Green is red iii

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GREEN IS RED by ANIL LAUL
PREVIEW: http://goo.gl/D4e0Ak

The book titled ‘GREEN is RED’ by Prof. Anil Laul is the first of the series that he intends to author, in the area of holistic human settlement design. ‘Green is Red’ focuses on the appropriate choice of land, which is the first and the foremost aspect of a sustainable design. This is where our problems begin.
The issues the book addresses are right from the basic building elements to how one can dovetail traditional wisdom with the contemporary practices with the architect’s house as a case in point.
The book discusses the flipside of green marketing and ratings system and lays emphasis on the re-rationalization of material and technologies. Green is not a fashion statement, it is merely the logical and common sensical way to go and common sense, though rare it is said, should require no approval from specialised agencies. The book ‘Green is Red’ is also Laul’s journey to ‘common sense’ diluted with the issues and the solutions fathomed so far.
Therefore, the book is meant for people across the board. The Judge at the Supreme Court who enforces the legislations and the laws would want to read this book, the Bureaucrat who invents the rules needs to take a good hard relook, the Builder who markets GREEN BUILDING at a premium, the Architect or the Planner who plans the Human Settlements, the Activist who would slogan for the rights of the people Global Warming and Climate Change etc., the Professionals who have hidden agendas such as ratings and specialisations, the Media that works towards the single objective of TRP ratings only, the Housewife who is the soul of a home, the Teacher who refuses to relearn, and most importantly the Student so as to have him/her ask the appropriate questions, insist on substantive and reasoned answers, thus compelling change.
The book shall be hard bound with approximately 170 pages. The book is intended to be heavy on graphic with collages, sketches and full page pictures and drawings of his projects and other solutions.
It shall be of a square format (9.5in X 9.5in - neither a coffee table compilation nor a novel).

2013 best books to come!
#BOOK YOUR COPIES ONLINE!
connect@anangpur.org

#readers delight

Avail 10% off and an Invite to the BOOK LAUNCH at #Anangpur Building Centre! ::::

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Green is red iii

  1. 1. GREEN is RED anil laul
  2. 2. the only way to live life is by living it
  3. 3. 5 Contents 1.why Green is Red ................................... .......................................................................a pre-ramble 9 2. Going GREEN is COMMON SENSE 13 3.Seeing the Obvious but the Invisible......with Eyes wide shut 19 4. A "broken civilisation"... 25 5. The Witches’ Cauldron 28 6. Urban Red Herrings 33 7. Crowing, Cut short & Too many questions 72 8. Carpenter Laul 77 9. Some mouth shooting 99 10. The basics 103
  4. 4. 9 This almost ridiculous title draws but one question from my friends. “Who is the target audience?” It continues to be so even as I write. This makes me really livid as any issues of Common Sense cannot be audience specific. I have an almost instantaneous response which then obviates further discussion. “Common sense is not a gift, it is a punishment... Because... You have to deal with everyone who doesn’t have it”. All issues that I have dealt with in my life during this journey to “Common Sense” have been made incredibly simple. Therefore, defining the targeted readership, for me, becomes increasingly difficult. This is more so with every solution I fathom, thus making each successive solution even simpler than the earlier one, which on the face of it seemed the simplest one at first. Each is a fresh lesson in learning and with every step the next one gains further clarity. Further learning, is complex requiring backbreaking research but in my case, every lesson, with ease, becomes knowledge. I have jettisoned much baggage of the heavy conditioning of the past and continue to do so even now. This process is now intuitive, instinctive and addictive with strong logical derivatives. Many still require unravelling and I have no intention of letting go of this addiction. This makes me itch and tick all at once. The Judge at the Supreme Court who enforces the legislations and the laws needs to read this book, the Bureaucrat who invents the rules needs to take a good hard relook, the Builder who markets GREEN BUILDING at a premium, the Architect or the Planner who plans the Human Settlements, the Activist who would slogan for the rights of the people, Global Warming and Climate Change etc., the Professionals who have hidden agendas such as ratings and specialisations, the Media that works towards the single objective of TRP ratings only, the Housewife who is the soul of a home, the Teacher who refuses to relearn, and most importantly the Student so as to have him/her ask the appropriate questions, insist on substantive and reasoned answers, thus compelling change. Is what I write a prolific literary piece? No… Is it a novel? No... Is it about Architecture or Architects? No… But I do figure and matter. Is it an autobiography? Certainly NOT, but it is my journey and understanding. It is about HUNTING WHAT HUNTS ME And this is but the beginning... I hope. 1.why Green is Red ................................... .......................................................................a pre-ramble
