Indian Buildings Congress on 1st  August, 2020 at 4.30pm Organized a webinar on “SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE STRATEGIES”. Shri Pradeep Mittal, President , IBC in his introductory speech welcomed Shri O.P.Goel Founder President, IBC; Shri R.K. Kakkar, Former, Chief Architect, CPWD; Smt. Usha Batra, Former Special DG, CPWD GC member of IBC; Shri H.P.Gupta, Honorary Secretary, IBC; All viewers and audiences who joined the webinar. The President, briefed about the vision and role of IBC in promotion of Built environment. He emphasized the necessity and importance of sustainable Architecture Strategies in planning of buildings in the present day scenario to reduce the energy demand on non-renewable resources, CO2 emission and to encourage the use of recycled materials  so as to give healthy, comfortable and  thermal indoor environment to the occupants.

The President, IBC in his address informed that large scale growth of population of our country is posing threats like water scarcity, more energy requirement, increasing amount of emission of greenhouse gases etc. This scene is going to become more serious in near future and the situation is alarming. Most of the cities besides Metropolitan cities are facing acute problems of more energy consumption in buildings, increasing pollution, downfall in productivity due to less comfort to the occupants in conventionally built buildings.

Sustainable architecture involves use of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle: from the stage of placement of building on site to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. Therefore, the sustainable building design involves finding the balance between home building and the sustainable environment.

Sustainability is important for many reasons including environmental quality. In order to have healthy population, we need clean air, natural resources, and a non-toxic environment. Sustainability and healthcare are inter related since the quality of our environment affects public health. Therefore, the important elements of Green buildings such as site selection, energy efficiency, material efficiency, water efficiency, occupant’s health and safety, building operation and maintenance are to be kept in mind, while planning any building for larger benefit of the masses.

Dimensional planning of the building can be done more actively with application of material saving strategies throughout the project.

Natural lighting increases the productivity and well being of the occupants.  The Architect should use passive design strategies which includes its shape and orientation, passive solar design and use of natural lighting. For ensuring occupants health and safety, adequate ventilation, good indoor air quality along with moisture control is necessary which will improve the occupant’s satisfaction level besides reduction of the chance of respiratory problems and allergy effects.

Energy efficiency is the key to making our building a finely tuned, lean and green machine. Modelling will show how a high performance building envelope and superior insulation can let us choose smaller, efficient lighting as well as HVAC systems. Use of computer modelling will help in optimizing mechanical and electrical system. Regular preventive maintenance programme also needs to be implemented so that building continues to perform as per the quality at the time of commissioning.

Shri O.P.Goel, Founder President, IBC and former DG(W), CPWD, in his address briefed about how the IBC was formed and its journey since inception. He lauded the role of IBC in its contribution towards promotion of built environment which is sustainable, less costly, affordable, energy efficient. In the present day scenario the system of webinar will continue and the profession will continue to grow.

Shri R.K.Kakkar, Former Chief Architect, CPWD, in his presentation gave a overview of the topic. He started his presentation with a famous quote from Mahatma Gandhi “Earth provides enough to satisfy everyman’s needs but not anyone’s greed”.

He mentioned that the mankind for couple of centuries has been on a reckless path of exploitation and very existence of life on planet came under threat necessitating the need for stable relationship between human activity and the nature so as to maintain undisturbed availability of the three basic needs of human i.e. ‘Roti, Kapda and Makan”

He emphasised the development that allows the nature to rejuvenate at the rate of exploitation. Sustainable Architecture uses a conscious approach to ecological considerations in Building (s) design through guiding principles of 3Rs ‘Reduce’; ‘Recycle’ and ‘Reuse’.

He gave a brief overview of the strategies: Validity; Site planning and landscape; Passive Sustainability Measures; Active Sustainability Measures; Use of Green Building Materials & Water conservation and recycling.

For ensuring sustainable buildings, he advised to avoid building what can be avoided; avoid buildings on lands of high environmental value like fertile agricultural areas; flood plains, Forests; Water bodies such as Wet-lands, ponds, lakes, conservation of existing flora, organic materials, check soil erosion, due consideration be given to climatological factors;  orientation to Sun and Wind directions, energy efficiency through use of high efficient climate control systems; use of high efficient MEP systems; use of renewable Energy systems, promoting use of local materials and materials with low embodied energy; water conservation and recycling by aiming at Zero discharge from site and Carbon neutral building.

