Green­ing In­dia

Ar­chi­tects share al­ter­na­tive tech­nolo­gies, age-old tra­di­tional build­ing prac­tices of In­dia, and lo­cally avail­able so­lu­tions for con­tem­po­rary build­ings

MGS Architecture - - Contents -

Ar. Sun­deep Gwash, The Firm

I look at Green ar­chi­tec­ture as a sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity that we all need to share. In our ca­pac­ity as plan­ners and de­sign­ers, we have the op­por­tu­nity to make a dif­fer­ence to the world around us; we only need to ac­cept it as we think, draw and write! De­sign aims to cre­ate ar­chi­tec­ture that is beau­ti­ful, how­ever, what the planet needs at present is an ar­chi­tec­ture that is vir­tu­ous and im­par­tially beau­ti­ful. Vir­tu­ous ar­chi­tec­ture is es­sen­tially borne out of strong be­liefs, eter­nal op­ti­mism and en­dur­ing en­thu­si­asm of the de­sign­ers and pa­trons alike.

There is an in­flux of new tech­nol­ogy in the build­ing sec­tor, yet what is missed is a re­source por­tal of knowl­edge re­lated to per­for­mance of new tech­nol­ogy, which must stand the test of time or a pro­to­type. The un­bi­ased post­com­mis­sion­ing per­for­mance re­views if made avail­able on a com­mon plat­form, could be a boon for the fra­ter­nity. Not only would this boost adop­tion of new in­no­va­tions for more

projects, but would also lead to mak­ing im­pro­vi­sa­tions in ex­ist­ing projects. Pro­vided that, the ground re­al­ity stands the chance to come closer to what is pro­jected in the spread­sheets dur­ing pre­sen­ta­tions. Eas­ier said than done as avail­abil­ity of such data is the pre­lim­i­nary chal­lenge. So far, such a re­source is sub­ject to re­al­iza­tion.

Pos­i­tively speak­ing, there is a lot of aware­ness amongst pro­fes­sion­als and se­lect pa­trons about the agen­das for en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion. It would be a stu­pen­dous change if all stake­hold­ers walk an ex­tra mile be­yond busi­ness; In­dia would not look back if that should hap­pen.

Ar. Prashant Chauhan, Zero9

Sus­tain­able build­ings, more so ap­pro­pri­ate and cli­mate re­spon­sive build­ings, are the need of the hour. Our build­ings have be­come en­ergy con­sum­ing ma­chiner­ies and we have to change this ap­proach to make more breath­able and alive built forms. The big­gest chal­lenge in this sce­nario stays the idea of com­pet­ing with the West and con­stantly try­ing to ape the glam­our it of­fers. Green ar­chi­tec­ture is the heart and soul of all ar­chi­tec­tural de­sign for a bet­ter world. His­tor­i­cally, eco-friendly struc­tures and sys­tems for rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing, water stor­age, step wells at tem­ples which served as pas­sive cool­ing sys­tems, jaali wall de­signs for win­dows and bal­conies as seen in our fa­mous Ra­jasthan palaces, Gu­jarat havelis, and Chet­ti­nad houses, have been a part of the In­dian cul­ture and ar­chi­tec­ture.

Mod­erni­sa­tion has en­riched tra­di­tional con­cepts, which cou­pled with new tech­nolo­gies are en­hanc­ing build­ing per­for­mance with bet­ter re­source man­age­ment and sav­ing. The green build­ing con­cept was just an idea that came into be­ing in In­dia only dur­ing early 2000. When the In­dian Green Build­ing Coun­cil was formed, it was a con­scious ef­fort by the coun­cil body to en­rich the build­ing sec­tor and mar­ket. To­day, projects reg­is­tered un­der IGBC num­ber around 3,976 with a foot­print of over 4.5 bil­lion sqft. There is tremen­dous po­ten­tial for fur­ther growth in the green build­ing sec­tor be­cause avail­abil­ity of green build­ing prod­ucts is much eas­ier as com­pared to 10 years ago. In 2016, In­dia was ranked third among the top 10 coun­tries by the US Green Build­ing Coun­cil for LEED.

When we an­a­lyse the chal­lenges that have been faced for a green build­ing project, the first point raised is al­ways the sep­a­rate bud­get al­lo­ca­tion for CAPEX and OPEX. Many a times the sus­tain­able build­ing fea­tures are in­cor­po­rated into a build­ing de­sign only af­ter the schematic de­sign has been com­pleted. This is in­vari­ably lead­ing to an in­cre­men­tal cost to the owner’s CAPEX. This sit­u­a­tion calls for the In­te­gra­tive De­sign Ap­proach, where es­tab­lish­ment of many goals in the be­gin­ning of the project can help the owner re­duce any ad­di­tional in­vest­ments. Sim­i­larly, OPEX bud­get­ing is crit­i­cal er to have fruit­ful oper­a­tions dur­ing the life of the build­ing.

