Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Green Buildings Gain Momentum in Indian Cities

The Indian cities have been plagued with numerous environmental problems because of increasing population, escalating economic development and migration from rural areas. The health and well-being of its residents, therefore, gets negatively affected. The demand for residential buildings which offers better environmental quality and have facilities that reduce environmental pollution and have provision for energy efficiency, water conservation and waste management processes are increasing.

The buildings in India consumes one-third of the country’s total electricity. According to BEE, lighting and air-conditioning use 80 per cent of the energy in commercial buildings, while fans and refrigerators guzzle maximum energy in residential buildings. The lifestyle of residents of cities have changed the electric appliance market. The National Habitat Standard Mission states that building energy consumption has increased from 14 per cent in 1970 to 33 per cent in 2004-05.

Green architecture ensures that the buildings are constructed in a way that the threshold level of water and energy requirements are low and waste is minimized, while the comfort level is improved. Now, there are enormous opportunities for innovation in energy-efficient technology and market, too, have taken notice of green building policies and thus abuzz with green building products for lighting, insulation and glazing.

Give attention to architect's advise before you select concrete blocks and vitrified tiles, plastering surfaces with cement and painting them. Green building is common sense and a mix of nature and modern science.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Solar Control - Reducing Energy Consumption

Architects can help create more sustainable cities by designing buildings that use less energy. One of the efficient methods of reducing the energy required for air conditioning and electrical lighting is by controlling how much direct sunlight enters a building. Sustainable architecture consider and incorporates solar control methods while designing green buildings.

The intelligent use of solar shading like venetian blinds, roller shades, brise soleil, and louvers - horizontal or vertical also helps in reducing energy usage. The need for air conditioning is also minimized by cutting down on the amount of direct sunlight that enters a building at the exterior glass wall. Similarly, the need for artificial lighting is also eliminated all through the day by using these installations. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cocoon structure can help design sustainable buildings for extreme temperature conditions

The cocoon, according to a team of scientists at IIT-Kanpur, is an architectural marvel that can help design sustainable buildings for extreme temperature conditions. They say that architects should look at nature to build temperature regulated green homes. The team studied how the cocoon creates optimum temperature and living conditions within the cocoon. The scientists were also intrigued that how pupa is in a cocoon for a dormant phase of a few weeks to months and then a healthy, adult moth emerges from it!

The study by the team found that the cocoon membrane is asymmetric; it allows preferential gating of CO2 from inside to outside and this allows CO2 to pass out from inside the cocoon but not the other way round. Hence, there is no build up of CO2 inside the cocoon. Also, the temperature within the cocoon is also regulated, irrespective of the temperature outside. 

To study how the cocoon responds to extreme temperatures, cocoons were exposed to two extreme natural temperature regimes of 5 and 50 degree C, but a temperature of 25 and 34 degree C respectively were maintained inside the cocoons. It was found that CO2 gating and thermo-regulation helps in maintaining an ambient atmosphere inside the cocoon for the growth of pupa.

The study concludes that cocoon is an architectural wonder that can help design sustainable buildings for extreme temperature conditions. The study was published recently in the Biointerphases journal.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

All For One Goal

Experience isn't the only secret of success for any organization. There's another factor also and it's teamwork. Working as a team, we have one common goal - to serve our community and clients through architecture. It is important to have contributions from everyone. And therefore, we value each other and need everybody's perspectives.

Design Atelier boasts of a highly qualified team whose expertise matches the project scope and consists of multidisciplinary staff and technical partners. We have highly qualified professionals in the areas of Architecture, Landscape, Urban & Environmental Design, Strategic Planning & Communication, Structural Engineering, Air Conditioning, Electrical Engineering, Civil and Public Health Engineering, Project & Construction Management.   

We continue to expand our multi-disciplinary teams and technical partners of over 50 professionals to solve design challenges.

