Contemporary Farmhouse near Pune

2 BHK ( 2 bedrooms , hall , Kitchen ) Farmhouse on the sloping site .
Contemporary style of Architecture.

Vernacular Architecture in India

Recently I visited a place in Konkan region in India.
Kolad , on Mumbai-Goa highway.
It  a lake side resort , it has a vernacular look with modern amenities.
Here are some snaps..
 Sit-out facing lake side..
Exterior face has stone cladding with lacquer finish.
All the door windows are from local wood.
 Floating room , on RCC columns .
The roofing is done in MS Fabrication and thatching is done for the elevational treatment .
It give a structure its vernacular look..and it looks amazing at night with lighting.
 It has clear glass windows from all the four side, which give a feel of openness .
Wooden bridge connects the cottage from the rest resort.

Columns with stone cladding and thatched roof  give site-out a comfortable and cozy feeling.

‘Made in China’ Development Manual Has Lessons India Can Learn

                                                           All roads lead to the city in China. More Chinese live in cities than villages now, with nearly 690 million people occupying urban space compared to 656 million in the countryside. China may have drawn flak for ignoring environmental, socio cultural, heritage and human dimensions in the rush for unscrupulous development – yet as a keen learner, we have number of ready and right pages to pick and learn from the “Made in China” development manual. For example, the pace of Chinese urbanization is faster, but an interesting contrast to India is that more than twice as many Indians live in big metropolises (>10 million) than Chinese. This may possibly have to do with advanced industrialization in rural areas and small towns in China. It has invested in growth centers provinces have become centres of highly successful industrial clusters of specialized, mainly family-owned enterprises. Dating town in Zhejiang province produces a third of world’s socks. Three-quarters of the world’s neckties are produced in the town of Shengzhou where hardly anybody in the local population ever wears one. Another town, Yiwu is the world’s largest producer of buttons. Guangdong province of South China has world’s kargest mall for furniture with towns after towns dedicated to building industry-related manufacturing and trading outlets, be it furniture, electrical fixtures, sanitary ware, floor finishes or accessories. These largely export-oriented units, set within the largest vision of simulating growth in smaller towns, have generated considerable job market and triggered amenity and infrastructure development to check migration to mega cities. Country’s overall economy has also depended greatly on these export-oriented units. For example, China volume of export is whopping 1600 billion dollars. Of which, despite hate-hate relationship with USA, it has the highest share of exports with the US at the magnitude of over hundred billion dollars. India ranks seventh in China’s export destination at nearly 40 billion dollars. Underpinning China’s export success is a combination of long term investments in automation and sport-term depreciation of the currency. Manufacturers across China are investing in labour saving equipment, reorganizing shop floor management and taking other measures to maximize production efficiency. Important to note is that is much or more than automation it has concentrated on streamlining the processes to yield maximum production with minimum waste within a mass production mode rather than customization. Even smallest component and actions are given their due for cost competitiveness, like investing in computer-controlled drill that does the work of up to eight people, or a garment company buying machinery to manufacture buttons more cheaply. These constant endeavours have ensured that despite rising labour costs the final product cost remains competitive for export and quite often cheaper than before. Central authorities have strongly endorsed stepped-up equipment investments by exporters. Labour shortages in export zones have also meant that workers have not tended to protest the introduction of more machinery. With domestic Chinese economy slowing, the government has also counteracted some of the pain by taking currency actions to help exporters. It has allowed the country’s tightly managed currency, the Renminbi makes Chinese goods less expensive in foreign markets, and makes imports less affordable in China. Urban infrastructure is constructed, operated, and maintained by separate companies set up by Chinese government with a large stake in cost recovery. While, in India, much of the time the municipal government performs these functions through its departments. Chinese cities have the autonomy to raise investment funds by monetizing land assets and to retain 25% of the value added taxes. Large infrastructure projects in China often have special purpose vehicles to get access to the debt market. Not just the fiscal system, the whole urban governance structure in India is not decentralized enough. Mayours d not necessarily have enough executive powers or accountability to the local citizenry. The chief official in policy implementation is often the municipal commissioner, a state government official accountable upwards, to the higher-level government. This is quite different from the empowered mayors in cities in other developing countries. In coastal China local business development under the auspices of local governments have contributed substantially to local revenues and building of local infrastructure. In India this is rare. With centralized system China has circumvented models to positively contribute to remote places compared to remote places compared to the so called decentralized powers assigned to federal, state and city municipalities in India.

