te­rial and to avoid cut­ting of tiles for use in the cir­cu­lar build­ing form. • Low VOC paints to en­sure a healthy in­door

en­vi­ron­ment. • San­i­tary fix­tures that are water-ef­fi­cient. • Ef­fi­cient air con­di­tion­ing and light­ing sys­tems. • Nat­u­ral waste water treat­ment sys­tem. • Or­ganic com­post­ing yard.

Ar. Anu­pama Mo­han­ram, Chief

Ar­chi­tect, is pas­sion­ate about en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity. Her firm Green Evo­lu­tion spe­cial­izes in de­sign, con­struc­tion and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of Green Build­ings, and its aim is to com­bine lo­cal ver­nac­u­lar build­ing de­sign as­pects with con­tem­po­rary green build­ing tech­nol­ogy to craft sus­tain­able build­ings which are rel­e­vant to the place and time.

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