He concluding by saying “ Sustainable Architecture may come at a higher initial cost but can be justified by using the life cycle costing method.

Smt. Usha Batra, Former, Special DG, CPWD and GC Member, IBC gave a detailed  presentation on Sustainable Architecture Strategies. The architecture that seeks to minimise the negative environmental  impact  of buildings by efficiency and moderation in the use of resources like materials, energy and development space and the ecosystem at large is sustainable architecture.  It uses a conscious approach to energy and ecological conservation in the design of the built environment.

She informed energy efficiency over the entire life cycle is the most important goal and to minimise cost and complexity, sustainable architecture prioritizes passive systems to take advantage of buildings location with incorporated architectural elements supplementing with renewable resources. She quoted few ancient buildings like Hawa Mahal, Jaipur; Taj Mahal, Agra; Fort and Jehaz Mahal in Mandu are in harmony with nature. Urbanisation and industrialisation has changed traditional sustainable practices that needs shift from ancient to modern practices. Concrete, steel, glass and lately plastic  has become the dominant construction material replacing stone and wood.  Power supply, artificial lighting, water supply and disposal, thermal environmental controls within built environment  has become part of infrastructure.

In view of the rapid urbanisation, she informed that there has been change from low rise to high rise buildings, from functional use of glass to aesthetical use, passive sustainability to active sustainability, more importance of passive solar to little importance of passive solar etc.

She informed that fundamentals of Sustainable design approach are reducing the requirement, consumption and wastage of the resources, selecting ecologically sustainable materials, reusing and recycling them and utilising renewable energy sources to generate energy on site to cut down energy and water consumption to less than half of the conventional buildings, and may completely eliminate the construction and operation waste through recycling. She explained this through Smart energy Pyramid. She mentioned that sustainable design will reward the communities that embrace it.

She detailed top six sustainable architecture strategies.

For passive sustainable design she explained the importance of orientation & shape of the building with respect to sun & wind direction,  appropriate wall-window ratio of 20 to 30%, use of thick/ cavity walls, shading to allow desirable sun and to cut off undesirable sun, diversion of wind direction where required, design of covered open spaces, skylights, cross ventilation, night ventilation, shading of walls & roofs etc in achieving economy in long run during entire life cycle cost of building and to provide  healthy and comfortable thermal environment to the occupants. She explained these strategies with the help of case studies.

She gave details of many types of shading devices for walls in different directions and roof and the importance of their design according to the orientation of facade. She also detailed the passive features for energy efficiency of buildings in different climatic zones. After passive sustainability, to cover the gap additional sustainability can be achieved by providing  insulation in walls and roofs and use of special glass in windows/ glazing as per ECBC 2017, high efficiency plumbing, electrical, HVAC and other systems. Geo-thermal studies are also required to be carried out to explore further to reduce the initial load of AC after passive sustainable design.

She detailed the Green building materials parameters; sustainable landscaping to maintain energy efficiency; storm water and waste water management systems by 3Rs[ reduce use, reuse of waste water and recycling], treating waste water as a resource not a problem and power generation through renewable resources like solar PV Plant installed on Canals top which can also reduce the requirement of land for Solar PV Panels.

For disaster management she also apprised about the new inventions like: deconstruction/planned demolition, precast/new technologies/BIM, trenched services for easy maintenance safety & economy, Rescue Drones to get a real view ‘eye in sky’, ‘Sandless Sandbags for protecting the damage from floods, ‘LuminAID’ which can be air-dropped into a inaccessible community immediately following a disaster, to give the details, ESOS Smart Toilet which protects the public health by containing waste and recycles urine for use in toilets, irrigation and horticulture; Concrete tent as a large stack of flexible cloth which can be used for response team, a hospital or other community structure in time of disaster;  drone that increases Wi-Fi signal to 50x its normal reach in restoring communication to a disaster-stricken area quickly and efficiently to co-ordinate effectively and Bouncing Cameras of baseball size which can be thrown into an area suffered with disaster or having law and order trouble to get images of its surroundings, air quality and temperature etc. without physically entering the area.

Shri H.P.Gupta, Honorary Secretary, IBC presented the Vote of Thanks. He thanked The founder President for always guiding the IBC team. He thanked the President, IBC for selecting the appropriate topic of webinar and taking pains to organise the webinar. He thanked the panelists for their very informative and detailed presentation. He thanked  all the viewers of the webinar in sparing their time to view and making the webinar successful. He also thanked the IBC Secretariat staff in organising the webinar.