Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Stabilised Mud Blocks And Traditional Mud Construction Comparison

Stabilised Mud Blocks As Building Material
Earth or mud has been a building material for wall construction all over world. This is a comparison between traditional mud and SMBs (Stabilised Mud Blocks). :-) Some pros, cons are mentioned. Unstabilised (plain) mud walls require regular maintenance. Stabilisation improves mud quality sans burning. SMBs' energy consumption is small. Article link is provided below.
".. unstabilised mud walls .. have the advantage of good thermal insulation. Various traditional techniques of construction using mud .. adobe, cob wall, rammed earth and wattle and daub. However, use of plain mud in wall construction has some disadvantages. These walls have good dry strength but hardly have any wet strength and they are more prone to termite-related problems in moist conditions. .."
".. Stabilization is a technique of improving the properties of mud in such a way that it will possess the adequate wet strength, durability and dimensional stability (retains its shape and size both in dry and moist conditions) without burning. Compacting a mixture of sandy soil with 7% cement and small quantities of lime at optimum moisture in a press results in stabilised mud blocks (SMB). The overall energy consumption in SMB is quite small (about one-third) in comparison with the burnt bricks. Compaction of soil-stabilizer mix can be done by using a manually operated or a mechanised press. .. The blocks have to be cured for three weeks by keeping the block surfaces moist. Additives like fly ash, quarry dust from crushers, granite fines or stone dust from stone cutting and polishing industries and various other mine or factory wastes can be used effectively along with the natural soil. .."
Find this at http://www.thehindu.com/features/homes-and-gardens/understanding-stabilised-mud-blocks/article6815579.ece .
The author's name is Yogananda.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

TV Channel presents ancient monuments

TV Channel will explore timeless Indian Architectural Landscapes and Monuments
Sanrachna is the name of the show and will be aired on Epic Channel. They say that viewers will love travelling across India via them.
".. New show "Sanrachna- Magic Of Ancient Architecture" will unearth India's best kept architectural secrets and will showcase the country's ancient monuments that have stood the test of time. .."
Find this at http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/sanrachna-to-explore-indian-architectural-wonders-115011300773_1.html .
This is from January 2015.
More: Web address to their Promo Video is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=de1bmFebFGk . Promo Video is also embedded below.
Their YouTube Channel is not showing complete videos but and it's got ads on the face that one needs to close. :-(

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Tallest Tower In The World At 1.2 Kilometre

At 1.2 km, India to have World's tallest tower
A developer plans to build a 1200 m high tower in Dream City, Khajod, Surat, Gujarat and will cost Dh697m or Rs. 1.2 Billion (Rs. 1200 Million or Rs. 120 Crore). He seeks an area of 1 sqkm. They are talking about using a new patented technology for the construction.
"... The 828-metre Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest tower and houses 900 apartments, 144 private Armani Residences, the tallest observation deck.
Burj Khalifa holds number of Guinness World Records titles such as tallest Building; tallest man-made structure on land ever; highest residential apartments (385 metre); most floors in a building (160); highest restaurant from ground level (441 metre); tallest elevator (504 metre) and highest observation deck (555.7 mertre).
Dubai is also already home to Princess Tower (414 metre), the world's highest residential tower and JW Marriott Marquis (355 metre), the world's highest hotel and Infinity Tower (310 metre), the world's tallest tower featuring a 90-degree twist. ..."
"... The world’s tallest statue – ‘Statue of Unity’ – is being built in Gujarat, the ..."

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Road Safety, Traffic Management, Road Design

Road Safety and Traffic Management
Road Safety and Traffic Management Board for India will be set up.
Refer http://www.rushlane.com/road-safety-traffic-management-board-india-12141898.html .
"... (MoRTH) will focus on ‘regulation of road safety, traffic management system and safety standards in highway design and construction’ ..."
This is from 2015 January.
It seems it (RSTMB - Road Safety & Traffic Management Board) has not been set up yet.
See http://www.firstpost.com/business/road-accidents-why-govt-data-on-deaths-is-questionable-2831718.html for more.
Also see http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/column-for-a-roadmap-to-save-lives-2311468 .

