The past year has made it clear that the actions of humans have far-reaching consequences on the entire planet. Hence, the theme chosen for this year’s World Environment Day commemoration — ‘Ecosystem Restoration’ — is an apt one, where people are being encouraged to do everything in their power to restore the ecosystem. A practical way of doing this is by adopting sustainable design practices in the construction of personal spaces. Certain architectural firms are leading the way by making sustainability their mantra, and being conscious of the methods and materials used.
For centuries, humans have harmed the ecological balance of natural landscapes through the largescale expansion of cities and industrial centres. Now it has become necessary to override the impact of this expansion by making smarter choices. Amit Khanna, Founder and Principal Designer of the architectural design firm, AKDA explains, “our cities should be dense with efficient mobility solutions and our industrial centres need to process their waste – whether its air pollution, effluent or solid discharge. Significant areas of the landscape need to be left untouched and preserved to conserve the natural environment for other species.”
It has also become necessary to use innovative materials to ensure a low carbon future. Mitu Mathur, Director of GPM Architects & Planners, asserts that sustainability can be achieved through the introduction of greenery in buildings and the promotion of less polluting technologies for construction. She believes in focusing on alternative energy generating materials like rainwater harvesting and solar power generation to ensure sustainability.
This makes it essential to be aware of local climatic and geographical conditions, and work around them. Anand Sharma, Founder & Partner, Design Forum International says, “architects and designers must be conscious of local conditions and use them well — take as little as possible from sources that are finite and maximise the use of sources that are infinite such as the sun and wind.”
Sustainability is as much about the process as it is about the end product. Hence, sustainable practices need to be incorporated through the entire lifecycle of a building — from its initial design and construction, use and maintenance, to its demolition and the reuse of its building materials. Rahul Kadri, Partner & Principal Architect at IMK Architects explains that this entails strategically placing the building on the selected site in a way that integrates it with the local ecosystem instead of disrupting natural processes like the flow of water and the growth and sustenance of plants and trees. Then one must aim to maximise natural light and ventilation in the interiors and choose natural and locally available materials which have lower embodied energy and carbon over materials that have to be transported from afar.
‘Net-zero energy’ buildings, where the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on or around the site, is the new buzzword when one talks of sustainability. Pioneered by Zero Energy Design Lab (ZED Lab), it aims to minimise energy consumption by adopting passive design strategies such as optimal building form, materials with high thermal mass, etc., along with active design strategies i.e. the use of renewable energy systems such as solar panels. While passive tools minimise energy consumption, active tools aid in producing renewables. However, Sachin Rastogi, Founding Partner and Principal Architect of the firm cautions that net-zero can only truly be successful and appeal to the masses if it is made affordable. He believes that ‘near net-zero’ does not need to be expensive to construct and run.
Meena Murthy Kakkar, Design Head and Partner at Envisage Architectural firm also believes in making sustainable practices affordable. She advocates mandating certain principles so that more people can implement these solutions, bring the costs down and make the practice and goal of attaining sustainability, affordable and within reach of everyone. She sums it up by saying, “the idea of creating something that is at loggerheads with its surroundings and then finding ways to resolve it through artificial interventions is a habit that we need to get rid of. Sustainable practices need to be incorporated as a core design philosophy, to be in sync with everything our creation engages with — at all levels.”
The writer is a lawyer who pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on email@example.com.
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DID YOU KNOW THALAPATHY VIJAY IS A BIG TIGER SHROFF FAN?
MUMBAI: Kollywood superstar Thalapathy Vijay, who celebrated his 47th birthday on 22 June, is a big Tiger Shroff fan. This was revealed a day before his birthday by when a few celebrities like Keerthy Suresh, Anirudh, and Malavika Mohanan gathered on Clubhouse to recall their fond memories with the superstar. During their chat, organised to celebrate Vijay’s birthday, Malavika revealed that Vijay is a big fan of Tiger.