Meet the people
- Aashish V. Karode
- Sushil L. Karer
- Pawan Bangali
- Jaspal Singh
- Vivek K. Srivastava
- Prosenjit Banerjee
- Madhvi Gogia

We want to leave good marks on the earth and would like to measure our work by the pleasure of the lives lived in our buildings and projects. Click Here to meet our people.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

India: Green building footprint to touch 2 billion sq ft by 2015

The concept of green buildings is gaining ground among developers of India and the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) believes that green building footprint to touch 2 billion sq ft by 2015. According to IGBC, 1,745 eco-friendly building projects with over 1.21 billion sq ft of green footprint are registered with the council.

"Green buildings consume 40-50 percent less energy and 20-30 percent less water. Besides, the intangible benefits of green buildings include better indoor air quality, enhanced ventilation, better view and ample sunlight that significantly improve the productivity of the occupants," says Gurmit Singh Arora, vice chairman of IGBC Mumbai chapter.

Though the building cost of a green building may be marginally (3 to 5%) higher than the conventional building, but the incremental cost gets paid back within two-three years with substantial reduction in operational costs. Developers have realized the importance of the green concept as it also offers them a good financial business model.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Energy is the first step to green

Most architects would agree that a green building must be an energy efficient building. To be energy efficient, green buildings must include measures to reduce energy consumption. Over the years, embodied energy has assumed more importance and they make up for as much as 30% of the overall life cycle energy consumption. For instance, a study by the U.S. LCI Database Project reports that the buildings built primarily with wood will have a lower embodied energy than those built primarily with brick, concrete or steel. Green architects recommends passive solar building design. They will orient windows and walls and place awnings, porches, and trees to shade windows and roofs during the summer while maximizing solar gain in the winter. Similarly, windows are placed effectively to attract natural light and lessen the need for electric lighting during the day. Solar water heating further reduces energy costs. 

Also, energy efficient buildings must also be water and building material efficient. Reducing water consumption and protecting water quality should be key objectives of these buildings. Green architecture also seeks to reduce waste of energy, water and materials used during construction. Rain water harvesting is also a good idea.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A restaurant has to be a memorable experience not only for its food but also interiors!

The interiors for a restaurant has to be a memorable experience! An interior designer would start his thinking process with defining what the brand is, where the space is positioned and who is the target audience. The interiors of a restaurant will actually create original food experiences. Therefore, its is wiser to use a far wider range of colours to fulfil any demands from the brand identity.

The work of an interior designer, according to a Wikipedia entry on interior design, draws upon many disciplines including environmental psychology, architecture, product design, and traditional decoration (aesthetics and cosmetics).

Each restaurant project (by Design Atelier) is a signature design, differentiated by architectural elements, finishes, furnishings, accessories, lighting and art to create style, image and an inviting ambiance.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Stepwells (Bawdi) for Natural Cooling of Buildings

A bawdi or stepwell is a small body of water that is constructed either below ground or surrounded by walls above ground. The nearby spaces gets cooled when the water in the enclosed area evaporates. Stepwells are certainly one of India's most unique, but little-known, contributions to green architecture. 

The architecture of these stepwells clearly suggests that these structures were not only used for rain water harvesting but also provided relief from daytime heat. The ancient cooling techniques of stepwells could be adapted in modern architecture as natural way of cooling the buildings. Even if air-conditioners are used in the building planned with the ancient cooling techniques, they will consume significantly less energy as the temperatures will be low in these building because of the natural air chilling.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Changing designs of workplace

A good workplace design ensures effective use of space within the workplace. Also, as a designer you get a chance to create good places to work where people will be productive and happy. And, too meet this objective, a workplace surroundings should be as such that it keeps people motivated. Gone are days when workplaces used to be "gloomy or depressing". 

A PhD thesis at the University of Exeter has found that enriched work environments improve productivity by around 15%. Not only that, but implementing office workers suggestions in the design of their workspace upped productivity by 30%. 

Times have changed and so have workplace designs. There were times when only advertising and marketing companies would have funky offices. Today, IT companies, schools & Institutions, Hospitality sectors and even banks have offices that are filled with sensory delights.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Campus buildings should be designed to embody the spirit of the education

A campus is a collection of buildings that belong to a given institution, either academic or non-academic. These are extraordinary buildings and spaces that ensures growth of people assembling there and enhance the experience of education in their life. The architecture of these buildings, thus, have an important role to enliven the surroundings and make lives vibrant.