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Project Sydney Modern, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia and the Sydney Modern Project
The Art Gallery of New South Wales narrowed the list of architecture firms vying for its $450 million Sydney Modern project from 12 to 5, and there were no Sydney firms running.
Stage one of the selection process was anonymous in the sense that the jury assessed high-level concepts submitted by each firm and did not know from where they came. According to Director of NSW Art Gallery the Sydney Modern should be ready by 2021. Sydney architects were represented in the jury and drew up guidelines for the competition. Local firms may work with the ultimate winner.
Two Australian firms were in contention in Stage 2 - Kerry Hill Architects, Singapore and Perth, and Sean Goodsell Architects, Melbourne. They joined Kengo Kuma and Associates, Tokyo and Paris, RMA Architects, Boston and Mumbai, and SANAA, Tokyo.
They are saying that Sydney needs vision.
".. "Only after we picked the five concepts were we able to reveal whose concepts they were," Dr Brand said. .."
".."Architecture now, like art, is such an international practice – you have Sydney architects designing buildings in China, Chinese architects designing buildings in America. We have two Japanese architects in this list, one of whom has offices in Paris." .."
"..The winning firm will then work for a year with the gallery refining the design. .."
"..to be completed by 2021, which marks the AGNSW's 150th anniversary. .."
".. projected budget is $450 million, which Dr Brand says will come from a mix of private and state investment. .."
".. Sydney needs a great amount of vision now." .."
Find this at http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/art-gallery-of-nsw-narrows-architecture-firms-down-to-five-finalists-for-sydney-modern-20150119-12t4ar.html .
This news item is from 2015 January.

Update: SANAA, Tokyo won. Visit http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/sydney-modern-project/design-competition . Find presentation drawings' thumbnails here from the Stage 2 entries.

Stage one shortlisted architects

Candalepas Associates – Sydney
David Chipperfield Architects – London
Fender Katsalidis – Melbourne
Herzog & de Meuron – Basel
Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA – Tokyo
Kengo Kuma & Associates – Tokyo
Kerry Hill Architects – Singapore
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos – Madrid
RPBW (Renzo Piano Building Workshop) – Genoa
RMA Architects (Rahul Mehrotra Architects) – Mumbai
Sean Godsell Architects – Melbourne
Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects – New York
Stage two shortlisted architects

Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA – Tokyo
Kengo Kuma & Associates – Tokyo and Paris
Kerry Hill Architects – Singapore and Perth
RMA Architects (Rahul Mehrotra Architects) – Mumbai and Boston
Sean Godsell Architects – Melbourne


Saturday, 15 July 2017

Newspaper has written about an Architect

Yeshwant Ramamurthy is the founder at Studio One, Hyderabad.
Newspaper has written about an Architect.
Yeshwant Ramamurthy is the founder at Studio One, Hyderabad. He is a graduate from J.J. College of Architecture in Mumbai, and began his career in Bangalore.
".. Commenting on old Indian architecture, he says that the pre-colonial style, emerging from indigenous parameters, was humble and deeply aesthetic. “The colonists transposed grandiose and incongruous style onto native design in a bid to establish cultural hegemony, though many times with disastrous consequences,” he says.

“After independence, India grappled with the idea of rediscovering her design roots, and many buildings of that era display confused priorities. Fast-forward to the present, a time of globalisation, and we see a proliferation of mindless Lego-set facades as clients commission architects to replicate Manhattan in the IT precincts of urban India despite a shocking lack of context.”

But all’s not lost. “Thankfully an increasing fraternity of Indian designers now sees desi as the relevant language to define our emerging vernacular, yet contemporary idiom. Indeed, it is the only plausible way to go,” he concludes."
He says there is a proliferation in IT India of mindless Lego type facades from Manhattan which are out of context. ANI wonders why this simple fact is lost on our janata. Perhaps janata is not as much at fault as Architects themselves. Jury is out?
Find this at http://www.thehindu.com/features/homes-and-gardens/in-conversation-with-awardwinning-architect-yeshwant-ramamurthy/article6793738.ece .

Friday, 14 July 2017

Space Elevator 20 km High A Reality

Freestanding Tower reaching 20 kms above earth's surface
20 km high space elevator. Height = 20 x 'height of Burj Khalifa'.
The idea of a space elevator, first proposed by Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in 1895, is slated to become a reality.

"... The company will build a freestanding tower, reaching 20 km above the planet's surface. ..."
"Astronauts would ascend 20 km by an electric elevator. From the top of the tower, space planes will launch in a single stage to orbit, returning to the top of the tower for refuelling and reflight," its inventor Dr Brendan Quine was quoted as saying.
The elevator will also be used for wind-energy generation and communications. ..."
"... The Thoth design reportedly uses inflatable sections and flywheels to provide dynamic stability. ..."

Find this at http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/20-km-high-space-elevator-could-be-a-reality-soon/articleshow/48526413.cms .

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Railway Stations Development task outsourcing

Large no. of railway stations in shortest possible time
Development of Railway Stations task to be outsourced and bids to be invited on website.
With the aim to complete the development of a large no. of stations in the shortest possible time, the details of the railway stations will be put online. If anybody is sure that they are upto it, then they may tell the Railways what is required from the Railways. The entire exercise will be completely transparent. For instance, the Railways want proper and adequate waiting room facilities, ladies dormitories, segregation of arrival and departure, all essential facilities like catering, unifying integration at both sides, integration with public transport as access station etc.
"... Currently, Prabhu said, there are elaborate processes involved in developing a railway station. He cited “inception and pre-feasibility report”, appointment of architect, technical consultants, financial and legal consultants, “in-principle approval of local authorities”, “request for qualification”, “shortlisting of bidders”, and “request for technical proposals” to underline how this exercise takes such a long time.
“What we are proposing is why not pull all the stations that we have in India for redevelopment without going through these elaborate processes which I have mentioned,” he said. “Rather than that, if you put it in public domain, put it on website and say all the stations of India, small, big, A size, A-plus size, all categories would be developed in this way.” ..."

