Monthly Archives: April 2010

Architectural Licensing in India: Time to upgrade ?

Architects are licensed professionals. They pass out from accredited schools and colleges and after due paperwork are licensed to practise by the Council of Architecture, India. This is a government agency set up by an Act of Parliament.

In that respect, the new move by the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority raises a few issues.

Architects, engineers and developers have strongly opposed the decision of the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) making it compulsory to renew their registration and licences every year for projects within its limit.

According to them, the fiat issued this week is highly unwarranted and would not serve any purpose other than causing harassment and inconvenience to over 4,000 engineers and hundreds of builders, real estate developers.

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Green Retail Coming to India

The Tatas, through their subsidiary Tata International is set to launch a series of retails stores that will comply with the USGBC LEED Rating.

The official press release:

is set to foray in Indian market its first set of Green stores, designed and planned on LEED pricipals and certification from USGBC. Designed by JGA, a Detroit based leading Retail design firm along with FRDC (Future Research Design Company), Bangalore, the stores will consume 40% less energy and will generate 15-20% power from Solar energy. All materials used in the store are made of high content of Recyclable material and everything will be procured from within 500 Km of radius of the store.

Store will demonstrate a high degree of local skills usage and crafts intervention and thus providing opportunities to local craftsmen and the Industry. All process and fabrication work of the store will be monitored by Green team constituted by the Architects and Associate team from FRDC Bangalore and Delhi. All waste generated during the construction shall be either reused in the store or shall be supplied to Recycle dealers.

However there is no indication of what kind of retail these shops will cater to. And what remains to be questioned is why use the USGBC rating when there is an IGBC rating system in place.

The strategies outlined tend towards mechanical solutions to issues. What remains to be seen is if there is a larger design solution to the sustainability strategy.

The Green Bandwagon

The word green these days is associated more with buildings than with plants and trees. It is the new mantra in everything from homes and buildings to the furnishings within it. In this editorial below, Sunita Narain takes a very simplistic view of a rather complex issue. However its a good primer for the non technical person to understand what sustainability is, in the real sense.

Green buildings: how to redesign

By Sunita Narain / Down To Earth

There is a buzz about green buildings. But the question is: what does one mean by building green? And how does one design policies to make the green homes of our dreams?

Green is not about first building structures using lots of material and energy, and then fixing them so that they become a little more efficient. Building green is about optimizing on the local ecology, using local material as far as possible and, most importantly, building to cut the power, water and material requirements.

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Kanvinde: Function With Feeling

Achyut Kanvinde passed away in 2002. He was in his time one of the giants of Indian architecture. As the principal architect of CISR he designed a vast body of institutional work over the decades.

Kanvinde studies under Walter Gropius at Harvard in the Functionalist style of design.

Himanshu Burte writes an interesting overview of Kanvinde’s work and thought philosophy in this article title “ Function with Feeling ”.

Function with feeling

Himanshu Burte / Business Standard.

Schooled in the dry Functionalist approach to architecture, Achyut Kanvinde created spaces that were ‘humane’, buildings where you felt welcome and comfortable.Achyut Kanvinde (1916-2002) was among the earliest Functionalist architects in modern India. He was a self-effacing person, but his work helped shape some of the things we automatically expect in buildings today — that they should function efficiently, should not waste space, and be elegant too.

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