  5. 5. 10 To some this may sound like hunting the Hidden Dimension but to me it is the obvious. It is about compelling order amongst the seeming chaos. All it requires is strong underwear. I should have started putting all this together earlier, but then procrastination got the better of me. In spite of several attempts, no firm direction evolved, as all the pieces of the puzzle did not fit. The issues were too many, the inter linkages complex and yet all had to be said. I have now managed to create a stream that would make for easy understanding. Much needs to be said and time is a constraint. This is but an attempt to put pen to paper and clarity to my ramblings. In the process of writing this, I would have myself defragmented and recalibrated my Head. Most are convinced that the concepts of Green, Global Warming and Climate Change and its concomitant impacts as have been espoused are real, backed with irrefutably sound analysis. Statistics and often coined data say so. In the scientific temperament of today, traditional practices are to be disregarded as archaic. And in the process much wisdom of the past is lost or overlooked as inconvenient. My single objective by the end of this series would be to try and make a beginning for those who DON’T buy the Green, Climate Change and Global warming bit, as is being sold to the world, but their voices, although few in number, go unheard. There is panic in the air and the prices of Carbon Credits have already taken a severe beating, the warning bells have begun to ring. There are many who raise doubts. Some years ago, we were made to believe that Global Warming was indeed a reality. With the recent cold waves, the extended winters and increasing blizzards instead of the onset of spring, the battle cry is one of Climate Change. Not to be caught in a self-contradic- tory mode, these near freezing conditions are being attributed once again, to Global Warming. The business of selling these alarmist concepts has seen exponential growth in the recent past. And with each successive conclave to mitigate these challenges, our problems seem to be spiralling. Therefore My primary fear is that if this group were to shut shop, then there would be many who would be out of work. Even though livelihood threatening for some as a business graveyard, if viewed in the larger context, this may benefit many more. Experts take rigid stands that contradict one another, with each set additionally compounding the chaos. Adding further fuel to the raging fire, if only to sell sensationalism, is the enormous mass hysteria, created using the media and activists. In the process there is much business for a wide ranging set of more or less sinister players and stakeholders who are quick to set up shop. They are usually of the western pedigree, either subservient or driven by them. This lot of packaging artists also package the art of limiting the capacity of the human brain to think and are capable of marketing just about anything to the world. Architects and Planners play to the galleries and quickly fall prey to these groups, sometimes wittingly and sometimes
  6. 6. 11 unwittingly and many a time out of little choice but to tow the favoured line. There has to be an attempt at removing these blinders. With these sensationalists, Back to Basics is not an option. Human Settlements have always and would continue to be the fulcrum of Sustainability. It is therefore imperative that these be reintroduced into the mainstream much like the alphabet in a language. It cannot be the Male Pale and Stale interpretation of a few. To make capital out of erroneous approaches, we now have various barometers set up. The largest and the International market leader is the LEED (Leader in Energy and Environment Design) rating system. Close on the heels is our own Indian Rating system known as the GRIHA Rating (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment). Now we have a further addition with the acronym SVAGRIHA (Small Versatile Affordable Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) which is intended to rope in the small homes into this ever tightening noose. All claim that being Green involves more capital to begin with, but it has a payback over time. They claim that an added investment now is a worthwhile one for the future. So now we have the LCCA (Life Cycle Cost Analysis) experts to contend with. Yet another is LCPA (Life Cycle Performance Assessment) experts who determine yet another range of long term benefits. These more often than not, end up promoting disruptive innovations. My contention is that the investment must be cost effective and appropriate now. What would I do with payback after reaching “kingdom come”? The list of these expert agencies and specialists is being extended on a regular and most religious basis. Certainly there has to be an end to the “My way or Highway Attitude” of these lobbyists. My armament is not media hype or business as usual. And nor is it a war of words and statistical grenades. It is not a war at all. In fact it would be my single endeavour to save this class of crisis hunters from themselves. This would be through sheer logic, good old common sense and traditional wisdom. With Architects, the concept really comes after the design has been conceived and this is then put out as a drawing. It has always been this way in my case and I admit it. Others may not agree but they do often follow this route. The concept is really a story to sell the design to the client or to convince the assessing team in the case of a student. So it is with this book. The pre-ramble has been written after I had written the draft of the first sixteen pages or so. I had circulated this to my literary friends as well as others who are on my email list. Some were downright critical, as in their opinion, this is not how books on Architecture are written. Many chose to remain silent as they consider it polite to do so. Others love the personal twist and my take of being on the other side of GREEN. My mind is made up irrespective. I Aspire to Inspire before I Expire.