Find this at http://www.indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/want-to-develop-a-station-railways-plans-to-invite-bids-on-its-website .

This is old news actually. Anyway, the task is slated to begin in 2017.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Ancient Step Wells - Down To Water Table

India's Step Well Architecture - Collecting, Storing Water
The ancient step wells of India are man-made wells or reservoirs that take one down to the water table. They also served as spots for socialising for women and were also apt for meditation and prayer. India's stepwells are fast disappearing. They are feats of Engineering actually. Find photos of stepwells on the page accessible via link at the bottom.
"... You'll find many of these unique water sources in northwestern Indian regions like Gujarat and Rajasthan, which are extremely hot and dry for half of the year and filled with monsoon rains the other half. The stepwells allowed towns and cities to maintain a constant water supply even in the face of months-long droughts.
Rudimentary stepwells began popping up in great numbers around India between the 2nd and 4th centuries A.D., and only became more elaborate and grandiose over the centuries.
Stepwells declined in use during the rise of British rule in the mid-1800s as more modern piped water systems were installed across the empire. As relics of the past, many stepwells are now tourist attractions, while many others have deteriorated due to neglect. ..."

Find this at http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/blogs/explore-functional-aesthetics-indias-elaborate-stepwell-architecture where you are also served a crash course video on step well architecture..

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Treescrapers for High Density Urban Living

'Treescrapers' is a current typology in speculative architecture
'Treescrapers' are here then? A Solution for High Density Urban Living?
A vertical garden tower, Bosco Verticale, designed for Milan has been named the Best Tall Building Worldwide for 2015 by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. .. From architectural fiction towards built reality. .. But can they work and are they green? Should we start believing about them?
A Passive House design calls for retention of energy and heat at low costs.
Treescrapers, a current popular typology in speculative architecture existing mostly on paper, is a building scheme that incorporates both environmental gains and high density. The porous designs look futuristic, and maybe actually stink (article doesn't say stink, whoops) so that they actually don’t look like the future of architecture.
The article speaks of carbon emissions - embodied and operational. It talks whether these are actually 'net sustainable'.
"... One is the additional force that it takes to shore up a balcony to support the weight of a tree. (Trees on balconies are the definitive features of the designs I’m lumping together under the treescraper label.) Increasing the steel reinforcement or concrete slab of a balcony increases the embodied carbon emissions for the project.
The other broad issue is the operational: the loss of heat where the balcony meets the exterior wall. Thermal bridges, essentially areas where heat loss happens at an intersection with the building’s envelope, can potentially lead to problems, namely an increased heating requirement to keep the building comfortable. There are ways to thermally break the juncture using insulation to protect against heat loss, but the question gets a bit technical for a broad look at a range of buildings. ..."
Find this at http://www.citylab.com/design/2015/11/are-treescrapers-the-future-of-dense-urban-living/415782 and also find a Vijayawada building's photos.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Green Buildings Impact On Economy - Rating System

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
Quest for LEED Certification is on the increase. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a 'Green Building Certification' Program or Rating System. It is developed by U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and includes a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes, and neighbourhoods that aims to help building owners and operators be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently (this last bit courtesy Wikipedia). As per USGBC 833 million square feet of building space in India is using LEED certification rating.
"... These green buildings are designed and constructed as better buildings. The LEED-certified green buildings cost less to operate and reduce energy and water bills by as much as 40 per cent. ..."
"... "LEED's success in India can be attributed to a number of factors, especially the widespread recognition by Indian business leaders and government officials that India’s rapid economic growth must be accompanied by a substantial investment in sustainable infrastructure.” ..."
"... The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) located in Hyderabad has been instrumental in mobilising the green building movement in India and helping establish LEED as a key driver for market transformation. ..."

Find this at http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/real-estate/leed-rated-building-space-on-the-rise-in-india/article6682592.ece . The article implies that green buildings impact on the Indian economy and its buildings, homes and communities.

Monday, 13 March 2017

One Hundred Smart Cities

Solve urban problems and facilitate city management
It is the Government's Plan to build 100 Smart Cities, some from the ground up, and some will be retrofitted. Smart town means everything from infrastructure to the way business is conducted. Urban Transport will be a key factor in the realisation of the aim of the Smart City Project. The Government thinks that basic services like electricity and running water will be taken care of.
"... Urban India is getting crowded. Migration to cities is increasing by the year, which is why the Indian government has focused on creating these smart cities to solve urban problems and facilitate city management. ..."
"... India’s smart city program hopes to revolutionize city life and improve the quality of life for India’s urban population. However, with mass migration leading to basic issues, like water shortages and overcrowding, the pace at which these cities will be developed will be the key. ..."

