Green Architecture: The Survival Kit for 21st Century

At a time when the environment is rebuilding itself, Ar. Khozema Chitalwala affirms the world with his “Survival Kit for the 21st century”. The word “green” itself triggers a concatenation of words in our heads like plants, organic, planet or say sustainability. And this further induces a sense of responsibility in us towards our immediate environs. With the shooting up of skyscrapers every now and then, the cities are emerging as packed encampments for job aspirants & more immigrants apart from their originals. These concrete structures add 40% of the gas emissions to the greenhouse effect as per a UN report last year. And other perilous issues like climate change, global warming, population, air pollution etc. are just like adding eggs to basket.

So, do we have Issues? Yes.

Are there problems that need to be addressed? Yes.

How can we or architects play their roles?

How does green architecture help to prevent such problems?

How about we dig down the lane and add solutions to these 40% of the gas emitters? The definition of green architecture goes beyond the addition of solar panels or green facade, it's designing and construction of a space/ building with the rudiments which are eco-friendly & sustainable. A building which “generates all of its own energy with renewable nontoxic resources, captures and treats all of its water, and operates efficiently and for maximum beauty” is a definition by The Cascadia Region Green Building Council. Pondering over all these explanations and different notions of ‘green’ architecture, we can enumerate certain characteristics which falls under the umbrella of the above. Commencing from the basics, these can be classified under two: Passive or Active. Passive measures include the design of windows, natural lighting, orientation, insulation, etc. A good & sustainable design can be achieved when these measures, that are technical or mechanical systems used to achieve the sustainable aspect of a building, are taken into consideration during the design charrette. Examples like rain-water harvesting systems and solar panels fall under this column.

As a reverence act for the nature and environment, we are under the obligation to design buildings which are not just aesthetically and functionally sound but that also summit the standards of eco-friendly outcome. At Designers Group, we, as a team, try to introduce sustainable ideas from the scratch of the project. Studying and scrutinising our hospitality deliverables, especially hotels like Gift International Club, we incline ourselves to conserve maximum energy, whether it is electrical or human, to bring out the sustainability aspect of the built. Practice of recycle & reuse are followed by all our major design schemes. A mandatory introduction of water treating systems is followed in all our hotels. Conversion of garbage to the manure or OT systems further act as green features added to our practice. Another on the list, we are extremely cautious about the lighting aspect of each project. Particularly mentioning, spaces like the guest rooms are given utmost importance. Each and every space is pre-designed and mock-ups assist us in the perfect lighting which is neither under or over engineered.

Sustainability is not just a mandatory aspect, but also a duty as a designer to paint the skyline with the foundations of eco-friendly footings. We believe every small step we take with each and every deliverable will definitely add significance to the bigger picture of contributing towards the nature.

Principal Architect,

Ar. Khozema Chitalwala

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