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M A R C H 2 0 1 4 ` 175

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ARCHITECTURE DESIGN
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SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY
VOLUME 31

ISSUE 3

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Customized Modular Kitchens


From Germany
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BENGALURU
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KOCHI
9895058285

E-mail: info@hacker-kitchens.com
Website: www.haecker-india.com / www.haecker-kuechen.com

COIMBATORE
9500210555

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AT FIRST WE WERE IN A KIBBUTZ.


THEN IN AN ASHRAM.
THEN IN A SILENT CONVENT.
NOW WE ARE AT PEACE WITH OURSELVES.

IN THE END ONLY HULSTA WILL DO.


Exclusive Showrooms in India :

DELHI
9311113007

MUMBAI
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HYDERABAD
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BENGALURU
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E-mail: info@hulsta-india.com / Website: www.huelsta.com

CHENNAI
9442081111

VOL XXXI
A

NO 3

MARCH 2014

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
SUNEET PAUL

SENIOR EDITORIAL ASSOCIATE


NIJITA NANDAN KADAM
ARCHITECTURAL ASSISTANT
ASHNA PURI
SENIOR SUB EDITOR
POTSHANGBAM JULY

SECRETARIAL CO-ORDINATOR
PRITI SHRIVASTAVA
CREATIVE DIRECTOR
BIPIN KUMAR
SENIOR VISUALIZER
JOHN ROY

MARKETING:
BENGALURU: JOY TALAPATRA
Tel: 080-22219578; Fax: 080-22243428
CHENNAI: D KARTHIK
Tel: 044-28141816, 044-28140159
KOLKATA: SUJIT BOSE
Tel: 033-22874298, 033-22805323

MUMBAI: PRAKASH ANJALEKAR


Tel: 022-26053702/6; Fax: 022-26053710
NEW DELHI: SONALI ROY (GM)
GANESH DIXIT (Manager - Ad Sales)
NEERAJ RAWAT (Manager - Marketing)
Tel: 0124-4759691; Fax: 0124-4759550

50

80

PRODUCTION
SUNIL DUBEY (DGM)
RITESH ROY (Sr. Manager)
DEVENDER PANDEY (Manager)
PRE-PRESS EXECUTIVE
BRIJESH KUMAR JUYAL

MANAGER SCHEDULING
C P SREEDHARAN

PRODUCT SALES & CONSUMER SERVICES


VIPUL JAIN (Head Retail)
ASHISH SAWHNEY (Manager Subscription)
REGIONAL MANAGERS
SATHYA NARAYANA T S (South)
SOMNATH PRAMANIK (East)
SUBASH MISHRA (West)
MANAGER HR
SONYA CAROLINE SHAH

EDITORIAL AND ADVERTISING OFFICE


Media Transasia India Pvt. Ltd.
Plot No. 323, Udyog Vihar, Phase-4,
Gurgaon-122016, Haryana.
Ph: 0124-4759500; Fax: 0124-4759550.
E-mail: Editorial: aplusd@mtil.biz, paul@mtil.biz

FOR SUBSCRIPTION
Call: Gurgaon: 0124-4759616/17
Mobile: 09899414369, Fax: 0124-4759550
Mumbai: 022-42467777, Fax: 022-26503710
Bengaluru: 080-22219578, Fax: 080-22243428
Chennai: Telefax: 044-28141816
Kolkata: Telefax: 033-22874298
Email: circulation@mtil.biz
Web: www.mediatransasiaindia.com

MEDIA TRANSASIA GROUP


CHAIRMAN
J S UBEROI

PRESIDENT
XAVIER COLLACO
DIRECTOR
AMRITA SHAHRA

CEO
PIYUSH SHARMA

FINANCIAL CONTROLLER
PUNEET NANDA
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY Xavier Collaco on behalf of Media
Transasia India Pvt. Ltd., having registered office at 323, Udyog Vihar,
Phase IV, Gurgaon 122016 and printed at Aegean Offset Printers,
220B, Udyog Kendra - 1, Greater Noida (UP)-201306.
Editor: Suneet Paul. Opinions expressed in the articles are of the
authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or
publishers. Material published in this magazine may be reproduced
only with written permission from the editors. Every effort will be
made to return submitted material if accompanied by a stamped,
addressed envelope, but the editors and publishers are not
responsible for loss or damage. While the editors do their utmost to
verify information published they do not accept responsibility for its
absolute accuracy.

07

ABOUT THE ISSUE

08

REFLECTIONS

10

UPDATES

16

AWARDS ANNOUNCEMENT

38

SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY
22

The Critical Practice of Sustainability


Himanshu Burte

26

Aesthetics of Simplicity
Madhu Industries Ltd, Ahmedabad

74

Environmentally Sensitive Practice


Chitra Vishwanath

80

Innovative Traditional Systems


Hunnarshala Foundation Campus, Bhuj
A Case Study
Sandeep Virmani

88

Sinuous Structure
Martin Luther Church Hainburg, Austria

Kakani Associates, Ahmedabad


34

Sustainable Architecture in
The Developing World
Ashok Lall

38

Green Eye
My Eye Hospital, Nuvem, Goa

Vikram Varma & Associates, New Delhi


46

Sufficiency Concept in Architecture


Sanjay Prakash

50

A Holistic Approach
Campus for Agilent Technologies at IMT
Manesar, Gurgaon
SHiFt (earlier Sanjay Prakash & Associates),
New Delhi

PROJECT FEATURE

COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, Wolf D Prix /


W Dreibholz & Partner ZT GmbH,
Vienna, Austria

RESIDENCE DESIGN
96

60

Sustainability Beyond Buildings


Dr Vinod Gupta and Mohan Rao

Low Carbon Footprint HomesFuturistic Homes


Shreya Dalwadi

68

Minimalist Approach
102
Studio Building of Shankar Narayan Architects,
Secunderabad
Shankar Narayan Architects, Secunderabad

Urban Sustainability
Residence Design, Mogri
HARMONY Planning Services Pvt Ltd,
Vadodara, Gujarat

about the issue


M A R C H 2 0 1 4 ` 175

ARCHITECTURE+ DESIGN
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SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY
VOLUME 31

ISSUE 3

Residence Design, Mogri


(Architects: HARMONY
Planning Services Pvt Ltd,
Vadodara, Gujarat)
All drawings and visuals for the
projects and articles, unless
mentioned otherwise, are
courtesy the architects/authors.

A N

I N D I A N

J O U R N A L

O F

A R C H I T E C T U R E

hat Green architecture represents and how to make our buildings sustainable
has been keenly debated over the years throughout the globe. Different
agencies as we know have brought out various rating mechanisms based on
identified parameters to ascertain the greenness of a building. From being just individual
efforts, this process has now got a wider base and has also been institutionalised. A few
months back during a conversation with a fellow colleague in the profession, I came to
know about an association of focussed architects who had been very intensely debating
these issues. They had formulated a group named Gubbi and kept their practices inspired
through the exchange of shared ideas which got translated in their architecture. They
believe that we need to develop an approach to sustainability that is consistent, anchored
to human and ecological survival, plural and critical. Independence, innovation, openness
and sharing are among the core values that matter most to us. A section of the magazine
brings you across their views and approach to sustainable development in architecture.
In a world today where there is a serious concern towards energy conservation and in a
developing country such as India with an ever increasing urban population, it then
becomes all the more relevant to continue exploring and promoting innovative alternatives
in architecture to curtail energy consumption. It is here that design has to react to the
context. We also carry a few projects of theirs which incorporate design solutions as
envisaged by them. These projects bring to the fore the necessity of selection of
appropriate materials and utility of construction technologies that are eco-sensitive. A few
of them also exemplify how these methodologies can be incorporated in large
contemporary institutional projects. There are others which bring forth the significance of
traditional construction and craft to achieve the end goal. They bring us closer to
aesthetics of simplicity and minimalism. The architectural vocabulary that they incorporate
is attuned to a holistic dimension related to ecology and the basics.It responds to culture,
context and local traditions.
We welcome you to join this debate as to further explore venues to reduce emission
levels and forge a sustaining non-destructive link between man-made structures and
nature for a cleaner habitat.
PS: We appreciate the efforts of architects Vinod Gupta and Himanshu Burte to coordinate
the section on Social Sustainability

of
the

Month

The newly lit Gateway of India, Mumbai

A modern building should derive its architectural significance solely from the vigour and consequence of
its own organic proportions. It must be true to itself, logically transparent, and virginal of lies or trivialities...

Walter Gropius

Courtesy: MTDC/Philips India

Image

Reflections

Photo Credit: Sumedh Prasad and Orproject

Vana
Vana is the prototype for a large scale canopy construction that has
been developed as an iso-surface around an anastomotic network diagram, as the
cortex around the venation system. In a continuous transformation, nature
merges into architecture, columns merge into the sky and solid merges into
the ephemeral. Designed by New Delhi based architectural firm Orproject, the
installation appears to grow like branches of a tree blending into a
continuous canopy that floats above the visitor. It was designed for the
India Design Forum and is on display at The Brick House,
Project Jan-Path, New Delhi.

Project Architects: Rajat Sodhi, Christoph Klemmt; Project Team: Sambit Samant, Manu Sharma

M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

Updates
Competitions

he International Garden Festival has


announced the names of the
designers selected by the jury for the
15th edition. The festival will be held
from June 28 to September 28, 2014, at
the Reford Gardens, Qubec.
The jury panel of the current edition

were Ccile Combelle, architect with


Atelier Barda and designer of the Sacr
potager garden for the 2013 edition of the
Festival; Vincent Lemay, landscape
architect; Matei Paquin, project
development director of Moment Factory;
Ann Webb, past executive director and
publisher, Canadian Art Foundation and
Alexander Reford, director of Jardins de
Mtis/Reford Gardens and the
International Garden Festival. The six new
projects that have been selected will be
featured at the 2014 edition. The
designers of these projecs are from
Canada, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland

aint-Gobain Glass India recently announced the National


Winners of Transparence 2013 at the Grand Finale in
Hyderabad during the annual 56th NASA (National Association of
Students of Architecture) 2014 convention.
Judged by an eminent jury comprising Ar Ranjit Sabikhi, Ar
Shahab Ghani Khan and Ar Mustapha Khalid Palash, the
competition saw Academy of Architecture, Mumbai, emerged as
the winners. The National Runner up 1 was from IIT-Kharagpur
and SPA Vijayawada stood third and COMSATS University
Islamabad won the rest of SAARC countries edition of
Transparence. Saint-Gobain also gave away scholarship to three
students to pursue activities in the field of architecture ranging
from projects on reusing urban waste to modular shelters for
street children.
Speaking on the occasion, R Subramanian, managing director,

and the United States. The competition


attracted 293 proposals for contemporary
gardens submitted by over 700 architects,
landscape architects, designers and artists
from 35 countries.
The International Garden Festival is
presented with financial assistance from
many public and private partners and each
year the festival exhibits conceptual
gardens created by more than sixty
architects, landscape architects and
designers from various disciplines in a
natural environment.
To know more, visit:
www.refordgardens.com/english

Saint-Gobain Glass India Ltd, said, Transparence is Saint-Gobains


innovative response to the changing times the use of glass as a
sustainable material for design is testimony to this. Transparence
has always aimed to inspire and motivate the student community
to showcase their talent and Transparence 2013 this year, has
been a resounding success.
Transparence, an annual design competition for students of
architecture and interior design, is a unique initiative by SaintGobain Glass to integrate the student community, architects and
the industry. The event is supported by Ms Gita Balakrishnan run
'Ethos'. The competition originally being held for Indian students
since 2005 was made open for the SAARC nations to participate
since 2013.
For more details, visit: www.transparence.in or
http://in.saint-gobain-glass.com

Exhibition

ew London Architecture (NLA) Londons centre for the built


environment is all set to explore the rapidly changing skyline
of London through an exhibition titled Londons Growing Up!
in April. Through the use of images, videos, models, CGIs and
visitor interactions, the exhibition will present a past, present and
future view of Londons skyline as the developers focus on building
upwards rather than outwards. There are over 200 towers, each
more than 20-storey, currently planned in London and around 150
of them are residential blocks. The exhibition will offer an
exploration into this highly debated subject.
The exhibition will also explore the significant growth in highrise residential development. The growing trend of luxury towers is
currently providing the majority of new developments in the
capital. Areas such as Nine Elms, Waterloo and White City will be
explored, looking at why these new areas are attracting high-rise

10

M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

development and how luxury


and affordable residences can
coincide in Londons new
vertical city.
Peter Murray, chairman of
NLA and curator of Londons
Growing Up!, commented,
As Londons population gets bigger and bigger and new
development for London takes place within the constraints of the
Green Belt, we have to increase the density of the city. This
results in our buildings getting taller. The huge number of towers
in the pipeline will have a significant impact on the look of
London. The exhibition will look at the current controls and
planning processes to see whether they are fit for purpose and
how they can cope with this upsurge in construction.

My home. My space.

My way of looking at the world.

Protected from the heat and the noise, I can see the world around me from my window. I feel good at home. The natural light
filling the space strengthens the soft feeling of intimacy wrapping me. This is my idea of well-being. TECHNAL is one of the
market leaders of Europe in design, manufacturing and distribution of aluminium windows and doors comfort is guaranteed.

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Tel. 00 91 80 3060 4000 - Fax 00 91 80 3060 4010
india@technal.com - www.technal.in

Windows - Doors - Curtain-Walling

Updates
Trade News

onear Industries
recently opened its
first Sonear Design
Studio in Jalandhar.
The studio is an
innovative retail
concept, spreading over 1000sq ft.
The studio houses over 500 designs, 35
textures and numerous platters
of decorative plywood, veneers and

laminates under one roof, sourced from


various parts of the world.
Anuj Sangal, director operations (COO),
Sonear Industries, said, We wanted to
bring in freshness and innovation in the
way consumers see the plywood, laminate
and veneer category and realised that it
can be done by creating an experiential
zone for our consumers, thus the birth of
Sonear Design Studio. The retail concept

allows our patrons to bring their families


and experience the product and options
available. I am glad we have been able to
offer this in Punjab and hope to expand
this concept pan India.
Besides, the studio will have highly
trained and technically competent staff
and will assist interior designers and
consumers in making right purchase
decisions.

FORM IV
(See Rule 8)
Statement of ownership and other details of the Magazine:
1. Place of Publication

: Gurgaon, Haryana

2. Periodicity

: Monthly

3. Printer
Nationality
Address

: Xavier Collaco
: Indian
: Plot 323, Phase IV,
Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon
Haryana-122016
Phone: +91-124-4759500

4. Publishers name
Nationality
Address

: Xavier Collaco
: Indian
: Plot 323, Phase IV,
Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon
Haryana-122016
Phone: +91-124-4759500

Award

5. Editors Name
Nationality
Address

: Suneet Paul
: Indian
: Plot 323, Phase IV,
Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon
Haryana-122016
Phone: +91-124-4759500

6. Names and addresses of individuals who own the magazine


and partners or shareholders holding more than one per cent
of the total capital:
Shareholders
: (a) Mr. J. S. Uberoi
14th Floor, Orakavin Building,
26, Chidlam Road, Ploenchit,
Bangkok, Thailand.
(b) M/s Hitech Realities Private Limited,
5A, Chitra Building, West Avenue,
Santa Cruz (W), Mumbai-400054.

reamworks Consultants has developed a Solar Curtail wall


and Solar Skylight system for making buildings more energyefficient. The advantages of these panels are their energy
potential and diversity in size, shape, and exceptional
applicability in construction. They can be used to construct
skylight roofing, ventilated facades, curtain walls, canopies and
parking lots. With the help of these panels energy usage in a
building can be preserved and restored, reducing the emission of
carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Thermal surrounding
methods can reduce about 20-40 per cent of the energy
consumed by a building.

locher Blocher India Pvt Ltd was recently honoured with


the VM&RD Award 2014. The Mondeal Retail Park won
the prize in the category Shopping Malls & Arcades. The
outdoor mall in one of the most exclusive areas of Ahmedabad
(India) combines retail, services and restaurants with
extraordinary architecture. A green, shady plaza makes the
offer complete.
For more information, visit: www.blocherblocher.com

12

M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

I, Xavier Collaco, hereby declare that the particulars given above


are true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
Date
01 March, 2014

Signature of publisher
Sd/Xavier Collaco

Updates

The Stockholm Design Week

he Stockholm Design Week 2014


along with the Stockholm Furniture
and Light Fair, the worlds largest meeting
place for Scandinavian furniture and
lighting design was recently held in
Stockholm. More than 60 high-profile
design events were organised at various venues around the city
including the fair which has for more than 60 years attracted
purchasers, architects, designers and journalists to
Stockholmsmssan and Stockholm each year in February. With
the fair as its natural hub, the whole city got involved as a large
number of events, showrooms and parties were organised
during the Stockholm Design Week. The intent of the organisers
was to create a space to facilitate exchanges for the designers,
visitors and press.

products, materials, trends and new environmental and


technological solutions were displayed in a both informative
and inspirational manner. The exhibitions were of the highest
rate and the seminar programme was extensive. The largest
exhibitor nations, apart from Sweden, were Denmark, Finland
and Norway, and around 80 percent of all exhibitors came
from Scandinavia.
The Danish-Italian design studio GamFratesi, renowned
international designers, were this years Guest of Honour and
created the lounge in Stockholmsmssans entrance hall
Balance. Their motive was to create an installation to remind
man's search for balance, primarily with textile objects.
For us, as for most people, each day is a struggle to find
balance in life. The exhibition we create at Stockholm Furniture
& Light Fair is meant to remind us of that. At the same time,

Cecilia Nyberg, event manager for Stockholm Furniture &


Light Fair and Stockholm Design Week, said, The design week
serves as a meeting place for promoting the furniture and
lighting design industry in Scandinavia that extends well
beyond Stockholmsmssans walls. It is important to us that our
visitors get as positive an overall experience of the week as
possible. Business and deals are done during the day, while the
evenings are intended for mingling and parties in the city. As
the organizer of Stockholm Design Week, we are delighted to
see the week develop and grow in this way.
The fair attracted around 40,000 visitors from more than 60
countries and around 750 companies exhibited their furniture,
lighting and textile products with latest innovations in interior
design and lighting for both homes and public spaces. New

our installation emphasizes the movement of the fairs visitors


through the space of the exhibition. Elements hung from the
ceiling of the enormous entrance hall, dividing it into smaller,
more intimate lounge areas. The exhibition combines textiles
and metal elements. In addition to being sculptures and room
dividers, the elements are also sound absorbers a feature
which is invaluable in such a large space, said Stine Gam and
Enrico Fratesi, designers - GamFratesi.
Another highlight of the fair was the Greenhouse hall for
young designers. This year Note Design Studio had designed
this space inspired by the intense social interaction that the
fair gives the exhibitor. This was the second year in a row that
Note was commissioned to create a concept for the
Greenhouse exhibition.