Find this at http://america.cgtn.com/2014/12/19/india-plans-to-build-100-smart-cities .

Friday, 24 February 2017

Technology application will help India's infrastructure development

Technology brings efficiency improvements to infrastructure
Technology is bringing efficiency improvements to infrastructure sector globally. Six Technology based solutions to improve India's infrastructure are given below.
1. Smart Cities
2. Intelligent Freight Logistics
3. Smart Highways
4. Advanced water treatment systems
5. Next-generation construction methods
6. IT-enabled project management systems

Pre fabricated components - - - GIS based surveys - - - frame bids - - - Internet Of Things - - - fresh water demand can be met by water reclamation and recycling
Infrastructure deficiency: India is infrastructure deficient. For faster completion of works at various levels India needs to invest variously in infrastructure, but the funds are not all available. Therefore, investing in Technology makes sense (they are saying) since that drastically improves efficiency.
"... Some 30% of freshwater demand in Singapore is being met through water reclamation and recycling. A Chinese developer completed a 30-storey hotel in 30 days to demonstrate how new industrial approaches could revolutionise construction. These are just a few examples of the staggering efficiency improvements that technology is bringing to the infrastructure sector around the world. ..."
"... The Internet of Things, intelligent transportation and distribution, and advanced GIS (geographic information system) technologies are some of the disruptive technologies that have important applications in infrastructure.
For example, using Internet of Things sensors—which can measure the flow of water through pipes or collect tolls electronically—can help India create smart highways, electronic tolling systems, smart ports and warehousing, and advanced water treatment and management systems. Next-generation construction methods hold the promise for vast efficiency improvements in infrastructure projects. ..."
"... Large concrete components, with built-in electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems, can be manufactured remotely in a precision factory, then assembled onsite. Advanced project-management systems such as 5D BIM (building information modelling) combine schedules, budgets and other critical data with 3D architectural modelling, enabling construction firms—and suppliers—to manage the flow of material and labour in real time. ..."
"... The Indian government’s initiative to build 100 smart cities could help create a capital-light model of technology in the infrastructure sector. ..."

Find this at http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/ZdLt32m08SoSPIqWbppchL/Achieving-more-for-less-in-infrastructure.html .
Though this article is more from a business angle or money angle (it mentions stuff like 'Barriers to investment') still since it talks of infrastructure and smart cities and water treatment and construction methods etc. so it found itself mentioned here. They are promoting foreign investment actually.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Clean, Green, Peaceful, Exciting Chandigarh

Most Perfect City In The World - Chandigarh!
City Beautiful is clean, green, peaceful, exciting.
Chandigarh, the Capital of Punjab and Haryana, is the most perfect city ... in the world!
The City Beautiful may be, as per BBC, the perfect city in the world! Chandigarh, a Tier 2 City, has comparatively cleaner air, is green and clean. It's also peaceful and exciting. :-) It is the first planned city of India and was supposed to be traditional and embrace modernism.
"... Le Corbusier, a renowned Swiss-French architect, was commissioned to take on the Augean task of designing the ideal city. Corbusier designed the city with the utmost precision, keeping in mind the functionality as well, making use of the natural edges formed by the hills and the two rivers to give the city its urban-form. ..."
"... What truly captures the spirit of the city is its people, who are extremely friendly, and polite unlike the brazen kinds that they are made out to be in misleading Bollywood movies. The city boasts of being a cosmopolitan one along with the serene calmness in the structure and the people. A city that perfectly juggles between tradition and modernity. "

Find this at http://www.scoopwhoop.com/chandigarh-perfect-city-world .

Monday, 21 November 2016

Mumbai City museum's Design for its new wing

Mumbai's first international architectural competition for a public building
Mumbai City Museum's Design for its new wing.
"... to design a new wing for the mumbai city museum. ... the wing will include an additional 125,000 square feet (11,613 square meters) of floor space, envisioned as a sculptural form dictated by the site’s boundaries. developed in white concrete, deep cuts in the structure’s envelope bring in exactly 25 lumens of daylight to each gallery. a central incision forms a shaded water basin which runs into a pool located at the center of the plan. through reflecting the new wing in addition to the existing building, the feature unites the site, while generating 60% of the museum’s electricity through photovoltaic cells located below the water’s surface. ...
Find this at http://www.designboom.com/architecture/steven-holl-mumbai-city-museum-new-wing-india-12-09-2014 .
Find the Site Plan, Sectional Drawing etc.