AN OFFICE WITH A GREEN DIFFERENCE
‘Studio 8-8-8 Abhalmaya’ is Ar. Pramod Chaugule’s own office, located at Local Board Colony, Near Udyog Bhavan at Sangli. The site is a rectangular plot measuring 4000 sq.mts. The construction of the office was proposed in 2008 and was completed in the same year. It is an ideal example of an office which is built at the lowest cost, while achieving the highest level of energy efficiency.
Studio 8-8-8 ‘Abhalmaya’ is an outcome of conscious efforts towards creation of an environment friendly or a ‘Green’ Office Design. It is a properly designed work place which requires less building infrastructure, takes up less space, produces less heat, and consumes less power than traditional work spaces while supporting employees more effectively with a pleasant indoor atmosphere and green outdoors.
The use of local, recyclable and waste materials and green modes of construction has considerably reduced the project cost. Energy efficiency for the office building has been achieved through implementation of several solar passive strategies, combined with the site resources. The building is designed to meet the occupants’ need for thermal and visual comfort at reduced levels of energy and resource consumption.
From the Architect’s office
‘The use of local materials with consideration to local climate and participation leads to A Holistic Design Approach.’ ~ Laurie Baker
According to Ar. Pramod Chaugule, the man behind Studio 8-8-8 design, ‘All built up areas must provide a good and healthy living environment. Building designs and their locations must consider the environmental principles. The resources such as land, water and other renewable and non renewable sources must be totally used.’
Today, architects tend to use ‘energy intensive’ as well as ‘monetarily expensive solutions’ that are usually harmful to the environment. The use of various energy resources for heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting can cause depletion of the natural resources.
The idea of ‘Green Design’ is to modulate the climatic conditions to a comfortable level by use of several parameters of design such as site, landscape, built form, building envelope, materials and other control measures. All these design principles have been closely followed in the structure of ‘Studio 8-8-8’.
Recycling to control costs
The use of waste material in place of some standard materials has helped reduce the cost of construction. The project has been made affordable and green through the selection of ecological and economical materials, and the usage of recycled wastes and composites.
Fusion of Vernacular, Ancient and Post Modern Architecture
The structure’s design depicts the ethos of the surroundings, its culture and traditions. It is a perfect blend of Vernacular, Traditional and Historical aspects of the locality and the result is a harmonious and an energy efficient structure.
Façade shows a fusion of Post Modern and Ancient architecture. Similar forms are observed in interiors, reflecting a flair for Vernacular Architecture. The shapes and forms reflect diverse aesthetics with harmonious collision of styles adopted for its own sake. The staircase block tilting in glass and ACP reflects the post modern character of the structure which forms a background to the main structure in foreground. It is constructed of robust and tough stone work of cream white Gokak stone and black undressed sun-pointed Basalt stone.
It is a combination of bold, earthy and solid foreground against a small, delicate and dreamy background. The resources consumed are as few as possible. The architect has taken great efforts to follow the principle of ‘Green & Affordable Architecture’ in each aspect of his design.
Focal point of the elevation is 2 yellow ‘Rabkavi’ stone pillars provided in front of the entrance. They are topped by two horizontal pinewood planks, fixed by steel pipes to the pillar.
The structure from the outside
• The external elevation from the road shows a beautiful compound-wall constructed of waste materials, where several stones are placed in interesting patterns along with colorful MS pipes.
• Compound wall constructed out of several materials in cohesion: Two granites are placed on both sides of the gate. Also an eye-catching monolith stone slab stands near the gate.
• Combination of ‘Gokak’ and ‘Black Basalt’: Harmonious composition of several stones is seen on external elevations such as construction of external wall with creamish ‘Gokak’, end walls with sun pointed black Basalts and window frames with ‘grey Granites’.
• Composite-wall of red ‘ILLKAL’, granite and black basalt: An extremely beautiful wall acts as a partition between two adjacent spaces. It is a composite wall of red Illkal, Granite and Black Basalt. The wall is topped by a flat stone of marble resting on a concrete sphere.
Inside the building
Ground floor is marked by the reception counter at the entrance, the accounts office, conference area and naturally lit and ventilated pantry. The interior space of the office is a charming combination of several materials which are mostly re-used from the wastages picked up from their other sites.
A wall of finely dressed black basalt stone welcomes you at the entrance which is treated with two niches for placing the lamps, similar to that in a temple creating a serene atmosphere. Upper floor is designed as a complete technical area with spaces allocated to three Directors, of whom two are Engineers and one is an Architect.
A wide range of project photographs cover the ceiling giving an idea of the wide variety and challenging projects done by this firm. Very basic materials with simplest modes of construction are found in interiors.
The office space is free flowing without any full-sized partitions which give a feel of simplicity, one-ness and openness to the whole space, while the innovative exteriors bring in a freshness of character.
The architect’s space consists of a table made up of wastages of ‘Gokak’ and ‘Marble’ stone. This space displays a very eye-catching mural made up of foam concrete with a theme of ‘Creation,’ rendered by artist Suresh Pandit.
Energy efficiency measures
Reduction in energy demand is achieved by use of solar passive strategies combined with site resources. Energy demands are reduced by energy efficient lighting and control devices. Renewable forms of energy like application of wind-mills, rain-water harvesting, air-conditioning by earth tunnel provision of SIBF system, recycling of waste is used in design. Waste management is achieved by reduction of water use, by efficient water harvesting for storage and reuse.
A very significant aspect of this design is the use of waste or recycled materials from other sites which achieves cost saving along with reduction in energy demands. Two windmills – One of 3 KW and other of 1 KW are provided on the terrace, which generate total 3833 Kwh per year. They take care of all domestic lighting and battery charging for inverter.
Due to the optimum glazing area provided, no artificial lighting and cooling measures are used in daytime, reducing the energy consumption by 3185 KW and also reducing CO2 generation by 2708 Kg.
Windmills on the roof and Wind-catcher (part of Earth Tunnel) in the compound to aid air-conditioning.
Water treatment & Recycling
The innovative feature of this project is provision of SIBF system which treats 1000 liters of domestic used water and gives back 900 liters of reusable clear water. The treatment plant merges with the surrounding landscape.
The rainwater-harvesting system makes for ground water recharge of 2,00,000 liters/year. An earth tunnel is provided for cooling effect. A wind catcher from the tunnel helps the reduction of south-west heat while protecting that side of the structure. Further, cavity walls are used at the west side of the structure to protect from extensive heat.
SIBF system employed for water recycling.
This office has reduced the paper waste by 25% by implementing the reuse of printed papers and green diaries. The organic waste of office campus is treated by composting, the by-product is a manure which is used for gardening.
North-side of the structure is fully exposed to diffused north-light by means of a full- glazing. The floor to opening ratio is nearly 80% providing a feel of airiness and open-ness to the space. A sufficient amount of light penetrates inside without giving a glare. Design of the structure takes care of the western-wind.
Every structure is characterized by its own unique features. In the design of Studio 8-8-8, the architect has successfully grasped the natural characteristics of the environment and imparted them to the structure, making it a visually appealing space that’s green, while being comfortable to work in as well. The structure, designed as a Sustainable Habitat, is so well integrated with its local environment that it has become the pride of its surroundings.