Architecture is not just a 3 dimensional art. It has also to respond not only to the time of the year; but also to every minute of the day! After the sunrise, it traverses the sky over different seasonal trajectories till sunset. This has varying impacts inside the building making its occupants respond to the movement of the sun all the time.
Buildings of the past depended on passive architecture to keep the innards of a building cool and pleasant. Colonial style buildings had high ceilings, extra large windows and doors that opened into verandahs, internal courtyards and corridors. Besides their walls were much thicker to insulate the building and keep the heat of the sun away leading soft sun light into the living and work spaces.
Modern buildings with intense focus on value engineering have to do with less of materials and more with efficiency of use. Placement of the building in a plot has a profound impact. Energy modeling and sun angle studies determine a building’s orientation for a given location. Special types of glasses cut out the heat from radiating inside and transmit enough daylight as is required. By precisely placing a building driven by scientific understanding of the 4 dimensions architecture transcends to an exacting science!
SHILPA ARCHITECTS conducted rigorous analysis for CETHAR Vessels (P) Ltd. for their CE-EN Island Campus on a 25 acre plot on the Trichy –Madurai highway on NH 45B. Their headquarters is a steel and glass multi storied state of the art building which qualified for a PLATINUM LEED standard from the beginning. It is also the first building registered with IGBC for LEED rating. The management of the client readily appreciated the advantages of spending additionally to recover the higher capital costs in just a few years.
About the author: Pavitra Sri Prakash, LEED AP, is the Design Director at Shilpa Architect and a Partner at SGBL Studio.