Architect Gunveer Singh considers himself as an environmental designer, with analytical-based designing as his core ideology to achieve maximum efficiency and post-occupancy comfort. He has been researching about post-occupancy behaviour in IT offices in Delhi-NCR. He also published a paper about it in Hong Kong at PLEA 2018.
In the short span of his career as a young professional, he has been involved in projects across Europe. He has collaborated with top architecture firms like Bruther, Lacaton et Vassal and Office KGDVS while working at Atmos Lab in London. He currently works with Logico Marketing and also collaborates with Ashok Lall Architects in Delhi, India.
An Architect par excellence, Gunveer believes that designing a building or retrofitting it so that it consumes less, should be the baseline of understanding what architecture and building science is all about. “It is really important to understand the interactions between the humans and the built environment and in a country like India, where everyone talks about urbanisation and the development of “smart cities”, design efficiency is important,” he says.
Gunveer expresses his concern that over the years the architects have believed in the notion that the buildings consume 40% of the energy produced, or they are responsible for 65% of the total global emissions across the world. Hence it is important to understand why the impact is significant even though we are driven by the idea of sustainability since the early 2000s.
A staunch supporter of green buildings for their major role in stopping climate change, Gunveer says, “I believe, “Green Architects”, should be referred as “Environmental Designers”.
Laying emphasis on Enviro [Arch] approach in terms of the benefits of Green Buildings, he says, “Environmental Architecture or Enviro [ARCH] should be taken as an architectural challenge which emphasizes on a performance-based design which focuses on occupant comfort, thus making artistic aspect scientifically plausible.”
“While on one hand such an approach helps design environments by responding the contextual needs of the site, on the other, it takes the wide range of thermodynamic exchanges for adaptive comfort into account, moving away from the idea of the 24oC threshold that was articulated in the 1950s, which resulted in heavy reliance of the mechanical systems,” adds Gunveer.
He says that the digital new era of construction and architecture is supporting the development of green and environmentally sustainable green architecture. “I believe the industry can benefit from the evidence based approach, by simulating scenarios and design strategies before being built. In case of retrofitting as well, the technology available today, could help immensely in making our designs adaptable to the ever changing climate. One can monitor the operational conditions and using BMS systems and the sensors available these days, make our building operation occupant centric,” says Gunveer.
In an era, where majority of industries are driven by data, he adds, “the architects and designers could focus on evidence-based design, where indoor and outdoor environmental qualities for occupant comfort are prioritized by quantifying the modern and vernacular techniques. And the idea gains significance as soon as we understand that the environmental designing is an integrative and iterative process where the architects and consultants need to work together from the conceptual stage.”
As for the design and construction, the architects can very well master the technical aspects. “With the current knowledge, we can erect buildings that are net zero, without compromising on spatial excellence where occupants would enjoy and respond positively to the built environment,” says Gunveer articulating his vision. Simultaneously, he expresses his concern that young architectural professionals need to understand the significant contributions they can make to the 2050 deadline set during the Paris Agreement 2016 Conference of the parties (CoP21) by UNFCCC.
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