Integrating campus functions, technology, landscape and, urban life and ambiance  will ensure social, economic and environmental sustainability. The architecture of campuses should be compelling. Designs that translates emotion, excitement and vision into the learning experience that nurture community later. Through design upgradation campuses can be responsive to continuous re-invention.

Campuses with innovative designs makes them a vibrant and accommodating gathering spot.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Efficient HVAC system enhances the sustainability

Sustainable architecture is environmentally conscious design technique that attempts to reduce the total environmental impacts not only during the production of building components and construction process, but also during the life cycle of the building (heating, electricity use, carpet cleaning etc.) The objective of green design, is to ensure that our actions and decisions today do not inhibit the opportunities of future generations.

One of the important element of Sustainable Building Design is indoor environmental quality that includes air quality, illumination, thermal conditions, and acoustics. It must be noted that the integrated design of the indoor environment must be part of the integrated design of the entire structure.

A well insulated building, for instance, ensures an efficient heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The efficient building requires less heat generating or dissipating power, but may require more ventilation capacity to expel polluted indoor air.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The New Face Of Civil Engineering: Skyscraper With Rotating Floors

The proposed 68-floor, 313m (1,027 ft), Da Vinci Tower (also known as Dynamic Architecture Building) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates is expected to be architecturally innovative for many reasons. Believe this or not, each floor of this building will be able to rotate independently. This means that the shape of the tower will change constantly. Each floor will rotate a maximum of one full rotation in 90 minutes. The tower will be powered from turbines and solar panels. The 5 other buildings in the vicinity will also be provided with electricity. The turbines will be located between each of the rotating floors and together they will generate 1,200,000 kilowatt-hours of energy from the movement of the floors. The solar panels will be located on the roof.

Another exciting fact about this building is that it will be the world's first prefabricated skyscraper and 90% of the tower will be built in a factory and shipped to the construction site. And, therefore, the entire building will be completed in only 18 months! The only part of the tower that will be built at the construction site will be the core. Because of prefabrication, the total cost will be 23% less than a normal skyscraper of the same size, while only 90 people will work on the construction site. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Urban design: Enhancing the experience of the city

Urban design is the art and science of designing and shaping cities, towns and even villages. The objective of the entire process is to make urban areas functional, attractive, and sustainable. Urban design integrates various aspects like planning and transportation policy, architectural design, development economics, engineering and landscape and then draws these and other strands together to find a vision and then successfully deploy the resources and skills needed to bring this vision to life.

Focusing on integrating technology, landscape and, urban life and ambience, the urban design may ensure economic and environmental sustainability. A good city considers the important relationship between buildings and the beauty of the city as a whole. It may be, thus, concluded that the outstanding urban designs are those that are not only visually stimulating, but are also sensitive and respectful of their surrounding developments and environment.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Housing the Next Million

Sahara Integrated Township, Jhansi

Planning ideas in creating a model Integrated Township were focussed on appealing to a diverse population in Tier-II cities by providing a socially, economically and environmentally aspirational standard of living. The project is designed to provide the residents simultaneous benefits of living and recreation along with economic opportunities in close proximity to their homes, and offers  the developer a framework to build in phases while remaining flexible to the changing future real estate opportunities in the region.

To amplify the benefits of agglomerating a variety of land uses with an affordable housing project within the same boundary, the scheme offers a host of commercial, institutional, recreational and infrastructure facilities intelligently zoned and phased. The format of building a high-density high-rise residential development ensures a comfortable built-to-open space ratio and ease of vehicular/pedestrian access with ample hassle-free parking. The design then does not simply become a USP but also an inspiring concept of urbanism in India which allows for compact mixed use development around meaningful green open spaces.

Presentation Credits: Pawan Bangali, Rajarshi Das, Abdul Bari,  Atanu Deb, Subhradip Roy & Chetan Lahori

Monday, August 13, 2012

Breaking the Habit

BRTS & the Cities of India

By Abdul Bari
Pedestrian & Public Transport User,
Architect Urban Designer

One wonders, what makes certain things work in one city and fail miserably in another. It may still be comprehensible to the casual mind if it were cities in different countries or continents we were talking about, but when it comes to cities in the same country it needs some pondering.

