What demarcates a visionary and a follower is innovation. A visionary has the capacity and will to turn vision into reality. To be fair visionary qualities cannot be taught but can only be learned with time and experience. Today we feature one such exemplary visionary who has learned through experience and is now molding others as an evaluator. The person of interest here is Anupama Mohanram,Chief Architect, Green Evolution Architectural Consultancy
Anupama is an architect with 20 years of experience and a keen advocate of green buildings. She is a LEED Accredited Professional and a Certified GRIHA Trainer and Evaluator, who has a deep interest in earth-friendly and environmentally sustainable architecture. Anupama is also a regular writer and speaker on green architecture.
GoSmartBricks: What all constitutes sustainability in your architecture (Eco friendly products, solar panels, rain water harvesting, insulated walls etc). Do you think innovative, cost effective and responsible architecture can be brought at the same time?
Anupama: Sustainability is a key part of my designs at every stage. Construction of built environments is as such an extremely polluting activity and I feel it is our responsibility to try and mitigate the environmental degradation caused by buildings as much as possible by ensuring sustainability at every stage in the design and construction process. The end result is an architecture that is thoughtfully and consciously evolved in order to prevent or at least minimize environmental degradation.
The process starts from selection of a site to orientation of buildings on the site to ensure adequate natural light and ventilation in that particular climactic condition. Eco-friendly and insulating building materials that are locally available are essential in any sustainably designed building. Efficient mechanical systems for energy conservation, water treatment, and reuse and waste management are finally integrated to ensure as much carbon neutrality as possible.
It is clear that responsible architecture should not only be eco-friendly but also cost-effective and meet clients’ needs. Green building strategies are constantly evolving and innovation is, of course, a key part of any sustainably designed building.
GoSmartBricks: As a responsible architect, what role does green building materials play into your work? And what is the industry adoption level for these construction materials?
Anupama: Building materials are obviously a key part of any building and ensuring these are ‘green’ will make a big difference to both the environment as well as to the quality of life of the occupants.
Slowly the construction industry is starting to be aware of the existence of green building materials and their advantages. However, I feel this has taken too long to sink into the large scale building industry that exists in India today and although today’s scenario is a little better than say about 10 years ago, we still have a long way to go to break the mould of conventional materials.
GoSmartBricks: What is the most challenging aspect of bringing together sustainability and architecture?
Anupama: I believe that sustainability should be a part of an architectural design process and not seen as something different.
GoSmartBricks: According to you, what misconceptions are associated with green building? Why still many people are reluctant to switch to green buildings?
Anupama: One key misconception that we hear all the time is that green buildings involve additional cost. If dug deeper, it can be seen that green buildings are in the long run more cost effective than conventional buildings built without thought of the environment.
GoSmartBricks: What is your ultimate goal when it comes to your work? What do you want to be remembered for?
Anupama: I am not sure if I have any end goal. For me, it is more the process of every design that is important. We strive to innovate in every project and bring out the best combination of aesthetics and sustainability possible for the particular project considering factors such as client preferences, climatic factors, and financial constraints.
GoSmartBricks: What message you want to share with the architects community?
Anupama: Thoughtful designs with focus on the environment are the need of the future in order to ensure adequate availability of resources for our future generations!
Anupama not only talks but proves that she is a woman of word and work. Listed below are some of her sustainable projects.
1. Project: Mahatma Gandhi School, Kanchipuram
2.Project: Anbagam- Home For Seniors, Thirukandalam
If you too are doing something creative that is bringing a change in the environment then please drop us a word at firstname.lastname@example.org