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.