Sustainable Design
Sustainability with regard to campus design
Hi all,

I am doing my thesis on the new campus for School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi. I was keen to create a sustainable solution for this problem; however, my coordinator and guide put a very interesting question in front of me, one that I am trying to answer.

They said that as almost all campus buildings in India do not have a controlled environment, (e.g., we generally do not use HVAC systems in these type of buildings), they are not very high in energy consumption, and therefore, do we need to design a sustainable or energy efficient design for such campus buildings?

At the time i did not have an answer to this. It left me thinking this: do we only think of sustainable solutions for high energy consuming buildings?

I would really like to know everyone's view on this.
Susmita Rishi
Sustainability with regard to campus design
Sustainability is not limited to the recurrent energy efficiency of the building. Sustainability seems to be a catch-word which is utilised without fully understanding it.

It deals not only with energy consumption- the production of the raw materials used for the building, the recurring water, electricity and maintenance, etc., but it should also deal with time and people.

How can we make the best use of the meagre resources at our disposal? Are we using all of the spaces all of the time? If not, can we have multiple use of the space? What happens to the campus at night and during vacations? Is it not a waste of meagre built resources that we have?

This could lead to a discussion on the possible configurations and use of space for nonacademic purposes. This is just one aspect of sustainability.

We could also speak about people as resources. Is the building efficient in terms of circulation and climactic comfort, etc.? One could also think about whether the spaces foster an environment of learning and discourse.

I would go to the other extreme and say that most of the campuses that we see around us are not sustainable. I would be very careful in the use of the word "sustainable." It requires a different way of looking at resources and their optimisation; energy is only a small constituent of sustainability.
Vishwanath Kashikar
Sustainability with regard to campus design
Your guides are either not aware or do not want to upgrade their knowledge about green building norms developed by practising architects around the world. So they shall not be in a position to help you; now even carbon credit concept has also entered the field at global interactive design criteria.

All educational institutes of architecture have to reevaluate their syllabi and do much necessary adaptation.

Good luck.
Dushyant Nathwani


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