Early 20th Century Green Roofs, Wind Chimneys, Solar Shades

Monday, May 17, 2010

by Paul John, THE TIMES OF INDIA, May 17, 2010

sarabhai house The city may feel like insides of a furnace these days, baking denizens ruthlessly as the mercury continues on its relentless climb, but then there are some cool spaces too. Mostly unnoticed, these ‘cool by nature’ buildings may help you change your perception about.

These are “climate homes” — offices and institutions in Ahmedabad — some even almost half a century old that have managed to cut temperatures. Step into these cool zones and you can feel a perceptible temperature drop of 9-12 degrees. In most cases this technology reduces air conditioning costs by 35-45 per cent. Built with a bit of common sense these dwellings tone down harsh climatic effects.

If you happen to be in any of the four Le Corbusier’s buildings its surprising how well ‘Master Corbu’ understood the Indian weather. The Sarabhai’s house, one of Corbu’s creations shows maximum adaptation to harsh climates.

The most delightful aspect of this building is a garden on the roof. It is made to feel almost like another level of the ground. Similarly Corbu had made provisions for a roof top garden on AMC’s Sanskar Kendra too. American architect Louis Kahn on the other hand in IIM (A) sliced the harsh effect of the sunlight to run down temperatures. [Read rest of story]

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