Sunday, December 15, 2013

Design Atelier Bags Prestigious Emerson Cup 2013 Award

Design Atelier was awarded prestigious Emerson Cup 2013 Award. Aashish Karode (Design Principal of Design Atelier) received the Emerson Cup 2013 award on behalf of Design Atelier. The Emerson Cup, one of the biggest HVAC industry competitions in India, is an annual event instituted by Emerson Climate Technologies to recognize and celebrate outstanding projects with innovative and energy efficient HVAC designs for New and Retrofit Buildings.

Design Atelier is one of the reputed and famous architectural firm that believes in creating distinctive buildings and have been successfully engaged by major organizations - especially quality oriented corporations for their development projects in Institutional, Hospitality, Housing, Offices, Retail, and Educational sectors. The firm is based in New Delhi, India.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Nestopia Features Design Atelier as Pro of The Week!

Nestopia has featured Design Atelier as 'Pro Of The Week'. Design Atelier is a New Delhi, India based Architectural Firm whose design focuses on creating the strong brand identity and 'aura' that gives institutions a special edge in the highly competitive international landscape of new India.

Design Atelier was in news recently because of its project Chimes building in Gurgaon which was awarded LEED/IGBC Gold Rating and also the "Green Project of the Year" by Construction Week Awards 2013. The firm specializes in Architectural Execution , Architectural Consultancy , Architectural Design , Interior Design , Green Architecture and Turnkey Solution.

Nestopia is India's first platform that makes building and designing spaces a seamless experience by bringing space-owners, design professionals and the construction community together through various social, local and mobile collaborative tools.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

VIRSA - Start Up Farms India

The SUFI IT Park (StartUp Firms IT Incubator) is a project executed by Design Atelier Urbis of New Delhi, India. The conceptual process for the design of the SUFI IT Park was aimed to create an integrated unity through the articulation of the different form components, understanding the building as a volume and not as independent facades. This approach leads to a composition of added regular elements, represented by the cantilevered verandas, tied up together by the large parapet crowning the entire complex. Apart from adding aesthetic value, this frame gives protection and privacy to the users from the other surrounding buildings and from the strength of the undesirable sun. 

Set on a South-North orientation, massive volumes of the staircases anchor the whole building, and the various elements. The modern glass and stucco insulated façade is at the same time avant-garde in its expression and fits into the industrial surroundings. Preferring to integrate active and passive technology over decorative articulation, the design stands in purposeful contrast to the local Indian traditions.

Combining circular, triangular and cubical forms, the plan makes a play on the possibilities of discovering unique geometries to shape Interior spaces. With the added symbolism of color - green for the ground, blue for the sky, etc., the design visually tie the building to its environment and location. Entry and exit is from the front allowing for the creation of an "island" form set in greenery.

The Climatic features and technology interventions for the building utilities design are included to achieve a sustainable building performance. Technology is utilized to maximize energy efficiency using Chilled beam convective air-conditioning, with treated fresh air units addressing issues of stale air in the work spaces. Jet fans are used for ventilation of basements reducing energy requirements. LED lighting and high efficiency light fixtures provide glare free lighting at the worktable with day light/occupancy based sensors allowing zoned control and two way reflected lighting in the offices. Energy performance of the building was done after completion, and the results demonstrated a 28 % energy saving on the base case, without much struggle and investments.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Social, Environmental and Economic Benefits of Green Roofs

Green roof, an increasingly popular feature in sustainable buildings, is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. Green roof helps absorb rainwater and insulate the building. There could be several benefits of having green roof such as absorbing rainwater, providing insulation, lowering urban air temperatures and mitigate the heat island effect. Green roofs come in many different forms and types, usually a distinction is made between extensive, intensive and bio-diverse or wildlife roofs.

Intensive green roofs are generally heavy and require specific support from the building. Therefore intensive green roofs support a wide range of plant types: trees and shrubs as well as perennials, grasses and annuals. They are composed of relatively deep substrates (20cm+).

Recently, the extensive green roofs have received the greatest interest because they are composed of lightweight layers of free-draining material that support low-growing, hardy, drought-tolerant vegetation. The depth of growing medium for extensive green roofs is from a few centimetres up to a maximum of around 10-15cm.  Further more , extensive green roofs require little in the way of maintenance and resource inputs. Also, they can be designed into new buildings, or ‘retro-fitted’ onto existing buildings.

Environmental Benefits of Green Roofs
Green roof reduces heating because of mass and thermal resistance value it adds to the roof of the building. According to a study, green roofs can also reduce heat loss and energy consumption in winter conditions. Green roofs not only retain rainwater, but also moderate the temperature of the water and act as natural filters for any of the water that happens to run off.

A concentration of green roofs in an urban area can even reduce the city's average temperatures during the summer! If installed correctly, the green roofs can contribute to LEED points. The water is stored by the substrate of green roof and then taken up by the plants from where it is returned back to the atmosphere through transpiration and evaporation. 