There were recent news reports on how well the Ahmadabad BRTS was doing, and on how it has gained public acceptance gradually, but steadily, among the higher classes of its people. It had some mind-boggling figures to the tune of 23% bikers, 25% auto rickshaw users and 3% car users shifting to the BRTS for their daily commute! That is quite an achievement for a new concept to get such a city-wide acceptance. Though it wasn’t a piece of cake, as we can imagine, but still having gone through the initial doubts and criticisms it is now well on its way to spread its network. And it won’t be long before it becomes a city habit.

And then we have the Delhi BRTS, with its criticisms and court appeals. Being a daily commuter on Delhi’s only BRT corridor I couldn’t help appreciating the meticulousness that is apparent in its design and execution. And even maintenance. Yet for all it’s worth the bus I take still doesn’t take the lane designed specifically for it, nor does it alight by the bus shelter that is designed for it in the middle of the corridor. There was a court order a few days back allowing mixed traffic on all lanes of the corridor, but why should that stop buses from using the lanes that have been designed for them? The BRT has apparently reported 32% increase in bus ridership, but somehow this figure has no impact on its wide-scale public acceptance or support.

The most common justification we hear on this difference between two cities getting such varied public responses within the same country, is that the Delhi BRTS is an open system while that of Ahmadabad in a closed one. This means, Delhi BRTS allows traffic from the non-BRTS road network to mingle with it at various points. My personal experience with this; I would wait for the bus to enter the BRT corridor because it would mean faster unhindered travel, and dread re-entering the conventional road network because that would mean unpredictability. The reason I use that word is; and i am sure people who have been in organized traffic in foreign countries will mostly agree, that it is the most important thing about road traffic. If one can predict how long it is going to take to negotiate it, then that is a hundred times better than not knowing when you will be relieved of that torture. And that is how road commuters are supposed to plan their travels. Non-BRT corridors in Delhi with its mixed traffic and erratic commuter behaviour are never predictable. And that precisely is what the BRT offers - predictability.

The Delhi BRT Corridor

The conventional Delhi Roads

The only complaints we hear about the BRT are by the car-owners, whose only complaint again, is they have to wait at the signal for far too long than they would like. Their general habit is to just keep moving, even if that is at a ridiculous speed because that is how they are used to commuting. They have become so habitual to chaos that order is now frustrating them. Agreed that the signal phasing of the Delhi BRTS needs to be a little more innovative but in principle a BRTS should work as well in Delhi as it is in Ahmadabad even if the Delhi volumes are much higher. It is a matter of breaking the habit of the commuters which has been so moulded over years and years of bad public transport and inequitable road planning. One cannot imagine the current road network accommodating more and more private vehicles every year. The only alternative is public transport and the BRTS is the current best practice worldwide. I don’t think there is a better explanation of this scenario than what the Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has said, that the BRT is “for the common man,” but it faces hurdles from “vested interests.” What we have to acknowledge here is that our only chance of survival is together. Everyone requires a piece of road, and equitable road space planning is the only way for us to move forward.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Creating Impressions...

By Abdul Bari
Architect Urban Designer

There is generally an institutional resistance to adopting new technologies. But technological advancement for attaining a higher efficiency and a better quality output has been a constant endeavour at Design Atelier Urbis. Following the incorporation of Autodesk Revit in the design studio, and the development of a customized work smart studio management system codenamed ‘CONCERT’ to monitor studio activities, there was casual experimentation of a lesser known software application by Autodesk named ‘Impression’. And the outcome is what you see below!

We found Autodesk Impression to be a much lighter and easy to use alternative to Adobe Photoshop for making attractive and legible design illustrations like master plans, landscape schemes, rendered elevations & sections, views, etc. The software was tested on variety of projects of different scales and types;  from a 10 Acre housing scheme to a 150 Acre integrated township to a schematic industrial landscape for a Power Plant; and was found to be twice as fast as Photoshop in delivering a product of the same (maybe even better) quality. A very handy application indeed during the crunch! 

