- Architect In Charge: Chitra Vishwanath, Anurag Tamhankar
- Design Team: Chitra Vishwanath, Anurag Tamhankar, Ramya MA
- Clients: Eklavya Foundation
- City: Bhopal
- Country: India
Text description provided by the architects. Eklavya is a non-profit, non-government organisation working toward revolutionizing education system in Madhya Pradesh and other states. Environment was core to their design brief when they started looking for an architect. The proposed campus was to house office space, workshop area, residential space and a storage unit for their publications and paper. The campus was to have an inductive environment for collaborative works between different departments. Strategies of closing the loops of energy, water, material and food were pivotal in the design. Building was to demonstrate a unique approach to the built environment.
Passive techniques were integrated from the planning stages to achieve comfort in the building. Composite climate of Bhopal needed strategy for reducing the heat gain during summer and maximize heat gain in winter. East west orientation reduced radiation gain. Storage unit is placed on western side to protect working areas. Deep balconies shade large openings bringing in daylight in working areas. Western façade with discarded railway windows reduces heat gain in go-down protecting the stored books and paper from temperature fluctuation. Heat gain from the roof was reduced by designing green roof growing food, white roof, solar panels covering rooftop and deck insulation.
Materials for construction were carefully chosen based on their proximity to the site and through life cycle analysis. Composite stabilized fly ash earth bricks made from the soil available in the vicinity were used for walls. As these bricks are stabilized, compressed and cured there is no pollution during their manufacturing. The minimum water absorption by these bricks allowed for the walls to be left exposed without plaster reducing the cement consumption. Additionally, exposed concrete work was done for all reinforced concrete elements. IPS (Indian Patent Stone) was be used to reduce material consumption and wastage.
Construction debris was sourced from demolition sites and used for refilling making the building a waste sink. Curtain wall made of scrap railway windows are used on western façade to regulate the temperature within the go-down. Partitions wall in the office areas are made out of the discarded paper rolls which were available in plenty since Eklavya purchases paper and stores for its publications.
All water falling on rooftop of this building and site is harvested in 100,000 litre underground tank and excess water is recharged in the ground by means of four recharge wells on site. This water will be used for all domestic needs after filtration. The effluent water is treated treatment system before it is again used for flushing and gardening thereby creating a closed loop and not letting out any water out of the site. Landscape in and around the building is an edible one with organic farms on roof and fruit bearing trees on the ground. An attempt is made toward becoming self-sufficient in terms of daily consumption of vegetables, fruits and herbs. Ficus, flowering trees and plants are planted to attract the birds and bees incorporating the biodiversity in the design.