Urban design is instrumental to the landscape of a city, and what cannot be detached is urban design to planning policy, according to Nitin Bansal, Associate at architectural firm Morphogenesis. In an exclusive chat with Sunanda Jha of ETRealty, Bansal shares his views on sustainable architecture and new trends in this business. Edited excerpts:
Which is the most significant change that the Indian architecture industry has seen lately?
We have seen a revolution in the space of green building design in India. Today we are designing buildings which are net zero in terms of energy, water and waste. This has been instrumental in reducing the stress on our natural resources.
How cost effective is it to adopt green-friendly building? Why is there a delay in adopting such measures?
One of the primary reasons of delay in adopting these measures is the myth that green buildings cost more to build so what is the return on investment (ROI) and how much will it take to break even. We believe that green buildings should not only cost less to operate but should also cost less to build. We have designed buildings which consumes 75% lesser energy than established green building benchmarks and also saves 20-25% in capital cost.
How has the architectural practice evolved over the years?
When we first started the practise of architecture in India, there was no documented process as to how an architectural practice operates. Over a period of years, we have made our own process and benchmarks which have now become industry standards.
What changes have you seen in the industry while designing a bungalow or flats?
Our work spans from affordable housing flats of less than 400 square feet to a luxury bungalow exceeding 20,000 sq ft. We feel that both these categories have an enormous amount of cross learning. We translate our experience of working on a luxury house to an affordable housing unit to provide maximum value in the minimum amount of area and vice versa. We translate the learning from our affordable housing projects to make bungalow projects more efficient in terms of energy, water & waste.
Are you planning to step into the Virtual Reality segment for making it more efficient for buyers?
We are continuously working and experimenting with new technologies to assist end users to experience our designs so that they can make informed decisions. Virtual reality being one of such tools among many.
How do you see urban design changing the city landscape?
Urban design is instrumental to the landscape of a city. And what cannot be detached is urban design to planning policy. On one hand you have parts of NCR such as Gurugram which have transformed into concrete “jungles” and on the other you have Lutyens Bungalow Zone where stringent policies with respect to height /FAR have controlled the development and created a more humane environment: although unaffordable.
How would your define Morphogenesis?
Morphogenesis is a leading Indian practice working in the space of Sustainable architecture. Our design philosophy is SAIL (Sustainability, Affordability, Identity & Liveability).
What is the plan of your company for next five years?
Over the course of years, we have developed several micro practices within our firm with expertise in various typologies and specialities such as sustainability, interiors landscape & design management. We have an integrated approach to design for all of our projects. Over the next five years we aim to refine our processes for better integration of specialities and perhaps add on a few more.
Credits ET Realty