Choosing Sustainabilty with Designco.
Choosing Sustainability with Designco
An unuttered sanctity is established during the design and creation of an Office Space. A disciplined environment shielded away from the distractions of the world that brings people walking similar career paths under a shared envelope. In the covid-free world, they were the lifelines of a nation. The hustle and bustle of motivated employees brainstorming, drawing up game plans and meeting targets, lighting up the spaces with charged activity. Modern offices have gone through extreme transformations in the past decade and are redefining the way we perceive workspaces. For a healthy work environment to flourish, a workspace must be sustainably viable to ensure minimal impact on the environment.
The Designco acts as a touchstone for sustainability, efficiently maximizing the use of available resources and simultaneously enhancing the character of our suburbs. Situated in Lodhipur, Moradabad, it doubles as a workspace for Lohia Worldspace and as meeting rooms for Archier’s bespoke furniture and lighting. This project has been developed in compliance with the principles of the deliberative development model known as Collaborative Development by Lohia Worldspace. The model enables collaborators to unite and share their multidisciplinary expertise to create superior quality, environment-friendly and financially accessible workspaces in inner suburban locations where property prices are driving people out of the market.
Pressing for sustainability has always been one of our top priorities and Designco stands tall when it comes to meeting sustainability goals. Every sustainable decision taken for this project has contributed to it achieving 8+ out of 10 star NatHERS rating. Here are some of the many ways in which Designco has successfully managed to transform a post-war suburban dwelling into three fossil fuel-free, 100% electric offices.
1. Energy Efficient Envelope
A building envelope is not just a physical barrier between the interior and exterior, it is a building system that actively responds to a building’s surroundings and manages to produce optimal thermal comfort levels. The dual North-South aspect of the spaces facilitates cross-ventilation and solar penetration to the various habitable areas, greatly cutting down on costs that would otherwise have to be allocated towards artificially heating or cooling the interiors. Energy usage is directly proportional to resource dependency and thus a more secure future.
2. Passive Design Techniques
Designco takes the cake when it comes to incorporating Passive Design measures. Each office has been strategically oriented to open out to the north, ensuring solar penetration that warms the offices during the chilly winter months. All north and west-facing windows have been installed with external automated block-out blinds that cut out harsh sun rays while allowing cross-ventilation, keeping the spaces cool during summers. The blinds also allow the users to control shade and the privacy to the outdoors.
The use of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) in their construction system is a way of experimenting with alternative building materials. SIPs are a prefabricated, load-bearing structural system that can be engineered to fit a wide range of building designs. They are highly durable, energy-efficient, cost-effective and quick to install. SIPs are known to deliver unparalleled insulation and are 50% more energy-efficient than traditional timber-framed structures. The airtight envelope has minimal thermal bridging and reduces heat loss.
Binq tilt and turn high-performance windows and doors are installed in all the offices to enhance thermal insulation and allow rapid cross-ventilation cooling. The double-glazed windows substantially filter out noise, which is essential to maintain concentration in a workspace.
4. Electric Offices Operated by 100% Renewable Energy
High-performance battery technology harnesses the power generated onsite by the rooftop solar panels, readily storing the energy to meet the power requirements of the offices after sundown.
We invested in Energy Recovery Ventilation (EVR) active systems, this technology combines system electric heat pumps for hot water and hydronic heating. The system aids the HVAC system to meet ventilation and energy standards. Resulting in improved indoor air quality and reduced energy consumption.
Caroma Smart Command technology has been installed to monitor water usage via an app. Its leak detection system efficiently identifies and alerts the users of leaks early on and prevents damage. Rainwater collection tanks are also installed in each office to reduce the amount of water the spaces draw from our water reserves, promoting self-sufficiency and encouraging water conservation.
5. Locally Sourced Materials
Being ‘vocal for local’ makes as much sense for the construction industry like any other and for the Designco it was the obvious way to go. The offices have been constructed out of locally sourced materials wherever possible. Naturally available materials like recycled bricks, native hardwood timber cladding and veneer have been used. They are highly durable, ensure lasting performance and are free from toxic chemicals. These materials have lower embodied energy and thus are more sustainable. They contribute less to greenhouse gases and help relieve the pressure off fossil fuels.
6. Urban Greenery
The front yard of Designco is utilized in shared ownership by the collaborators to make the best out of the street frontage. The shared open space becomes a meeting point for the offices to come together, interact and develop better relationships, not only amongst themselves but also the broader community. Also, it cannot be emphasized enough how important it is to take breaks amidst nature, after long work hours. Urban biodiversity is fast depleting and plays a significant role in offsetting some of the carbon emissions in its vicinity which would otherwise contribute to climate change.
Designco is a conscious effort to redefine the way we perceive our office spaces that work towards integrating sustainable measures to ensure tangible health benefits to its users without taking a toll on the environment. It is our utmost priority to encourage and propagate physical and mental well-being.