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  8. 8. 13 2. Going GREEN is COMMON SENSE More than Forty years of practicing the discipline of Architecture using the common-sensical Approach, I am now considered a Green Architect, but I can and will never accept being rated so. Whenever I attend a GREEN Conference organised by the overly aggressive marketers of the green rating system and all the verbal diarrhoea of coined terminologies and sloganeering that goes with it, I see RED .The agencies that need to be approached for this accreditation and the number of questionnaires that one would need to fill in, only to be rated the fashionable Green Architect, requires a specialist agency that comes at a huge cost, which then makes me see a deeper shade of RED. The Colour of the money to be deposited with these agencies is also coincidentally GREEN. However it is this very country which has the green currency that has flouted all norms of Sustainable Human Settlement Design or the so called Green Buildings which are then related to Climate Change and the so highly espoused Global Warming. It is this very country that headquarters agencies that promote corrective action using high end technologies and standards that is now called the GREEN leader, thus giving it the license to dictate Green norms to the world. Using traditional corrective action (I shall continue to call it Common Sense) is a Ph.D. or a Master’s course, which is strictly reserved for the Super rich who are in a position to cough up a small fortune. All bibliography and references must almost always be made to the authors from this country thus psyching the researcher into subservience from the word go. This power over the mind is a formidable weapon indeed and education is no longer a bastion of diversity, but has become one of conformity to dictates of vested interest groups.The vision of many a country has now become myopic and would end up becoming a business and political graveyard for some. This Super Master’s certification requires years of intensive back breaking travel and research in institutions which are also based in this very country. My office has right from inception, believed in the freedom of speech and of the written word. All documentation is available to everyone who has ever worked here or has visited my office. I also am convinced that if indeed the point being made is adding to a thought process of another then there must exist, a complete freedom to quote. The page numbering is therefore in Devnagari (the Indian Numeric System) so as to have the student as well as the evaluator break free from the shackles of extensive bibliography. This confusion would act as a deterrent as reference for page numbers would be a pain. This is the best that one can do for starters. “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” -- Plato
  9. 9. 1 4 2 3
  10. 10. 1717 The Super irony of it is that I have practiced GREEN as Common Sense. Therefore to ask for a Rating of COMMON SENSE would in itself be absurd. I therefore do not fall in the Genre of the Scientific Community or the Green Community but fall into the lowly class of Heretics in as far as the Green Concepts and co related issues are concerned. This book therefore does not set out to sermonise the concept of Green or contradict that which is espoused and as is understood today, but is an attempt to re-rationalise our present day practices. “Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.” -- Albert Einstein The fact that man’s problems seem to be increasing by the day suggests that something is amiss and it is clear that the anomalies emanate from incorrect land policies and urban development is becoming increasingly clear. Much the same logic would hold true for the issues related to Climate Change or Global Warming. Be it Green Building or Manmade Global Warming the commonality is that they can be economical and affordable and accessible to all provided we are willing to relook and change direction. It is the marketing of the unaffordable under the garb of affordable that has become an art. This is the main impediment and continues to be so. One of the main causes for our environmental problems today is that validation of technology is subservient to business first and then to other things like the needs of a society or its environment. If we cannot abate this process, should we abet it? For every project that I designed, built and learnt from, I had a lurking feeling that a major area needed to be re examined, re rationalised and further simplified. Surely there was more than to a built form than being dressed up to look PRETTY. (Facade Design, presently a Masters Course, is a much sought after stream of an advanced studies for Architects). There had to be more to a building than merely addressing the requirements of a client and the government regulations. Was profit the principal over-riding concern? I had tried my hand at a few low cost housing structures for mass housing, but then architects at that point in time were looking skyward. 1. Housing using Catenaries at Noida,1970 2.Housing using Catenaries at Noida,1970 3. Housing using Catenaries at Noida,1970 4. Housing using Catenaries at Noida,1970
  11. 11. 2 1 3 1 1