14

M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

Announcement

2014

Call for Entries

After an invigorating tenth cycle of ARCHITECTURE+ DESIGN &


Awards, we are pleased to announce the
Call for Entries for the eleventh one. We and
our close partners in this endeavour feel
youthfully charged and committed to further fortify this platform to appreciate creativity and
intelligent architecture. This strength obviously comes from the overwhelming participation in the
last cycle and the positive vibrations and response from the architectural fraternity. The experience
of the earlier cycles has been very rewarding and educative. We are resolved to bolster this process
that applauds out-of-the-box architectural solutions excelling in functionality, environmental
concerns, aesthetic values and exuding innovation in a context.
ARCHITECTURE+ DESIGN and
have pleasure in inviting entries for the different categories and assure the
participants of their commitment to unbiased, honest and fair jury outcomes, respecting the inherent
dynamic spirit in architecture and design.

ABOUT
THE
AWARDS
 Individual architects and
architecture firms interested in
participating, should send in a
request at the earliest for the
entry form worth Rs. 500/-(Five
hundred only) by a demand
draft/cheque favouring Media
Transasia India Ltd., New Delhi.
Add Rs. 20/- for outstation
cheque.
 Participants could send a
maximum of two projects per
entry form. However, participants
are free to send in as many
projects for each category.
 The various Award categories
would be adjudged by an
esteemed and impartial jury from
the practicing and academic
fraternity in the architectural field
and allied professions.
 Selected/Awardee entries
would be retained by
the ARCHITECTURE+ DESIGN Awards
Secretariat for possible
publication/display.

 All requests for the entry forms


should be addressed to: The
Secretarial Co-ordinator,
Architecture+Design & CERA
Awards 2014, Media Transasia
India Ltd. Plot no. 323, Udyog
Vihar, HSIIDC, Phase-4,
Gurgaon 122 016 (Haryana), Ph:
91-124-4759500 (Extn-674) or
email on
aplusd.ceraawards@gmail.com
 The last date for receiving entries
would be May 31, 2014

 The Award winners would be


felicitated at an Award Ceremony.
An exhibition of the awardees
projects would also be held on
this occasion. All the awardees,
i.e., the Principal, Commendation,
three Special Mentions of each
category respectively, the three
Creative Thesis Medal Winners
and all the Jury members
would be provided travel/
accommodation to attend the
Award Function.

Award for Residence Design with


a Difference
Rs.1,00,000, Trophy & Citation
Commendation Trophy for Residence Design
with a Difference
Trophy & Citation
Three Special Mentions
Citation
(On a plot area up to 2,000sq m)
The residence should display some
special/unique features in design/material
utility/environment concerns, etc.
Project Time Frame: Completed within the last
8 years, that is between January 2006 and
December 2013

The Institutional Architecture Award for


Design Development of
Institutional/Office/Campus Buildings
Rs.1,00,000, Trophy & Citation
The Institutional Architecture Commendation
Trophy for Design Development of
Institutional/Office/Campus Buildings
Trophy & Citation
Three Special Mentions
Citation
Project Time Frame: Architectural project
completed within the last 8 years, that is
between January 2006 and December 2013

The Recreational Architecture Award


Rs.1,00,000, Trophy & Citation
The Recreational Architecture Commendation
Trophy
Trophy & Citation
Three Special Mentions
Citation
(For hotels, malls, museums, theaters, parks &
public spaces, etc. For this category, please do
not send interior related projects.)
Project Time Frame: Architectural project
completed within the last 8 years, that is
between January 2006 and December 2013
The Innovative Design Award for
Office/Commercial Utility Interior Design
Rs.1,00,000, Trophy & Citation
The Innovative Design Commendation Trophy
for Office/Commercial Utility Design.
Trophy & Citation
Three Special Mentions
Citation
Project Time Frame: Architectural project
completed within the last 8 years, that is
between January 2006 and December 2013

for Residence Interior Design.


Trophy & Citation
Three Special Mentions
Citation
Project Time Frame: Architectural project
completed within the last 8 years, that is
between January 2006 and December 2013
The Young Enthused Architect Award
(up to 40 years)
Rs.1,00,000, Trophy & Citation
The Young Enthused Architect
Commendation Trophy
Trophy & Citation
Three Special Mentions
Citation
Project Time Frame: Based on two best
projects submitted

The Golden Architect Award


Rs. 2,00,000, Trophy & Citation
(For architectural excellence to an architect
who is 50 years and above) Each jury
member of all the respective categories
would give five nominations. The Awardee
would be selected based on the final
individual nominations of each jury member.
Creative Thesis Project' Medal
Medal & Certificate
These would be given to the three toppers
in the thesis projects in their respective
premier architectural institutes of the
country. The Award Secretariat would be
asking for the recommendations from the
three chosen institutions.
Time Frame: Academic Year 2012-2013
The Golden Award for Global
Contribution in Architecture
To be awarded to an architect who has
contributed internationally towards the
growth and development of a purposeful
architecture.

The Golden Award for Emerging


Architect
To award an emerging architect who is in
the process of setting trends/directions for
the architecture for his country. The
recipients for these awards would be
nominated from Thailand, Turkey, Sri
Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore.

The Hall of Fame Award


To be awarded to an architect who has
The Innovative Design Award for Residence made a definitive impact through his
Interior Design.
architecture in shaping society and who
Rs.1,00,000, Trophy & Citation
leaves behind a signature through
The Innovative Design Commendation Trophy his work.

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Every Spacewood store boasts of furniture consisting of
varied styles for the kitchen bedroom, living room, dining,
wardrobe and office solutions. Created while keeping
current international trends in mind, the collection is all
about oomph and attitude. Spacewood is also a one-stop
destination for all furniture needs for architects, corporates,
projects and individuals.
Spacewood not only focuses on design and convenience
but also on quality manufacturing process and quality checks
to ensure that the product last its lifetime. All wooden panels
are checked against water resistance, screw holding capacity
and the moving parts are checked for 100,000 cycles of
operations as per international standards.
We have been serving corporates and architects since last
two decades. Now since last two years, we have expanded in
retail with our own stores in Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai,
Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and Nagpur.
Our kitchens and wardrobes are comparable with Italian and
German kitchens in style. Moreover, we make kitchens in
waterproof plywood with extensive use of German fittings
considering Indian style of cooking and utility. So we are
bringing good alternative at very competitive prices for
customers who are aspiring for Imported Kitchen, said Kirit
Joshi, director, Spacewood.

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

Kitchens: A modern and chic kitchen helps to deal with


the modern day chores more efficiently and helps to utilise
the space effectively. Modular kitchen furniture is an
aggregation of several fittings available in diverse colour
patterns, styles and specifications. A professional designer
would take account of the dimensions and create a
modular kitchen that serves the purpose best. While
moving to some other place, one may just dismantle and
install the kitchen in the new house. Its usability and
functionality are unsurpassed. They are an indispensable
choice for most of the contemporary homemakers. It is
considered to be the best option for Indian households
since more storage is needed.

Spacewood is a pioneer in kitchen as every year 50,000


plus kitchens cabinets are installed. With an experience in
more than 20 years in kitchens and related components,
Spacewood is Indias largest precision engineered furniture
manufacturer. Spacewood is a national brand specialised in
kitchens. Designed by professional designers with
international exposure, they are fully factory assembled
and use special cabinet assembly technology which is used
by top German companies. By partnering with leading
German fittings brands, the company offers more than 50
finishes in kitchens. Customer gets top end kitchen at
highly competitive price.
Spacewood kitchens are made on high precision machines
ensuring the finishing and accuracy of products, uses
waterproof plywood ensuring durability of products, offers
wide choices of shutters such as membrane pressed
MDF/plywood, acrylic on plywood from Italy giving complete
international look to the products. All the kitchens are factory
assembled to ensure the smooth movement of drawers and
fittings and perfect alignment of cabinets.
It recently launched Sinousa Curve Kitchens, which has
organic-curve shape. The curve kitchen gives soft look,

ergonomic storage options instead of the conventional


boxy look.
People have strong desire for organic shapes, curves, etc.
like fore cars, mobile phones, TV screens, and definitely
modular kitchens are also not left out. Spacewood has
mastered with its latest technology to achieve those curves
and use it in modular kitchens and other furniture.
Customized Wardrobes: Spacewood had redefined the
personal storages space with its infinity range of wardrobes.
These wardrobes are statement of luxury which comes with
world class hardware to enhance functionality and style. As
the name suggests, the infinity range of wardrobes come with
extensive options to fit into any space.

Sliding Infinity Wardrobe

Spacewood uses Bertolucci sliding fittings, which are used


by worlds leading wardrobe manufacturers. This includes
100kg door and height up to 10ft. Infinity range has special
fabric finish internals for wardrobes. All these wardrobes
perform at par with any European wardrobe. These wardrobes
are available with wide choice of mirrors, veneer, high gloss
and leather finish options. All these come with 30mm thick
shelves, soft close drawer, lit on opening of door as options.
Home: Spacewoods home furniture is a perfect balance
of what is new and what is needed. Timeless designs and
functionality go hand in hand to create harmony in home
spaces that are welcoming, relaxing and refreshing and are
crafted to complement each other.

Sinousa Curve Kitchen

Lugano Sofa Set

ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN M a r c h 2 0 1 4

19

workstations and cabins for companies like Capgemini,


Mahindra, Tata Motors, Piaggieo, Fed Ex, Jet Airways,
Thermax and many more.
We have a very strong operations team besides our
production strength. The approach is to offer good service
and customer experience. Most of the customers are repeat
customers, claimed Nitin Sudame, director, Spacewood
Office Solutions.
Plum Bedroom

Lineo Workstation
Mikado Bedroom

High gloss finished beds with hydraulic storage


and sliding wardrobe is the new trend in bedrooms.
Bedroom sets can be divided in two categories i.e.
modern and contemporary.
The new high gloss designer bedroom series offers a wide
variety in the designs which varies from traditional, modern
and contemporary. The bedroom set consists of bed with
wide storage options, a night stand, dresser and a wide
choice for wardrobes. The entire bedroom sets are made on
state-of-the-art German machines using high quality
engineered wood to ensure durability of the products. The
entire range comes with five years warranty and
maintenance-free everlasting finishing. The designer
bedroom set range starts from Rs 80,000 to Rs 2,00,000.
Today, with changing lifestyle, everybody has become
design conscious and wish to express this with their living
style. The designer bedroom set is ready to change the
ordinary bedroom to a designer deluxe suite. Spacewood has
a team of highly professional product designers who
develops products based on the new international trend.
Office: Spacewood office solution offers ergonomic and
elegant products for office spaces. All products are
designed to create aesthetic and efficient work spaces.
Spacewood office solution has complete spectrum of
products for varied requirements.
Spacewood office range includes workstations, full height
partitions, premium desking, storages, conference tables,
metal storages and seating solutions.
With the ability to deliver over 40,000 workstations in a
year, the company has successfully made and installed

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

Estillo

There is a wide choice for work stations. Newly launched


Lineo is fully desk-based workstation. Combination of MS
powder coated legs and aluminum frame screens gives
international looks. There are cable beams and raceways
which run below work tops to take care of wire management.
The most popular product in workstation segment is Slide 60
with anodized look and 60mm removable panels, it offers
complete flexibility.
Newly launched Estillo desking is highly appreciated and
used by architects. It compliments with desk-based work
station, which are mostly used now a days. Besides, Estillo
Spacewood has Z Line cabin and conference furniture. It uses
membrane pressing technology offering soft edges. It is the
ideal solution for director suite. The Nova Range which is
made up of Melamine Panels and designer profile wrapped
technology is a perfect answer for Value Desking, which is
highly affordable and has elegant design.
Also, the metal storages offers wide choices in book cases,
filing drawer, swing door shelf storages, pedestal, etc.

Social Sustainability

The Critical Practice of Sustainability


Himanshu Burte

o reasonable, educated person


today needs to be convinced that
we are in the midst of an
intensifying eco-social crisis. Building as
usual is increasingly a part of the problem,
but that is how increasingly we build.
Short term cost economies, profitability, a
globalised image, the prestige of
consuming (and wasting) are concerns
actually driving architecture everywhere.
Of course, over the last decade or so,
much is being said about the necessity to
build sustainably. We keep improving our
knowledge of how to build with less
damaging ecological impact. We may not
have a comprehensive framework that
guides us towards sustainable building,
and which everybody agrees on. Yet, we
know enough to agree that we must cut
down on the energy consumption,
GHG emissions, water consumption and
waste production from our buildings. For
many, this is enough, and doubtlessly, it
is an advance.
However, from time to time, we are

reminded about how poorly we


understand what is meant by sustainable
(or, more accurately, more sustainable
than usual) architecture. For one, we are
regularly confused when looking at the
variety of buildings that claim to be
sustainable: air-conditioned buildings
with too much glass on them but also
lots of energy saving gizmos win as
many awards for sustainability as do
those built in mud and designed for
natural ventilation. Both kinds of
buildings appear to make important
claims to sustainability. Common sense
tells us that the mud building usually
reduces embodied energy of a building.
But the glass building also has its weight:
energy saving gizmos in it claim to save
much more electricity in the long run than
the energy embodied in the glass faade
or the RCC structure as a whole. Are both
equally sustainable then?
On one hand, this is a problem for
environmental accounting of some kind
the better we get at the science, we

assume, this debate will be more


productive. On the other hand, such
routine confusions also suggest the need
for another way of approaching the issue,
since we shall probably never have
perfect and comprehensive accounting of
impact. This essay attempts to propose
one way at a more philosophical level.
The Critical Practice of Sustainable
Architecture
The question of sustainability should be
approached in terms of the idea of critical
practice. That is, we must ask whether a
particular practice is a critical practice of
sustainable architecture. Such an approach
includes but also goes beyond the
technical concerns like those about energyefficiency or waste recycling.
For simplicity, it is suggested that any
building can be usefully examined in
terms of where each aspect of its various
design (and other) decisions can be
located on a conceptual spectrum
stretching between critical practice of

About Gubbi
Gubbi Alliance for Sustainable Habitat is a self-funded
association of habitat professionals and researchers who seek to
mainstream sustainability as a core concern in design, policy and
habitat management. Gubbi has come into being over a series of
meetings that began with a workshop near Bangalore in 2008.
Among its 20 members spread across the country, are pioneers and
leading Indian practitioners of genuinely sustainable approaches in
architecture, construction and participatory rehabilitation. The word
Gubbi means sparrow in Kannada, and also creatively misinterprets
the name of the place where the association members first met to
explore joint action.
Today, sustainable has become a buzz word that means different
things to different people. It has also become another way in which
market interests are promoted. Gubbi believes that we need to
develop an approach to sustainability that is consistent, anchored to

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

human and ecological survival, plural and critical. To do this


architecture needs to consciously embrace values related to sufficiency
(reducing consumption and questioning demand), justice, resilience,
equity and the cultural identity. All of this inevitably means that we
must question every tenet of society currently taken for granted. Such
tenets include the adequacy of values related to technological
efficiency, the market economy, unceasing consumption and
undemocratic governance.
For Gubbi, the challenge of sustainability offers the possibility of
real architectural innovation that matters. Such innovation goes
beyond the narrow formal and technical pursuits ruling over the
architectural imagination today. Real innovation may be based on
traditional wisdom and materials, modern scientific knowledge,
advanced technologies or very often on a combination of all these as
some of the writings and projects in this issue demonstrate.