Other Benefits of Green Roofs
Apart from environmental benefits, green roofs also have many social and economic benefits:

- Reducing storm-water runoff as part of a sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) strategy

- Increases roof lifespan

- Lowers energy use

- Climate change mitigation and adaptation

- Lessening the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE)

- Reduced sound transfer

- Improving air and water quality

- Increasing biodiversity and wildlife

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Chimes Project Featured in Built Expressions, October 2013 Issue

The much talked Chimes project of Design Atelier was once again in news when it was featured in October' 2013 issue of Built Expressions magazine. Chimes building in Gurgaon was recently awarded LEED/IGBC Gold Rating and also the "Green Project of the Year" by Construction Week Awards 2013. Here are few excerpts from this magazine:

Green construction is the emerging trend in the field of civil engineering. The green buildings are constructed by adopting new green technologies like green concrete, renewable solar and wind energy, recycling of water etc. And the structure is designed on the basis of sustainability, sociability, making room for nature and program flexibility. One such green building is the Chimes office complex, a firm involved in Aviation Technology, Education and business services located at Gurgaon.

The creative intellect who conceptualized this green building is Architect Aashish Karode, principal architect, Design Atelier. He's the person who adapts to sustainable development techniques and practices in all his works. Ar. Aashish illustrates,"Green building techniques are cost effective when designers use a combination of clever material selection, local sourcing with scientific construction methodologies".

Sustainable design as it generally practiced pervades in all Design Atelier's projects as an attitude, not merely as unique selling point.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

PADC: Improving on Building Performance through the Sustainable and Conservative Use of Energy

The Plastics Application Development Center - PADC, is the Center for Excellence in Indian Oil Corporation's research development thrust in Plastics Technologies. The Laboratory building is designed to take on an Iconic position in the refinery complex, signifying the focus on research and the Future. The Center is intended to significantly improve on Building performance through the sustainable and conservative use of energy and other resources.

Conceived as a rock formation on a plain landscape, the form was conceived as a Building on a rock plinth with a glass lined central courtyard, returns the ground and the whole ensemble to the landscape. The Double height inclined Glass facade generates interest in the outside from all parts of the building connecting the occupants to nature.

The diagonal building parasol roof form orientation responds to allow self-shading from South and West, with larger surfaces on the benign directions of the North and East. It is visible uniquely as a presence in the serene landscape as sight lines show the form “in the round”.The entrance is a glass cube set amidst water channels at the base of the building that also collect rainwater.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

It seems like it's award time for us!

We at 'Design Atelier' were delighted to hear that "Sufi Park" project in Chandigarh is chosen as the winning entry in the Emerson Cup Award 2013 under “New Buildings” category from emerging cities. Very recently, the Chimes Building, Gurgaon designed by us got LEED/IGBC Gold Rating. Chimes building has also been awarded the "Green Project of the Year" by Construction Week Awards 2013.

We consider ourselves as a thinking firm that has a cool and collaborative process that gracefully combines the voices and skills of architects, designers and artists, with a strong delivery orientation. We create dynamic solutions through meticulous planning, knowledge and services. Through design leadership, expert knowledge and services excellence, Design Atelier's clear focus is to be an exemplary influence on the design of Indian built environments.

Campus Architecture: How important are buildings to learning?


Does architectural design play any role in improving educational outcomes? Can a building design improve student creativity? Experts believe that the size and shape of our school buildings can shape the way we teach and learn. The learning process or building technologies may change, but the campus will always remain a serene place to think and dream. A study by University of Salford, UK, suggests that well-designed classrooms could improve pupil performance by 25%. The innovative campus designs can impact both the students and teachers. The buildings can support behavior, which in turn will support the teachers.

Design Atelier believes that through design up-gradation campuses can be responsive to continuous re-invention. The focus should be on integrating campus functions, technology, landscape and, urban life and ambiance, ensuring social, economic and environmental sustainability.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Is there a building with scorching effect near you?

Photograph: Amer Ghazzal/Demotix/Corbis
A new office building on London's skyline has been reflecting intense sunlight from its glass exterior. The building is nicknamed as the Walkie Talkie and is being blamed for melted car parts. In a broadcast for Sky News one reporter has even proved that it is possible to fry an egg in the reflected sunlight. The concave side wall of the 37-storey skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street, is reflecting intense sunlight and heat on to the street below. 

Local businessman Martin Lindsay said his high-spec Jaguar XJ, parked on Eastcheap, had warped panels along one side. The wing mirror and badge had also melted from the heat of the reflection, he claimed while speaking to Sky News.

As the news spread about the tower which is due to open early next year, people and media have now been saying that the London skyscraper isn't the only building magnifying the sun's hot rays to streets below. Buildings in Dallas and Las Vegas have also been found to create a similar phenomenon - some even burning residents below reports Guardian.   