  12. 12. 1919 My looking down earthward was not classified as being a visionary and was often regarded as downright silly. With each project that I designed and built there were more unanswered questions than answers. The mind was chaotic. “Let me see: four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen and four times seven is ...oh dear! I shall never get to twenty at this rate!” -- Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll 1. Housing using Catenaries at Noida,1970 2.Housing using Catenaries at Noida,1970 3. Housing using Catenaries at Noida,1970 4. Housing using Catenaries at Noida,1970 Coincidently at the same time on the other side of the world… an award winning multi-storey…. Slum re- habitation multi-storey was being torn down… Pruitt–Igoe was a large urban housing project first occupied in 1954[2] in the U.S. city of St. Louis, Missouri. Living conditions in Pruitt–Igoe began to decline soon after its completion in 1956.[3] By the late 1960s, the complex had become internationally infamous for its poverty, crime, and segregation. Its 33 buildings were torn down in the mid-1970s,[4] and the project has become an icon of urban renewal and public-policy planning failure. The complex was designed by architect Minoru Yamasaki, who also designed the World Trade Center towers and the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport main terminal.
  13. 13. 2121 3.Seeing the Obvious but the Invisible......with Eyes wide shut It is not enough to voice concerns about Climate Change, Global Warming and Green Building unless we understand the difference between Master Plans for Urban Development, Human Settlement Design and HUMAN’E’ Settlements. Today’s Planning, has just too many self-contradictions that prove to be impediments in the eventual run up. These begin right from the land we choose to build on. Unfortunately, the solutions that are being sought are solely through high end and infinitely complex technologies. If the answer is simple then the delivery mechanism is deliberately made complex for the sake of it. The root of the problem is often ignored for the challenge that it may pose to the supplicants. “The best part of these lobbyists is that there are different strains of them—they generate an economy of their own—they provide employment for many, but the worst part is that one has to put up with all of them”. -- Fogged out minds The big picture My house, the office and the various projects intend to illustrate but a singular point which is that just about everybody can afford this kind of living. There is no shortage of land, there is no need for high rise and there is no dearth of raw material. There however definitely is a shortage of industrially processed material, which then is the core of the real problem. There is a collective attempt by a few to assimilate the power and resources of the rest. Must we recklessly take the route of Process Industry even where it is not essential and more so in our development strategies? Must we limply accept the sorties of practices airdropped by drones of the west? Our approach and belief that the direction that we have come to accept is indeed the correct way of doing things, is erroneous. It is our development Top Row from Left: 1 & 2. Bhoomiheen Camp and 3.Pushkarna Residence, Chandigarh Middle Row from left: 4 & 5. Architect Anil Laul’s House at Anangpur and 6.Pushkarna Residence, Chandigarh Bottom Row: 7. ArchitectAnil Laul’s House at Anangpur, 8.Twisted Coloumn, Pushkarna Residence, Chandigarh
  14. 14. 2323 of Humane Settlements that is bereft of understanding. If we are to save ourselves from going over the edge into a dismal abyss, then it is this very belief that needs a rethink. This has to be so, sooner than later. The questions I raise are very fundamental, to the point that they seem confrontationist and the solutions seem absurdly simple. At a first glance these may not seem so, but the arguments and proposed solutions are compelling. I live by them. It is the inter-linkages of traditional wisdom understood with centuries of evolved practices that makes them all the more so. “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge”. -- Stephen Hawking The next book of the series, would possibly address Master Planning as being the direct consequence of Micro Planning. Today, we have the Master Plan and the Micro detail has to then fit into the Master Plan. But my experience has shown that the Master Plan should be the direct consequence of the Micro Plan and not the other way around. Only and only then can a Master Plan be realistic and people specific. And if the initial Micro plan, the built form as we call it, is conceived from the inside out (inner spaces to the outer skin) then we have Architecture in the real sense of the word. In doing so, we would have defined Architecture, as needs to be defined. Humane Settlements are the integration of the Architect, the Engineer, the Artist and the Artisan. Hence there would be little room to have Architecture and Interior Design as separate streams of study. And if the Micro Plan determined the Master Plan, once again the difference between the Architect and the Town Planner would stand bridged. And the issues of Humane Settlement Design would truly stand addressed. I am in competition with no one. I run my own race. My race does not tire me. I have no desire to play the game of being better than anyone, in anyway, or any shape, or form. I am a free man, exploring my freedom of thought, spirit and deed...riding the wind. Cluster planning
