ARCHITECTURE

Constructing to Counter Climate Change 

The new building of the Auroville Language Lab and Tomatis Therapy Centre, under construction in the International Zone of Auroville, aims to set a very high benchmark of sustainability as well as human comfort and well-being of its users.

Some special aspects of the building are :

  • A cooling and dehumidication system without air-conditioning
  • Use of lime instead of cement for mortar and plaster
  • Passive design techniques including maximizing natural daylight while reducing heat ingress
  • Electro-magnetic compliance and reduction of electro-smog
  • Use of probiotics for the purest anti-oxidant energy
  • Use of old second-hand or fallen-over wood for carpentry
  • Rain water harvesting and re-use of grey water through a vortex system
  • Full wheelchair accessibility
  • Vaastu shastra
  • Integration of telluric energy lines
  • A solar and wind energy-based renewable energy system.

The building has a passive indoor-climate control system which is designed around a natural passive vertical air flow. There will be a constant flow of pre-cooled and dehumidified air throughout the building. The pre-cooled air will come from 3 wide air inlet towers located outside the main building. It will be distributed throughout the building to every room though a network of wide underground air channels and vertical air shafts. On the external facade there will be mechanical ventilator-topped exhaust shafts with glass infill, which will facilitate the air movement within the rooms. Heated by the sun, hot air will rise and in this way, under pressures will be created inside the building so that new air flows into the building from the main air inlet towers. The central courtyard dome roof is designed to create a similar vacuuming effect, which draws out the hot air while creating an under-pressure which will suck the cool and dehumidified air in from the towers. In the towers, the air will pass through a sieve of activated alumina to absorb the excess moisture. Actually the tunnels and shaft structures are already built and one can already feel their effect in the building even without the towers being completed. The lime further cools down the building and helps the process of making the building breathe and release humidity.

Air Circulation Diagrams
 

Energy use by buildings is a very large contributing factor to climate change. In tropical climates, air-conditioning is the largest culprit, causing greenhouse gas emissions and making even the so-called 'green buildings' into energy hoggers. This building will be an example for all of S. Asia and the tropical coastal regions of a climate-protective construction design which ensures human comfort WITHOUT energy-guzzling Air-Conditioning.

This special building has been designed by architects Parul Zaveri and Nimish Patel of Panika, Ahmedabad (Gujarat), with Abhikram providing the Sustainability Consultancy. They are pioneers in sustainable building in India.  They are going beyond the commercial Green Building movement to revive traditional Indian knowledge and practices for sustainability. www.abhikram.com

We are looking for individuals, foundations and agencies supporting efforts to address climate change, to help us finish the sustainable cooling and de-humidification system.

Further information and design details can be provided upon request.

We would like to finish the building as soon as possible, so that the work for which the building has been designed, namely, the Language Laboratory and Tomatis Research and Therapy Centre can start in the new premises.  Already more than 600 students of architecture have visited the building.
 

Here are some Photos of Our Beautiful Building
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