How many other buildings in the UK or for that matter in the world were having the scorching effect? Have you being experiencing similar skyscraping nightmares in your locality? Share with us!

Business Importance and Market Demand Driving Green Building Growth

With sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives taking an upward swing around the world, business firms are finding business value and opportunities from green building, including the opportunity for new environmentally responsible products. This is the outcome of a study "World Green Building Trends SmartMarket Report" published by McGraw-Hill Construction.

"The acceleration of the green building marketplace around the world is creating markets for green building products and technologies, which in turn will lead to faster growth of green building," said Harvey Bernstein, vice president of Industry Insights and Alliances at McGraw-Hill Construction. "And the fact that green is growing in all parts of the world indicates that there are market opportunities in both established markets as well as developing countries." 

The construction firms all over the world now believes that more than 60 percent of their work will be green. From 2012 to 2015, it is assumed by the firms that work will go green more than triple in South Africa, double in Germany, Norway and Brazil and will grow between 33 and 68 percent in the United States, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and Australia.

"This report confirms that the green building movement has shifted from 'push' to 'pull' - with markets increasingly demanding no less than green buildings," said John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer, UTC Climate, Controls & Security. "By promoting greater efficiency for energy and water, green buildings lower building costs while conserving the earth's precious resources. This powerful combination of built-in payback with environmental stewardship creates a new value proposition that is accelerating green building in all regions of the globe." 

For more key findings from the World Green Building Trends SmartMarket Report, visit

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Architecture in Tune With the Climate

A different kind of approch is being put into practice to create architecture in tune with the climate. A recent article published in The New York Times informs that from a state-of-the-art recycling center in Brooklyn to sustainable rebuilding efforts for places hit by Hurricane Sandy, a host of green projects are on the horizon.

Perez Art Museum Miami; Jonathan Chesley/Selldorf Architects; Alex Garvin
Varying shades of green: clockwise from top left, Herzog and de Meuron’s building for the Pérez Art Museum in Miami; the Sims Municipal Recycling Facility in Brooklyn, by Selldorf Architects; the Lakeside Center at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.

"Today, most designers know to build green, when they can. And they know to try to make a public noise when they do. Green is chic; whether you’re designing a skyscraper or a children’s spoon, it sells," said author of the article, Philip Noble. Now there is a more concerted effort by architects to take a broad view, countering climate change not only by altering the design of buildings, but also the design of the larger systems in which they function.

The article talks about the current projects that are being undertaken with this new seriousness by various agencies and highlights about two design programs rolling out this year and next, both inspired by the impact of Hurricane Sandy, are evidence of big thinking along the same lines: learning to solve with systems, not style. Read full article here.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Designing with an implementation mentality

DA has worked on over 250 projects

Through design leadership, expert knowledge and services excellence, Design Atelier's clear focus is to be an exemplary influence on the design of Indian built environments. We create dynamic solutions through meticulous planning, knowledge and services.

We are a thinking firm that has a cool and collaborative process that gracefully combines the voices and skills of architects, designers and artists, with the strong delivery orientation. Design Atelier is recognized for its strong project management and goals achievement focus.

Design Atelier's green design approach looks for the ideas and implementation planning related to sustaining the life cycle of buildings that live after the construction. Working with the client as a key voice, and by integrating inputs from all building utilities engineering disciplines, we provide clients with well coordinated, well conceived, cost effective and environmentally responsive solutions, that meet the future.

Design Atelier is a full services Architecture, Interiors, Urban Design firm whose designs focus on creating the strong brand identity and 'aura' that gives institutions a special edge in the highly competitive international landscape of new India. Go to our website for more info

This illegal "rooftop garden villa" tops them all

An illegal structure built on rooftop of a 26-storey residential building by an eccentric Beijing resident became one of the top news over Internet few days ago. Professor Zhang Biqing spent 6 years building what's referred to in the article as a "rooftop garden villa," with fake rocks and real vegetation above his penthouse apartment. The neighbors got concerned about the possible damage and complained to the authorities. And now the creator of this 'rooftop house' has 15 day to demolish the illegal structure.

The officials of Beijing's chengguan (meaning urban management) have issued an ultimatum to a former government advisor, demanding he tear down the sprawling structure. This rooftop garden villa is built with elaborate fake rocks, real trees and grass and some portions of the structure seems as if they could spill over the edge of the roof at any time.

When reporters of Beijing Morning News, the local newspaper confronted Zhang, he said, "Since I dare to live here, I am not worried about complaints. Famous people come to my place and sing. How can you stop them?"

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Using Solar Energy For Green Buildings

As the prices to create and install solar cells continues to decrease, more and more homes and businesses are using solar power for their energy requirements. The use of solar power reduces the amount of carbon used for traditional power sources, and can decrease energy costs, therefore, solar power is gaining popularity in many parts of the world.

