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unTAG’s take on Sustainability

Through our experimental practice at unTAG, we try to advocate economic and ecological sustainability, not just as built manifestations but as a way of life. By practising sustainability, we reap the benefits of environs without harming it to make human life more comfortable.

Sustainability is not merely mathematics which has fixed ways of practicing it, rather an implementation of learnings that has evolved from day to day improvisations. We try to grasp from the minimal impact self-sustainable lifestyle of our ancestors whose needs were basic, when resources were respected, where zero-waste cyclic processes were an integral part of their living, and importantly nature was respected the way it should be.

Effective sustainable architecture assures cost efficiency, lower operating costs, reduced dependency on artificial energy, comfortable & healthy indoor environment and importantly endorses co-existence with nature.

In the current situation, world’s energy consumption, is heavily dependent on non-renewable resources, and is increasing by more than 2% per annum. It is predicted that we will be exhausting these resources within next 50 to 80 years. Also, most of our current energy usage causes serious environmental problems, like the Greenhouse effect causing global warming. Global energy consumed for constructing and operating buildings is almost 40-50%. Similarly construction industry accounts to huge consumption of water, high levels of CO2 emission and creation of non-industrial waste.

We can mitigate this crisis through a resilient, climate responsive, sensitive architectural design approach to the construction industry. Constructing buildings and neighbourhoods that consume less is the only way forward. We need to set our own design parameters for a NEW NORMAL, which affirms co-existence with our surrounding environ, striding slowly, sensibly and sustainably.

How we practise sustainability ?

Optimizing client’s brief

Analysing site context

Responding to native climate

Integrating nature’s elements (sun, wind, rain)

Exploring local material palette

Bringing cost effectiveness

Achieving thermal comfort

Integrating landscape

Conserving energy, water, other resources

Good construction practice

Post occupancy performance

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Optimizing client’s brief

  1. Build less- build meaningful

  2. Multipurpose use of space

  3. Optimizing spatial dimensions


Analysing site context

  1. Design brief to accommodate site features

  2. Establish a connect between indoors & outdoors

  3. Don’t cut Trees, build around them.

  4. Preserve biotic and abiotic elements

  5. Reuse materials from site

  6. Respecting site’s natural topography and hydrology

Exploring local material palette

  1. Use of materials with low embodied energy

  2. Promotion of locally available stones

  3. Recycling/upcycling of materials

  4. Using salvaged wood, treated bamboos

  5. Exploring earth blocks, lime plasters, brick jalis


Responding to native climate

  1. Minimizing ground coverage

  2. Creating transient spaces

  3. Integrating courts & landscaping

  4. Optimizing opening sizes, projections and shading devices

  5. Elements to promote thermal comfort, noise & dust control

  6. Facilitating cross ventilation

  7. Effectively using natural light


Integrating nature’s elements (sun, wind, rain)

  1. Understanding solar geometry & climate data

  2. Correct orientation of build form

  3. Use of solar passive techniques

  4. Study of prevalent wind directions

  5. Creating a microclimate

  6. Introducing water features

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Bringing Cost effectiveness

  1. Respect budget

  2. Reduction in overall builtup area

  3. Reduction in large spans

  4. Use of locally available material

  5. Minimizing transportation

  6. Optimizing material usage

  7. Reduce waste / reuse material

  8. Review budget at different stage


Achieving thermal comfort

  1. Active and passive ways of cooling

  2. Misting, water based cooling

  3. Insulation, cavity walls, reflective surfaces

  4. Displacement ventilation, ventury effect

  5. Earth air tunnel

  6. Ground source heat pump

  7. Hybrid cooling

  8. Radiant cooling/heating

  9. VRV system


Integrating landscape

  1. Connect indoors & outdoors though landscaping

  2. Minimize hard paving

  3. Increase water infiltration

  4. Encourage groundwater recharge

  5. Reduce water runoffs, curb soil erosion

  6. Use natives, promote regional biodiversity

  7. Phasing of landscaping during & post construction


Conserving energy, water, other resources

  1. Generation of electricity through solar PV

  2. Use of solar water heater

  3. Efficient lighting

  4. Water harvesting

  5. Measures to increase water table, percolation, recharge wells

  6. Water recycling with phytoremediation

  7. Sewage treatment plants

  8. Wind catchers


Good construction practices

  1. Reducing & recycling construction waste

  2. Minimizing use of water consumptions

  3. Labour policies


Post occupancy performance

  1. Monitor post performance for thermal comfort 

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