Further ‘impressive’ aspects of the application are its compatibility with other drawing/graphic formats and its block library. It imports, and even identifies layers from .dwg and .psd formats, allows for .dwg links to be updated at any stage of the work, and gives high resolution outputs in JPEG, PDF, PSD, TIFF and other standard formats. The block library is populated with ready to use plans and elevations for Trees, human figures, automobiles in different presentation styles. The drag-and-drop interface for the blocks makes for very quick working. Downside - the application crashes very easily, which means you can lose a lot of work in an instant and without warning! Though there are intelligent ways of finding one’s way around it, like packing the elements in your layers and importing clean geometry into your workspace. Moreover, we hear there’s a new release which is more stable and high performance.

So, our stance is that if you’ve got the resolve and enjoy making pretty illustrations and rendered drawings, this software will go a long way in creating lasting first impressions!

Presentation Credits: Abdul Bari, Rajarshi Das & Sarvesh Jaiswal

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hospitality Interiors - Creating Unforgettable Experiences

Creating unforgettable interior environments as memorable guest experiences should be motive of a great designer of hospitality sector. And this can be achieved with original, personal & thoughtful design aesthetics. Each project should have its own signature design, differentiated by architectural elements, finishes, furnishings, accessories, lighting and art to create style, image and an inviting ambiance.

Green Architecture For India

Almost non-existent in modern Indian cities till few years back, sustainable architecture is now gaining some attention. However, it may not be wrong to state that ambiguity on what exactly constitutes sustainable architecture do exists as well.

In India, ancient reservoir of knowledge can help reduce energy consumption in buildings today. To some extent "Vaastu Shastra" do advocate and guide us on how to create green buildings. Climate-responsive architectural design is age old tradition in India and courtyards, clusters, wind towers, roof terraces and jaalis (stone lattices) were built for effective climate control. The need is to combine modern technology with traditional methods. It may also be said that for an ideal green building all one has to do is to look and get ideas from nature. As in his hugely  successful book Design with Nature, published in 1969, Ian McHarg says that: “If one accepts the simple proposition that Nature is the arena of life and that a modicum of knowledge of her process is indispensable for survival and rather more for existence, health and delight, it is amazing that how many apparently difficult problems present a ready solution.”

While designing with nature at a building level, one should recognise sun paths, breezes, shade trees and rock formations so that people can inhabit comfortably. Natural features like trees, animal tracks, habitats and natural drainage systems must also be protected. Building a collection pond for rainwater is another ancient method to reduce consumption of supplied water. Rainwater flows are retained and water runs into a pond at the lower end of the site. 

It must also be understood that the social, political, economical and cultural context of India would also have to be addressed while designing environmentally sustainable architecture so that solutions are sensitive to its particularities.

"Using conservative design methods, a potentially staggering impact on the power-water consumption of the country could result if effective ways are found to support change in products and processes across the built environment. Imagine if buildings could be designed to be used through the day without electrical lights, or to run air-conditioning needs on pre-cooled recycled water or to use all natural and paid resources conservatively and then say multiply this model to the entire city to gauge the impact," points Aashish V. Karode (B.Arch.; M.U.D. (Berkeley) Principal, Planning and Design Services, Design Atelier, New Delhi)

CII - Godrej Green Business Centre, Hyderabad is the first platinum rated green building in the world outside the USA. It is the first platinum rated green building of the world under LEED version 2.0.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Design Atelier's PADC project at Panipat

Design Atelier's new PADC project featuring a parasol roof, inclined glass curtain wall, skylit glass courtyard and tensile skylights has recieved lots of applause. Indianoil inaugurated the new PADC (Plastics Development Centre) Laboratory building at the Panipat refinery few months back. Here we share few pictures of this project with you all:

Monday, June 11, 2012

1943 Constructed structure - Renovating in 2012

By Minakshi Jaiswal

Renovating this building which was originally constructed in 1943 was a real challenge, as it did not have a framing skeleton and stood on brick column and 13” load bearing walls. We completed it without breaking its external wall. The complete house is based on the original taste of its Oriental looks, dark wood and a lot of white. It is imbued with a lot of natural light and air. It was planned in a manner to provide very comfortable and large spaces to every user in it. The areas where natural light did not reach is provided with skylight as an interesting feature. Watch this space for the completion photos!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Creative New Housing Solutions for Owner - Collaborators

By Abdul Bari
Architect/ Urban Designer

All Singing ... All Dancing Urban Living in Future!
As land values rise to stupendous levels, an owner, exercises  options to unlock his land value by putting up part of his FAR in a  collaborative redevelopment project while retaining his address, ownership and lifestyle in future. 