The solar power is actually gained by installing solar power cells. There are many different types of solar power cells but 4 of them are widely used. Crystalline silicone, ordinary silicon cells, thin film cells, and concentrator cells are commonly used. Crystalline silicone cells are the cells most commonly used in solar power plants. Just like in most semiconductors, the Crystalline silicone cells are also made from two layers, a positive layer and negative layer and when photons from the sun’s light strikes the semiconductors and released electrons, the electric field is created between the two layers. 

Photovoltaic (PV) Energy
Photovoltaic (PV) panels contain hundreds of small silicon cells that collect the sun's energy and convert it into electricity that can be used in the home or offices. With the appropriate power conversion device (inverter), these PV systems can produce alternating current (AC) compatible with any conventional appliances and operate in parallel with and interconnected to the utility grid.

Dynamic Daylighting
Many companies have also come out with smart solar solutions to increase efficient use of resources. One such solution is to control individual sections in a building such as in a floor-to-ceiling window with a hot glare in only one area, thus allowing a work or living space to use daylight rather than artificial lighting, but hold down glare at the same time, making a comfortable work space and still using less energy.

In nutshell, the sun provides an unlimited resource for power around the world and is becoming a positive energy source for people across the world to reduce their carbon footprint and save on energy expenditure.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Chimes, Gurgaon: Experience Nature Within The Spaces Of The Building

The architecture of the Chimes Building, Gurgaon symbolizes life inside the building and one can experience nature within the spaces of this building. The design of the building takes care of issues like sustainability, sociability, making room for nature, and program flexibility. A novel solution for a multi-tenanted office building with floor plate size flexibility to create a mix of tenants from various service sectors and industries, Chimes becomes a public space that is accessible and thrives at all times of the day and night.

Each floor of the building was envisioned to organize as potentially heterogeneous open-plan environments that can be combined or be separated by user requests with controlled indoor environments and amenities to suit a variety of needs for large and small businesses organized to share common community resources set up in the building. Not surprisingly, this has created a high profile address!

To maximize the use of green spaces and the views from within and outside and make use of the ground, otherwise lost to building footprint, the design places the gardens around glass-lined movement corridors and Staircase cores. You feel close to nature even when you are inside. The symbolism of the landscape and the architectural artifact are intended to enliven the whole ensemble. When you move through the spaces of the building, lift lobbies, holding areas, social spaces, cafeteria and reception which are located along the way, you realize that design has brilliantly used the idea of diverse experience of graded light and shaded spaces, landscape variation to include plant and animal life (etched into the stone surfaces), air, earth, and water as part of each of the pauses and transition experiences.

The architecture is used to develop the building marked by energy efficiency, operational convenience, low operational cost and optimized investment costs. It focuses not only on the façade, sun shading, and lighting details but above all, also on minimizing the energy consumption of the building while optimizing natural light consumption. The building is glazed on the benign North face and on shaded facades with higher performance glass responsive to the conditions. On exposed and direct heat receiving faces a solar façade of small openings set up high on the floor allow less direct heat and maximizes penetrations of light into the plate.

The building consists four interconnected floor plate blocks of varied size and scale organized around climate-modifying, natural-light-giving courtyards. These floor plates are independently equipped with amenities/facilities for all modern office requirements.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Restaurant Design: Creating Memorable Experience For Visitors And Guests

Eating has always been a sociable event. The restaurant as a hospitality institution fully emerged in the 17th century. The word “restaurant” was used in the 16th century, meaning a restorative broth, but by 1771 the term had mutated to refer to an “establishment specializing in the sale of restorative foods” as well. 

Today, it’s not just about what or where you eat, but also the how and the who that is gratified. The interiors of a restaurant has to be in sync with the food served and its provenance.

At Design Atelier, restaurant design is driven by meticulous planning and an artful eye. our innovative design teams together with the clients, carefully orchestrate architectural elements, finishes, furnishings, accessories, lighting and art to create style, image and an inviting ambiance again & again.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Design Atelier: Green Design Approach

Green design is a philosophical approach to design physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the principles of social, economic, and ecological sustainability.

We aim to generate forward looking ideas and implementation planning related to sustaining the life cycle of buildings that live after the construction. Working with the client as a key voice, and by integrating inputs from all building utilities engineering disciplines, we provide clients with well coordinated, well conceived, cost effective and environmentally responsive solutions, that meet the future.

Interior Design: Green Accepted As Healthy

The season brings forward old ideas remodeled according to new trends, effortless elegance, vivid colors, striking and out of the ordinary combinations and contrasts. Interior design has played a vital role in property pretty much since man began living in caves. So, whats in for this season? Many Architects & Designers like Ashish Karode, Raseel Gujral, Sita Nanda, Sushil L. Karer, Manit Rastogi, Anjali Goel and many more emphasize that a pre-design process is very important for every space. 

