Campuses powered by the rain, sun and wind
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Campuses powered by the rain, sun and wind

From solar panels, rainwater harvesting to mud walls and LED lights, India’s budding architects focus on sustainability while proposing designs for campuses.

education Updated: Jan 30, 2014 14:00 IST
Gauri Kohli
Gauri Kohli
Hindustan Times
green energy,solar power,jamia Millia Islamia

Imagine your college being run on solar power or your classrooms equipped with eco-friendly material? Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, the news is, that some budding architects are coming up with great concepts for green campuses that have the potential to be a big hit with colleges and universities serious about doing their bit for the environment.

One such bright idea is that of BArch students from Jamia Millia Islamia. A five-member team from the university has developed a green campus design that depends heavily on the use of renewable sources of energy and is also cost-effective.

An artist’s impression of site designed by Jamia students at Kottakuppam in Tamil Nadu.

Abhishek Mukherjee, a fourth-year student of architecture at the university, says, “What’s unique about our concept is that it is based on the use of

renewable energy

. We chose our site for building an energy-efficient campus at Kottakuppam, Tamil Nadu. We have proposed the use of local material to save on transportation costs and resources. Use of wind energy through wind turbines and solar energy through solar panels is also emphasised. We have incorporated methods such as rain-water harvesting, LED lights in place of fluorescent lights, 35 watt fans, solar seating, mud walls and streetlights across the proposed campus. We have also made a provision for bicycle stands.”

Elaborating on the use of a water body and wind mills, Mukherjee says, “We have a planned a half acre stepwell near the water body that will be used for rainwater harvesting. It will have layers of rocks and the sand, gravel and silt molecules will help in filtering the water as and when it rains. We have also proposed to install vertical axis rotator wind turbines which catch wind from all directions. The distance between two turbines will be at least 10 metre instead of 50-60 metre that is the case usually,” he adds.

These plans were presented by architecture students from across the country during the GRIHA Summit, where

design entries

were received for the GRIHA Trophy, as part of the 56th Annual National Association of Students of Architecture Convention 2014, in the Capital last week.

The all-India contest was held with the intent of spreading awareness about the concept of green buildings among the students. The team from School of Planning and Architecture, Vijaywada, was also among the finalists.

According to Karan Anand, a student, “We were required to design a campus for a school of sustainability. We were told that the campus had to be a zero energy institution. We chose a riverfront site in Vijayawada with a site area of 9.45 acre. We integrated the onsite and offsite factors into one efficient design for achieving the zero energy goal. The Krishna river running along the site has been used as a major source of water in our proposed plan. Photovoltaic (which help in generating power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity) panels installed at the rooftops are the main source of electricity.’’

Anand and his team have also taken care of the waste generated at the site. “It is dumped in a 1500 sq m landfill area. As per the plan, a methane gas plant is installed to generate electricity from the bio waste. Natural light and ventilation are other key features,” says Shrey Kaushik, another student who has worked on this innovative design.

Elaborating on their research, Anand says, “We applied our understanding of various passive cooling techniques like the earth air tunnels and solar shading methods for an efficient and comfortable internal environment for the students. We started by finding out about various techniques in sustainable building design and formulated design strategies based on the academic study and did our best in incorporating these in the final design outcome. The focus was on research methodology in green buildings and a complete understanding of the GRIHA rating system,” he adds.

The team from IIT Roorkee also came up with some great ideas. “Our project is a self-sustainable accommodation plan on campus for master’s students. While designing this concept, we considered all the mandatory GRIHA criteria and tried to incorporate the Indian practices of sustainability. We had an open perspective for designing it in a way that meets aspirations of students and that of experienced architects for green buildings. Providing green practices as use of renewable sources of energy was one face of our project and using passive strategies to reduce the energy and resources consumption was another,” says Himanshu Jain, a student.

The natural water body was the main highlight of the project. The site is strategically planned to use the water body as an opportunity, at the same time ensuring that there is no wastage.

These students believe that as budding architects, they need to pay attention to green design in order to save the environment through recycling and resource recovery methods.

First Published: Jan 30, 2014 13:26 IST