Real Estate

Interview: Go green with eco-friendly homes

In an exclusive interview with, architects Indrajit and Neeta Kembhavi talk to us about how it is important to adopt environmentally sustainable design practices.

Everyone seems to be jumping on the
green building train with eco-friendly products and services. But the question is how efficient and cost-effective is it? Founded in 1972 by Sharad and Nalini Kembhavi, Kembhavi  Architecture Foundation (KAF) offers an entire gamut of services including architectural design, interior design, project management, civil and structural engineering as well as providing solutions for green building habitats among others. Their creation – the Police Bhavan in Gulbarga – is one of the first gold-rated green buildings in the country. For the past few years, KAF has been researching green building practices – both traditional and futuristic – to create improved, cost-effective and eco-friendly habitats. We talk to Indrajit and Neeta Kembhavi to find out more about this growing trend.

How important is it to build green today?
It is extremely important to build green. Environmental depletion is affecting us not only at a micro individual level but also is causing irreversible damage to the fragile global eco-fabric.
The major factors affecting us include:
o Depletion of quality and quantity of resources like air, water, minerals, etc.
o Toxicity, pollution genetic changes and new diseases
o Extinction of species.

What are the major challenges in constructing environment-friendly buildings?
The most important challenge today is the lack of direction or vision on the part of policy makers. For a holistic solution it is mandatory to change the methodology of planning. Preserving land is most vital criteria and it is necessary to establish vertical cities with lot of green lung spaces encompassing energy/water efficient buildings reducing travel distances and pollution.

Are green buildings more expensive to construct?
A green building costs the same as a conventional building but for energy generation parameters like solar power, LED, etc which are expensive initially but are cheaper in the long run.

There’s a common notion that you have to make a choice between building something green and building something beautiful. Can you combine both - aesthetics and sustainability?

Aesthetics and sustainability definitely go hand in hand. A sensitive architect definitely can combine both these facts with ease.

How has your entrepreneurial journey been so far?
The entrepreneurial journey has been very exciting. The profession itself has offered an opportunity to address lot of varied issues presented across an array of projects, clientele and experts. Assimilation of these thought processes fueled into a creative process has been fulfilling and stimulating.

What are your future growth plans?
Our future growth plan encompasses an expansion into a global arena with an emphasis on organic architecture. It shall be our endeavor to promote solar passive architecture

Currently, what are the interesting projects that your company is working on?
We are working on a lot of interesting projects including “luxury residential”, hospitality, institutions, “transport hubs”, affordable realty etc in different geographical terrain all around India.
Finally, your advice to budding architects/ engineers?
I advice the young generation of architects to develop skill sets, acquire knowledge through hard work and dedication, travel gain insight and experience. In addition to the above, designing a building is an emotive process wherein “human element and interface” is paramount and all pervading. Hence sensitivity to the factors should be extremely important to generate a better environment.
An architectural site you admire?
The “Guggenheim Museum” by Frank Ghery in “Bilbur” Spain is one of my personal favourites.

Tags: eco-homes in bangalore, kembhavi architecture

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