  15. 15. 1 3 2 5 7 3 6 8 Cluster planning
  16. 16. 25 4. A "broken civilisation"... The homes we build for ourselves or our clients must not differ from those we build for the underprivileged or other sections of society. Their needs may not be as ostentatious or expansive as ours, but the technologies we use for them should be based on the same principles and logic that we define for ourselves. In all their wisdom, would Architects, Engineers, Planners, or the key Political and Administrative decision makers, live in a home built with the technologies, logic and values that they propagate for the not-so-privi- leged? This is largely doubtful, but then there are a few exceptions and they are far between. In my case I have applied these principles for myself which then is precisely the purpose of this series. An Architect must first be his own patron and illustrate this through the home he builds for himself and his family. His work must also offer solutions for settlements that provide dignity to those who lack it and help them reclaim their lives as well as themselves. The promotion of traditional arts and crafts in the built form was but a medium of carrying the people with the state. This additionally ensured equitable distribution of wealth and rewarded excellence. One may safely term these practices as “Future Proofed” and history has it so.The earlier civilisations and their tribal arts celebrated Man and Nature. Then man celebrated Innovation and his ability to Mould and work with the Natural Elements. Now Man aspires to subjugate Nature and all within sight, including all forms of life. Be it the Power of the Roman Empire, the Might of the Pharaohs in Egypt, the rich Architecture of the South East Asian Region or the Aristocracy of the West, major statements of power and religious belief have been Architecture driven. Be it the oppressive regimes of the Middle East or the Mughal period of India promotion of Architecture and the Arts was an integral part of their very existence. The ferocity and brutalism of Hitler and Nazism with all its oppression, is evident in the Architecture of Germany during this period. And all an invention. They heated the top half of the furnace and as soon as the zinc ore melted it flowed down in the molten state through the porcelain filter and fell into a bed of water, The promotion of traditional arts and c
  17. 17. 26 at the same time, even though referred to “A failed artist” Hitler’s patronage of arts has few parallels in the recent past. But invariably these powerful statements required enormous wealth. Our ancestors did have their fundamentals right. Through taxation they always generated a surplus, most of which went back to the people and provided employment. Our present day policies of deficit financing in our annual budget the world over, implies imply that the state would always need more than just taxation to meet its spending needs. So policy makers borrow from the people once again through bonds, indirect taxation of various kinds and nae tionalisation of profit making units of the private enterprise. The question that this form of financing raises is that, “If all countries are in Debt, then who has the money?” Very pertinent, begs an answer but remains unanswered whenever asked. This inscrutable world of the protagonists of this business model is designed to benefit a few and is aligned to only promoting unsustainable development policies. They then fund the Social Activists and the Media to push singular issues that benefit them most through CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and the fringe benefits that come with this. Even the education system has not been spared and on the contrary, this now makes for a generation where knowledge is not an option. In my attempt to address these issues, the series would, when completed, provide solutions by treading the paths known but now not tread upon and considered archaic. These present day paths are illusionary and promise the route to the “Pearly Gates” and we, as lowly mortals, end up chasing this illusion. My breed could now be a part of the Redundant Architects Tribe (RAT) and establish a new rating system. The increasing loss of faith in our urban policies and our lack of convincing directions can be singly attributed to “Failed Crisis Hunters”. Every “manufactured crisis” has a new activist and yet another set of problems to contend with. Their story is more like a headless chicken flapping its wings and running around before it takes the last breath. The last joggle and the energy expended, is enormous and this it is but a last attempt to stay alive. We do have the wherewithal to try and mend this head or even put it back once again to restore the life being snuffed out. Failed policies need a revisit or we will go down in history as an ignorant and irrational people. All this in spite of being the best informed and having an abundance of technological excellence.