Good Earth Hamlet, Kochi

sustainability at one end and uncritical


practice at the other1. In other words, the
entire buildings, or different decisions
shaping them, can be placed on some
point on such an imaginary scale. The
decisions could be about different
aspects: chosen configurations of spaces
and masses, or materials (mud, glass) user

demands and practices (air-conditioning,


natural ventilation, laptops being charged
all night)2 . These decisions must be
evaluated, even if subjectively, with
regards to the stated criteria for criticality.
The process of making an argument
should be more important than the
conclusion here. So, the idea of critical

practice (and the imaginary scale for it) is


a tool to help argue our way towards
broad, but reasonably systematic,
judgements about the value of a
particular approach. Scientific precision,
or measurability, is not the point here.
Rather, the quest is to establish how close
a practice is to a critical approach.

To catalyse dialogue that will help this process along, Gubbi has
The articles and projects in this issue reveal the different
opportunities and challenges of pursuing sustainability through organised and will continue to organise various activities and
design and natural materials creates a beautiful and rhythmic
around. Each nook and corner of the house highlights the
architecture. An exceptional project in more ways than one is platforms (including a website that is in the works) on which
substance
comfort
and
luxury.
simplistic
and
minimalistic
approach,
a
signature
style
of
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shaping a with
better
present
and
future can be
Shankar Narayans office in Hyderabad. It emphasises our delight in conversations
architect.
There
is
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play
with
the
emptiness
to
conducted. The first interdisciplinary workshop was dedicated to
the fact that there are many professionals who share our values.
theNidhi
ideaPatel
of sustainability from different perspectives. The
create theinnovation,
rich experience
where
architectural
detailing
Independence,
openness
and sharing
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focused
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core values
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Gubbi.inGubbi
seeksnatural
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sustainability.
Another
which
Gubbi
members helped conceptualise
convivial
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There
is
no
patent
on
the
Gubbi
way,
no
leaving no scope for plasticity.
discussed the possibilities of cooling without air-conditioning. This
material rewards
(except
for
the
satisfaction
of
doing
the
right
and
The material palette constitutes all natural materials like
FactFile
A+D is the latest initiative. The themes reveal Gubbis
sensible thing creatively) that Gubbi asks or promises for a issue of
brick wall, Kota stone, white marble and wood. Ample
Client: MrtoKothari
connecting the philosophical dots to the practical
rigorous practice of sustainability. Gubbi recognises that the social commitment
natural light floods through the house and it is also well
Design
Gadabigger
(Principal
Designer),
Shalini
Pereira, than before,
thatteam:
we Dipen
see the
picture
more
clearly
and technical challenges that must be overcome to move towards a ones, so
ventilated
use of conventional
& Dollyit.Pari, Biren Patwa (Site Coordinator)
to Dave
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these challenges.
norms. Experimentation with the right stroke of simplistic To know
www.gubbi.org

ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN
ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN
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b rauracrhy 2 0 1 4

25
23

So, what do we mean by critical


practice? The common sense
understanding of criticality is of an
attitude that does not accept any givens
without question3. A critically minded
person subjects all beliefs, methods and
outcomes to independent and objective
scrutiny in the light of the best shared
social and technical goals. This is what we
expect of good critics. But another core
implication of the word critical must be
emphasised here, in keeping with the
original inspiration provided by early
20th century critical theory (Brenner,
2009), an influential approach to social
theory and philosophy. Critical theory
built on Marxs inspiration, and sought to
identify and critique unjust social
arrangements that underlie various social
practices. It also sought knowledge (or
theory) that would help transform the
world into a more just order. This suggests
that we can think of the critical attitude as
one that is not only critical in the
common sense meaning of the word, but
also oriented towards transforming the
world through practice (and not just
through theory), into a more just and
sustainable place4.
The focus on justice might appear
strange to some in a discussion about
architecture. However, with sustainability,
particularly, the question of justice is
central. After all, the core of the most
widely accepted definition and discussion
of sustainability proposed by the
Brundtland Commission in 1987 is
concerned with justice: it emphasises that
we do not have a right to snatch away the
ecological basis of future generations
through our actions today5. So, ecological
sustainability can be seen as a means to
ensuring social justice (apart from
survival), especially now that intragenerational justice has come to be
considered as important as intergenerational justice. Thus, from the
perspective of critical practice, the social
impact of architecture must be considered
as central as its ecological impact, in our
examination of architecture that claims to
be sustainable. Both are also understood as
being always interlinked.
This impact might range from causing

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

an increase (or decrease) in livelihoods for


the poor, causing or preventing
displacement of people, helping
concentrate or redistribute wealth,
popularising more or less sustainable
cultural values, sustaining or destroying
building traditions and cultural knowledge,
among other things. Architecture, and the
process of building, clearly has such
impacts. For instance, apart from reducing
energy consumption and GHG emissions,
load-bearing construction with local and
natural materials usually puts more money
into the hands of poorer construction
workers, and less in those of oil and coal
companies, or other industrial

Baker Suresh Residence, Thiruvananthapuram

manufacturers. The extensive use of energy


intensive materials like steel, cement and
aluminium does the opposite on social and
ecological counts. Similarly, large campuses
and townships in rural areas can deprive
subsistence pastoralists of natural
resources, and of grasslands on which their
livestock can graze, and ultimately drive
them out of their historic habitats6.
Of course, technical rigour is central to
ensuring both, prolonged human survival
and social justice, through sustainable
architecture. So, an ideal critical practice
may be expected to have chosen the most
ecologically benign design and
techn3logical strategies, considering long
and short term impacts. It would also be

expected to keep questioning and


improving the way in which it evaluates
these impacts by asking questions like
are any important kinds of impact missing
in the usual list? Are the utilised ways of
measuring impact the best we can use
practically? It may also be expected to
steer society towards more sustainable
architectural values in general. These
could include sufficiency to curb
demand; better maintenance, recycling
and a celebration of old things to prolong
the life of a consumed resource; an
improved health performance of built
environments; or even a more sustainable
aesthetics in general.
Some questions above highlight an
important characteristic of critical
practices: reflexivity, or, self-criticality. This
self criticality must be trained on the
inevitable internal contradictions that
sustainable architectural practices must
constantly negotiate. If not recognised and
addressed, they can quickly result in
moving a practice back two steps for every
step it believes it has taken towards
sustainability. This is important for a real
shift to sustainability, even if rating systems
and criteria for awards may not always
consider such contradictions.
The most important contradictions here
are those that lead to actions and decisions
that either contradict each other, or violate
stated or unstated core values related to
sustainability. These might relate to the
process of design or of building. Such
contradictions might be born of external or
practical constraints. For instance,
thorough bioclimatic design requires more
design and supervisory effort from the
architect, while often reducing the fee
he/she may get (because of lower capital
costs of construction, to which fees are
usually linked), making it unviable to
practice. It might be more viable
financially to build as usual with additional
energy-saving gadgetry and claim the
same sustainability achievement for a
better fee. Other contradictions might be
between client demands (or brief) and the
architects commitments, as say, in a
5000sq ft air-conditioned bachelor pad
built in stabilised earth block. Such
contradictions are not easy to resolve. The

choice of staying consistent with the core


goal of sustainability may involve
significant personal sacrifice and risk you
might need to be willing to be underpaid
(or even penalized) for doing the right
thing. Evaluating the seriousness of a
contradiction is also not always easy. If the
oversized bachelor pad will allow one to
experiment and become better at mud
building (so, one can save energy in the
hundreds of future buildings), is the
contradiction acute enough to let the
project go?
There are other contradictions,
however, that are less wicked. These are
internal to a practice, and should probably
be easier for the practitioner to identify
and resolve. Two kinds suggest themselves
immediately. One is the contradiction
between sustainability goals and the
aesthetic (or technological palette) an
architect is already committed to over
time. The other is between the opposed
sustainability outcomes of some among
many architectural strategies and decisions
employed in a project. These can emerge
separately or together in every practice.
For example, if someone loves to design
unbroken, exposed RCC forms, the
buildings will remain internally
contradictory at a basic level, even if
he/she tries to employ passive solar or
technological sustainability strategies for
other relevant issues. Arguably, any
avoidable use of energy intensive materials
say through RCC walls in bungalows
contradicts in spirit and material the
widely agreed upon need to consciously
move towards low-energy technologies7.
The other kind of internal contradiction is
equally important, and perhaps more
common. Much gadgetry is routinely used
in office buildings to cut down lighting
energy consumption, even as the design
itself enables very little day-lighting of
work areas, for instance.
It is quite clear that the practices acutely
marked by important contradictions can be
considered uncritical. In particular, the
practices contradicting important social
goals in the pursuit of ecological ones, may
be considered particularly uncritical from a
sustainability perspective. A building might

save a lot of running energy, but may


concentrate wealth further through
excessive use of energy intensive
construction technology, that can only be
built through capital intensive industry
which increasingly also directly exploits
the poor working for it. It may thus
contribute to some measure in intergenerational equity (by saving energy for
future generations) while undermining
intra-generational equity, in an already
unequal world.

author under one grant each from India


Foundation for the Arts, Bangalore and Graham
Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine
Arts, Chicago.
References
1. This spectrum is here suggested for making
sense of sustainability claims in architecture. But
it can be usefully applied to evaluate all
architecture.
2. It is not a hard measuring scale. If it helps
orient us better, it would have served its
purpose. If it even helps us find a surer way
through the inevitable uncertainties that

Negotiated Judgements
Some cautions and caveats are now in
order to put the concept of critical
practice in perspective. As stated earlier, it
does not seek to yield a measurable scale
like say, rating systems. It is a conceptual
tool that we define and apply through
argument. Further, the concept can only
be defined in relation to its opposite,
uncritical practice. This gives it a peculiar
robustness. For one, it frees us from the
impossible burden of creating categories
critical or uncritical, for instance in
which specific designs, practices or
practitioners can be neatly boxed. It thus
helps us see each practice as potentially
having both, critical and uncritical
aspects. This is not surprising. All practice
is marked by contradictions that are
impossible to resolve within the
constraints and possibilities of any real
context. No practitioner can be perfectly
consistent to his or her avowed principles.
Yet we are routinely able to judge the
broad direction in which a practice or
practitioner (of architecture, politics or
medicine) is headed, through the thicket
of cross cutting orientations. We may
quibble about whether Laurie Baker
allowed users to participate in design, or
complain that he largely used
conventional land polluting sanitation
systems; but we still agree that he cut an
early path towards a critical practice of
sustainable architecture.

scientific data presents us about technical


decisions, even better.
3. Wikipedias definition is --4. The term critical practice has been
intermittently fashionable in architectural
discourse in the West. There are even
educational programs devoted to it (See
http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-design-criticalpractice/). Of course, the way the term has been
used in architecture does not always share in the
progressive aims of critical theory.
Much of such practice critiques mass and
consumer culture without being adequately self
critical beyond such an argument, about its own
claims or aesthetic and technological choices.
5. . [detailed citation] The report is available at
http://www.un-documents.net/our-commonfuture.pdf
6. For the last, see
http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/graziersprotest-land-diversion and
http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/greentribunal-stays-development-activities-karnatakagrasslands
7. In principle, this illustrative contradiction does
not have a black and white diagnosis. It can be
argued, as Gurjit Singh Matharoo has done in
personal conversations with me as well as in
public presentations, that an economical design,
reduced dead weight due to thin walls, and high
level of quality control of his exposed concrete
buildings, actually reduce energy consumption
compared to usual RCC, brick, cement plaster
and synthetic paint combination. One line of
discussion here would be an empirical
investigation to see if this really is the case.

Architect Himanshu Burte is an assistant

However, the other line along the idea of a

professor at the School of Habitat Studies, Tata

critical practice could also consider many other

Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai.

impacts, beyond just energy, to make a decision

This article draws on research conducted by the

about the criticality of the practice.

ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN M a r c h 2 0 1 4

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Social Sustainability

26

M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

Aesthetics of
Simplicity
Project: Madhu Industries Ltd, Ahmedabad
Architects: Kakani Associates, Ahmedabad

he project required a space for housing an export


oriented bed linen manufacturing unit, which is peopleintensive with close to 800 staff working at peak. The
project envisaged to provide efficient production systems with
flexibility, and a human comfort through good quality light, air
and ventilation.
The design brief was to provide an institution-like
framework to an otherwise grim factory-like atmosphere. The
project in keeping with the practices concern of consumption
v/s conservation (of resources) explores the aesthetics of
simplicity through a holistic framework.
The building comprises three floors with a footprint of
50mx70m and column spacing of 10.2m internally and a loadbearing skin. This load-bearing skin helps remove 32 peripheral
columns in addition to acting as ducts for the air cooling
system. The slab uses hollow blocks made of fly ash and waste
polystyrene (thermocol) to reduce dead weight and increase
insulation, effectively saving on steel and concrete used in the
building. There has also been a conscious concern for efficiency
in the building construction process, for example, walls are not
interrupted by lintels allowing the external masonry
construction to move up fast.

1
4

SITE PLAN

Fly ash bricks were used for load-bearing walls. Thermocol


waste was used in hollow blocks made of fly ash concrete and
produced at site. These hollow blocks were used to reduce the
dead load of the slab by reducing concrete and in turn the
percentage of steel used in the structure. As burnt rice husk is
a low weight high volume material, it was used with fly ash
and cement to insulate the flat terrace. Broken white tiles were
fixed over the insulating layer to further reflect heat and allow
smooth flow of rain-water over the terrace.

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

1. CORPORATE OFFICE
2. FACTORY BUILDING
3. EXISTING BUILDING
4. PARKING

Avoiding the construction of beams and lintels in the deep


recessed windows, helped natural light washed deep along the
soffit of the flat slab into the interiors. The central skylights
through the three floors further enhanced this. Artificial lighting
is placed closest to the place of requirement reducing wastage.
The thick-load bearing walls with ducts and the hollow block
slab with rice husk bedding covered by white China mosaic on
top, keep the building well insulated. The double glazing in the
windows further reduces the heat gain.

The ducts in the load-bearing walls move up beyond the


terrace level and house the cooling system that sends fresh
cool air through to the three floors below during peak
summer months. The central courts help in evacuating the
warm air from the inside with the help of convection and
mechanical fans, thus setting up a cycle of constant fresh air
changes.
Besides, the use of traditional materials/skills like local
bricks and load-bearing structural construction, has a major
social impact as it provides large-scale employment. The
extensive use of concrete has made this method of
construction almost non-existent (as walls are used only as
infill partitions between columns in the present context) thus

SECTION

30

M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

ELEVATION

reviving the traditional load-bearing construction in bricks


has become imperative. This skill in masonry was harnessed
to make the load-bearing walls which use 15 lakh water
cured flyash bricks along with one lakh burnt red bricks
arranged in a predetermined reducing coursing pattern to the
top. Increasing labour component in the building
construction process helps in employment and thereby
furthering social equity.

