Case Study V : Housing Complex in Pune by Gangotree

This housing project finds its great relevance in the fact that it attempts to integrate simple passive design features in the real estate market development without compromising neither financial mechanisms nor altering regular construction practices.

 Douchan Palacios

The architects tried to implement passive planning according to Pune’s climate while studying sun paths along the year as well as ventilation strategies.

Approach :

« The basis of our attempt at climatically responsive design involves considering the climate in every aspect of the building and built environment from micro-level details to macro-level details. These decisions will affect daylight coming into the building, radiation, relative humidity, air temperature and airflow. »

The climatic data shows that Pune falls in Hot and Dry climatic zone. This region experiences harsh ambient conditions and are characterized by very high radiation level and ambient temperatures, accompanied by low relative humidity. Therefore, it is desirable to keep the sun out and if possible, increase the humidity level.

The design objectives are accordingly.

  • Resist heat gain by :
    Decreasing the exposed Surface/
    Increasing the buffer spaces/
    Decreasing air exchange rate during daytime/
    Increasing the shading.
  • Promote heat loss by ventilation of spaces : stark effect, venturi effect...

Design wise :

  • Shadding :
    In overall layout, buildings are placed along the periphery with central open space. Clusters are formed by clubbing different units. Nature of open space is such that the buildings themselves enclose them achieving shading for most of the period of the day. This reduces heat gain.
    Staggering of vertical planes in the building block allow mutual shading of the wall surfaces. This reduces heat gain through solar radiation. This is further achieved by rotation of room on alternate floors, which create terraces
  • Ventilation :
    Staircase and light wells act as shafts or chimney sucking the air and improving the natural ventilation.
    Narrow gaps over the height of the building fabric are created to ensure an acceleration of the air (venture effect) and allow the cooling of the along spaces.
    The prevailing direction for cool winds is southwest, which is available for eight months of the year. The building layout also allows capturing the southwest wind and distributing it throughout the site.
    Northwest wind, which is available for four months, is captured through a puncture on Northwest side : two flats have been removed from the original layout grid. It creates a large “hole†in the façade that acts as an inlet source for the internal ventilation of the complex.
    This decision has been promoted amongst the builder as the creation of a common space and as a loose of income that can be recovered by the removing of the regular swimming pool or sport facilities for a green garden.
  • Common spaces :
    Common terraces at the intermediate levels are provided as the community gathering spaces.
    Circulation realms are characterized by a clear distinction between vehicular and pedestrian movement. The main circulation system is a ring road around the site and provides access to the parking lots below stilts.
    Due to the hierarchy of vehicular and pedestrian areas a safe and conductive environment is created.
  • Energy and waste management :
    Provision of pipes and space has been installed for solar heaters as it seemed difficult for the promoter to measure the actual individual consumption of hot water from such community equipment and this to ensure the fair and equitable supplying for each flat.
    Garbage disposal for vermi-compost have been provided in each kitchen.
    Water is harvested from the roofs and stored in an underground reservoir for gardening.

Promoter : Belvalkar Housing

Architect : Rahut Ravat, Gangotree Architects

Date of completion : 2004

Cost : 1200 Rs/sq feet

Nature : 160 flats