In homes, with the dominance of the open plan, the trend is to remove isolated areas and boundaries and create a place where one area flows into another and there aren’t that many rigid definitions. Essentially, our lifestyle choices are reflecting the way we think. Here are few points worth giving attention:

The emphasis on green continues to gain momentum. While most people are well aware of the built environment’s impact on our planet, less is known about how it relates to human health. So as they are maintaining their space organically for their own better self.

Functionality is a substance and small spaces are designed in such a manner that they cater their owner to use it at its best. Gone are the days of cheaply produced mega mansions. Today design is about smaller, well planned spaces made with quality materials that will last a lifetime.

No more people want to cover the large extent of their walls, but a light colour wall with a brilliant piece of Art. Now the artists are considered a part of this trend. They have moved to walls & Ceiling from the canvas board. Lobby of Taj Hotel, in New Delhi owns a huge art of M.F.Hussain. He took many months to finish the work.

Now Leather looking Tile can’t be predicted till the time you don’t touch it but it’s easy to maintain like a tile but gives a fabulous look of leather. That’s how many materials have been developed and getting launched this year too. Higher functionality & low cost and time maintenance.

Leathers, tweeds, flannels and canvas fabrics are popping up all over furniture. Icons of high style like, and have turned their attention to interiors. Everything from master bedrooms, media room and living rooms, both indoors and out will be dominated by fabrics traditionally seen on large basis

The beauty of interior design as a subject and interest, there are no boundaries, form and beauty can meet in function, as long as we're talking of items for the home or workplace, which serves to fulfill a function, interior design, meets its needs.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Avoiding Modern Glass Facades In Indian Architecture

We all admire the old cities of India, especially the residential quarters that were full of buildings designed during the great era of the master builders. We all especially love the work of the great Rajasthani and Gujarati builders, where meticulous detailing and carefully placed openings created spaces that are naturally comfortable and connected to the environment. Modern buildings typically use glazed facades in an effort to bring the outdoors in. But when we are in these buildings we rarely feel comfortable, nor do we get a sense of connection with the outdoors. What are we missing here?

In the era of modern architecture, glass facades were ushered in by Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and later Philip Johnson, and their contemporaries probably would not have been possible without the invention of air-conditioning. We recall modern architecture history that writes of Le Corbusier's pioneering Salvation Army building in Paris, that was comfortable when it was first occupied in the winter of 1933, but it overheated in summer and had to be retrofitted with operable windows and air-conditioning. After World War II, modern architecture ventured into buildings with deep floor plates and ceiling-mounted fluorescent lighting that all but gave up any link to what lay outside, except along their perimeters. After the oil-price shocks of the late 1970s and early 1980s, dark coatings and films were added in an effort to lower energy use, which further cut off people's connection to the outdoors.

Now we have glass coatings that can filter out more heat than light. But are they really comfortable? Developers tell us the advantages of the glamorous looking but thin skinned glass buildings are easier to lease and sell, (not the least because of the extra space they generate by avoiding walls, . But they then neglect to report that these buildings struggle with the glare and heat that come with large glass openings. Designers respond by closing shades, which kind of defeats the purpose of all that glass. And in high-rises, stimulating views are offset, for many occupants, by discomfort and vertigo—hardly the intended calming effect of a connection to nature.

In the Indian environment, we have all seen this problem over and over. In one building with floor-to-ceiling glass, the air temperature behind the south and west sides of the facade was 35 degrees centigrade as the  sun-saturated glass radiated so much heat that the only way to provide acceptable comfort was to drastically overcool the air. A broker of high-end commercial real estate told me recently that his more sophisticated tenants refuse to look at spaces with large south- or west-facing window walls.

Many Indian architects are now borrowing a page from Europe and building with narrower floor plates to allow more daylight into occupied spaces. They don't always realize, however, that when we put people closer to windows, we no longer need large floor-to-ceiling or even desk-to-ceiling window configurations. With thoughtful design of new narrow-floor-plate buildings, we think that developers could respond favourably to buildings with window-to-wall ratios as low as 25 percent.

When it comes to good window design, we can learn from buildings constructed a century ago, before the age of air-conditioning and fluorescent lights. As a community, we need to be more creative with facades, factoring in sun shading, glass type, and, yes, the amount of glazing. We can also explore other ways to bring nature into our buildings, such as material selection, live plants, and moving water. If we do these things well, we'll not only save energy; we'll also make people more comfortable and productive.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Colors in Architecture - A Guide to Students

When we like the colors in a room, we feel good in it. There is a healing, calming aspect.
- Barbara Kaplan, Interior Designer

Color scheme depends on certain concepts and these concept may depends upon the nature of space. Formal space have different color schemes while informal space may have different. Also, to impart fresh effect concept of color will be different than the ancient touch. Apart from the concept, the orientation of the room, existing finishes, furniture and the artifacts to be placed in room are also considered. Generally, for planning a color scheme, following 3 main components of shell should be considered:

- Walls, floors, ceiling

- Proportions of the room

- Balance of solids and voids

It has been noticed that people are more comfortable in room with light ceiling, medium walls and dark floors. Probably, this scheme corresponds to the color of sky, foliage and earth respectively.

