(MENAFN - IANS)
By Archana Sharma
Jaipur, July 30 (IANS) Can you imagine that a spacious green building built following the Indian architectural norms with plenty of sunlight and an open courtyard stopped the Covid virus from sneaking into its periphery?
It may sound incredible but around 200 artisans working in the facility besides other staff escaped becoming the victims of the first and second waves of coronavirus despite working regularly in this facility, as they had a spacious workplace which allowed them to follow the social distancing norms naturally.
This green building, owned and designed by Ayush Kasliwal, Founder AKFD Storey, was inaugurated a few months before COVID struck last year.
"No one knew at that time that a virus can create panic. Pandemic did bring in tough times but the idea of creating a first of its kind green design manufacturing facility in the desert state, it seems, saved all of us from facing the dreadful effects," says Geetanjali Kasliwal, Ayush's wife who is also an architect and co-founder of AnanTaya which has won the UN Certificate of Excellence many times.
The ample natural sunlight with proper ventilation worked miracles to help them stay healthy, she adds.
Contrary to creating the large spread out areas required for furniture manufacturing, we designed an efficient and spacious workspace to reduce the carbon footprint of the building, said Ayush Kasliwal, a designer of international fame who has won many national and international accolades for his unique designing skills. He is known for fusing centuries of craftsmanship with contemporary design sensibilities.
The Mudra installation at Delhi airport speaks of a beautiful design story scripted by him.
"This is a spacious and an efficient workspace with reduced carbon footprint in which the available floor area has been reduced to create excellent circulation of air while maintaining openness. The structure further allows significant savings in daylight thus reducing heat gain," Kasliwal told IANS.
His wife Geetanjali says, "We have followed the traditional Indian system of designing in which a courtyard was a must. Also, all traditional structures have an open plan at the centre for the heat to diffuse out. Proper ventilation was sacrosanct in these structures to ensure free flow of light and air. Rainwater collection is also a traditional Indian practice which we implemented in this building."
"We maintained a building height of 35 ft and reduced its coverage on the ground to create more green space on the ground," she says.
With so much openness around, all artisans and staff were working independently in their own spacious workstations, maintaining natural social distancing and hence were saved from transmitting the virus in the facility, she adds.
This first of its kind facility in the state follows sustainable water management under which the rain water is collected in the large underground water tanks. This in combination with a new sewage treatment plant has made the space net neutral in its water requirements.
"A rainwater collection tank of 175,000 ltrs has been built, which collects surface water runoff of 23,000 sq ft area. This water is used in everyday water needs - personal and machines - making the facility net water neutral. In addition, a sewage treatment plant treats water for toilet and horticulture needs," says Ayush, adding that an organic garden has been designed in the courtyard.
The ventilation is also different with strip windows on the western side having the fixed louvers to prevent heat gain from the harsh sun. Indigenous terracotta jaalis have been used in the stairwell for controlled air flow. Eventually, minimum artificial cooling is required.
A large atrium with side slits has been installed which helps in filling the space with natural light helping in the air circulation. Vents on the side help hot air to flow out thus reducing the cooling loads. Use of waste material and repurposing old furniture systems have been implemented across the space for an overall ecologically responsible and sustainable solution, says Kasliwal.
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