Chennai

Transformational designs

'Meet' an interesting personality and achiever in this column.

From construction to plumbing to maintenance to renovation, architects can make a difference by integrating simple green principles from the drawing stage itself. Architect-turned-entrepreneur, LEED AP and certified GRIHA evaluator Anupama Mohanram is spearheading a number of green projects in the city. She talks to Liffy Thomas on how the city is getting back to traditional eco-friendly designs.

“Green architecture is expensive, cumbersome and one needs to do so many things… these were common words used to brush aside the eco-friendly design when I started my research in the city two years ago,” recalls Anupama Mohanram. The scenario, however, is changing. From commercial to residential buildings to colleges, getting a green rating has become a trend. According to Indian Green Building Council's Green Homes projects, at least nine apartment buildings have registered for the rating in the city. Talking about the trend, she says even government buildings are going for GRIHA certification as the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has made the rating mandatory.

With building designs evolving, Ms. Mohanram thinks what makes a architect different is when she is able to influence a positive change for the betterment of the environment. “I work with materials and manufacturers. For instance, with Saint Gobain we are working on manufacturing insulating glass,” says the graduate of School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University.

“Green rating is becoming a way to market your project, but it is good to force people to save their environment in the process,” says Ms. Mohanram. Her start-up firm, Green Evolution Architectural Consultancy, is a two-year-old venture she started after a 10-year stint in the U.S. where she worked with a couple of architectural firms. “In fact, I used to volunteer with the United States Green Council when it was getting formed in Chicago, which got me more interested to move away from the norm, that is, contemporary ways of designing such as concrete and glass,” she says. Apart from mud and thatch as building material being her primary interests, the architect is working to influence companies to minimise mechanical ventilation.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 8:00:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/Transformational-designs/article16045914.ece

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