If a room is very large, and if required, the effect can be subdued by using dark colors and complementary color schemes. Similarly, the use of light colors and monochromatic and analogous color schemes can make a small room appear large.

The nature of projects also influence the choice of colors. For residential areas, harmonious color schemes (monochromatic or analogous) are preferred and preferably cool colors are used on southern sides and little bit of warm colors are used on northern side (Indian context).

Monochromatic or analogous color schemes that are harmonious are preferred for residential areas. In India, generally cool colors are used on southern sides and slightly warm colors are used on northern side. Bright colors like red and yellow with complimentary color schemes are used for Nursery Schools as these colors depicts childhood. To provide stimulating and exciting effects, bright and warm colors are used for hospitality sector. Healthcare centers are painted with soothing colors like off-whites and browns.

Monday, May 6, 2013

BIM Technology Advantages

BIM Technology on the Revit Platform also known as VDC (Virtual Design and Construction) enables creating buildings as a single data set, leveraging that information to bring benefits to all parties. BIM offers the ability to update design faster, collaborate across disciplines, accurately manage work flows and significantly increases productivity. This enhances the value of design as a whole, with benefits to all from reduction in turnaround, errors and coordination. Here are 10 BIM Technology advantages:

1. Better outcomes through collaboration

2. Enhanced performance

3. Optimized solutions

4. Greater predictability

5. Faster project delivery

6. Reduced safety risk

7. Fits first time

8. Reduced waste

9. Whole life asset management

10. Continual improvement

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Zero-energy buildings - A reality now!

Experts believe that all commercial buildings, by the year 2050, will be “net zero”. Net Zero buildings are capable of producing as much energy as they use over the period of a year. Many green buildings experts, however, says that net zero homes are not merely a thing of the future and any building can be transformed into a net zero home with some investment and advanced energy technology.

If you are planning to own or build home of your own, then there is no reason not to select net zero house plans. People in net zero homes enjoy drastically reduced energy bills and are less dependent on the local grid in the case of an emergency.

Reducing energy consumption and generating power on site are two basic steps required in building net zero homes. Creating a tight building envelope and installing energy-efficient lighting, heating and appliances helps in reducing energy consumption. Also, HVAC systems allow to live comfortably on a third of the energy required for an average code-built home.

A combination of photo-voltaic  solar thermal, geothermal and wind generates on-site power for net zero buildings. Net zero status is earned when as much power has been pushed back to the grid as was used on site.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What are the benefits of green building?

In the last post, we discussed the economics of green buildings. Here, we will highlight some of the social and environmental benefits of green buildings. But let us also outline some of the Economic Benefits once more:

- Increased Property Values
- Higher Occupancy Rates
- Increased Rental Values
- Energy and Water Savings
- Decreased Infrastructure Strain
- Improved employee attendance and productivity

Social Benefits
Healthier lifestyles and recreation
- Improved Health
- Improved Schools

Environmental Benefits
- Rain water Management
- Emissions Reduction
- Water Conservation
- Waste Reduction

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Economics of Green Buildings

Who pays for Green? This may be one of the questions among all concerned before deciding to go for 'green'! The economics of green buildings favors green upgrades since they can add value to a building. 

According to RREEF Research, green building is fundamentally altering real estate market dynamics – the nature of the product demanded by tenants, constructed by developers, required by governments and favored by capital providers. Many tenants are now willing to pay a premium for space in green buildings because of the lower operating costs, higher worker productivity and other benefits that comes with the superior environmental performance of green buildings.

One of the significant benefit of 'Green Buildings' is the energy saving. But, it may be assumed that this benefit is ultimately enjoyed by the owner of the building and not by the original designer and construction contractor. The experts believe that this is a perceived disconnect between cost and benefit and recent findings say differently:

- Green buildings sell at a higher price. McGraw Hill measured the price premium for the sale of Energy Star ®-labeled buildings to be 12%.3 Another study estimated the premium on LEED-certified buildings at 31%.

- Green buildings command higher rent premiums. By comparing rental agreements involving Energy Star buildings with non-Energy Star leases, researchers at Maastricht University found that efficient buildings command 3.5% higher rents.

- Green buildings are more attractive to tenants. The same study found a 6% higher occupancy rate for Energy Star certified buildings.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together ...

