May 26, 2010

Sustainable Planning and Design

(w.r.to Bangalore in General)

The site to be thoroughly studied, observing the sun paths, wind directions and terrain and especially the positioning, heights of neighboring buildings. East & West Facades to be protected from sun glare with deep shades, patios etc. Openings on the North and South facades to be maximum to capitalize on passive lighting and natural wind currents. If there are tall buildings in the neighboring sites, would work best to try and face the main living areas especially study areas towards more open well lit sides. Sufficient day lighting in interiors is critical to the well being of the inhabitants. If you are stuck with tall buildings all around, would be best to go vertical, locating the frequently used spaces to face the road thus maximizing on natural light and air and keeping much of your sites ground as open, green spaces. The benefits will be huge though it looks like you are sacrificing on ground coverage.

The natural terrain to be retained as much as possible and earth excavated to be reused within the site for filling and landscaping.

Natural rocks on the site can be used to an advantage by retaining and using as foundation for the superstructure. Would be hazardous to the habitat to dredge the rock out.

If you are one those lucky owners with a piece of property on open, nature filled land, then try as much as possible to build without disturbing the flora and fauna and upsetting the ecological balance of the locale. You would find on close inspection that most of the brush, bushes growing there are quite nice to include in your landscape with the added advantage of them most often with minimal watering needs.

Another type of locale that requires sensitivity and thoughtfulness are historic precincts, ie neighborhoods build in the past decades in past architectural styles. There is room for innovation and sensitivity to the neighboring buildings. Whilst there is no need to imitate the style completely, familiar elements from the existing historical landscape can be borrowed, broken down and reapplied.

With careful thought and analysis of the site, your building can be built to an advantage with lesser investment on materials, energy etc. Most meticulous architects are known to spend hours at site just making observations.

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