  18. 18. 27 Failure is not permanent but it is triggered. We have to find the ‘trigger-happy’ that triggered the state we find ourselves in and put on the safety lock. The world of today also believes and professes democracy together with equity but this is far cry. Discord and discontent grows and with it grows the restlessness of mankind as we hasten our path to being considered a broken civilisation. Oppressive statements of power of the high rise age feed reckless industrial consumption and overconsumption in the name of progress. Before I go further, a very simple but appropriate fact of the history of development and industrialisation would set the right tone and tenor and put many a mind on track. “Elementary my dear Watson”-- Sherlock Holmes For over four thousand years the extraction of Zinc in the form of a metal was unknown to the rest of the world. The secret process was existent only in India which was then the singular source of supply. This process later went to China and only very recently onto the west. Zinc is the base of many an essential metal in the prelution from today’s engineering giants. Athis marvel of an invention. They heated the top half of the furnace and as soon as the zinc ore melted it flowed down in the molten state through the porcelain filter and fell into a bed of water, thus receiving and immediately cooling the pure zinc in its metallic state. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” -- Leonardo da Vinci The above is but one case in point. Much is written about experiments with “Truth”, “Living”, “The Unknown”, “Way Beyond” and other subjects. Mine is but an understanding of the real purpose behind each of the
  19. 19. 29 5. The Witches’ Cauldron The title is mild in comparison to the most serious aberration that modern civilisation has been subjected to. Lack of access to piped drinking water is touted as a reason for disease and several other ills plaguing the developing nations. But it is this very access to piped and supposedly “safe drinking water” that provides absolute access and control of the human mind for the perpetrators of this agenda. And the story begins from Aluminium- the wonder material of the industrial age which is an integral part of our lives. The pans we cook in, to the aircrafts we fly in. The Automobile Industry, the Building as well as most other Industries rely on this material. However, it is the by product or the waste in the form of fluoride that is the problem. This has instead been misused as an extremely potent and lethal weapon to control all our actions and reactions. It is believed that the roots can be traced back to Hitler and the World War. The Nazi war machinery relied heavily on Aluminium and the extraction was increased to phenomenal levels during this period. The fluoride as a residual product also increased likewise and needed to be disposed off. It is well known and an established practice that fluoride is added to our piped drinking water to clean it and take care of the e coli. A sinister mind discovered that added doses could actually reduce the ability of a human mind to think and evaluate. Thus the mind could be controlled into acceptance and subjugation leaving man no option but to obey. Germany and its people were thus brain washed into meekly accepting Hitler’s vision of Nazi Germany. Mass hysteria through the controlled Media was additionally used to numb the senses and blast the minds of the Germans making the task even easier. Water, the very base of life became a weapon destruction of the human mind. Many European Nations have now banned the use of fluorides for cleaning drinking water. It is often averred that the fluorides are good for the enamel of the teeth. Exploiting the human nature of good looks with a brilliant smile, fluorides additionally found their way into the toothpastes we use. Toothpastes with Macbeth Witches By Worm Thursday October 18, 2012 Macbeth Source: http://thedabbler. co.uk/2012/10/the-dabbler-book-club- review-the-daylight-gate-by-jeanette- winterson/macbeth-witches/
  20. 20. 31 6. Urban Red Herrings A practice that defies rationale is the way we design our roads and drainage systems. Roads require the minimum slope and drains require the maximum slope. Yet we persistently build our drains on the side of the roads. Our very first steps are riddled with contradictions. For some inexplicable reason, these very basic issues are completely ignored or overlooked but it is this fundamental contradiction that is ultimatelyinstrumental to setting the pace for our ever compounding problems. Had the choice of land been correct, then the two contradictions would never have been. Each should have been dealt with separately, as was the case when the traditional settlements opted for the higher lands or for those that had adequate gradients.Building on flat lands was taboo. This basic decision provided the foundation for Sustainable Development Strategies.t We use 20 (now 12 and even 10) Litres of water in our cisterns to take 100gms of POO to the sewage treatment plant and then complain of water shortage. Waste water from the kitchen and the bath is further added, to create self-cleansing velocity only in order to take this to the sewage treatment plant located on the outskirts of the habitation. This becomes essential since we identified flat land and therefore ended up with no slope to efficiently transport the sewage to the desired destination. As a result we end up utilising close to 50 litres of Water to get rid of 100gms of POO. Incredible! But true. This unfortunately, is the accepted planning norm. Is there something amiss?? On one hand, an engineer at the sewage treatment screams for less water so as to convert the sewage into bio gas. We on the other hand, perforce have to give him excessive water to contend with owing to lack of slope. Interestingly, the twenty litres of water required to take the night soil sewage to the treatment plant was based on the need to take the stale news down the Water Closet (WC) in the form of newspaper, since it was this medium that was used for wiping the bottom. As they say... “No job is complete until the paper work is done”. Insert road sketch
