Adopting Low-cost Alternative for Energy Saving
Case Study

In the following, various case studies that have adopted solar passive design features are presented:


Shading: The shading devices of the Residence of Mahindra Patel, in Ahmedabad building were designed to shade the exposed facades. The east façade which happen to be the front is shaded by large overhangs. The overhangs also act as service ducts and thus serve two purposes. These projections are finished at the top by white china mosaic and covered at the bottom by aluminium false ceiling, which can be opened. The building has adequately designed windows with overhangs on south wall. East and West walls are protected by a series of extended terraces developed as building elements to shade walls. The two verandahs provided on two sides of the buildings further shades the whole building. (Source: Energy-efficient buildings in India, Mili Majumdar, TERI & MNRE, 2001)

  Fig 1: The east façade of the residential building in Ahmedabad, which happens to be the front is shaded by large overhangs
   

Daylight integration: The Indian Institute of Health Management Research, Jaipur is a very good example for integration of day lighting in hot & dry climate through proper planning. The centrally located courtyards around which the buildings are built allows adequate daylight into the building and also helps in heat loss. The pattern of fenestration is also coordinated with the planning grid. Windows are designed to reduce glare and ensure adequate natural light for all the workspaces. The small high-level glazing panel supplements window light by throwing more daylight at the back of the room to give a fairly even illumination level across the depth of the rooms. The ventilator below the window sill serves dual purpose: by cooling the space without blocking the light and view. (Source: Energy-efficient buildings in India, Mili Majumdar, TERI & MNRE, 2001)

Fig: Twp verandahs on the sides shades the residential building in Ahmedabad
   
Fig: The ventilator below the window sill serves for cooling without blocking the daylight
   

Landscaping: The Sangath building, an architect’s studio in Ahmedabad adopts a careful landscape planning. The built environment comprising reception areas, design studio, office space, workshop, library, conference room, and other ancillary spaces are beautifully planned around the landscape. The landscape responds the vagaries of nature in the hot & dry climate of Ahmedabad. Lawn and vegetation cover all around create favourable microclimate by absorbing solar radiation and providing cooler passage of air through humidity. (Source: Energy-efficient buildings in India, Mili Majumdar, TERI & MNRE, 2001)

  The built spaces of the Sangath, Ahmedabad are planned around lush green landscape
     

Water Body: Water in the Sangath building, an architect’s studio in Ahmedabad is used as a major modifier of the microclimate. Rainwaer and overflow of pumped water from the roof tank are harnessed through roof channels that run through a series of cascading tanks and water channels to finally culminate in a pond from where it is recycled back or used for irrigating vegetation. Water cascades also provide interesting visual experiences. (Source: Energy-efficient buildings in India, Mili Majumdar, TERI & MNRE, 2001)


Fig: water as a major modifier of the micro-climate in Sangath, Ahmedabad.
 

Advanced passive cooling strategies

This section briefly presents case studies that have adopted passive cooling strategies.

Courtyard planning: The building of the Indian Institute of Health Management (IIHMR) adopts compact planning of the buildings around landscaped linked courtyards. These can be used as a modified of micro climate and helps in increase of heat loss by ventilation. The courts were built upon as ‘faculty court’ and ‘academic court’. The ‘faculty court’ brings together research and administrative functions, and ‘academic court’ where the training functions are organized. (source: Energy-efficient buildings in India, Mili Majumdar, TERI & MNRE, 2001.

Fig: Entrance of the IIHMR building, Jaipur with forecourt and fountain.


Fig: A series of interlinked courtyards of the IIHMR building, Jaipur provides a well understood language to convey the social and functional structure within the campus community
     

Wind Tower:  The solar passive hostel at Jodhpur had taken the advantage of wind tower for providing evaporative cooling in the hot & dry climate of Jodhpur. The prevailing direction for cool winds in Jodhpur is south-western. Window apertures are difficult to provide in this orientation, as it is least favourable from the point of view of solar radiation. To overcome this problem, a wind tower concept was used. The tower facing the wind direction has been located over the staircase, thus minimizing costs. Cool air is provided to each room from this tower and normal windows or smaller shafts facing the lee of the wind have been provided to distribute the cool air throughout the building. The tower catches only the cool wind from the south-west, avoiding warmer air from other directions. (source: Energy-efficient buildings in India, Mili Majumdar, TERI & MNRE, 2001.

  Fig: A view of the wind tower and solar water heating system of the hostel building in Jodhpur
   
   
 

This section briefly presents case studies that have adopted passive cooling strategies.

 

Passive down draft cooling: The Torrent Research Centre in the hot & dry climate of Ahmedabad had adopted the feature of passive down draft cooling to minimize the use of conventional air-conditioning. The design was aimed at integrating spaces requiring highly controlled conditions with those requiring less-controlled conditions while minimizing the presence of dust in the internal environment. Passive cooling is attempted through a system of designated inlets and outlets shafts. The shafts as a consequence of their locations, sizes, heights, and their complex but stimulated and in-depth researched configuration generated the required movement of air in different spaces without using any mechanical or electrical energy. (source: Energy-efficient buildings in India, Mili Majumdar, TERI & MNRE, 2001.

  Fig: Exhaust shafts of the downdraft cooling system of the Torrent Research Centre Building in Ahmedabad
   
     
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