Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Improving energy efficiency in your building can be simple & easy

One positive trend all across the globe is how people are turning to simple, low-cost measures that can save of energy and money. Saving energy in existing buildings is very simple and easy once you make up your mind to do it. For example, a group planted 'green curtains' around 20 of its facilities on 3 continents. These lightweight green curtains allow flower or fruit-bearing plants to grow and in turn shade walls and windows, reducing direct solar gain through the windows and the buildings' opaque surface temperature by over 25 degrees F.

The building’s energy efficiency not only affects the utility bills, but can also have an impact on the property’s value and if its an office then the workers’ performance too gets boost! Improving energy efficiency in your building can also be simple & easy. Here are few measures one can take to improve the energy efficiency of any commercial building:

Measure your energy consumption
The first step one can take to boost energy efficiency is to measure the energy consumption. And the take steps where you can make the greatest improvements in energy efficiency.

Put proper insulation in place
The outside envelop of building should be designed to lower heating and cooling needs. A proper insulation can help make your building as airtight as possible. Replace doors and windows to stop air leaks in existing buildings can provide additional insulation.

Select the right ventilation system
An effective ventilation system to maintain good air quality and prevent the buildup of moisture can go a long way to improve the energy efficiency in your building.

Use energy-efficient systems and equipment
Use certified equipment and save on energy consumption and money. An Energy Star certified computer, for example, will use 30% to 65% less energy than a typical non-certified model, depending on its use.

Use LED lights
LED lights can help you reduce your energy use by 75% compared to incandescent lighting. Also, use sensors in infrequently used spaces such as conference rooms and restrooms to cut down on energy use.

Design Atelier is a New Delhi based Green Architecture Firm that can help you achieve 'green and energy saving goals'.  


Monday, April 29, 2019

Can architecture help beat the heat?

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With heat wave already making Indians uncomfortable in many parts of the country, one questions arise that can architecture help beat the heat? Also, can we keep cool without air-conditioners? Architecture can play a big role in temperature reduction. With the help of the combination of right materials, direction and lot of windows and open spaces, the interiors can be kept cooler. Using bamboo and natural foliage to cover the facade and windows prevents heat penetration. Beating the heat with the help of architecture is not expensive but surely needs expertise!

Architects often quote examples of Pol Houses, some dating back nearly two centuries — weathered many a summers because of their unique architecture. A pol in India is a housing cluster which comprises many families of a particular group, linked by caste, profession, or religion. Pols are typical of urban centres in Gujarat especially of Old Ahmedabad.

The pol houses have grilled front door which is always open so that air enters inside the house. The scientifically designed air circulation system ensures that the hotter air gets upward movement through open courtyard which is later replaced by cooler air via smaller openings. Narrow lanes of the pols trap air to cool it.

The green cooling system recommends that home should have stone flooring, high ceiling and extensive cross-ventilation. This makes home at least 7-10° cooler than the ambient temperature.

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Sunday, March 31, 2019

Advantages of Rainwater Harvesting

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When rainwater is collected and stored into natural reservoirs or tanks in order to use the same for drinking, gardening or irrigation, then the technique is called 'rainwater harvesting'. One method is rooftop harvesting where rainwater is stored using tiles, plastics or metal sheets on the top roof of the building. This rainwater can provide households with drinking water and year-round storage. Rainwater harvesting is, therefore, the accumulation and storage of rainwater for reuse on-site, rather than allowing it to run off. Here are few advantages of Rainwater Harvesting:

Rainwater harvesting reduces the dependency on ground water, hence potable water is available even adverse situations like during droughts, floods, etc..

Rainwater harvesting can be particularly beneficial in those areas where the groundwater is contaminated with chemicals like pesticides, fluoride, or cancer causing compounds etc.
   
Rainwater harvesting techniques are easy to implement, easy to construct and maintain, and the also less investment is required.

Areas where the groundwater levels have gone down, rainwater harvesting can be an effective solution. With rainwater harvesting, one can quickly and easily reduce water consumption and become more efficient. By harvesting rainwater, you can cover up to 50% of a family’s typical household water usage – this translates into savings on bills whilst helping the environment.
   
Rainwater harvesting also reduces soil erosion conserves groundwater.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The 'Green' Responsibility of Architects

Green architecture is not just a technology but full of scope for creativity. An architect, however, with the help of modern technology can not only preserve the environment but better it. All of us must understand that that to preserve the environment, we need to change our perception of what our homes and industrial buildings should look like. We must, therefore, understand how to implement nature into our buildings rather than just creating a concrete structure. Architects should create buildings that are energy efficient, more green and adaptable to surroundings. The objective should be to make ecosystems healthier and lessen the pollution impact on the earth.

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All across the globe, there is a growing demand for green architecture or buildings that combines the elements of design and esthetics with sustainability and ecology. Architects must create environmentally aware designs and use energy efficient techniques in architecture. Tall buildings or residential building now have plants not only outside but continue throughout the building itself.

Green architecture is full of prospects. Architects, today (and in future) can minimize the negative environmental impact of their structures by combining their artistic vision with the modern technology and not only save the environment but improve it.

Design Atelier is one such architecture company that offers green buildings designs without compromising over esthetics. Based in New Delhi, the capital of India, the company firmly belives that green architecture is responsibility of architects. We must leave good marks on the earth and work with a thoughtful integrity and a contemporary sensibilities to create buildings with surrounding which are healthier and without pollution.