  21. 21. 3333 It is all very well my pointing out these contradictions but then the question one may ask is if I have a solution. Is this criticism for the sake of criticism? Have I managed to cull out some answers, based on the traditional wisdom that I claim, did address these very problems and in a far more comprehensive manner? For this I have elementary examples to cite and in having got to understand these, a host of very simple solutions emerged. Incorrect choice of land is but one basic error and this is what I would deal with in the first instance. Plot Proportions Together with this first error and almost as if to compound it, is the decision of a rectangular plot often with a ratio of 1:2.5. i.e., awidthof1 with a depth of 2.5.As a deterrent to this norm of planning, the traditional texts stated that the owner of a home on a rectangular plot would suffer from ulcers in his stomach and constant acidity. Sounds bizarre and almost ludicrous,but bears merit and I can only get into detailing this during the course of my writings in a future book. This is briefly touched upon inthe Local Agenda 21 document at the end of this book. This statement and its rationalisation form the basis of a fresh insight into planning for Sustainable Settlements that are Humane. The difference between Human and Humane may only be a simple “e” but the entire concept of planning undergoes a world of transformation. “Conformity is the Jailer of Freedom and the Enemy of Growth” -- John F Graves Translating this Myth into simple mathematical terms (This Myth of stomach ache, acidity & ulcer can be translated in simple mathematical terms)with an elementary illustration- though exaggerated, would light the spark and reinforce the belief that there indeed was merit in traditional practices. We just have to make a concerted effort in trying to unravel these fundamentals. Taking a rectangle of 5 ft x 80 ft would result in a room with an area 400 sq ft and so would a square of 20 ft x 20ft. And yet the rectangle would have a built up wall Plot proportions sketch.
  22. 22. 3535 with a perimeter of 170 r. ft as opposed to a square with a perimeter of 80 r. ft. Assuming a height of 10 ft for each room, the rectangle would consume 1700 sq ft of masonry and the square room would consume only 800 sq. ft of masonry. The consumption of material would be lesser and so would be the heat intake. So elementary and yet ignored for its sheer simplicity. Making the Brick Sick One of the simplest components of the building industry, the brick, has been grossly misunderstood and it is here that yet another of the very basics of our building practices goes astray. While the pivotal issue is non-erodability and therefore the strength requirements, we have standardised the brick around the compressive strength as the basic essentialrequirement.Clay in separate regions, varies and therefore it stands to reason that the size of the brick must vary accordingly. However a brick made of burntclay (Collage of Slim bricks including some of the roofs domes etc and also the courtyards in the office)
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  24. 24. 41 Carpenter Laul Put in a quick run thru the structural correction of the oberoi With a team of carpenters I set up shop for designing and executing Interiors. I was encouraged by a powerful lady industrialist who I had met because of her niece I was dating, with serious intent. (It never worked out). This lady continued to be my fairy godmother so to say. Everyone needs a patron to set out the path or so it was in my case. I do still regard her as the single most powerful influence in my career. My very first interiors project was her residence. I learnt much from my team of carpenters and the unit expanded. I was referred to as CARPENTER LAUL by my colleagues as running a furniture unit was considered below the dignity of Architects. A major impetus came from the Design, Fabricate and Deliver exhibition for the Warner Brothers Exhibition in India. Success came my way when I was commissioned to Design a Huge Space frame for a blue chip company. It took several proposals and a lot of hard selling to convince the client that this was indeed a state of the Art approach. The size was a clear space of 55 meters x110 meters. The competition was against a leading firm of senior architects who could virtually walk into an assignment. This firm was none other than the one I had trained in. I had shot my mouth off and convinced the client but then I had to put my money where my mouth was. Considering my past performance and history in as far as theory of structures was concerned there was the lurking fear of failure in the back of my head. Import of jointing systems was not permitted unless absolutely essential and the import duty would have killed he project. I had to devise a simple joint if only to save my scalp. This I did and the test showed that the new joint I had devised performed far better than the high technology imported joints that were considered state of the art technology. Whereas the high end technology joint could accommodate 12 members through the same axis, this system stretched the limits to 96 members through the same axis. The sophisticated technology joints required super high tech machines to manufacture and special grade of steel whereas the very basic home grown technology utilised mild steel all the way through. My structural engineer had abandoned me or I abandoned him but there was no love lost. The structural contractor who had been