Every now and then you need something to distract you from many of your mundane affairs or for that matter daily routines. Quotes are something which can provide a little break and help you de-stress, motivate and even force you to laugh a loud! Also, these concise sentences of wisdom can spark an 'idea' which can change your life forever! Here are few quotes design related quotes that just might 'awaken' the missing 'spark' in you. Hope you'll enjoy reading them:

“Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.”  - Frank Gehry

“Architecture begins where engineering ends.” – Walter Gropius

“To create architecture is to put in order. Put what in order? Function and objects.”  - Le Corbusier

“There will never be great architects or great architecture without great patrons.”  - Edwin Lutyens

“I hate vacations. If you can build buildings, why sit on the beach?”  - Philip Johnson

“The events of human life, whether public or private, are so intimately linked to architecture that most observers can reconstruct nations or individuals in all the truth of their habits from the remains of their monuments or from their domestic relics.”  - Honore de Balzac 

“Architecture is inhabited sculpture”  - Constantin Brancusi 

“We used to build civilizations. Now we build shopping malls.”  - Bill Bryson 

“It is in dialogue with pain that many beautiful things acquire their value. Acquaintance with grief turns out to be one of the more unusual prerequisites of architectural appreciation. We might, quite aside from all other requirements, need to be a little sad before buildings can properly touch us.”  ― Alain de Botton

“We need houses as we need clothes, architecture stimulates fashion. It’s like hunger and thirst — you need them both.”  ― Karl Lagerfeld

Architect's Increased Responsibilities in the Realm of Green Buildings

When specific measures are incorporated in a building to provide healthier environments for its users and mitigate its negative impact on the environment, then the building is called as “green”. The popularity or for that matter the practice of green building has caused significant changes in the real estate and construction industry, presenting architects to new responsibilities and opportunities! 

A sustainable architecture is more practical 'design' of the building and therefore it is the thoughtful integration of architecture with electrical, mechanical, and structural engineering. Similarly, a building cannot be sustainable unless its interior design is not in tandem with it. Use of solar and wind energy, positioning of windows and day lighting are very important factors in creating climate sensitive design. The role of architects to implement the modern concepts in Sustainable Design has, thus, become very important in the realm of Green Buildings!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Green building is the future of all building

Green building industry has grown at a very impressive rate and experts predict that it will continue to grow by as much as 400% in coming years. The motivation to build green also comes from the business opportunity it represents. Builders all over the world surveyed recently reported being involved in green construction on some level. Green building provides an assortment of economic advantages and therefore is the future of all building.

The impact of 'green' has united disciplines that have worked independently from one another, such as architects, engineers, builders, material suppliers, community planners, mortgage lenders and contractor trades. Many architecture and engineering firms have experienced that sustainable design projects were, on average 25% more profitable than conventional project. Some of the benefits that builders of green building enjoy are: 

- Competitive advantage because of higher quality
- Less construction waste
- Lower material and labor costs during construction
- Reduced purchase cost of mechanical equipment
- Reduced callbacks and warranty claims

Does going green change the face of design or only its content?

Aesthetic attraction isn’t a superficial concern - it’s an environmental imperative. We spoke of Lance Hosey's book The Shape of Green in the last post. We decided to share more from this book which we think is true for our profession. Let us understand why beauty is inherent to sustainability, for how things look and feel is as important as how they’re made. 

In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan shows that domesticated plants and animals have thrived because they have an important survival advantage over their competitors in the wild: we like them. Pollan writes: “Human desires form a part of natural history in the same way the hummingbird’s love of red does, or the ant’s taste for the aphid’s honeydew. I think of them as the human equivalent of nectar.” The fate of many things depends on whether they please people. Wolves might seem heartier than dogs, but there are 50 million dogs in the world and only ten thousand wolves. Which has adapted better? This view of nature may give you pause - should other species exist just to please us? But as a principle for design, it is essential. If you want something to last, make it as lovable as a Labrador.

Studies show, we form positive associations with things we consider beautiful, we are more likely to become emotionally attached, giving them pet names, for instance. We personalize things we care about. Experiments in interaction design also reveal that people generally consider attractive products more functional than they do unsightly ones and therefore are more apt to use them. We prefer using things that look better, even if they aren’t inherently easier to use. Consider the ramifications - if an object is more likely to be used, it’s more likely to continue being used. Who throws out a thing they find functional, beautiful, and valuable all at once? A more attractive design discourages us from abandoning it: if we want it, we won’t waste it.

The Shape of Green is a beautiful book that designers and also design lovers will turn to time and again. Author Lance Hosey explores the critically important but too rarely discussed dimensions of this goal elegance, joy, and beauty. The book has ability to inspire hope in the most pessimistic readers.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

If it’s not beautiful, it’s not sustainable

Architect and author Lance Hosey, in his book The Shape of Green, argues that beauty is inherent to sustainability, for how things look and feel is as important as how they’re made. He went further and wrote 'If it’s not beautiful, it’s not sustainable'!

Long-term value is impossible without sensory appeal, because if design doesn't inspire, it’s destined to be discarded. “In the end,” writes Senegalese poet Baba Dioum, “we conserve only what we love.” We don’t love something because it’s nontoxic and biodegradable - we love it because it moves the head and the heart. If people don’t want something, it will not last, no matter how thrifty it is. And when our designs end up as litter or landfill, how prudent have we been? “The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us,” wrote Rachel Carson half a century ago, “the less taste we shall have for destruction.” When we treasure something, we’re less prone to kill it, so desire fuels preservation. Love it or lose it. In this sense, the old mantra could be replaced by a new one: If it’s not beautiful, it’s not sustainable. Aesthetic attraction is not a superficial concern - it’s an environmental imperative. Beauty could save the planet.