But then get into the minds of the builder-owner duo and you get a dizzying set of problems to solve. A vertical division of the permissible FAR, Division of front facade in ratio of the ownership and a mix of apartment types suited to different family structures, future ownership changes and the market for rental income in the locality. Designers would be proud of the all singing all dancing model that meets all the above criteria. Watch this space for a choice of alternative styles for asymmetrical contemporary or symmetrical neo classical fa├žade options.

This was the response to the Owner’s call of having distinct identities for the one-third/two-third FAR divisions.  This very intelligently catered to the building regulation of having no projections beyond 2’ from the building line unless its a 3’ balcony. Planter boxes, steEl fins/frames and wardrobe masses were used to create a capsule composition.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Quick and Dirty Presentation Technique for Architects in a Hurry

Its always interesting to see how designers communicate their ideas and work. And in the case of young architects, most often than not, it is the main obstacle in the communication of their design intent. 

We almost naturally came up with this technique which worked quite well for the short time it was accomplished in! Below is the pictorial explanation of this technique: 

A Hand Sketch + A Google Sketch + A Power Point = A Quick Design Presentation

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Reviving the Senses: Small Garden & In-house Greenery

By Minakshi Jaiswal
Interior Designer & Sub-Editor

Garden and greenery are the only places where we find ourselves close to us. Simple concept of ‘likes minds attracts’, our senses attract to nature and get relaxation close to it. Such green spaces inside our living space relax our souls and brains. Making greenery, a part of living room with the connected balcony or a small garden at the entrance foyer can revive the senses. Now let’s focus on how to do the planning and design a garden as per the respective type of spaces available in our houses.

Plan your garden & incorporate your requirements: Draft the existing garden/green space on a piece of paper and then draft the new plan which would include the changes. Now you can easily visualize the area’s you need to work on.

Material Consideration is something chosen on the basis of climatic conditions and maintenance. Like a combination of water body with some aquatic plant is not good for the northern part of country.

Fashionable Plants/Planting Style & Artifacts: These are the articles of your green space which start putting life into it. Thinking Colors is a best way as it makes you select plants with beautiful hues of petals and leafs. An Ultimate low maintenance garden - It should not be complicated enough to manage in our daily basis life.

Paint / Mosaic –for dull walls:  If you have unsettled walls in your garden then paint them in some odd color to green or mosaic art can also be opted. This way, it will add a feature to the space without any dismantling or construction.

Extended Flooring (like Decking, laminated wood or Tiles). It varies if the space is a balcony and if it’s a foyer. To merge the living area and green space you can extend the same flooring from living spaces to open spaces. It will add a feel of area enlargement as well as mixing of the nature and man-made.

Enhancing the space with Elements like Colorful Plants is a revitalizing process. Bonsai is a kind of miniature gardening. The millennia-old art form, still going strongly today!   In Japanese, bonsai can be literally translated as 'tray planting' but since originating in Asia, so many centuries ago - it has developed into a whole new form. To begin with, the tree and the pot form a single harmonious unit where the shape, texture and colour of one, compliments the other. Then the tree must be shaped. It is not enough just to plant a tree in a pot and allow nature to take its course - the result would look nothing like a tree and would look very short-lived.

Romantic Settings should be a part of lawn or balcony so that the environment which is created can be lived with too. A space to spend some beautiful time with your family and your settings must be as per that.

Restful Sound like falling water or tinkles of wind chimes with the least flow of air. Soothing scents & Soft Lights Warmth are the life of lawns. Its beauty in dark is intensified by the effect of these lights.

Finally using the set of all these components you will come up with a shell in your den where you can revive your senses in every respect to the closeness to nature and yourself.