‘Forest fires affects 93,273 hectares of land in India which is huge, it is just not causing the forest to burn but also pollute other resources like land and air in the process. I think we should stop the forest fire at any cost. This could take us one step closer in saving the environment’, says Aayush Chaudhary, Principal Architect and Founder, ACad Studio
I think we all fooled ourselves that sustainability was getting us where we needed to go and it was all making everything better. Do you feel sustainability was flawed?
I don’t think the concept of sustainability had any problem. Sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their needs. Sustainability is the only concept which could help us save our planet. Without being greedy and focusing the needs of future generation could help save us resources and also, find alternatives to it or use renewable resources than the non-renewable ones. If we look at the 17 SDGs (Sustainable development goals) adopted by General Assembly, UN for 2030 agenda, the approach tells us that the assembly wants to include everyone in the agenda including the future generations. If we achieve these goals by 2030, most of the world problems will be solved. Another change required to make sustainability work is changing the mindset of the people. When the entire human race will start thinking about other species, care for each other and for the future generation, the concept of sustainability will lead to a better world. Sustainable design and green architecture is the future of construction industry. Application of this on all small to large scale projects would help save a lot of resources. Green architecture minimizes the harmful effects of construction on human health and the environment. Sustainable designs tend to create their own energy required to run the building, use less energy and reuse the material/energy to construct the buildings. I think all the buildings should be planned sustainably for a better result.
Destroying nature’ reserves, where are we going?
This is a very sensitive topic. As a young citizen, I feel there should be development with high rises and huge buildings coming up. But, on the other hand by doing so we are destroying nature. We are removing forests and damaging the nature which is one of the causes of climate changes due to which the lakes are getting dried up, oceans are getting polluted, air is getting polluted. We need to find a common ground where the development could take place without harming the nature. The change in climate could have drastic effect on the planet, some say it might end the life on the planet. If this is the scenario, the entire world should be alarmed, and we should start taking measures to save the planet. The current situation doesn’t point us towards a sustainable future. Everyone should work towards a better sustainable future by finding alternatives to the non-renewable resources and a way to develop without putting pressure on the nature.
What will happen if there is more disappearance of plants and forests?
I think it’s not very wise to cut down entire forests and then plant a few trees to justify your actions. It just doesn’t make sense to me or do justice to the nature. I think planting trees will actually help in building a sustainable future, but not cutting them in the first place is the right thing to do. In our profession, we are always encouraged by the experts and governing authority to plan the buildings and cities without harming the existing trees and create lots of green areas in the plan. We should make every effort possible in saving the trees and the forests, it might mean less area for development but we have to find a solution which will not make us cut the forests and also develop cities and towns at the same time.
Aren’t forest fires a growing challenge across the globe, with climate change?
I believe this is due to lack of education and awareness about forest fire in India. People do not know the adverse effects of doing so and see profit in destroying forests for any reason. Even if the forest catches fire naturally all the measures should be taken to stop it. Forest fires affects 93,273 hectares of land in India which is huge, it is just not causing the forest to burn but also pollute other resources like land and air in the process. I think we should stop the forest fire at any cost, this could take us one step closer in saving the environment. We should not stop development, if we do not have land to build, we should make our designs more efficient by which the developments would co-exist with the forest. Burning down forests is not a solution but welcoming our doomsday.
Building either crumble or are caught in fire. What about its Safety?
The safety of the buildings is a major concern these days. The government has also laid down strict by-laws regarding the same. The problem in India is in implementing those by-laws where people do not want to waste any space or spend money on even for safety measures, elements or equipment on the buildings which makes them prone to safety hazards. We are facing this problem more than ever because the older buildings were not up to today’s safety standards, but their functions or occupancy level have drastically changed. We need to upgrade the older buildings and ensure that they follow the latest safety by-laws. Another reason for the same is performing a different function than allocated to the building and thus violating the laws. This means performing commercial activities over residential zones without following the commercial laws of safety as prescribed. People should become more sensitive towards these issues as such an accident can endanger hundreds and thousands of lives. It should be the duty of an architect to guide the client in the right direction where the building follows all the safety laws required to reduce the risk of getting damaged.
Regenerative design – What do you have to say on it and how do we achieve the absolute optimum of regenerative design?
I think this is a brilliant way to go ahead, it is just an extension of sustainable design. But it is upto the designers how they see this approach different than sustainable designs. I think the authorities like LEED and GRIHA should spread more awareness regarding the same. They should enrol architects on courses which will enable them to learn more on the subject. Architects should always aim at finding better solutions for this approach and most importantly architects should educate the clients on the same, maybe this process will cost more initial investment but in the long term it will be beneficial for them and the environment. I believe architects are trained to deliver these concepts and even better buildings, but it is very important for the client to understand this because an architect is as good as the client is, if the client says no, it is not in the hands of an architect.
Which project gave you the biggest break in this profession?
I believe it is just not one project that has given me a break in this profession. There are multiple residential projects that had helped us move ahead and get more referrals from the same. Personally, I loved working on a 30,000-sq.ft of private residential for my client where the client understood the design concept and didn’t enforce illogical ideas. I am eagerly waiting for that project to get completed.