Composite Construction: Solar Passive House

Course Mentors:  Malak Singh Gill, Abhijit Ekbote, Sabaa Giradkar

The building practices of today in India are reflective of the colonial ideas of space and form. The concept of property, ownership, distinct inside and outside can be seen strengthened through the example of fortresses that were built then. Even Post-independence, the European architecture practices were seen as desirable and became the principal text for governing the actions here. In India, where the architecture and its inhabitation processes reflected the mixed ideas of community living, culture, craft and its craftsmanship slowly was taken over by the ‘modern’ or the ‘western’ notions of building making. While cement and steel became the revolutionary materials and the stylistic desires grew simultaneously, the process of building or technology didn’t grow similarly. India till date remains a country that is dependent on its labour strength more than technology. However, it's equally correct to say that in the last 72 years India has seen growth in ‘adopting’ newer and relevant appearing technologies as well as the concepts like sustainability and energy efficiency in the building making process. Green buildings typology appears as a popular answer to the Global Climate Change concern. Resultantly, the climatic resistance of the structures has become more prominent and promising as the three layered environment of the structure, the outside; the resilient skin or the building envelope; and the inside.

The semester III technology studio asks the following question as a deeper interrogation  in the realm of technology, construction, environment and space making - How to develop composite built-form that enables relevant negotiations between environmental flows (light and air) and different habitation practices. The studio explores the composite constructions in two ways,

  1. It refers to two load-carrying structural members that are integrally connected and deflect as a single unit . For example, a  metal deck with concrete fill and steel filler beams. A bamboo wall with mud filling and lime plaster.
  2. 2. It also refers to two or more materials coming together to act as one building element.For example,  a window made of timber frame and glass panels.

The studio aims at building a dialogue between the past and the present and hence reimagining the relevant ways of construction and space making. These relevant ways shall emerge devoid of the burden from the past (traditional architecture) and that of the current practices (sustainable/ green architecture). Different possibilities of composite structures that are a mix of load bearing and frame structure shall be explored.

Project: Composite Construction: Solar Passive House

The project is to design a house of approximately 120-150sqm  area where its spatiality shall reflect the living practices and needs of its users. The form and geometry of the (composite structure) house shall respond to the (given) contextual climatic conditions by allowing the necessary daylight and air movement inside while also resisting the heat or cold into the structures. Resultantly the structure through the negotiations between the context, climate, spatiality, materials, form and function of techne, innovation in techne together shall create thermally comfortable conditions for its users while reducing the active cooling or heating requirements inside the house.

Site Area: 300 sqm