Compliant with the Energy Conservation Building Code, this project was conceived as a candidate for the United Nations Development Program and Energy Efficient Model Buildings by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), India.
Project Name: Admerus Biosciences
Studio Name: Morphemy Architects
Date of Completion: January 2019
Surrounded by lush, verdant landscapes including eucalyptus groves and mango orchards the site plan warranted a quiet, subtle and reflective architectural solution that would respect and retain the existing natural ecosystem. Within this larger ethos, the design strategy was to create a modern building – aligning with the client’s professional aspirations; that is energy-efficient – ensuring comfortable workspaces in the hot-dry composite climate; and sustainable – to improve the liveability of its users replete with natural views.
Concept Note & Design Process
Mining ancient design tropes, this modern building contextualises the chajja (sunshade) as its single-most defining element – unifying its formal and energy efficiency goals. These sunshades are employed on the north, east facades and building interiors in a minimalist sense and changes orientation on the south and west elevations to decrease insolation, associated heat gain and glare.
The building envelope, as a result of repetition of the sunshade element remains independent of columns whilst being integrated with the same in the inner courtyard. The prototypal use of the sunshade element ensures a rhythmic quality to the building and additionally catalysing the speed and efficiency of construction. The introduction of the courtyard serves a critical purpose in linking the building back to its natural context, bringing in day-lit vibrancy and vitality to its space
Since the building program demanded large spans – post-tensioned structural flat slabs with circular columns were employed that improved material efficiency, decreased thermal mass whilst ensuring a desired aesthetic quality with exposed services on the soffit and elevating the structure from the basement. The design effort was directed to reduce the building to its rudimentary architectural and structural form, as is. The columns and ceiling too were left unplastered exposing fault lines – concrete’s defining quality and character.
Sustainable strategies incorporated in the building:
- Passive architectural planning, positioning labs with highest cooling loads required in the northern part of the building, building services and toilets on western part to act as buffer and reducing direct heat gain.
- Fenestration design to reduce direct heat gain on all sides of the building, special measures for south and west.
- Low E Glass with SHGC 0.29 used to reduce direct heat gain and improving energy efficiency while providing ample natural daylight.
- Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) Blocks used to reduce direct heat gain to improve thermal efficiency.
- Skylights for natural lighting of all staircases.
- Courtyard to penetrate daylighting as a strategy for the interior of the building and induce airflow decreasing thermal mass temperature.
- Incorporation of Green Roof to reduce direct heat gain in cafeteria area.
- LED fixtures to improve energy efficiency of artificial lighting.
- Use of water efficient plumbing fixtures in toilets to reduce building’s water demand.
- Use of reed bed filtration system to reuse grey water for landscape.
- Rainwater harvesting pits around the site to reduce storm water run off.
- Using AQUATRON separators to remove solids from flowing liquids to facilitate efficient waste management.
- Reduced embodied energy of the building by sourcing local materials for example local varieties of granite for flooring etc.,
- Post Tensioned Slabs to support larger spans and reduce material usage.
- No VOC emitting materials used in the interiors.