Se­condly, the in­fras­truc­ture sup­port from the gov­ern­ing body to have ca­pa­bil­i­ties to match the green build­ing com­mu­ni­ties in terms of tech­nol­ogy and com­mu­ni­ca­tions is crit­i­cal. Aware­ness and ed­u­ca­tion are in some re­spects lack­ing in our cul­ture, there­fore, a change in mind­set is nec­es­sary for the coming gen­er­a­tions to pro­tect our mother earth and pro­vide a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment.

M Sel­varasu, Di­rec­tor, LEED Fel­low 2015 & Fac­ulty USGBC

Ar. Sabeena Khanna, Found­ing Prin­ci­pal, Stu­dio KIA

Even tra­di­tional ar­chi­tec­ture in­cludes cli­mate re­cep­tive and cli­mate re­spon­sive de­signs with the use of lo­cal and sus­tain­able build­ing ma­te­ri­als, water har­vest­ing, nat­u­ral cool­ing sys­tems, sun ori­en­ta­tion, etc, all are rel­e­vant even to­day. Mod­ern ar­chi­tec­ture needs to re­spect and in­cor­po­rate th­ese learn­ings as a pow­er­ful tool to cre­ate more mean­ing­ful and im­proved build­ings of the fu­ture. The reser­voir of knowl­edge passed down through gen­er­a­tions can be a boon in en­ergy con­ser­va­tion, if im­ple­mented dili­gently. Ar­chi­tec­tural el­e­ments like court­yards, clus­ters, wind tow­ers, roof ter­races and jaalis (stone lat­tices), among oth­ers, are used for ef­fec­tive cli­mate con­trol in this part of the world and have be­come so­cial and cul­tural el­e­ments. The chal­lenge is to rec­on­cile th­ese an­cient meth­ods with mod­ern tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions.

We are also un­der­go­ing a ram­pant change as tech­nol­ogy has im­pacted sev­eral as­pects of ar­chi­tec­ture and the wider field. Chal­lenges are also aris­ing due to ex­treme ur­ban­i­sa­tion, re­duced nat­u­ral re­sources and cli­mate changes. With each project, the ar­chi­tect has to keep in mind th­ese global chal­lenges and care­fully tread the path of sus­tain­abil­ity, al­ter­na­tive tech­nolo­gies and eco-friendly so­lu­tions.

Yatin Pandya Foot­prints E.A.R.T.H.

Pol houses (hous­ing clus­ter) of the tra­di­tional quar­ters re­main the clas­sic model in pas­sive cool­ing strate­gies. The ty­pol­ogy re­mains in use since over five cen­turies and needs no air con­di­tioner for en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment even to­day. Can we not learn the prin­ci­ples of th­ese time-tested ar­chi­tec­ture and ap­ply them in a con­tem­po­rary way, to­day?

Deep nar­row court­yard houses split on three floors pro­vide re­duced ex­po­sure to ex­ter­nal con­di­tions and make ef­fec­tive use of the land re­sources to achieve up to 2.7 FSI. With com­pact built form, more units get con­nected within short travel dis­tances and ser­vice lengths. The in­ter­nal court­yard mod­u­lates the sun­light while com­bat­ing glare and fil­ter­ing light, and ven­ti­lates the in­ter­nal spa­ces.

An un­der­ground water cis­tern har­vests rain­wa­ter from rooftops to meet the en­tire year’s drink­ing water needs. Win­dows re­solved as three-part com­bi­na­tion pro­vide for light, view and ven­ti­la­tion. Top hung part over lin­tel acts as ven­ti­la­tor for evac­u­at­ing hot air, mid­dle open­able shut­ter pro­vides view and com­mu­ni­ca­tion, while the floor level open­ing is an in­let for cool air.

The up­per floors project out­wardly to pro­vide for over­hangs and shel­ter wall sur­faces from so­lar ra­di­a­tion. Even closely packed units cre­ate mu­tual shad­ing con­di­tions. Ac­tiv­i­ties split over floors give shel­tered en­vi­ron­ment in lower floors for day­time use while es­cape night ra­di­a­tion in up­per sleep­ing ar­eas at night. Even swings pro­vide evap­o­ra­tive cool­ing of body per­spi­ra­tion.

Ar. Anu­pama Mo­han­ram

Ar. Prashant Chauhan

Ar. Sabeena Khanna

Ar. Sun­deep Gwash

Ar. Ni­lan­jan Bhowal

Ar. Nimish Pa­tel

Ar. Parul Zaveri

M Sel­varasu

Prof. K. Jaisim

Ar. Himanshu Pa­tel

Ar. Yatin Pandya

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