Post 155 –by Gautam Shah
Each building form provides its own unique environment. 1. Affectations of the climate are highly directional and scheduled in time. 2. The sub sections of the building are variously oriented and so impacted differently in time and space. 3. The building is formed of many materials and their composites, which interact differently with the various aspects of climatic.
FIRST strategy to deal with the climate is to place various sections with most appropriate orientation. SECOND method relates to shifting activity schedules according to time and space. THIRD process relates to use of building materials and forms for their behaviour with the various aspects of the climate.
All sections or activities, however cannot get ideal placement, size form, or building materials. The other problems include linkages or management of inter relationship between sections and activities. There are often inherent contradictions in climatic affectations (the best side for breeze may get maximum heat gain, or the colder breeze face may not have any solar gain). Similar problems are also situational, such as due to the location and terrain features.
In a building, once constructed, the shell (shape. size, materials etc.), its siting, and to some extent the amenities, are constant factors. The variables, however, are: climatic factors, inhabitants and activities of the inhabitants. When constants and variables are appropriately matched, we get an environment that is always in a flux, only partly predicable, but mostly full of surprises.
From a climate point of view, a building behaves like a biological entity, that is in a continuous process of achieving equilibrium. But the process, towards equilibrium, is not always favourable to the inhabitants or their activities. We need to hasten, delay, curtail or terminate some of the effects of the climate. Primarily we use permanent passive devices for the purpose, such as the shading devices, insulation systems, heat absorption or dissemination systems. Where such permanent installations are not physically possible or relevant for their small-scale need, we try to modulate our life style by relocating and re-timing the activities, change our clothing, food, postures and furniture like amenities. The use of climate control by mechanical devices, must be last resort.
Designers use many techniques to adopt the climate for a building. They redefine and reorganise activities by new clustering, reformat the functional modules and improvise time schedules of activities. Where an activity must take place at different locations to suit the climate, related amenities are designed to be relocatable.
Designers also exploit territorial features so that energy exchange occurs efficiently and advantageously. Such features are slopes, hills, mounds, gorges, valleys, contours, etc. Landscaping elements such as water bodies, plants, shrubs, hedges, groves, etc. are created to aid the territorial features. Building components like the parapets, barricades, curbs, Chowks, cut-outs, stacks, ducts, chimneys, shafts, etc. help manage the effects of the climate. Shading devices like projections, Chhajjas, balconies, galleries, canopies, textured surfaces etc. and energy receivers like bay windows, glass fronts, solarium, clear storeys etc. are exploited for heat gain or loss, and create favourable breeze movements.