© Shape of Green

Friday, March 1, 2013

India needs to build taller, environment friendly and smarter cities

Majority of cities in India are short and most grew outwards and compact. Their skylines are almost nonexistent. Isn't this strange when we find that millions in India are without housing, millions more facing exorbitant rents and crumbling infrastructure? According to a report, Indian cities are short of 18.8 million homes. That’s an improvement over 2007, when a report prepared by the same group put the national urban housing shortage at 24.7 million. Therefore, one of the solution is to grow vertical!

In spite of the urban development explosion, Indian cities haven't developed a taste for skyscrapers and tall building. "With 250 million people to be added to India's cities and towns over the next 20 years, the country needs a vision of the future, to inspire the next generation of cities to become world-class centres of urban endeavor  business, finance, sport and culture, while ensuring that smaller cities become stronger and more able to efficiently participate in the growth story," says Aashish Karode who is an architect and urban designer.

India needs to build taller, environment friendly and smarter cities.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Has the ideas machine broken down?

The idea that innovation and new technology have stopped driving growth is getting increasing attention. A recent article published in Economist navigates the blurry territory of innovation and the pace of technological change. The article entitled "Has the Ideas Machine Broken Down?" talks about innovation pessimism and explains how innovation has stagnated.

The article quotes Peter Thiel, a founder of PayPal, an internet payment company, and the first outside investor in Facebook, a social network, says that innovation in America is “somewhere between dire straits and dead”. Engineers in all sorts of areas share similar feelings of disappointment. And a small but growing group of economists reckon the economic impact of the innovations of today may pale in comparison with those of the past.

"The idea that innovation and new technology have stopped driving growth is getting increasing attention. But it is not well founded." This article is an interesting take on innovation in the modern world - we haven't invented flying cars yet, but we have faster computers, tablets and cellphones. What does this mean for the future?

This modern age is great at producing incrementally jazzier gadgets. But we've lost the vision, the appetite for fundamental technological progress. Revolutions in transport, health science, even kitchen gadgetry all took place before 1970.

The Power of Green Building: Everyone Wins

Do you know that worldwide, buildings consume nearly 40% of the world's energy, 25% of its wood, and 15% of its water? The fact is that if we make smarter choice when we build or renovate any building, then we can significantly contribute to the health, wealth and well-being of yourself, the families for whom you build, your community, and the world. What is this smarter choice? Its the concept of 'Green Building'. Good for environment, energy conservation and the world, green buildings are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition.

Green Building FACTS (Compared with normal buildings)
• 50% savings in overall energy consumption
• 88% reduction in lighting consumption
• 35% reduction in potable water use
• 80% of materials used are either recycled or recyclable
• 20% of the building’s energy requirement is provided by photovoltaics
• 15-20% less load on AC thanks to aerated concrete blocks used in facades 
• Zero water discharge building
• 90% of building daylit
• 75% of occupants have outside view

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Green Building Solutions: Photovoltaic Power Station

One of the major objective of green building or a green renovation is the energy efficiency. Photovoltaic panels can be a key ingredient in energy self-sufficiency. To convert sunlight into electricity, a photovoltaic power station is installed on rooftops of residential or commercial buildings. This system uses one or more photovoltaic panels and include photovoltaic modules, mounting systems, cables, Solar inverters and other electrical accessories.

The photovoltaic power systems don’t need much attention once installed since there are no moving parts. They are durable and work for at least 20 years. A photovoltaic power station prevents costly power failures when constant power is essential and are reliable and sturdy even in harsh conditions. Operates silently and with minimal movement, these power stations on your roof do not require the use of combustible fuels and are very safe when properly designed and installed.

Many people now advocate that the installation of photovoltaic power systems should be made mandatory on all buildings. The PV system is eco-friendly, helps in controlling global warming and no doubt saves money for the user in the long run.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Effects of Modern Society on Architecture

Architecture reflects the religious, political and social values of the day. John Ruskin, once in his speech "Traffic", declared that a society's art and architecture directly reflects the morals and values of the people who dwell in and use its buildings.

It has always been said that the architecture is a product or mirror of the society and it also reflects the culture identity of the country. But do you think Modern Architecture still reflects our society?

The concern for environment and energy efficiency has created the need for 'Green' architecture. Green building (also known as green construction or sustainable building) refers to a structure and using process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition.

The environment and energy efficiency are concerns of the modern society and these concerns have impacted the architects and modern architecture. Similarly, architecture has a central role to play in developing housing that meets the challenges of contemporary urbanism.