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

FactFile
Client: Madhu Industries
Design Team: Surya Kakani, Shweta Ranpura, Kasi Raju
Consultants: Himanshu Parikh (Structural), Dr Chamanlal Gupta (PDEC)
Contractors: Western India Engineering
Project Manager: Keyur Sarda
Built-up area: 11000sq m
Cost of Project: Rs 6.8 crores
Year of completion: 2008

Social Sustainability

The emergent paradigm for sustainable


architecture in the Developing World
By Ashok Lall

he article is an attempt to bring


together a stream of thoughts that
have been developing over three
years of conversations and meetings of a
group of professionals concerning the
practice of sustainability in designing and
managing the built environment for the
real world of developing societies.
The current trends are strong and
unmistakable. Human population
continues to grow and the demand for
material consumption and carbon dioxide
emissions continue to increase. With
rapid economic growth and growing
populations in many parts of Asia, Africa
and South America, the demand for
energy and the material consumption in
the developing world is accelerating. In
the developed world, the present
consumption of energy and material
consumption per capita are unsustainably
high, many times the per capita demand
in the developing world, and continues to
rise even though its populations have
stabilised. These trends are causing
pollution of the natural commons of air,
water and land, ecological imbalances
and climate change and competition for
the finite resources of the planet.
The loss of biodiversity, the extinction
of living species, the depletion of forests
and natural habitats, too, are largely
attributable to human activity. For a
sustainable future for the earths living
species, including human beings, these
trends need to be arrested and reversed.
Theoretically, the developed world

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

Load-bearing stone masonry and integrated evaporative cooling for a contemporary institution

would innovate ways to substantially curtail


its environmental impact while it protects
its good life and would seek further
growth without further environmental
damage. In the long run, the developed
world must substantially reduce its levels of
consumption. The developing world, on
the other hand, will necessarily be
increasing its levels of consumption to meet
the basic needs of its populations. But, in
the long run, it must devise an alternative
paradigm for development, for it is clear
that if all of humanity were to aspire to the
present levels of consumption of the
developed world many more earths would
be needed.
In the above stated view, whether for
the developed world or for the developing

world, the practice of sustainability


becomes a pragmatic necessity. Yet,
significantly, the global consensus for
Sustainable Development has an ethical
basis. It rests on the axiomatic principle of
Equity equitable rights to life and
freedom amongst all human societies and
individuals, including the right to
development. This principle is extended to
those who are yet to be born and also to
all living species. This belief is the engine
that provides the moral force for a move
towards sustainability.
The ground realities, though, are quite
different. Today, with some notable
exceptions, all developing nations are
pursuing the western paradigm of
development. This paradigm is led by the

Stone cladding, teak wood windows, lightweight shading system industrial principles of
production applied to traditional material and craft.

forces of technology and trade continually


expanding the quantum of material
consumption accompanied by the burning
of fossil fuels for energy. After basic needs
are largely met, this turns into an addiction
to consumption of novelty. The process
perpetuates itself. Accumulated economic
capital will seek ever greater wealth. It will
cast its net across the globe. Globalisation,
the free flow of economic capital, trade
and technology in search of profit, is now
being seen as a necessary mechanism for
the economic advancement of the
developing world. It has already entered
and established itself among the wealthy
and upper- middle classes in emerging
economies. Would this lead us into the
trap of unsustainable consumption?
Historically, those who gained
command over the transformative power
of industrial technology and the networks
of trade have accumulated economic
wealth and enjoy the good life of
comfort, security and material plentitude.
The rest are left behind. In most
developing nations, there are islands of
wealth in seas of poverty. Then, there are
besieged, ancient societies, living outside
this paradigm of development. Their
livelihood and the stability of their ways
of life are threatened by intrusion into
their homelands and expropriation of the
resources of their lands to meet the

demands of development of others. Will


this paradigm of development perpetuate
inequities?
As the developing world constitutes
about 70 percent of the worlds
population, its path of development poses
the most significant challenge to the
potential of a future that is more equitable
and environmentally sustainable.
In this global context, what then is the
role of the professionals and practitioners
of the built environment? It must be one
of re- directing the present paradigm of
development - away from its trajectory
towards unsustainable levels of material
consumption along with great inequities
of wealth towards creating the good life
with sustainable levels of consumption
such that available resources can be
enjoyed equitably.
Following are some guiding principles
which may be considered for bringing
about the required shift:
Sufficiency: Perhaps the operative
principle for meeting material needs
ought to be sufficiency rather than
plentitude. Sufficiency represents an
optimal cost benefit of how much
environmental damage we incur to satisfy
our many and unending needs. It
disciplines excessive consumption. The
designers task is to create joyful
sufficiency. If opening a window or

turning on a ceiling fan gives you


reasonable comfort, why bother with
the paraphernalia and expense of
air-conditioning?
Anthropometrics: Use measures that are
based on per capita consumption as to
measure efficiency e.g. land per student
in a campus, kilowatt hours per annum per
employee for an office, litres of water per
bed space per day for a hotel, cost of
construction per person housed for
housing schemes because people, not
buildings, are the consumers of materials
and energy resources.
Resilience: Intelligent organisms are
resilient. They have the capacity to adapt
and evolve in order to cope with stress
and change. They are at low risk. On the
other hand, organisms that are complex,
rigid and inflexible are at high risk and
require more and more layers of security
and protection. For example - a 50-storey
high block of flats would require a great
deal of additional support and safety
measures to make it as resilient as a fourstorey building. Design for economical
resilience is needed at all scales from the
scale of a home to that of the city.
Equity: Building construction is an
economic process. It is an engine for
distribution of wealth. Development of
construction techniques to improve
productivity and economy with reliability
enhances knowledge and skills. Urban
development too is an economic process.
Its task is to distribute wealth by giving
equitable access to land, to shelter and
economic advantage of location. The
production and planning of the built
environment are ways towards greater
social and economic equity.
Aspiration: Once basic needs roti, kapda
aur makan are met, safety and health are
reasonably secured aspirations need not
be about more material possession and
consumption. They could be about the
sharing of the creative imagination the
offering of beauty and joy in sufficiency.
They could be for every individual to be
able to share and participate in cultural life
sport, dance, music, literature and crafts.

ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN M a r c h 2 0 1 4

35

This, indeed, is the lesson of the fullness of


life that could be enjoyed in the preindustrial age.
Pragmatism: When professionals and
practitioners of the built environment have
made an ethical choice in favour of
Sustainability, their task is to develop a
practice that engages with the real world
the realities faced today by the majority.
We hardly need to emphasise the fact
that the way we build our homes,
buildings, towns and cities to meet the
needs and aspirations of the majority will
play a critical role in the process of
development. In the face of rapid
urbanisation with growing congestion,
slums and pollution, impoverishment of
rural communities, degradation of
productive lands - there are urgent issues
that the practice of sustainability has
to address.
Contrary to all the cynicism that is
voiced or lip service that is paid, it is
evident that many professionals involved
in the design of the built environment
across the globe, including India, are
making their ethical choice. This
movement has attained a critical mass
that would progressively integrate the

Affordable housing - low embodied energy solutions for comfort;


roof as a community resource and integration of urban agriculture.

values and methods of design towards


sustainability in the practice of
architecture and urbanism.

Innovation is needed on all fronts. Here are a few practical tasks:

Develop land resource management practices for settlement planning to


capture rain and regenerate natural degraded ecologies, conserving rich
agriculture.

Develop simple decentralised techniques for water resource development,


waste treatment and recycling. Reduce dependence on distant water sources
and complex engineering centralised waste treatment.

Integrate water, energy and agriculture. Develop closed loop balanced


environmental systems and grow food in and around buildings.

Build with low process energy, renewable and recycled materials. Minimise
the use of high process energy materials, such as steel, aluminium and glass.

Design for day light and thermal comfort with passive or low energy means
so that artificial lights are needed only at night and air conditioning is
resorted to sparingly. Design by common sense standards of adaptive
comfort rather than those prescribed by American engineering.

Devise low-carbon urban settlement patterns where personal motor cars are
not necessary; where the microclimate is such that the outdoor environment
is comfortable; where one does not become dependent on lifts and air
conditioners backed by noisy and noxious generators.

Devise production methods that increase efficiency and productivity at low


capital cost as these would be more income distributive than high capital cost
technologies.

Design an all-weather bicycling kit; a weather-proof external window shade


that is adjustable and a silent ceiling fan for class rooms

Fundamentally, design towards


sustainability embodies the principles of
bhog, ahimsa, and samanta. You may
define it as that wise way of enjoying the
bounty of nature, which causes no harm,
such that all may share this bounty for all
times to come.
Who would disagree with that? But like

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

all ideals, it will never be attained


absolutely. One can only be guided by it
and choose to move towards it. Design
towards sustainability is an evolving
process guided by these ideals.

Ashok Lall is a practising architect based


in Delhi.

Social Sustainability

Green Eye
Project: My Eye Hospital, Nuvem, Goa
Architects: Vikram Varma & Associates, New Delhi

hrough the design of the project, the architect sought to


provide an alternative to the typical sensory journey that
one associates with a regular hospital and keep salary
bills and energy consumption low. The facility allows a group
of like-minded medical professionals, who were averse to
joining the big chains and losing their boutique character, to
share a high quality common infrastructure.

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

The architect decided to give importance to the design


aspirations rooted in sustainability values. These values were
implemented by maintaining the highest aesthetic standards
while using appropriate technical means.
The design involves two structures, separated by a covered
street. One block is hospitality and the other is the hospital.
Based on the operational hours, floors and areas were either

segregated or linked with bridges. This was also an important


phasing strategy (currently, only one of the phases has been
finished internally). Many facilities have been planned for
the relatives and aides. The internal street formed between
the two blocks acts like a plaza and generates a relationship
between these two buildings. It also protects various
entrances that open into it.
Services are all linked at the basement level, and
strategically placed public/patient service cores allow
complete segregation of the served from the serving. All
incoming materials or personnel have a place of arrival and
segregation. Guards have been replaced by strategic
placement of reception spaces which are capable of doubling
as other functions. Since the maximum number of visitors
comes for a short duration, their needs are met on the
ground floor itself. A very compact and efficient work force
can operate this facility with ease. This clarity enhances the
experience of the visitor.
The hospital faces a perfect south-west direction. The client
wanted a glass and steel look for the front faade to look
modern enough to compete in the market. The architect
decided to provide a second skin not only to double up as a
shading device for the glass facade but also as a screen for the

SITE PLAN

access corridor on two floors. A visit to the timber workshop on


site suggested the possibility of a three-storey high hexagonal
mesh made of waste coconut wood that could bear plants on
it. The architect proposed the graphic of an eye to be achieved
through differentiated plant selection, which was welcomed by
the client who is an eye doctor, and has been executed.
A Treated Fresh Air (TFA) unit has been used to pump in
filtered, oxygen rich and dehumidified air in all usable spaces
which takes care of humidity. As a result most non-critical
areas dont even need to switch on the air-conditioning.

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

1. FUTURE EXPANSION
2. HOSPITALITY BLOCK
3. PLAZA
4. HOSPITAL BLOCK

Low embodied energy materials like coconut wood and


cement bonded particle board were used as the main
finishing materials along with glass to finish all internal
space making. Vitrified ceramic and soy protein-based
surface coatings were selected as they are absorption
resistant. Soy protein-based polishes and paints have also
been used to assure an allergen and Volatile Organic
Compound (VOC) free interior environment.
A resilient interior planning which uses MEP free storage
cabinets as partitions sitting on contiguous flooring, allows for

21

20

19

14

17

10

14

1. PUBLIC STREET
2. RECEPTION
3. REGISTRATION
4. OPD
5. OPD WAITING
6. RECORD ROOM
7. DOCTORS LOUNGE
8. LAB COLLECTION AND REPORT
9. REFRACTION
10. STORE
11. SLUICE ROOM
12. PUBLIC TOILET
13. STAFF TOILET
14. SERVICE LIFT
15. PUBLIC LIFT
16. PERSONNEL LIFT
17. PHARMACY
18. OPTICAL SHOP
19. CAFETERIA
20. GOODS ARRIVAL
21. STAFF ARRIVAL
22. EMERGENCY
23. ADMINISTRATION
24. ADMIN HEAD
25. CMO
26. RELATIVE WAITING
27. PROCEDURE BRIEFING

27

26

1
2
18

27
4

4
4

15
22

15

11

13

24

12

12

25

16
23

13

10

GROUND FLOOR PLAN

22

2
1

1. CONFERENCE ROOM
2. PANTRY/STORE
3. PUBLIC LIFT
4. SERVICE LIFT
5. PERSONAL LIFT
6. MULTIPURPOSE HALL
7. LECTURE HALL
8. LADIES TOILET
9. GENTS TOILET
10. STAFFS CHANGE ROOM
11. DOCTORS REST ROOM
12. PANTRY
13. DOCTORS CHANGE ROOM
14. PREPARATION ROOM
15. SUPERVISOR
16. POST OP RECOVERY
17. OT
18. OT LASIK
19. LASIK RECEPTION
20. LASIK PREPARATION
21. LIGHT SHAFT
22. CONSUMABLE STORES
23. CHANGE ROOM
24. AUTOCLAVE
25. RETIRING ROOM
26. WAITING

10

11

23

12

14

15

17

25

13
18

17

24

26

16

16

17

24

17

19

20

15

3
7

8
9

15

14

23
22

10

21

11

5
12

18
13

24

25

SECOND FLOOR PLAN

ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN M a r c h 2 0 1 4

41

business plan adjustments. Future usage adjustments will not


require full mobilisation of construction teams or wet work.
The central atrium in the hospital block which provides
natural light in most interior spaces including OTs and OPD
waiting also helps release positive air pressure from the top.
While all the MEP concepts are conserving, optimising, efficient
and resilient, the architect also aimed to create oxygen rich, dust

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

SECTION

ELEVATION

and pollen free interiors. By positively pressurising all usable


air-conditioned spaces with the aroma laced desiccated air from
the terrace garden, the architect believes that the antibiotics
used to mask the indoor air deficiencies can be avoided.
Central drinking water using chiller diversity, ambient air
powered water heating, gravity priority water supply
segregation, dual piping and silent solid waste and nutrition
recovery systems are some of the salient features of this hospital.
These make sure that the treatment costs are competitive and of
international standards for a long time to come.
Photo credit: Shrinivas Ananthanarayanan, Goa

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

FactFile
Client: Chandrakant Gaonkar
Design team: Vikram Varma
Consultants: Group Genesis (Structural), Celsius Consultants (HVAC), Art Consultants
(Electricals), Green Envirotech, Gurgaon (Biological Waste Management), Babli
Prabhu Desai, Dr Shaba, My Eye Hospital (PMC)
Contractors: N J Construction (Civil), Saundh Construction, Sastha Construction
Built-up area: 91000sq ft
Cost of project: Rs 15 crore approx
Year of completion: 2011 (Phase-I)

Social Sustainability

The RMX Joss garment facility in Noida

Sufficiency Concept in Architecture


Sanjay Prakash

rchitecture, as a practical art, works


in a finite world with limited
resources. As building designers,
we cannot design infinitely large buildings,
on infinite land, with infinite height and
FAR. And even if we could, we would need
infinite clean energy, sustainable materials
and labour to execute such designs, which
we do not have.

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

In my practice, I find that the best work


comes out of resource constraints
constraints of space, weight, energy, water,
and of money and skills. Architecture
without constraints is not architecture at all.
Constraints give us the opportunities that
allow us to do More with Less. They allow
us to simplify and solve problems, and to
be inclusive in our solution. In short, it

brings out the best jugaad innovation in us.


And with the concept of constraints
comes the idea of sufficiency. Sufficiency is
the concept of asking ourselves how much
is just right, how much is enough, and not
overload our buildings with extra features
that will overload the users mind1.
Is a 100sq m house better than a 10sq
m house for my family? If yes, is a 1,000

sq m house even better? What about


10,000sq m? Some prospective
homeowners might answer this question
with the metric of money as large as I
can afford. But this is not an authentic
statement. If I could give you a technology
for reducing your building cost to half,
would you then want double the size of
house, like the person who buys a fuelefficient car only to consume more by
moving far away from their place of work?2
Unasked Questions in Architectural
Practice
We cannot manage with only efficiency
as an objective; that only gives us the
moral right to consume ever more. We
need to design instead with sufficiency as
a core value alongside. We need to
define how much is good enough for us
and recognise that good design is not
something that depletes resources, even
efficiently. Client, consultant, designer,
contractor they all need to be able to
design and engineer their products with
sufficiency as a decisive value. The
ultimate consumption goal for an

economy of sufficiency would be to


consume no material at all.
For architects, sufficiency means
authentically asking and addressing the
following questions through the practice
 How much space is enough?
 How much material and labour will be
required to build? Where will they come
from? Will it deplete these resources or
conserve them?
 How much air-con, light, energy, water
and transport are enough? And from
what sources?
 Will it be healthy as well as
being comfortable?
 Will it be a socially, economically,
ecologically productive building or only
a consuming one?
 How much money is enough?
If you agree that as a professional, it is
the architects duty to convert the clients
brief and aspirations into the quickest
cheapest design that meets their needs,
then you can ignore the practice of
sufficiency. The consequence would be
that you would allow the construction

industry to lead to an era of scarcity.


If you believe that the clients brief
must be met in the light of the list of
questions above and their
supplementaries, not in letter alone but in
spirit, then you would like to practice
innovation, the architecture of sufficiency,
and believe in our societys development
creating for all of us a land of plenty.
How does one actually bring sufficiency
questions to bear upon day-to-day
practice? I provide three examples from my
practice that show how the questions
above can be addressed in a practice
centred on sufficiency as a value.
Storage is not always a building
(or how much space is enough?)
Almost 30 years ago, a large national
chemical corporation wanted us to
redesign their chemical stores, and listed
for us many hundreds of chemicals, and
the amounts to be stored. But for our
team it was difficult to believe that nearly
30,000sq m would be required for just
storage. We asked to be told about these
chemicals and they handed us a fat black

The RMX Joss garment facility in Noida

1. Clutter also goes against the Zen attitude to design in vogue nowadays.
2. This is just a restatement of Jevons Paradox (from economics): Technological progress that increases the efficiency with which a
resource is used tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource.

ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN M a r c h 2 0 1 4

47

book to learn about these chemicals


ourselves in a week.
As we finished converting the
hundreds of chemicals in the list to a
computer worksheet, their existing stores
caught fire and so the need was even
more urgent. We noticed that when we
made a pie chart of the stored materials
by volume, more than three-quarters of
the demanded storage was for a single
liquid organic chemical that came in
drums. The black book explained how this
is best stored in stainless steel silos.
So we rushed and gave a disruptive
design solution: only about 6,000sq m of
buildings (one-fifth of the original brief),
separate ones for explosive and fire-prone
chemicals, and a small section for regular
and air-conditioned storage, with an open
yard with proper truck turning radii and
stainless steel silos that could even deliver
the chemical piped to the plant when
required. The volume stored could be
reduced according to the reliability of
tanker supplies from western India.
It met the needs of the client with a
shorter construction time, much better
safety, lower cost, smaller land area and
better operations.
A Building Design that Saves Lives
(or how much energy is enough to
save a life?)
To save premature underweight babies (1
to 2kg at birth), common in malnourished
India, an electro-mechanical incubator
used to be employed by modern medical
systems in the 1980s. They maintained 37
C in a crib, the temperature of the
womb, and gave a chance of survival to
the little one. This was pretty expensive
equipment, imported from the west, and
quite a few were required. Worse, it was
susceptible to hospital workers strikes,
was impossible to repair one, and buying
a new one would take months, meantime
causing hundreds of deaths for want of
allocating space in an incubator.
Not being able to bear this human
tragedy, a bright pediatrician at Mumbais
premier government hospital began
creating this 37 C environment manually,
training parents and attendants to achieve

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

this for the ward as a whole, using a


combination of heaters and ventilation to
achieve the balance. Though
uncomfortably warm for the humans in the
space, it saved the babys life.

there is no set point that is more


comfortable than any other, it depends on
the user, recognising that there are more
reliable and alternative ways of getting the
energy than from an electric socket, and

Tapasya Block in Sri Aurobindo Ashram (Delhi Branch Trust)

We picked up the challenge of


designing the same room incubator, but
using solar energy to heat the space, so
making it more suitable for rural
applications with erratic electricity. This
was the first time we had to design an
uncomfortable air-conditioned space, but
the physics of the task was easy, with only
the thermal storage (for night warmth)
being the main focus.
This never would be hands-free like the
original electro-mechanical incubator. But it
saved lives. We had never been involved in
architecture that saved lives before, and it
was a rewarding experience for the studio.
It was made possible by reflecting that

that a thermostat does not have to be a


machine is can be the community.
In this example, we asked ourselves Will it be healthy as well as being
comfortable?
How far can Air-con Stretch? (or how
cool is cool enough?)
Once, we designed house cooling system
using the average annual temperature of
the ground (in Delhi, this average is about
23C). The system worked well and felt
comfortable for some years. Then we
measured the indoor and of course the
temperature varied, from 21C in the
winter to 29C in the summer. The cost

was only that of running a centrifugal fan


that provided cooling and heating with 100
percent fresh air.
This was in effect an air-conditioning
system that sometimes delivered a lot for

sufficiency grounds, if that is calculated as


the total consumption3.
This was an example where we
questioned how much air-con would be
enough, and from what sources.

very little, and sometimes little for little. It


had a coefficient of performance that
varied from zero to 20 (i.e., it delivered up
to 20 units of cooling for every unit of
energy consumed).
Most of the platinum air-con systems
deliver no more than a factor of 6 or 8. So
this was very good performance on

Practising sufficiency
We must practise both sufficiency and
efficiency. Either one alone does not make
for viable, sustainable outcomes. I hope
you agree that we should never see the
day when the great Indian middle class
chases energy-efficient clothes dryers
instead of using their verandahs to dry
clothes. At least, I hope that this act does
not count as progress.
We must also distinguish between a
practice of sufficiency based on voluntary
simplicity and that based on the reduced
consumption caused by poverty. While it
is true that the consumption footprint of a
slum dweller is generally lower than that
of a middle-class person in our society,
this cannot be touted as a virtue: you
cant get the rich ones to swap lifestyles
with the poor. Therefore, as a value
sufficiency only becomes meaningful
when practised in a situation of choice, as
a post-affluence value, which has been
reached for the affluent and even the
middle classes in India.
The primary barrier in practising
sufficiency in India is said to be the pursuit
of economic development (justifying more
consumption) and the impatience of
modern capital (justifying great speed). But
this need not be so. The work and life of
Laurie Baker exemplified how one can
reduce physical resource consumption and
build rapidly while creating a better
lifestyle. By the way, with thousands of
homes to his credit and in a career where
he acted pretty much as a lone
professional, he also demonstrated that
such work can be done at volume by

creating a suitable social and vocational


ecosystem around oneself.
Compensations of Sufficiency
Will practising sufficiency cut off your own
legs by paying you less for more work? Do
you, dear reader, want to laud me for high
intentions but privately decide you cannot
make such sacrifices?
To begin with the idea of architects
getting paid a commission related to the
size of the capital investment is abhorrent
to most clients. Certainly I always try to
work on lump sums or different types of
time charges, treading a line that takes me
very close to breaking the current Council
fee norms. Yet, for the solar incubator I
managed to get three times the cost of the
prototype from the government agency for
which it was developed (a 300 percent fee)
Sufficiency is not such a loss making
practice that it could become the reason
for you to abandon it. If you practise it,
you will not only reap material benefit,
you will have the satisfaction of having
managed deeply innovative work and
provided real value to your client.
Ultimately, sufficiency is not go against but
goes beyond the commerce of our
profession. And it points us to a more
appropriate commercial basis for practice.
I feel it is time to create such an ethical
framework of sufficiency for the practice of
architecture that we agree to follow, which
should go beyond the commerce of our
profession. It is then that we can call
ourselves members of a noble profession,
not by standardising the charging of more
fee but by delivering real value, value
beyond what the client wants or imagined
was possible.

Sanjay Prakash is a practising architect who


is dedicated to energy-conscious
architecture and eco-friendly design.

3. To be honest, this state of affairs did not last very long. The residents sometimes wanted it to be cooler or warmer than it got, so they
fitted an air-conditioner and a heater. Now it was easier to run these devices for a short while than to run the whole tunnel system when
they wanted cooling for a short time. It did not make sense to switch on the tunnel at all when the devices were working because fresh
air only made the system inefficient. The upshot was that the place does not have fresh air any more, and it uses up a lot more energy to
condition the air, all for a 2 C improvement, and slightly better seasonal control. The sufficiency questions about comfort (how much is
sufficient?) is for me the central technical issue facing 21st century practice.

ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN M a r c h 2 0 1 4

49

Social Sustainability

A Holistic Approach...
Project: Campus for Agilent Technologies at IMT Manesar, Gurgaon
Architects: SHiFt (earlier Sanjay Prakash & Associates), Delhi

gilent Technologies is a leading global measurement


company in advanced electronics, communications, life
sciences and chemical analysis. It sets up a corporate
hub in Manesar (near New Delhi) to house its various offices at
a central location.

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ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN M a r c h 2 0 1 4

51

15
11

10

10

11

17

17

11
4

10

11

10

17

FLOOR PLAN

The project represents a critical, creative, technically


ingenious and cost sensitive position in sustainable design and
building. The design begins with a holistic problem statement
that includes all aspects of meaningful design employee
well-being, embodied energy of materials, energy efficiency
in envelope, lifecycle cost of equipment and systems,
resilience and safety. This is unusual since sustainability has
come to concern only a few specific technical foci, such as
reduction of running energy consumption and grey water
recycling. At the same time, the design also aims to be
contemporary in expression and economically efficient in
medium and long term operation.
The design incorporate old-fashioned passive solar
strategies combined with the aesthetic and ecological
possibilities that contemporary materials offer. There is an
extensive use of glass but correctly sized and shaded,
personalised lighting and air-conditioning serving the user, not
the whole space, roofs that produce heating, cooling, electricity,
water and food at the same time providing leisure and
prioritising human values like spending time with co-workers
and nature. It implies seeing hybrid and fuel cell automobiles
as captive power generators for buildings in the future and the
utmost respect for water as a basic resource that is conserved
through recycling (while also saving costs). A sense of employee

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

12

14

17

16

13

8
7

17

1. EMPLOYEE ENTRY/ENTRANCE LOBBY


2. EAST COURTYARD
3. VISITORS ENTRANCE LOBBY
4. OFFICE AREA
5. ATRIUM
6. LIFT & STAIRCASE LOBBY
7. BREAKOUT SPACE
8. VERANDAH/BALCONY
9. TOILET
10. MEETING ROOM
11. AHU
12. EXTENDED BASEMENT
13. VIP ENTRY
14. SOUTH COURTYARD
15. RECREATIONAL LOUNGE
16. SQUASH ROOM
17. FIRE ESCAPE STAIRCASE

well-being is achieved through high ceilings (enabled by the


under floor air-conditioning system) that increase the feeling
of spaciousness along with a green atrium that mitigates typical
cubicle-farm layout stress. A fully equipped wet kitchen works
to sustain employee health and build engagement.
The design thus puts together techniques that have been
tried out individually in other contexts, but harmonised and
implemented together here.
An integrated approach to design was adopted, using the
design charrette process. The process involved the working
of the entire team of consultants as a single design unit until
the primary issues were resolved. This process facilitated the
rapid resolution of environmental, technical and design issues
with a 'consensus style' working. The interactive integrated
decision-making approach was used during the charrette for
bridging inter-disciplinary gaps, resulting in efficient progress
with a few setbacks later on in the project.

The design emphasises on good daylight with minimum


overheating, good views to the hill towards the south with
efficient and flexible circulation patterns. The main glazed
faades are oriented toward north or south, avoiding west and
east directions, thus eliminating uncontrollable solar radiation.
The varying facades respond accordingly through the best
use of solar energy, natural light and rainwater. The resulting
aesthetic and the simplicity of the architectural elements
enhance the communication of important ideas about
sustainability. The building does not have a 'glass look' which
is unmanageable for heat ingress. There is limited glass (60
percent on north and south faade) to provide natural light
without glare or heat. Workstations receive glare-free daylight
and are provided with energy-efficient T5 fixtures based on
daylight sensors providing individual control for these lights.
All this is possible by designing the building to never be deep
(25m), and with a relatively high ceiling of 3.2m.

SECTION

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53

ELECTRICAL ANALYSIS

WATER ANALYSIS

HVAC ANALYSIS

SIDE ELEVATION (SUNPATH ANALYSIS)

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

MASTERPLAN (SUNPATH ANALYSIS)

Hollow RCC Block


(for providing insulation)
PGFC to profile
Glass with 60% LT
800mm projection of tensile louvers for
shading the summer sun and daylight
Tensile fins to avoid morning summer
sun on North elevation
Curtain wash
Glass with 15% LT
Ambient Seensors
False floor for under floor air supply
which helps in displacement
ventilation: style air
Floor mounted swirl diffusers
Wet cladding over 10inch AAC block
1200mm wide planter

SECTION

SECTIONAL VIEW (DAYLIGHT ANALYSIS)

ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN M a r c h 2 0 1 4

55

Workforce for the other shifts may come in and use


disparate areas at off-peak hours according to their
departmental definitions and cannot be made to sit together
for administrative convenience. This poses an air-conditioning
challenge that is addressed using an extremely low-energy,
hybrid air-conditioning system. Various combinations of HVAC
system were plotted against their running cost before
concluding that the investment made in the proposed
technology would give returns in five to six years.
It provides individually controlled 'task air-conditioning' that
cools the user, not the space, and is distributed under-floor. This
allows a displacement ventilation style air-conditioning which

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is efficient even for increased ceiling height while reducing fan


power. The concrete slab is used as thermal storage by getting
night air in lean seasons to cool it. When partially occupied,
demand control ventilation cuts down the energy for cooling
the fresh air without compromising on indoor air quality.
Variable Air Volume (VAV) systems reduce overall demanded
energy, even with the high diversity that the use demands,
especially at off-peak hours.
The project is located in a water stressed area, a situation
aggravated by the presence of this industrial estate. Therefore,
to provide water security, the following measures were taken
rainwater storage, recycle and reuse and water conservation.

ELEVATION

Hot water is provided by solar energy with gas backup.


Despite selecting water cooled chillers, water consumption has
been reduced by a factor of four to about 60klpd by rainwater
harvesting (mainly for air-conditioning needs of soft water) and
double recycling of waste (grey water for flushing, black water
for irrigation). Hundred percent rainfall runoff collection and
storage is provided as a massive tank nearly five million litres
in size. The facades, especially on the north, are designed to
be extensively 'plantscaped,' while the south has projections
to avoid direct sunlight.
The landscape is designed to encourage bio-diversity with
a large area of woods planned in the front and rear, cutting
dust and noise, and with water bodies and misting devices in
courtyards for microclimatic control. The landscape has
passive drainage wherever possible, with swales and
percolations, not constructed drains. The parking area in the
rear setback is soft paved.
While implementing sustainable design, not only the
principles of ecological sustainability have been addressed,
but also those of cultural sustainability, by creating a convivial
environment for the local workforce who uses the building. It
uses local construction details and techniques.
The basic design approach was to look for simple design
and system solutions based on simple physics, and not to look
for technological solutions which are against the laws of
nature. Cost savings, mitigation of ecological impact, a

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contemporary aesthetic expression and employee well-being


that are often considered contrary values are sought to be
achieved together.
The campus directs to reflect upon the future of
architecture. It is being assumed that the future of architecture
shall be the same as the highest-tech present, consisting of
more glass and metal. Upon reflection, the design turns out to
be the past of architecture, which embodies the new and
futuristic spirit of today an age of electronics, biotechnology,
nanotechnology and the coming hydrogen economy.

FactFile
Client: Agilent Technologies
Design team: Sanjay Prakash, Nitin Sharma, Rakesh Sood, Priyanjali, Mayank, Mudith
Consultants: D K Sharma, SHiFt (earlier Sanjay Prakash & Associates) (Construction
management), JCI Singapore (Project Management), NNC Consultants (Structural), Lirio
Lopez (Electrical & Lighting), Sterling India (HVAC, Plumbing, Fire fighting, BMS),
Environmental Design Solutions (Environment Optimisation), Integrated Design (INDE)
(Landscape), Firm Terra (Interior)
Contractors: Ahluwalia Contractors Limited (Main), MAS (Electrical), JCI (BMS),
Bluestar (HVAC), Sidco (Interior), DSA (Plumbing), QCC (Landscape)
Built-up area: 50,000sq m
Cost of project: Rs 17500 lakh
Year of completion: 2009

Social Sustainability

Sustainability Beyond Buildings


Mohan Rao & Dr Vinod Gupta

n the architecture and planning


industry, the notion of development
is synonymous and almost exclusively
limited to the idea of building
construction. As a direct consequence, the
notion of sustainability remains focused
on buildings. While this view of
sustainability may seem justified at a
smaller scale, actual project evaluations
of large projects have shown that even in
well-conceived projects, improvements in
efficiency of buildings alone seldom
result in more than 5% reduction in
carbon footprint (Beyond green
buildings: creating different ways of
living, An interview with Pooran Desai in
the Guardian Nov.2, 2011). Parameters
for evaluating sustainable development

need to be re-examined and reinforced


specially for large-scale projects where
socio-economic issues are as important as
environmental ones and where the
proportion of non-built habitat far
exceeds the built envelope. In addition to
ensuring that the buildings are properly
oriented, insulated, energy efficient, daylit, water conserving, etc, it is critical to
address integration of food security,
social equity and economic sustainability
within the development framework.
While building envelopes allow
application of more accurate parameters
and solutions, the complexity and
contextual nature of factors governing
large sites do not allow a formulation of a
simple set of rules that can be applied

across board for a holistic development.


The critical departure in addressing
sustainability for large-scale projects is
the understanding and appreciation of
the site as a land with inherent
characteristics linked closely with the
larger ecosystem. While its physical
demarcation is derived from the
ownership, its intrinsic character can only
be understood as part of a larger
ecosystem and in that light should be
understood as a boundary for the
physical extent of development and not a
definition of factors that influence it or
what it can influence. Second, the
inherent capabilities and potentials of the
land need to be measured, accounted for
and engaged with, to develop an

Classical master plans tend to be heavily driven by form


and pattern-making using the built mass as the defining
parameter. What is rarely recognised is that most largescale developments have less than 10% of the site
covered by built form. In an attempt to impart visual
order, designer master plans invariably treat the entire
site as a canvas for pattern making. Whether it is a
limited (gated) housing/corporate development or an
extensive township, the accent is on creating legible
(read as strongly visual in plan) imprints. Such processes
invariably negate critical aspects of the site, such as
topography, drainage, soil and relation to environmental
systems both within and outside the physical bounds of
the site. While the master plan itself remains the most
visible manner through which ideas are communicated, the master plan process itself should result in a comprehensive process
document that effectively captures the vision, challenges and solutions for the development that effectively integrates longterm social, environmental and economic factors.