  25. 25. 4343 Put in one page of the collage of JCB with the scanned drawings of the first concept and the perspectives etc assigned this contract, against all advice by me, had developed cold feet and was willing to do likewise. I was left with little choice but to sit at the machine shop with the fabricator and have the first set of joints made and tested. The test results surpassed all expectations and further ended up making the structure and it’s hoisting in position, look like child’s play. Many a hiccup on and much turbulence later, the project was seen to conclusion and had many a head spin. I was indeed the cat’s whiskers but no one would take me seriously in spite of having achieved this dizzying success. I desperately wanted my hair and Goatie French beard to turn grey if only to add to my portfolio. Just as the headiness of success was waning I got a call from the project manager of a leading five star hotel asking me if I could visit them and look into some structural problems they were having with their building. I was there the very next day and make a quick round of the problem ridden structure. My mind had almost immediately read into the problem. It was as if the structure was telling me the area that required attention. Two hours later and after a healthy five star lunch I asked for the maintenance register. The pattern of the cracks all through the structure had a story to tell and further reinforced my gut feel. It was not owing to earthquakes and tremors and nor to the overloading owing to the huge overhead water storage tank as suspected by many an expert, that the structure was in distress. In my opinion a simple detail that links the post tensioned column to the pre stressed beam had been overlooked during the construction of the building some twenty years earlier. I needed to support this unit with steel fabrication equipment and so the unit grew with the addition of hand operated plastic injection moulding. Starting with some small space frames I managed to understand Geodesics and devised some simple joints to make geodesics a simple reality. Having designed and built several hundred domes, I acquired the name DOME LAUL. Architects do have this habit of classifying others based on their approaches to the buildings that they design. Why can’t architects experiment with an array of styles and materials and approaches? I seem to think that there is a lethargy that sets in after a certain level and it is easier to plaster the same details with limited variation of approaches. It is easier to talk of higher
  26. 26. 4747 philosophies and concepts but to dish out the same wine in new bottles. May be and may be not, but this is my opinion for want of another explanation. At about the same time I was teaching at Women’s Polytechnic. Interior design was a rage and just the prettiest and not essentially the smartest opted for this course. The next preferred option was Textile Design. Every morning was literally a fashion parade and a feast for a bachelor with a roving eye. But then I was there to teach and had to put on an extra stern look. Pretending not to appreciate and admire what I saw quickly earned me the reputation of being an “It”. I had another even more difficult problem to live with. My younger sister was being taught by me and the same young ladies would visit her in the evenings. I loved their being there and paying them attention that they truly deserved. And yet the very next morning I had to pretend that I did not know them. I had to fail my younger sister as her work was not up to the mark. This gave me the reputation of being a terror and unpredictable where as the attention to my sisters friends in the evening gave me the reputation of being a sworn bachelor and a romanticist---all in one. As teaching was a truly remarkable experience in learning, I had my heart set on it and I took this up later in life. However teaching these pretty women came to an abrupt end and was no longer an option. This passion was cut short when I met my heart stopper neighbour and shortly thereafter my wife. Two years of hot pursuit and to the surprise of many as well as my family, I was a sober man who wanted to settle down. Hailing from two ends of India, she from the Southern parts of India and me from the unruly North, we had no option but to elope. (Much like an Indian Bollywood movie). As if in a hurry and to fill our lives, my delightful daughter arrived early as she was a premature child. For over two years she slept on my chest clutching my French beard. After eight years and with the addition of my son, who had a loud infectious laugh even as an infant, I was totally transformed from a social animal to a domesticated one. (For years I called him Thunder Singh owing to his laugh). The above story is just to tell students that sometimes in failure lies success and learning is but one long continuous process. At the end of it is only the drive that matters. It is all about seeing and not looking. It is all about listening and not merely hearing. It is about having fun with what you
  27. 27. October 2013 Soft launch GREEN is RED

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