Environmental sustainability, new materials and robust policy are now crucial to mall design, remarks Ar Dikshu C Kukreja of New Delhi-based CP Kukreja Architects. He presents his insights on the changing landscape of the building structure to SH.
By Mrinmoy Bhattacharjee
Going forward, what will be the requirements and parameters to measure the environmental sustainability of malls in India?
Energy conservation has become an essential aspect of building design and construction. Over a period of time, malls cease to be a commercially viable option for investors due to mismanaged and high maintenance charges. These buildings, as a result, end up having insensitive operational cost. Designing, keeping in mind the environmental sustainability, will not only help in minimising maintenance cost but also promote green construction
What are the some of the gen-x materials that are emerging for addressing specific requirements with regard to application in malls?
Lately, materials which have a low carbon footprint and have the potential of recycling are becoming a popular and relevant option, especially for building facades. In the specific case of mall design, whose primary building typology is derived from attracting more and more people for the sale of housed merchandise, the facades become an opportunity to increase customer numbers and communicate with them while doing so. Introducing technology in design concepts also helps in cost reduction to a great extent. LED displays have inspired a new kind of material to dominate the façade design and bring in dynamism to the buildings. LED panels too act as a source of interactive display of advertisements and subsequently become a potential source of revenue generation for the malls.
How can the architect fraternity help promote the use of sustainable materials and products?
In line with the government’s Make in India campaign, malls should be encouraged to designate a specified area for local artisans. This would not only help in providing employment opportunities at local community level but also help in promoting Indian art and craft at an international scale. The support of the fraternity can accelerate the response to Make in India. It can begin by architects incorporating local materials and encouraging craft-based designs in architectural as well as interior design of malls.