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inherently sustainable programme


distribution for the development
irrespective of its typological demands.
The programme matrix thus formulated
taking into account topography,
geomorphology, watersheds, biodiversity,
etc, and overlapped with overarching
issues of food security, land resilience,
water conservation, etc, should be the
thickened surface onto which the open
space demands of the project,
infrastructure needs and the building
envelope should be situated. Coupled
with the above approach, it is imperative
that large developments should be dealt
as a process-driven mechanism rather
than a purely form-driven art
appreciation.
Buildings, roads and parking remain
the most striking, often the only,
structuring elements of a typical master
plan. All other aspects of the land,
however critical, are seen as subservient

to this built fabric and herein lies the


problem. Natural aspects of the site,
whether limited to the site boundary or

integral with the larger region, are seen


as problems to be solved rather than as
formative parameters of the

Micro Watershed Mapping


Watershed flat area

Watershed flat area

Watershed depression areas


National Highway 07
Existing Mud Road Approach

Watershed: an area or ridge of land


that separates water flowing to different
rivers, basins or sea

Existing Conditions
Based on the contour profile of the land, the diagram maps the various
micro watershed patterns that are formed on site. The micro watershed
patterns formed on site are largely due to the local level ground
conditions comprising rocky outcrops, bund formation on site due to past
agricultural activity and large loose boulders. These micro watersheds
form an integral part of the major watershed pattern on site that
eventually drain the surface water through the valleys.
The micro watershed pattern indentified on site are categorized as Flat
Area Watersheds these areas receive the water and then drain into either
another flat area eventually leading up to the depression areas these
zones in the watershed are potential harvesting zones on site
Masterplan Strategy Document for site at Chikballapur

Site inventory & Documentation Report

ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN M a r c h 2 0 1 4

61

development. If one were to address


resources based on their longevity and
renewability, one would accord primacy
to geology, hydrology and climate and
only then articulate relatively short-lived
components such as buildings, roads and
amenities. Active engagement with land
potential situates the process more firmly
in addressing sustainability as a larger
goal, rather than one limited to creation
of Green Buildings.
Understanding Land Capacity: Every
time a parcel of land is earmarked for
development, its inherent capacity as a
productive ecosystem is irrevocably
compromised. The capacity of each site is
distinct and at times even intangible. This
includes its capacity to produce food,
sequester water, moderate the
microclimate and as a habitat for

biodiversity, amongst others. Any attempt


at creating a sustainable development
should necessarily address the capacity of
the land and equally so its linkages with
the larger natural environment. While
such a stand may seem antidevelopment, it need not be so.
Innumerable case studies are available
that effectively demonstrate integration
of natural systems within the master plan
that expressly protect, conserve and
nurture natural resources and processes
adding immense value both tangible
and intangible to the development
without compromising its spatial or
economic frameworks.
Consider the possibility where land
capacity becomes the chief determinant
of development in terms of densities and
demand on resources. Current practice
uses FSI as the primary determinant in

The BAB ZAERS project, a new urban settlement near Rabat in Morocco, positions this land capacity process through extensive
modelling of drainage and run-off networks analysis on site. Within the broader framework of the project oriented around
sustainable development, the entire structure and the figure ground of the urban development is based on the identification and
passive modulation of run-off patterns on site. This pattern, when thickened as a surface, accommodates all ecosystem services
and is translated as the primary infrastructure of the development. The pattern is used to orient and position built parcels,
inform the transport infrastructure to develop hierarchical urban nodes, develop pedestrian linkages, extend and integrate food
productivity zones within the urban realm and continuously inform and guide the land use of the development.

The process demonstrated is certainly not exhaustive in addressing all aspects of land capacity as the primary focus remains
water-centric; but it is enough to demonstrate that any intervention or development can be anchored based on soil,
geomorphology, vegetation, water resources and other natural parameters each implying a significant response based on its
specific attributes. This is not to say that only one or few of the parameters are to be considered for a development while
neglecting others; each site with specific land potential will highlight natural patterns that have a distinct hierarchical and
ecological relationship that is to be negotiated so as to position the design intervention better.

urban lands that in turn define the


number of users, energy, mobility and
water demand, waste generated and so
on in a linear sequence. While this
rationale may still hold true for small
sites, larger developments cannot
continue to use this rationale. Rather,
carrying capacity of the land should lead
the emergent non-linear process. Each
site being unique, will throw up differing
and at times contrasting capacities. This
can include (but not limited to) capacity
to generate, produce energy, contribute
towards food security, impact mobility
and the neighbourhood, etc.

Land Capacity as a Process: The term


land capacity in its generic understanding
is the evaluation of land, both tangible
and intangible in expression. This may
include but is not limited to an interrelationship study and analysis of
topographical conditions, hydrogeology
patterns, watershed systems, visual
qualities, existing natural features, etc.
Such a study often reveals the lands
inherent demands for conservation,
suitability for building, judicious
exploitation, and so on emergence of an
inherent site use pattern contextualised
within the regional landscape. An ideal

approach transcends the industrial mode


of urbanisation, typically governed by an
engineered and non-contextual
infrastructure. Vehicular road patterns
determine the structured geometry of the
development, while all other networks
such as pedestrian linkages, open space
structure, drainage, services, etc, are seen
as subsystems of this artificial layer laid
over the landscape with little relation to
either land capacity or site characteristics.
Alternatively, positioning a development
from the lens of land capacity
understanding immediately forces the
process of development to address larger

ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN M a r c h 2 0 1 4

63

Landscape infrastructure challenges the very notion of surface water management as is currently practiced. Typically, drainage has
been treated as a subsystem of vehicular networks as a means of draining the roads as well as the development. Irrespective of the
nature of site or the typology of development, this is considered standard practice. The origin of the practice has of course been to
achieve the fastest time to clear all incident rainwater from both the road surface as well as the property itself. Sustainable goals
demand that all incident rainwater be conserved, managed, harvested and utilised within the site with zero run off; thereby
reducing the need to import water into the site as well as increase water security for the development.

and inter-related issues of resource flows


and territorial agencies. Engagement with
the territory and application of land
process is what determines the
(sustainable) nature and form of
development without any prior
assumptions, visionary notions or
individual-driven expressions.
Appropriation of site systems thus
becomes the foregrounded agenda to
articulate spatial dynamics that in turn

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generate organisational patterns and


propose cultural inhabitation.
Larger Goals and Framework: Anchoring
a development through land capacity and
close integration of sustainability
parameters will necessitate a statement of
strong planning goals both at the micro
and the macro level. These goals can, at a
broader framework level, address various
project-based needs and demands such as

reduction of vehicular transport and


emphasising pedestrian and alternate
modes of transport; food security, energy,
livelihood, security, resilience and so on.
As critical as the designed framework is the
equally important aspect of an inclusive
phasing; not just of the built components
but of the entire sites development.
Large projects are built over long
periods of time. While a township can
take 25 years to reach a mature stage, a

Transportation is a major consumer of resources and large projects offer opportunities for changing the conventional approach of
automatically providing excessive roads and parking. At IITGn, the plan has been specially configured for promoting walking and
cycling as the main means of mobility within the campus. Resident faculty may use cars to connect to other parts of Gandhinagar
but IITGn will provide buses for students. In larger projects, it would be possible to reduce vehicular transport even further. Also,
the plan provides for a permanent place for labour colony close to the existing village settlement. Fortunately, the villagers were
not deprived of their agricultural fields by this project, only of land for grazing. A large part of the land has been left as a
biodiversity reserve, where existing fauna can continue to thrive and where cattle could also graze.

Large-scale projects create new opportunities. At Nalanda University campus there was a single solution for the problem of
rainwater management and procuring material for building. This was achieved in a proposal by using existing soil as material
for building walls (rammed earth and stabilised earth blocks) and the excavated pits for rainwater management

university campus can take 10 years. The


long construction period enables the use
of new strategies that are otherwise
impossible to use in smaller projects.
Project implementation requires labour,
energy, water and materials. During the
construction phase there is excess land
available for generation of energy,
collection of rainwater, production of
food and for housing for labour. Most
projects do not provide for any of these
factors that affect environmental and
social sustainability of the project. Most
projects in India begin by acquisition of
agricultural land, creating in the process a
new kind of social caste that had been
engaged in agriculture but suddenly finds
money but no occupation. This is not a
desirable or socially sustainable situation
that needs attention while initiating
large projects.
Addressing sustainability beyond
buildings is a complex process that does

not lend itself to a standard set of rules,


something far more easily done for standalone buildings. Each development throws
up unique set of challenges that is defined
by its geophysical context, social setting,
gestation period, and so on. The potential
offered or the constraints posed by each
site require a sensitive and a holistic
approach that may not allow
standardisation of approaches and
solutions. Specific responses to the geoclimatic or social context makes it all the
more difficult to address a standard list of
sustainability parameters and also, unlike
standalone architectural projects,
expressions of such a framework of
sustainability may not always result in a
tangible design expression. But what must
be understood while addressing
sustainable development frameworks for
large scale projects is the fact that there are
larger inter-related systems that operate at
different scales each independent, varied

and yet having a relational identity that


precipitates the role of the other
topography, water demand, food security,
human habitat, employment patterns,
larger resource sequestration each
connected in a non-linear ecology of
lifecycle. Only when the development
paradigm of such large scales has a
symbiotic relation with these networks can
it strive towards establishing a sustainable
order. Such an aspirational development
model would establish unique benchmarks
on the basis of which negotiations can set
up between the sometimes-dubious
demands of established practice, economic
pressures of development and complex
social and environmental concerns.

Mohan Rao is a practicing architect based


in Bangalore.
Delhi-based architect Dr Vinod Gupta has a
keen interest in sustainable architecture.

Social Sustainability

Minimalist Approach
Project: Studio Building of Shankar Narayan Architects, Secunderabad
Architects: Shankar Narayan Architects, Secunderabad

rchitecture is beyond doubt greater than the sum of


its parts. The design of the project focused on every
part of the studio to perform more than one function.
when open. Every part is made with the least possible
material consumption to achieve optimal functional

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efficiency. This eco-minimalism has toilet walls erected with


Shahabad stone slabs, walls without plaster and paint,
protection from weather and security only where absolutely
essential. Spaces are multifunctional; lobby becomes the
classroom or a sleeping area at night and rooms are

FACTOR
Location

FEATURE

Within half km from public transport bus stop on main road


Located on previously non- agricultural land

Less use of private transport


Ecological urbanisation

153sq m - small site by most standards


Natural feature on site is a rock which has been integrated
into the construction
No land filling was done as there is a semi basement
excavated earth was reused in other constructions.
Building occupies full ground coverage after leaving
minimum allowed setbacks.

Reduced consumption of valuable urban land.


Site characteristics least disturbed

All material has value no waste

Full utility of serviced urban land open space is dedicated to community parks

Each floor plate is single level 100sq m with bunched


services and a flexible studio on the GF, rentable space on
FF and a parking/ multi use space in the semi basement. A
flat terrace is left for future expansion and also for a roof
garden, evening meets
Core studio space on the GF with computers, printers and
other valuables can be locked and occupies 50 percent of
the total floor plate. Other spaces like the lobby are left open
for multi-use in post office hours
Principal architects cabin is the east facing verandah
without windows, only bamboo blinds
Natural light comes into the studio through large south
facing windows and large folding doors
All spaces are naturally ventilated including the toilet which
has an aperture at the skirting level near the floor trap to
quickly air the odour of the toilet
Toilet is kept small and has a back-to-back pantry that
optimises space and plumbing
A duct with a turbo fan at the terrace level aids in internal air
movement

Flat roofed single level spaces have greater utility and multi-functionality, thereby
extending the usable life of the building

Securing only what is valuable and absolutely necessary consumes less material.
Multi-functional use of spaces virtually halves the eco impact.

Challenging the accepted norms of comfort with minimal barrier shelter

Obvious benefit of natural elements

Common sense design solutions obviate the need for mechanical exhausts

Size of space directly proportional to its length of use optimises material consumption

Naturally driven air flow

Framed structure with composite columns in RCC: FAL-G


(fly ash, lime and gypsum) Block combination, C-shape
in plan
Roof slab in pre-cast RCC joists with pre-cast tandur stoneferrocement composite panels laid on top
Walls are in FAL-G blocks and partially load-bearing by
means of mullions and RCC ties.
Mullions are with RCC filled hollow terracotta blocks
Sump is made with stone slab clad suicidal centring as pre
finished surface
Consumption of steel and cement was found to be 60
percent of the usual structures with the same built-up area.
Staircase treads are precast from the same mould of
the joist

Composite design which optimally uses the properties of different materials

Fully utilising all the properties of a material and multiple-use of the same (flooring stone
as roofing also) actually halves the material consumption leading to direct eco benefits
Every material in this building carries more than one function and/or is designed
to consume least material that its eco impact is virtually halved.

Site

Architectural Plan
and Design

Structure

ECO-EFFECT

Intelligent design

The staircase treads, for e.g., are bare concrete without stone facing or plaster
and paint finish

ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN M a r c h 2 0 1 4

69

FACTOR

FEATURE

Details

Furniture

General

No windows in common/non working areas including the


principal architects veranda workspace.
Other windows are based on the nose concept i.e
ventilation from below without ingress of rain
Steel flush doors (left with bare GI finish) offer security to
lockable areas and also act as partitions in different
configurations when open
Frame-less sliding doors for toilets with 8mm thick cement
particle board
For toilet floors and terrace floor, the pre-cast composite
stone slabs are laid to slope
Plastering is done for the inside and outside, only for castin situ roof beams
Straight block bond in walls - lengths and heights of wall a
as per block size module
Tandur stone polished/rough slab is used for toilet walls

Railing with Tandur stone slabs


Sewerage/waste water has separate pipes. Waste water
goes to weed garden at the rear
No paints used anywhere

Functionally not required- conventional aesthetic options are eschewed to create


a new aesthetic

Existing office furniture re-fashioned to suit new place. Any


new furniture is with packing wood/recycled timber
Principal architects table is made with materials left over
from the construction process with a stone top
Built in benches are with Tandur stone slab.

Afterlife use has its eco benefits as importantly, it also leads to creative
design solutions
How to consume waste creatively

Tandur stone is a local material. It is a nature processed material, ready-to-use.


It is economical, long lasting and encourages better craftsmanship

Casuarina poles left over from scaffolding are re-used for


the staircase wall
Left over composite stone panels are used for compound wall
Small portions of left over concrete after a days work were
used to make the compound walls
Material-labour cost percentage
Design without preconceptions a different idea of beauty

Idea is to consume every bit of material that comes to site no waste to throw away

The typical cost percentage mix in a normal building is 70-30 for material and labour.
For this project it was 50-50. Less on material, more on labour leads to better
human resource development and encouraging craftsmanship
Appreciating the inherent characteristics of material and using the most economical materials
and mixing them naturally, without prejudice leads to eco-sensitive solutions

functionally minimal depending on the duration of usage


and characteristic, the toilet/pantry is ultra compact, whereas
the studio is spacious. Wastes generated from construction
are reused. These ideas have helped to dramatically reduce
the eco-footprint and the end cost of the building.
The concepts have widespread applicability. For instance,
use of composite precast stone slabs (patent pending) is a

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ECO-EFFECT

M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

Variable comfort/protections level depending on character and time use of


spaces can lead to less use of materials.
For a given area of opening, light component requires greater area than the
ventilation component all windows need not be designed to open fully save material.
Appropriate choice of material for the purpose in this case security and
multiplying its usage halves material requirements

Each component is optimised for its purpose toilet door is for privacy, not security

A single material is used avoiding additional materials like cinder filling, screed,
floor tiles, water-proofing, etc. saving on multiple materials and varied labour
Extra attention to construction quality can save unnecessary material use in
finishing. The idea behind this building was to finish as you construct.
Avoids cutting and wastage of blocks

A single 25mm thick slab does the job of what multiple materials like brick, plaster, tile,
paint, etc, do which add up to at least 150mm thick. Stone is also a nature processed
material, ready-to-use, long lasting
Avoid use of steel, paint, welding, future maintenance, etc
Water usage is decided carefully

generic system suitable for adoption in varied geographies


unlike vaults and domes. Flat roofs also optimise scarce land
in our urban centres by allowing medium to high-rise
shelters. Observed data during construction indicates a 50
percent reduction in material costs especially steel and
cement (with direct ecological benefits) but a 25 percent
increase in labour costs. This, however, translates to

6
2

1
4

BASEMENT PLAN

1. ENTRY
2. RAMP GOING DOWN
3. PARKING
4. 20 WIDE ROAD
5. 25 WIDE ROAD
6. TOILET

2
5

3
7

GROUND FLOOR PLAN

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

1. VERANDAH CABIN
2. STUDIO
3. MEETING ROOM
4. LOBBY

5. CUT-OUT
6. TOILET
7. PLOTTER

SECTION

redirection of investment into human resources and


craftsmanship rather than mining and material.
The different parts of this building come together in
a comfortable and unselfconscious way to create a
new aesthetic.

