Top 5 Architects working on Sustainable Architecture

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The architecture community is deeply entwined with the sustainable architecture and flows of materials, energy, and ideas that relate to climate change as well as the interests of building owners, managers, environmental activists, and government officials.

The topic of sustainability has been discussed in depth over the last three decades, but it is time to act. We must adjust our attitudes and practices so that every building we design, build, and operate is eco-sensitive, energy efficient, cost efficient, people-centered, and value based. 

Below are top 5 architects in India who focus, contribute and inspire sustainable construction.

Biju and Sindhu Bhaskar

Based in Tiruvannamalai, India, Thannal Hand Sculpted Homes, founded by architect Biju Bhaskar and his wife Sindhu, uses ecologically sensitive indigenous building techniques.

Architects working on sustainable architecture

The firms believe is, Houses function as material extensions of the lifestyle of their inhabitants. The components used in building a house are entangled in the day-to-day lives of the inhabitants, so that some materials have a dominant effect on the way a house functions. Nature can be affected negatively by human activity. By using natural materials without altering them, we can minimize the effect on nature and live in harmony with it, just like a bird nesting on a tree

Mud buildings are naturally well-insulated. Their walls, being made of mud and straw, breathe as our skin does, which helps maintain comfortable indoor temperatures even during extreme weather conditions.

The proportion of clay, lime, cow dung, and other materials used in creating the walls of a rammed earth home will vary based on local availability. However, the natural materials complement the climate, weather conditions, and the needs of the inhabitants.

Benny Kuriakose

For 30 years, this Chennai-based architect has built everything from residential homes to resorts using locally sourced, eco-friendly materials such as earthen, stone, and timber.

Architects working on sustainable architecture

As well as building structures from scratch, he also works on disaster rehabilitation, restoration and conservation work. One of his fundamental areas of expertise is using local knowledge in building structures.

In addition to constructing buildings with environmentally sound materials, architects need to focus on the recycling of or conservation of existing buildings. Waste materials like timber, debris and so on can be used to reduce our carbon footprint.

Hunnarshala Foundation

The Bhuj-based organization altered the definition of disaster relief when they rebuilt homes following the devastating 2001 earthquake in Bhuj. They collaborated with local communities to build eco-friendly and earthquake-resistant homes steeped in indigenous knowledge systems rather than the standard prefab homes.

Architects working on sustainable architecture

In the Banni grassland area near the Rann of Kutch, the pastoral communities living there chose to rebuild their homes using mud bricks or an interior matrix of tree branches packed with mud instead of cement.Another village in Bihar, India, was rebuilt following the 2008 Kosi floods using bamboo with assistance from the nonprofit Aprovecho. The project was built using principles of permaculture and community consultation.

Dhruvang Hingmire and Priyanka Gunjikar

Meet Dhruvang Hingmire and Priyanka Gunjikar two Pune-based architects whose work emphasises the use of locally-sourced natural materials and employment of local labour.

Architects working on sustainable architecture

The more a building blends into its environment, the better it sustains. A building that is seamlessly integrated with its surroundings achieves this goal. This approach is embodied in their firm’s motto: “Learning from the vernacular and giving back to the vernacular.”

Even when using entirely natural materials, a building isn’t necessarily eco-friendly if they come from a place far off. For instance, wood harvested in Siberia might not be considered eco-friendly, even if it is natural. Secondly, a material must be harvested in a sustainable way with minimal processing.

Made in Earth

This is a Bengaluru-based collective of architects, engineers and artisans who in the spirit of “green” architecture, aim to promote a form of architecture that reduces the burdens on our environment.

Architects working on sustainable architecture

We favor local and natural building materials, especially earth, and employ traditional building techniques. They use interiors and exteriors to elicit a distinctly contemporary design sense, and we believe in minimalist environmental impact. The materials they use tell the story of our building site, and we work closely with the particular skills of the people around us.

Their construction process often involves natural materials such as rammed earth, Wattle and Daub, Tadelakt, lime, and natural plaster.

Written by Rithanya Sekar
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