Unending discussion with professionals, industrialists, businessmen has finally forced me to conclude that Green Rating is still only limited to a select few.
While most customers are open to a ‘greener’ building (as long as they don’t have to spend extra on it, which again is a skill that is left to the architect/ consultant to prove and convince), the affinity to spending on a rating system and its benefits are still not clear. I have also been through debates between professors who belong to a school of thought where a ‘tag’ isn’t important to save the Earth! Where sustainability or resource and energy saving (for them) has been a part of their lives even before this began as a sudden worldwide wave.
And while I still can’t decide, discuss or comment on whether a rating system has any long term benefits, or whether its assessment techniques are reliable, whether it is even really required, I would share what little I know of this extensive rating system, developed in the United Kingdom, BREEAM – Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology!
Light, eludes most of us due to its unpredictable nature. It takes an experienced designer, to not just ensure light penetration, but to modulate light into ambient masterpieces. Peter Zumthor and Axel Schultes have done just that.
The presentations look at their architecture analysing the complex effect of their simple solutions.
“Sangath is a fragment of Doshi’s private dream: a microcosm of his intentions and obsessions. Inspired by the earth-hugging forms of the Indian vernacular, it also draws upon the vault suggestions of Le Corbusier. A warren of interiors derived from the traditional Indian city, it is also influenced by sources as diverse as Louis I. Kahn, Alvar Aalto and Antonio Gaudi. A work of art stands on its own merits and Sangath possesses that indefinable quality of authenticity. Even local labourers and passing peasants like to come and sit next to it, enjoying the low mounds of the vaults or the water-jars overgrown with creepers.” [Rethinking Modernism for the Developing World: The Complete Architecture of Balkrishna Doshi]
While I could go on and on writing about how the dilemma of finding the entrance to Sangath is absolutely thrilling, or how the wilderness of unkempt garden is elusive and how the open studio and large storage on all walls is every architect’s dream, its more important to note the more silent aspects of the structure; the ecosystems breeding in this enchanting landscape (the xeriscaping), reflective mosaic tiles that continue their trail into hardscaping, the rainwater harvesting which is integrated into the design seamlessly, the vaulted roof and stack ventilation, all of which seem like design features and so many other aspects that make Sangath an interesting study in itself.
As a part of understanding structures suited to Hot and Arid Climate, the Case Study explores the various aspects of design that have made Sangath perform optimally.
[View a more comprehensive study]