FactFile
Client: Sri A J Gurushankar
Design team: Ar G Shankar Narayan, K Andrew (Project Management);
Sri V V Ranga Rao, S.L.Structural Consortium (Consultants, Structural)
Contractors: In House. Main Civil Mason Sri Mathiah
Built-up area: 250sq m
Cost of project: Rs 28 lakhs
Year of completion: 2011

ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN M a r c h 2 0 1 4

73

Social Sustainability

Environmentally Sensitive Practice


Bio Pool, Our NAtive Village, Hessarghatta

Chitra Vishwanath

prefer to place our practice as a


coming together of happy accidents in
an enlightened and helpful ecosystem.
Serendipity is not given the credit it should
and we appropriate much of what is
essentially good luck to ourselves.
Let me begin with some context. In
1990 the use of mud for construction
became highly suspect in Bangalore city
due to the huge failure of a large housing
project at Yelahanka, then a satellite town
of Bangalore, built by the Karnataka
Housing Board. Here 770 houses were
constructed with Stabilised Mud Blocks
(SMB) of rather very poor quality.
Though spoken about as the largest
modern mud colony in the world it
turned out to be a failure. This debacle
happened due to corruption, improper
construction which also flaws in design
and detailing.

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

Though SMBs were suspect, the 1990s


also saw HUDCO (Housing and Urban
Development Corporation) aggressively
promote alternate and cost-effective
construction materials and methods. It
also set up many Nirmithi Kendras
(Building Centres) all over India,
including Bangalore. During this time, the
nature of housing development in
Bangalore was largely plotted
development. People bought land and
built houses themselves with the help of
master mason. Very few home builders
used to hire architects though a slow and
steady change was occurring. At the same
time, a highly educated and well
travelled middle class owning small plots
of land was emerging in the city. It was
ready to experiment with new ideas and
set off an alternative construction and
design movement. The works of architects

Adobe Making

like K Jaisim, the Kanade brothers


(Shankar and Navnath), Sharad Padalkar
and V K Giridhar along with innovations
and experiments being conducted at IISc
(Indian Institute of Sciences) by Prof K

Civil Engineering in a Polytechnic in


Nigeria I too was no greenhorn and was
able to design with knowledge of structural
stability. It is personally very important for
me to bring forth the backing of family for

Yellow Train School, Coimatore

Jagadish and M R Yogananda were an


integral part of this alternate design and
construction eco-system.
A particular plotted development
initiated by the employees of ISRO (Indian
Satellite Research Organisation) at
Padmanabhnagar, Bangalore, acted as a
laboratory for many architects and
engineers to try out new ideas, with the
support of the client community of
scientists. We (Vishwanath and I) were one
of the younger architects that collaborated
with a group of enthusiastic engineers from
Nirmithi Kendra Bangalore, and designed
few homes at ISRO layout, and thus began
our practice. For five years after 1990,
unplastered fired brick walls in rat-trap
bond and precast arch panel roofs were
the norm for us. We developed our own
details for rat-trap masonry and worked
closely with Prof Yogananda for alternative
roofing ideas. We focused on reducing
construction costs, particularly because our
clients were mostly salaried employees
building their homes through loans. I had
great support in the family. Having studied

a stable practice to evolve since it has been


a very important and integral part of my
eco-system.

Sustainability Begins at Home


In all, from 1990 to 1995, we
designed and built close to 20 houses in
different parts of Bangalore. Through the
initial five years of practice we
experienced problems with quality,
supply and cost of bricks available locally,
and had to get them from Kerala or
Mangalore. Many clients had to either
plaster or paint the exposed brick
surfaces to prevent them from erosion. To
transport expensive wire cut bricks and
then build in rat-trap bond in Baker
style just did not cut ice with me since it
seemed like a sham or mockery of
Bakers philosophy. Therefore, the
opportunity to build our own house came
as manna from heaven and this led to a
future in building with mud. In our
home, besides use of mud, we
incorporated rainwater harvesting and
solar PV and water heater systems and
developed the strategy for the concept of
an ecological home. The home also
became a workshop where consistently
new ideas of sustainability are being
tested. Through the design and
construction experience in our home we

Rekha Residence, Bangalore

ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN M a r c h 2 0 1 4

75

could confidently showcase the possibility


of a small-unit level sustainability, walk
the talk, and make it easier for the other
clients to accept the possibilities.
Meanwhile, much experiments and
work had happened at IISc on the nature
and production methods of Stabilised
Mud Blocks. Local entrepreneurs were
starting to provide the labour for making
of the blocks. The institute used to help
us test the soil and give us the proportion
of the various constituents based on the
kind of soil. We invested in a machine
and with the help of Mud Block Makers
started designing and building more
homes. It was imperative that as
architects we invest in the system and
encourage the continuance of this
technology since we believed it to be the
way buildings could/should be done in
the future. Prof Jagadeesh and Dr
Yogananda were always at hand to give
us expert advice.
It was in our own house that we first
used stabilised mud mortar for foundation
and for all stone masonry. We found this

Vaulted Roof

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

Cob House, Bangalore

mortar combination better than the


conventional sand cement mortar with
respect to its stronger adhesion and
reduced capillary action. With the teams
being proficient in building walls with
mud, we concentrated more on design,
modulation of light, and construction
details. In parallel we also adopted other
ways of building with mud-like rammed
earth, adobe and cob depending on the
context. We have also used stabilised mud
for other elements like foundation, roofs
and floors.
Patronage
I firmly believe an architect needs patrons
especially if the architect wants to try out
new ideas which have not been tried and
cost analysed. So the first house for our
uncle Mr A V Narayan was where we
tried rat-trap bond, arch panel and vault
roofs. This gave us not only insights on
materials and techniques and also set the
seed for teaming with contractors who
are an integral part of the team. In 1995,
our home became the next milestone.
The home gave confidence to many
clients to follow our example.
Building a home for a client in 2004
was the second watershed where the
office took on the responsibility of not
only designing but also of construction
where we were encouraged to try new
techniques and materials. The clients
only diktat was to design and build in
such a manner that we use hitherto not

tried new ideas of sustainability. This has


become a trend with us wherein the
office engineer graduates to becoming a
contractor well versed in understanding
the nuances of expectation and also of
materials and methods. The contractor
thus is not an unknown entity but a
person who is an extension of the team
from the office. There thus exists
openness in communication, mutual
respect and camaraderie. We recently
finished designing and building the Chari
residence in the same manner where new
techniques of foundation, walls, roofs
and waste water treatments are in place.
We have tried consistently to
mainstream the process of construction
by working out item rates of hitherto
non-conventional methods like SMB,
rammed earth or cob walls. This allows
us to call for tenders and also provide the
client a reasonable estimate before the
start of the project. At no point would I
like to take credit of having trained the
contractors since many in the present
team of engineers and I started together
with almost same level of experience on
construction techniques or materials. We
have faltered, made mistakes and learnt
from the same together.
Architectural practice has high
dependency on trusting relationship
amongst every member of the team
involved. In a practice like ours which has
done many homes and continues to do

Rammed Earth House, Bangalore

more this is very important that


communications are kept very open and
transparent. Our ways of evaluation of
the construction as well as estimating the
cost beforehand has helped to keep
negativities to a minimum. We did fail in
some projects where expectations and
deliverables did not match but each of
these have helped us to better the design,
work more on detailed rates, and
improve the communication.
Though started as a proprietorship firm,
ours is now a private limited company. As
with most architectural firms, the team has
expanded and at the moment the seniors
in the team take up the complete
responsibility of the project they are
working on. The practice also has people
from allied professions who joined us in

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

U-Block Lintels

the water vertical. Accordingly, we


changed our name to Biome
Environmental Solutions Private Limited
which works in sustainable water and
waste water treatment system design,
along with ecological architecture. The
interest, commitment and enthusiasm of
the colleagues have been the backbone of
the practice for over a decade and have
helped us to progress with newer ideas.
I sincerely believe that Biome has
been able to successfully popularise the
use of mud as a building material in the
urban context of Bangalore. I mention
this because SMBs were initially
developed at IISc, Bangalore, as a
material for rural building construction at
ASTRA (Alternative Science and
Technology for Rural Areas). Due to this

labelling, its use was neither pursued not


popularised in the city. Prof Yoganada
was the first one to construct the first
modern mud house and slowly started
the trend. Our infusion of design and
detail and with the middle class
embracing the idea, Bangalore now has
become home to close to 3000 modern
buildingsprobably the largest number of
mud buildings in a modern city. What lies
ahead is to continue the philosophy at all
scales and work at land use planning
wherein the building resource is also an
integral part of deciding how the city
would grow.

Architect Chitra Vishwanath practices in


Bangalore and has been involved in
rationalising cost-effective architecture.

Social Sustainability

Innovative Traditional Systems


Hunnarshala Foundation Campus, Bhuj a case study

Photo Credit: Mariane Simon

Sandeep Virmani

unnarshala practice was born with the earthquake in


Kutch in 2001. The foundation successfully got the
Gujarat government and their seismic advisors to
recognise that the Bhunga, a traditional circular home of the
pastorals of Banni had better earthquake engineering design
than all the concrete buildings in Bhuj that became a heap of
rubble, post the earthquake in 2001. This form was introduced
by the ancestors of Meghwals the building communities of
the pastorals post the great earthquake of 1819; and the
engineers explained that circular walls withstand the lateral

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

thrusts of an earthquake as they work as arches, becoming


stronger with increasing pressure. Since then the foundation
supported the rehabilitation efforts post disasters all over the
world. It also gave the opportunity to discover the rich living
building traditions of artisans and their communities. In the
Himalayas, post the Kashmir earthquake in 2005, the architects
documented the 'isolated foundations' in wooden homes that
reduce the earthquake energy from travelling into the
superstructure from the foundations. In Bihar, the bamboo
prefab home was recast that uses only one tool, the Dabia, to

Photo Credit: Andreas Deffner

SECTION AA

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81

4
2

15

14

11

16

12
7

10

17
13
6

SITE PLAN

1. OZARI WORKSHOP
2. ARTISIANS WORKING SPACE
3. STORE
4. CARPENTRY WORKSHOP
5. PANTRY

6. TOILET
7. KARIGARSHALA
8. STRUCTURAL LABORATORY
9. ENVIRONMENTAL LABORATORY
10. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

put together the entire building. In Bam, Iran, a complex


earthen building with domes and 40ft vaults that was
configured to survive severe earthquakes was documented. In
Ache, Indonesia, the traditional stilted wooden homes were
used on the coast to avoid sea surges. What was encouraging
was that the governments everywhere that invited the architects

11. PROJECT MANAGEMENT


12. FOYER
13. DESIGN STUDIO
14. DIRECTORS OFFICE
15. RECEPTION

16. ENTRANCE FOYER


17. ADMINISTRATION AND ACCOUNTS
18. CARETAKERS SHELTERS
19. PARKING

also agreed and recognised their traditions knowledge systems.


The architects were able to help them make technical guidelines
using these principles for the new construction. Artisans were
also trained, and many governments hired the master artisans
of their region as supervisors to oversee the reconstruction with
these traditional materials.

Photo Credit: Hunnarshala

18

19

19

Photo Credit: Hunnarshala

beautiful and long lasting roofs. They too have a company that
provides thatch services; last year their turnover was Rs 35 lakh.
Traditionally, wood was used for roofing under structures; so
post the earthquake, to stop the wanton cutting of the thorn
forests, space frames were introduced by simply bolting pipes
together. The artisan company, 'SPAN' now provides this
service for not just iconic buildings with large spans, but also for
quick interim shelters post disasters.

Photo Credit: Ira Gosalia

The foundation brought back to Kutch a nugget of building


knowledge, a skill and sometimes the artisans themselves from
all over the world. Hunnarshala's office became a symphony of
the discovery of sustainable building practices taken from
various traditions. The women from the Meghwal community
learnt the Indonesian thatch technique, weaving the reeds
around a bamboo strip to make independent panels that can
then be put together on the under structure to create thick,

Photo Credit: Andreas Deffner

The rammed earth walls of the office building were built by


a migrant labour called Rakesh who now provides his expertise
in earth construction to prestigious restoration projects on
UNESCO sites in UAE and has helped insurgent returnees in
Banda Aceh, Indonesia, to make their own production centres
of stabilised earth blocks for the tsunami reconstruction.
The office also has a laboratory where the traditional
materials and their technologies are tested, adapted and
confirmed. The foundation has collected soils from every place
they worked in India. The physical and chemical properties are
tested to understand the design mix traditionally used for
construction and to create standards for these soils. And this
information is displayed in a soil-arium in the laboratory.
Photo Credit: Hunnarshala

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

Photo Credit: Ira Gosalia

Photo Credit: Hunnarshala

SECTION BB

Modern societies generate tremendous waste, so the


foundation also takes into account how some of this can be
used for construction in the cities. Post earthquake, the citys
debris choked one of the lakes; with this technology the
architects have begun building homes in the slums and have
proposed the building of 10,000 more under the slum-free city
programme of the government. Low-cost walls were developed
using construction debris. Waste from tile, aggregate and
ceramic factories were used for walling.
Kutch is situated at the confluence of the Islamic and Hindu
traditions. To promote and celebrate a syncretic culture, in the
early 19th century, the Maharao of Kutch, set up a 'Hunnarshala' in Bhuj. The word 'hunnar' is used both in Urdu and
Hindi and connotes the 'arts' in Urdu and 'skills' in Hindi;
However, both agree that it is a desirable and respectable
attribute in artisans and represents the values embedded in the
arts and science of their times. The shala or school contributed
richly, integrating the arts and skills from all over the world
with the already rich local traditions; till it shut down in
independent India.

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

The idea found utterance yet again in 2003 when the


foundation was inspired to recreate its political and cultural
significance for the building crafts that still flourish, in the
Hindu and Islamic traditions of Kutch and the diversity in the
nation. We believe, learning to bring hands, mind and heart
together as artisans do, will be a contribution to an industry
that has segregated these attributes in architects and workers,
taking away pleasure of the trade from both.
Architect Sandeep Virmani is the vice chairperson of Hunnarshala Foundation.

FactFile
Architects: Hunnarshala Foundation, Bhuj
Design team: Inputs from innumerable architects and artisans were assimilated
and the design was orchestrated by Kiran Vaghela
Contractors: The construction was undertaken by artisans of Hunnarshala
Built-up area: 845sq m covered area, 345sq m semi-covered area and 1170sq m
landscaped area
Cost of Project: 8000000 (so far)
Year of completion: On going

Project Feature

Sinuous Structure

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M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

Project: Martin Luther Church Hainburg, Austria


Architects: COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, Wolf D Prix/W Dreibholz & Partner ZT GmbH, Vienna, Austria

he Martin Luther Church was built in less than a year,


together with a sanctuary, a church hall and
supplementary spaces, on the site of a previously existing
church in the centre of the lower Austrian town Hainburg.
The shape of the building is inspired by a huge table with
its entire roof construction resting on the legs of the table
four steel columns. Another key element is the ceiling of the
prayer room. Its design language has been developed from
the shape of the curved roof of a neighbouring Romanesque
ossuary the geometry of this century-old building is
translated into a form, in line with the times via todays
digital instruments.
The play of light and transparency has a special place in this
project. The light comes from above the large three winding
openings in the roof that guide into the interiors. The
correlation of the number three to the concept of trinity in the
Christian theology can be interpreted as a deliberate
coincidence.
The church interior is not only a place of mysticism and
quietude but also an open space for the community. The
sanctuary gives access to the glass-covered childrens corner,
illuminated by daylight, which accommodates the baptistery.
The actual community hall is situated behind it: folding doors
on the entire length of the space between the two main
chambers allow for combining them to one continuous spatial
sequence. A folded glass faade on the opposite side opens the
space towards the street.

1
2

8
3

FLOOR PLAN

1. PRAYER ROOM
2. CHURCH HALL
3. OFFICE
4. KITCHEN

5. SACRISTY
6. COMMUNITY GARDEN
7. TOILET
8. MAIN ENTRANCE

ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN M a r c h 2 0 1 4

89

The third design element, a longitudinal slab building


along a small side alley, flanks both main spaces and
comprises the sacristy, the pastors office, a small kitchen and
other ancillary rooms. A handicapped accessible ramp
between the three building components accesses the church
garden on higher ground.
The sculptural bell tower at the forecourt constitutes the
fourth element of the building ensemble.
The roof elements of the church building were constructed
with shipbuilding technologies. Manufacturing and assembling
was carried out by a specialist firm for tridimensional cold
deformation of large metal sheets. One important role model
was Le Corbusier, for his references to shipbuilding.