Infrastructure Projects Stimulate Growth

                                             As the economic downturn in many nations rumbles on, politicians are turning to fiscal stimulus to generate growth. The decision to engage in major projects as a method for enhancing the economies of their regions has proved time and again to work. The resulting transport, regional investment programs and infrastructure projects have proved impressive for their vision and dynamism in their scope of delivery. The Infrastructure Investment Awards 2012 now celebrate the best of these.
                                            It’s been clear to World Finance while researching the Infrastructure Investment Awards 2012 the growing recognition of value in social infrastructure project. The creation of improved healthcare facilities has been the target for a number of governments, where the realization that overall economic growth cannot be delivered without a strategy for social improvement as well.
                                                Elsewhere, World Finance has seen the proliferation of education-based projects, tying infrastructure and social development together. Such instances have proved an encouraging reflection that investment in social infrastructure produces a benefit that spreads far beyond the building that have been invested in.
                                                For the private sector, new infrastructure project have proved lucrative investment strategies. Private projects, particularly in locations seen as areas of growth, have enjoyed the benefit of funding avenues opened by investors jaded by traditional investment markets. This has allowed some projects to progress faster than anticipated yet has also ensured that they remain within budget and deliver profit to investors.
                                                World Finance’s Infrastructure Investment Awards celebrates the successes of some of the world’s leading infrastructure projects and the people who have made them happen. Read articles from some of the winners in the September October edition of World Finance magazine, available now in retailers.
                                                World News Media is a leading publisher of quality financial and business magazines, enjoying a global distribution network that includes subscriber lists of the most prominent and senior decision-makers around the world, as well as comprehensive airport, hotel and conference site distribution.

Improving the Quality of Life Indoors Too

 Our green friends are also Good Samaritans of the earth. We humans may not bother much about their survival, but they enrich our existence through their very own. That plants in general reduce outdoor pollution is everybody’s knowledge. But few are aware of how they enhance the quality of life indoors too.
                         In highly industrialized urban lifestyle, more and more people spend longer hours indoors. It is estimated that in the cities people spend almost 90 per cent of their time indoors. Scientific studies in the last several years indicate that the air within offices, homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the air outdoors.

Indoor pollution

Contemporary homes and buildings are often tightly sealed to avoid energy loss from cooling or heating systems. The synthetic materials used in modern constructions produce potential pollutants that remain trapped in these poorly ventilated buildings, and these pollutants result in what is often called the Sick Building Syndrome (The condition in which occupants of a building experience health hazards).
Pollution sources that release gases or particles into the indoor air are the primary cause of air quality problems in buildings. Inadequate ventilation, high temperature and humidity levels can increase concentrations of the pollutants.
Many of the volatile organic compounds (VOC5), which are emitted as gases from wide range of solids or liquids, cause short- term and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of the VOCs may be ten to thousand times higher indoors than outdoors. The pollution sources include - paints, paint removers, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, televisions, gas stoves, copiers, printers, computers, correction fluids, glues and adhesives, permanent markers, wood preservatives, cosmetic sprays, tobacco smoke, disinfectants and air fresheners, wall and floor coverings, plastic products, synthetic fabrics, upholstered furniture, central heating and cooling systems, compressed and laminated wood products and so on.
 While pollutant levels from individual sources may not pose a significant health risk by themselves, most homes have more than one source that contributes to indoor air pollution. There can be a serious risk from the cumulative effects of these sources.

Health effects

There are more than 900 identified VOC5 that may pose acute and chronic health problems to individuals who live and work inside the buildings. The extent and nature of the effects depend on many factors including level and duration of exposure. Eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, skin allergies, visual disorders, and memory impairment are among the immediate symptoms that people may experience soon after exposure to some VOCs. Some of these organic compounds can cause long term health problems such as asthma while some are even carcinogenic.

Role of plants
                      Scientific studies show that plants play an important role in cleaning the air we breathe, both indoors and outdoors. Plants are known to clean the air through their food processing called photosynthesis. In the process, they clean the air by absorbing carbon dioxide, and by releasing lifesaving oxygen into the air. Plants are also proven to be effective in absorbing certain VOCs and reducing dust accumulation.
                                            A team of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) scientists led by Dr. Bill Wolverton tested the effect of house plants on the three major indoor air pollutants - Benzene, Formaldehyde and Trichioroethylene. Formaldehyde is used in many building materials and cleaning products where as Benzene and Trichloroethylene are found in oils, paints, adhesives, inks and varnishes. Plants clean air Research has proved that certain plants could be effective in abating indoor air pollution. These are common indoor foliage plants which are easily available in local nurseries. In the NASA study, certain houseplants were found to remove about 87 per cent of indoor air pollutants within 24 hours. Scientists suggest that for the plants to be effective, it is necessary to use one potted plant per 100 square feet of home or office space. They also recommend that the plants be grown in six-inch containers or larger for more leaf area.
                                               These exciting revelations in the last few decades have helped us realize that a house plant, valued for its aesthetic value, quietly but efficiently works in the background to enhance our well­ being. Hence we can rest assured that plants within built spaces help to soothe and calm our senses and purify and refresh the air we breathe.


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