Phase I of the footings is complete. The site is busy like a beehive at the moment. While concreting takes place two to three times a week on some footings, the carpenters and steel fixers work simultaneously on the other footings.
The Shilyanas pooja was help on 15th March 2013. Being on a tight schedule to get out of the basement before the monsoons get here, work was not stopped even during the ceremony; so there was a bit of a cacophony with the sounds of the pooja bells ringing and the rhythmic hammering of the carpenters putting together the shuttering for the footings at the same time!
Finally, the South West monsoons have receded and we have begun with the excavation! It’s very sad to see some of our old trees go. But we’ve actually designed the building to minimize the damage. Off course we’ll replant as many as we have to cut down. Some young coconut trees are also being relocated to our farm in Rivona.
Arjuntree One’s external walls are designed to act as thermal insulators and sound barriers. On the outside will be bricks with cavities in them and on the inside will be laterite blocks. The combination has multiple benefits in reducing energy costs, reducing maintenance as the outer bricks do not require painting and isolating the areas inside from the sounds of the city.
There are a number of good India-centric rating systems such as TERI’s GRIHA and IGBC’s LEED. While these rating systems are good to benchmark a project they do have a administrative and financial overhead that they place on the project. With all the little details that we patiently work with in order to make our project truly ‘Green’, this becomes an unnecessary burden on our resources. We are passionately committed to being environmentally friendly and creating a sustainable community during and after the design and construction phases. By putting green design methods into practice, we intend that our customers themselves will be our best rating system. We will also be disseminating information on both our blog on this site and through our social page at www.facebook.com/arjuntree and do hope that more of the Real Estate Development community adopts these methods. Constructive criticism to improve our methods is always welcome. Please drop us a line or comment on our blog or facebook page.
Sky / Terrace Gardens
The design of the sky gardens minimize the heat and moisture on the lower floors, by virtue of protecting the walls below. The landscaped garden, acts as a buffer from the dust, heat and the lashing rain. They are staggered on alternate floors to form a chequer board like spacing, which enhances the air movement between floors.
The double height spacing between the gardens, gives each one a private uninterrupted bit of sky. The verandah, between interior and exterior, is the most comfortable space from which one can enjoy the rain, only feeling the mild spray, or the cool breeze and shade from the sun.
In keeping with our design objectives of creating spaces which are energy efficient and thermally comfortable, we have opted to use a combination of laterite blocks hollow terracotta blocks and wire cut bricks, for the external walls.
This forms an envelope with air cavities, the terracotta blocks on the outside and the laterite blocks on the inside, keeping the interiors cool, thus bringing down the use of air-conditioning. Besides serving as a passive cooling system, the external wall is also very low on maintenance bringing down the long term maintenance costs of the building.
Continuous Natural Ventilation
One of the most important requirements for comfort in a hot and humid climate is continuous and free air circulation and moisture evaporation through breezes. At “ArjunTree One” we have provided large openings towards the windward and the lee ward sides, within the apartments, and cross ventilation is taken care of through the air spaces in the sky courts. The sky gardens in the apartments act as wind scoops, creating air currents, drawing air into the house.
The buildings are characterized by the use of elements including walls, windows, roofs and floors, combining available materials and technologies, to manage energy flows and thus provide comfortable conditions in the occupied parts of the building at all times of the day and year.
Arjun Tree One has evolved from the study and careful analysis of local climatic conditions and other natural variations that arise from the site and its surroundings. It is a conscious effort to form a bridge between nature and the built environment making use of natural wind, day lighting and natural materials so as toreduce the impact of the building on the environment.