SECTION

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SECTION

Due to its shape with three skylights, the roof of the church
was designed as a self-supporting steel construction with a
stucco ceiling. The structure was assembled in a wharf at the
Baltic Sea. The exterior skin is made of 8mm thick threedimensionally curved steel plates welded on a frame

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construction. In turn, this structure of steel plates and frame


sits on a girder grid. The compound of grid, frame and steel
skin transfers the total load of the roof (23 tonnes) on four
steel columns which are based on the solid concrete walls of
the prayer room.

The roof construction was delivered in four separate parts


to Hainburg, assembled and welded on site. There, the
coating of the whole structure was finished and mounted
with a crane in the designated position on the shell
construction of the prayer room.

On the interior ceiling, the suspended frame structure was


covered in several layers of steel fabric and rush matting as
carrier layer for the cladding of the stucco ceiling, whose
geometry follows the three-dimensionally curved shape of
the roof with the skylights.
The free-form bell tower of the church was also
manufactured by means of shipbuilding technology, as a
vertical self-supporting steel structure with wall thickness
between 8 and 16mm, only braced by horizontal frames. The
20m high tower weighing 8 tonnes is welded rigidly to a steel
element encased in the concrete foundations.
Photo credit: Duccio Malagamba

FactFile
Client: Association Freunde der Evangelischen Kirche in Hainburg/Donau, Austria
Design team: Wolf D Prix (Principal Designer), Martin Mostbck
(Project Architect), Sophie-Charlotte Grell (Design Architect), Steven Baites, Daniel
Bolojan, Victoria Coaloa, Jrg Hugo, Volker Kilian, Martin Neumann, Martin Jelinek
(Project Team)
Contractors and Consultants: Bollinger Grohmann Schneider ZT GmbH
(Structural Engineer), Spirk & Partner ZT GmbH (Construction Survey),
Markus Haderer Baubetrieb Ges.m.b.H (Main Work/Finishing)
Total gross floor area: 289sq m

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Residence Design

Low Carbon Footprint


Homes Futuristic Homes
By Shreya Dalwadi

forces of nature as the energies governing our physical


and spiritual lives. We never trash food or clothes, but
re-use or re-cycle them. Our spiritual leaders like
Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi have
insisted upon implementing appropriateness in our
own lives, resources, consumption patterns, so on and
so forth. As an internalisation of this cultural legacy,
the search for appropriate architecture is an ongoing effort.

ustainability is a big umbrella and one of its


strands can be understood as Energy-Efficient
Building Design, leading towards sustainable
design for future homes. The approach of energyefficiency is the need of the day in current scenario of
energy crisis. Energy-efficient design is also a key to
Low Carbon Footprint design, popularly known as
LCF design. Carbon footprint perspective analyses
three major components: the building material use,
the transportation costs during construction and the
thermal performance of home through its lifecycle.
For a population intensive and high density country
like ours, LCF approach should be made mandatory
now, if we as a nation want to be sustainable in
future. Hence LCF can be enumerated as the most
essential approach for futuristic homes.
Culturally, sustainability is deep rooted within us
Indians. For example, our Vedas express the five

The analysis for carbon footprint can be done using


the following equation and steps.
Equation for carbon footprint:
Amount of CO2 emission (Kg)=V x D x C
Where, V= Volume of Building Material Used (m3)
D=Density of Building Materials (Kg/m3)
C= Embodied Carbon Emission (Kg CO2 /Kg)

Steps for carbon footprint calculation


Step 1: Calculation of CO2 emission due to building materials use
1

S.No

Material

Quantity used

name

4
3

(m )

Density
3

(kg/m )

Quantity of

Embodied

CO2

material used

energy

emission

(kg)

(kg CO2 /kg) or

in kg

(kg CO2 /m3)


Col 3 X Col 4

96

Eg 1

Mud

Eg.2

Steel

M a r c h 2 0 1 4 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN

Col 5 X Col 6

Step 2: Calculation of CO2 emission due to transportation


S.No
1.
2.

Eg.1
Mud

Material name

Eg.2
Steel

Step 3: Calculation of CO2 emission due to


electricity consumption

3.

Quantity used (m )

S.No
1.

4.

Density (kg/m3)

2.

Electric equipment

5.

Quantity (kg)

3.

Quantity (nos)

6.

Fuel type

4.

No of use hours (hr/day)

7.

One time carrying


5.

Unit power consumption


(watts)

6.

Power consumed (watts/hr) Col 4 X Col 5

7.

No of working days

8.

Total consumption
365 days (watt)

Col 6 X Col 7

9.

Total consumption (KWH)

Col 81000

10.

CO2 emission factor in India


(grams CO2/K.WH)

11.

CO2 emission in kg

8.
9.
10.

No of trips

Col 3 X Col 4

Eg.1 Eg.2

CFL Fan

Col 5 Col 7

One trip distance


Total distance travelled

11.

Average of the vehicle

12.

Fuel consumption

13.

Fuel emission
conversion factor

14.

CO2 emission in kg

Col 8 X Col 9

Col 10 X Col 11

Col 12 X Col 13

Economic Saving: LCF homes save enormously on


the ownership cost (being different from the initial cost)
of the home. This saving is somewhere in the tune of
2.5% - 5% of the initial cost of building the home. This
can be comparable to the rate of interest and should

Col 9 X Col 10

be understood as the annual economic return which can


be enabled only through this approach.
Emission Saving: Since the footprint analysis results
in the net CO2 emitted by a home, LCF homes excel by
bringing down the emission values. A first-hand

ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN M a r c h 2 0 1 4

97

comparison by the architect between a residence


designed with LCF approach and a conventionally
designed and constructed residence (brick, RCC, duplex
in commercial scheme), both of similar size, similar
directional orientation, in same locality of the same city,
show that the total emissions by commercial tenement
are as much as six times more than that of the former.

Promotion to Natural Materials: The entire format


of carbon footprint calculation is such that, if a designer
resorts to use of natural materials or local materials, it
will result in low embodied energy values and hence cast
a low footprint. Hence, local materials should be used at
a larger scale, beyond a single home.

The results from the analysis show quantified carbon emission as below
S.No

CO2 emission analysis factor

Carbon emission of
Low Footprint Residence
(Relative emission quantity)

Carbon emission of
Conventional Residence
(Relative emission quantity)

CO2 emission due to


building materials use

2.5 A

CO2 emission due to transportation

A\3

A\3

CO2 emission due to


electricity consumption

3A
15 A
(for 90 years)

The electricity consumption during the use and


ownership of the home, accounts for the major portion
of its carbon footprint. It should be well remembered
that firstly, this factor is to be calculated yearly and
multiplied to assumed lifecycle of building (say 90
years) and secondly that the price of electric energy,
subsidised now, is bound to increase in future. So this
result of the conventional tenement, being six times
greater in emission, is actually much more severe than
what we can imagine. This when translated into money
can actually compensate for that extra effort for being
green in approach and result in a lot of saving at the
end of 90 years.
Carbon Credit Trade: Through the LCF approach, it
has been possible to design homes with emission
values as low as 0.45tons/sq ft. The standards for
footprint comparison are few, like those by government
of Australia, which set the limit to 13tons/sq ft. Our
vernacular systems teach us how to design at
0.45tons/sq ft, when the world is struggling at much
higher values. This leads to the fact that LCF approach
can enable India to become a world leader in carbon
credit trade also.

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(for 90 years)

In nutshell, the advantages of LCF homes are many.


Currently there are many designers who have adopted
this approach at an individual level. But the gross effect
of this approach will be visible only if this approach is
adopted at a mass level. For this policy initiatives and
legal bindings are urgently required in our country.
The conclusion is that LCF homes can be designed
through the adoption of methods including:
climatically responsive design principles; Use of natural
materials like mud or other local materials;
Contemporary Re-interpretation of vernacular
architecture, for it has survived those 600-800 years,
before the invention of electrical energy, the base of
controlling and enabling human comfort today;
Innovative construction techniques, which permit
marriage of tradition with technology, like the example
of using rammed earth for homes. This approach, if
adopted at city scale, can result in considerable
reduction of artificial energy consumption. The larger
concern is that if design attitudes can consider ecology,
and thereby offer natural comfort, dependence on
artificial energy can be reduced. This may ultimately
act as a step forward in bottom-up approach to
sustainable homes, LCF homes the future homes.

Residence Design

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Urban Sustainability
Project: Residence, Mogri
Architect: HARMONY Planning Services Pvt Ltd, Vadodara, Gujarat

House design has reflected, throughout its history, the different solutions advanced by each
period to the continuing problem of securing a small controlled environment within a large-scale
setting too often beset by adverse forces of cold, heat, wind, water and sun.
Victor Olgyay

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residence is an expression of sustainability with a


climatically
responsive
design,
vernacular
reinterpretation of local building grammar,
indigenous lifestyle and the use of green materials. An
attempt has been made to interpret the philosophy of the
client by incorporating simple geometry blending with
nature, multiplicity and progression of spaces, positive
energy, easy circulation and conservation of natural energy.

3D VIEW

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In the city of Vadodara, the temperature varies from 45C


to 24C in summers and 31C to 11C in winters. Like most
of the cities of central Gujarat, Vadodara experiences harsh
sun for nearly seven months in the year. So protecting the
interior spaces from the harsh external sun was an important
consideration of the design. Climatic responsiveness has been
attempted through the protection of the vertical and
horizontal exterior surfaces, strategic design of openings,

PROMOTION

delayed flight is a happy accident for


passengers of Turkish Airlines in Istanbul.
The extravagant Turkish Airlines Lounge
Istanbul, which is branded as one of
worlds best lounges, makes travellers wish for a
longer layover. No one can blame them, for the
lounge spoils them silly with delightful services.
This exceptional lounge was recently refurbished
by Turkish Airlines to increase the level of comfort
and host more people.

WORTH THE WAIT

DOWNTIME
IN ISTANBUL
Turkish Airlines has refurbished
and expanded its flagship lounge
in Istanbul to make it a stress-free
zone for travellers.

The newly refurbished lounge is designed to


leave passengers in awe. Turkish Airlines has
added another 2,400 square metres to its existing
3,500-square-metre lounge, increasing the size by
over 40 percent. A second floor has been added
to the lounge. Additionally, a spiral staircase and a
global sphere have been designed to represent the
worldwide network of Turkish Airlines.
A combination of traditional and modern, the
space provides classic Turkish hospitality in a
setting that offers state-of-the-art conveniences.
The lounge is operated by Turkish Airlines
catering partner, TURKISH DO&CO that serves
succulent meals and flavoursome snacks to
passengers. They also offer a wide selection of
beverages.
In addition to a childrens play area, a library, a
billiards area, a prayer room and a teleconference
section that were already present in the lounge, it
now also houses a rest and shower space, a golf
simulator as well as additional massage beds.
All in all, the lounge offers a place of quiet
relaxation; a place to shower and revive; a place to
snack, dine or watch food presentations; an area
for children to play and an arcade full of exciting
and challenging electronic diversions. What more
could a traveller ask for?
Fly with Turkish Airlines and make your travel
experience special at this lounge. Fair warning, you
might not want to leave the premise once you step
inside this world of comfort.

For more information: www.turkishairlines.com

WIDEN YOUR WORLD

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stone jalis, semi-covered open spaces and natural ventilation.


The residence has taken the shape of a cube with central
courtyard and internal courtyard permitting entry of daylight
and movement of wind through all the living spaces
encircling it.
The openings have been shielded from direct sun in all
the directions by changing their orientation. Indirect
openings enable diffused, optimum light, enabling their use
in all seasons. The interior spaces have been insulated from
radiation through cavity walls on all sides. Since 80 percent
of thermal load of the building comes from the horizontal
surfaces, all the open spaces on the ground floor have been
designed as gardens. Additionally grass mounds have been
designed as a landscape element all around the building.
They encircle the bottom portion of the walls, plinth and
verandahs, further reducing radiation and preventing them
from being heated.
The south-west direction is completely perforated to
admit maximum wind-flow throughout the house. The

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1. MAIN ENTRY
2. ENTRANCE
3. FOYER
4. VERANDAH
5. PUJA ALCOVE
6. WAITING ROOM
7. RECEPTION
8. DINING ROOM
9. COURT
10. COURTYARD
11. DRAWING ROOM
12. LIBRARY/AV ROOM
13. KITCHEN
14. STORE ROOM
15. LAUNDRY
16. BEDROOM
17. SEVAKS ROOM
18. DRESSING
19. TOILET
20. ROOM FOR EXERCISE
21. SEMI-COVERED AREA
22. GAZEBO
23. LAWN
24. SLOPING LAWN
25. MEDITATION AREA
26. PRIVATE GARDEN

centrally located courtyard in combination with internal


courtyards, act as negative spaces, permitting out-draft
formation and expelling warm air to the open sky. All the
spaces experience through and through wind flow (even
wind-shadow rooms), whereby dependence on artificial
ventilation is negligible.

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The systematic and sequential design of courtyards central


courtyard at the centre of the building (common to four wings)
and four internal courtyards (one in centre of each wing), has
resulted into an open plan inducing visual interaction. The
courtyard has been and still continues to be an important and
integral element of vernacular housing in Gujarat. The semi-

SECTION

covered, arched, passage around the central courtyard


expresses the design grammar of havelis of central Gujarat.
The transition spaces (one each at junction of any two
wings) have dual purpose. Firstly, they act as an indirect
entry to private spaces, and secondly, they offer a second
level hierarchy before entry to private spaces. More
importantly, they symbolise thresholds. Similar progression
has been expressed at the main entry of building through
ramp and steps.
Further inward from the transition spaces are the main living
spaces, as four different wings, each with a different function.
But common feature of all four wings is the presence of
individual courtyard within them. The courtyard creates a
micro-climate of its own and offers an introvert living style. Life
can be experienced in close association to nature, without
going to the exteriors or the outer public areas.
One of the typical characteristics of the local lifestyle is the
use of outdoor spaces for early morning and late evening
activities. In order to support and enhance this, soundly
shaded, semi-covered areas have been provided in all corners

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of the building to suit respective morning and evening outdoor


activities of the user. These semi-covered areas also multiply as
controlled gathering spaces on special occasions.
The design attempts to express purity of building materials.
There has been deliberate effort to convey the nave and
original character or respective building material. The residence
deploys exposed brick work, stone, RCC filler slabs as the main
building materials.
Text by: Shreya Dalwadi

FactFile
Client: Anoopam Mission
Design team: Kalpesh Dalwadi (principal architect), Shreya Dalwadi, Pooja Shimpi,
Satish Ajmeri, Ravi Khamar
Consultants: Ami Desai (structure), Dinesh Patel (electrical), Jayesh Shah (plumbing)
Execution by: Anoopam Mission supervision and project execution team
Project Management Team: Ashok Patel and associates, Dwijen Panchal
Built-up area: 11200sq ft
Year of completion: 2011

Products
Vitrified Wall Tiles
RAK Ceramics has launched a
new range of vitrified wall tiles
called RAK Styler Edition 2. This
new range is an extension of the
RAK Styler range of wall tiles in size
300x 600mm. The range comes
with 32 designer concepts and is
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300x600mm. These tiles are
resistant to stains, creasing and
have low water absorption capacity.

Screw Less Exterior


Cladding
Notion has come with a new product Screw
Less Exterior Cladding for the front elevations in
India. It has a hidden fastening system where all
fixing is done by means of an omega-shaped
stainless steel clip. The boards are manufactured
with a double groove profile and do not require
to be drilled. They are non-load bearing panels
that are mounted to the supporting structure. The
natural appeal and strength of timber make it the
ideal choice for external cladding.

Tiling Solutions
Kajaria Ceramics Limited recently launched Eternity Wood collection in the market. It has various features, such as real life imaging
and finish, the natural random variation of real wood, protective diamond shield coating in satin and real wood, nano tech high gloss
finish and stain proof. Besides these features, it also exhibits a Punch effect to emulate real wood and is available in three finishes,
including satin, polished and real wood. It comes in the sizes of 20x120cms and 60 x120cms.

Woven Vinyl Flooring


Swedish flooring company Bolon has launched a new flooring collection
Silence. The collection comes as a combination of sheets, tiles and planks
and is available in India. In sheets, four-colour patterns are available pulse,
rhythm, motion and vibration. In tiles and planks, six colours are available
gracious, visual, sense, balance, illuminate and ocular. The whole collection
holds high ratings for resistance to wear and tear and fire. It is 100 percent
free of the softening agent phthalate.
For more information, visit: www.bolon.com

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Regd. No. R.N.I. 42924/84