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Thursday, February 28, 2019

In Vadodara, Architecture students create artistic classroom to street children


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Recently in Vadodara, a group of architecture student spruced up the the space below the Lalbaug bridge to provide artistic classroom to street children. The faculty and other professionals belonging to the School of Architecture Art and Design (SAAD) of ITM Universe, MS university and other colleges too helped their students design creative space where street children can take regular lessons.

The efforts of these architecture students are now helping street children learn under the bridge in a revamped and painted classroom. Students of ITM SAAD are looking forward to such collaborative works so that they gift the city and its people at large.

The project was carried out in collaboration with Project Retrofit, a local street artist group in the city, which is using its skills to give better urban experience to the people of the city.

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Friday, February 22, 2019

Top Green Buildings in India


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The government and real estate sector in India has acknowledged the benefits of green buildings and have started to implement the concept in their initiatives and projects. Since last few years, green buildings have been the norms in many government initiatives like Smart Cities Mission, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). Even the private players in real estate sector have been integrating the sustainable growth and energy-efficient concepts in their projects. Here is the list of few renowned (top) green buildings in India:

Suzlon One Earth, Pune

CII- Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre, Hyderabad

ITC Maurya, New Delhi

Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan, New Delhi

ITC Green Centre, Gurgaon

Infinity Benchmark, Kolkata

The benefits of green buildings includes enhancing quality of life and cease problem of depleting natural resources. We need a large-scale of green and energy efficient buildings. A country like India where only 20 million square meters of area is covered by green buildings, the practice must be promoted. 
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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Green buildings must do more to reduce energy-related C02 emissions to zero


World over, the buildings are responsible for 40 percent of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and since 2010 the global building sector CO2 emissions are up 3 percent. Though this is a matter of concern, yet architects believe that buildings could be actually a possible solution to the climate crisis. Through sustainable measures and practice, buildings could not only greatly reduce their demand for energy, but could generate clean, renewable energy. If warming could be kept below 2℃, the built environment may become carbon-neutral by 2050.

The built environment industries which includes architects, engineers, designers and developers understand that though the concept of “green building” got into reality more than 30 years ago yet not enough has been achieved. It requires willpower policy, regulation and incentives in order to do more to fix our climate emergency.

Our planet has warmed about 1℃ since the 19th century and rising! If it rises to another degree, then it may push the civilization to the brink. According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, urgent and unprecedented changes are required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) so that we avoid reaching 2℃. 

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All attempt to reduce energy-related C02 emissions from buildings to zero must be taken with all our capacity.  Architecture2030.org, a U.S. based non-governmental organization, recently introduced the first national and international “Zero Code” building standard for new construction. It focuses on designing buildings with high energy efficiency that use no fossil fuels in their operation. The organization is working in California and China to put the policy into practice.

The performance of LEED-certified buildings (and those that are not yet certified) are evaluated against a proprietary dataset and given an “Arc score.” This process anchors our progress to a baseline number, not towards constructing unprecedented sustainable buildings.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

2019 - The year of a green new deal?

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Richard Murphy and Colin Hines have suggested a number of ways on how to raise revenue that could be used to fund energy efficiency in all buildings, renewable and local transport systems. They hope that this green new deal would also provide jobs in every constituency and dramatically reduce carbon emissions.

To deliver this 'green' will, Richard Murphy and Colin Hines writes in the guardian.com, require that people be convinced that they will benefit and that there is the money to pay for such a transformation. Also, taxes on the wealthy can be increased.

According to them these funding can be raised in many ways including private savings via “green war bonds”. Another mechanism would be to improve tax collection. Also, bank could purchase new debt issued in the form of green bonds by a national investment bank to fund energy efficiency in all buildings, renewable and local transport systems.
 
Murphy and Colin suggests to use quantitative easing to fund the transition to a sustainable economy. Read more

Friday, December 28, 2018

Dubai’s Impressive Sustainable City Housing Development


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The Sustainable City, a housing development in Dubai with 3,500 people already living there and it's still not quite complete. Sustainable City is an amazing achievement. It is a stark lesson to building contractors the world over. It's not more expensive to build and it's remarkably cheaper and more efficient to live in. In fact, Sustainable City is the first operational net zero energy city in Dubai, modeled to become an international showcase for high quality sustainable living.

A new housing development,it recycles water and waste and produces more energy than it consumes. Further out in the desert, Dubai is building a giant solar power plant that will soon be producing some of the cheapest and cleanest electricity on Earth.

The UAE aims to have 75% of Dubai's energy come from clean sources by 2050. If the city pulls that off, it would have the smallest carbon footprint in the world.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Watching a design on paper turn slowly into an expressive, dignified built form!

The pleasure of watching a design on paper turn slowly into an expressive, dignified built form is an experience which only a designer can under stand.

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Even with the small land parcels we get, it is a joy to be part of a tradition in architecture that creates spaces of accommodation for children in small towns of India. The team vows to focus on diverse design solutions to offer the kids some space generosity but with a sense of order. One is always hopeful that with all the constraints, the program can yet drive an element of site sensitivity and make naturally lit open space inside and outside the building.

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"We want to leave good marks on the earth. We want to work with a thoughtful integrity and a contemporary sensibility because we want our buildings to be loved today and to last. We would measure our work by the pleasure of the lives lived in our buildings and projects," says Aashish V. Karode, the Principal - Design and Planning Services, Design Atelier.

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