The ‘Master’ actress revealed, “We had gone to watch the film together as a crew. During the intro scene of Tiger, Vijay got visibly excited and cheered for him shouting, ‘Thalaiva!’ Not many people get to see this fun side of him. He later mentioned to her that he likes the young actor.” Tiger’s father Jackie Shroff has shared screen space with Vijay in 2019’s blockbuster ‘Bigil’. He played a baddie in the film.
This is quite an interesting revelation about Vijay and we can’t wait to see him work with Tiger.
Meanwhile, Vijay will be seen in director Nelson Dilipkumar’s film titled ‘Beast’. Its first look and title were released recently. Keerthy Suresh, Dhanush and many other actors praised the first look of ‘Beast’ oozing style and swag.
The film also stars Pooja Hegde, Yogi Babu, Shine Tom Chacko, VTV Ganesh, and Aparna Das. The music is composed by Anirudh Ravichander and the film is backed by Sun Pictures.
‘FRIENDS’ STAR JAMES MICHAEL TYLER REVEALS CANCER FIGHT
WASHINGTON: James Michael Tyler, who starred as Gunther on ‘Friends’, shared that he was diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer and he can no longer walk because of it.
According to Variety, during an interview with a news outlet, Tyler, who played Jennifer Aniston’s coffee shop manager Gunther on ‘Friends’, shared that he was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in September 2018 after a routine physical. Tyler said, “I was 56 years old at the time, and they screen for PSA, which is a prostate-specific antigen. That came back at an extraordinarily high number. So, I knew immediately when I went online and I saw the results of my blood test and blood work that there was obviously something quite wrong there.
He further, nearly immediately, my doctor called me and said, “Hey, I need you to come in tomorrow because I suspect that you may have quite a serious problem with your prostate.’”
Tyler was recently seen on the HBO Max special ‘Friends: The Reunion’. While several other characters from the show stopped by to say hello to the core cast in person, Tyler appeared via video conference.
Talking about his experience, he said, “I wanted to be a part of that, and initially I was going to be on the stage, at least, with them, and be able to take part in all the festivities. It was bittersweet, honestly. I was very happy to be included. It was my decision not to be a part of that physically and make an appearance on Zoom because I didn’t wanna bring a downer on it, you know? I didn’t want to be like, ‘Oh, and by the way, Gunther has cancer’.” The actor is undergoing chemotherapy and is urging men to get early screenings to battle it.
PRIYANKA CELEBRATES NATIONAL SELFIE DAY
Priyanka Chopra shared her selfie on social media on the occasion of National Selfie Day. National Selfie Day is celebrated in America.
Sharing her selfie post, Priyanka wrote in the caption, ‘The only right way to celebrate #NationalSelfieDay’. Priyanka is seen wearing a white and blue colour top and teamed it up with sunglasses. She adjourned a cool yet elegant look with open hair and pink lipstick.
Priyanka has been in news related to Victoria’s Secret. Victoria’s Secret is all set to give opportunities to female athletes, activists, and entrepreneurs to promote women empowerment. Priyanka’s name was included in this list.
‘The White Tiger’ star was announced as one of the brand ambassadors of Victoria’s Secret. Sharing the news on social media Priyanka wrote, “Representation matters. It’s crucial for us to show everyone all over the world that they matter and are seen! As a founding partner of #TheVSCollective and advisor to the business, this is exactly what I intend to do. It’s been so incredible to see your reactions to yesterday’s announcement. It’s fuelled me further and I am excited to bring about meaningful change at one of the world’s most iconic brands. I’m so proud to be in the company of the Collective of incredible women that will helm this change.”
WHY KANGANA WANTS INDIA TO BE RENAMED BHARAT
MUMBAI: Kangana Ranaut recently took to social media to share why India should be renamed Bharat and what this word means.
Kangana wants India’s name to be changed to ‘Bharat’ . The ‘Thalaivi’ star, who has never shied away from expressing her views on various issues, has shared her take on social media regarding the name ‘India’ and claimed that it was given to our nation by Britishers. Further, in her note, she has explained why it should be changed back to Bharat. Kangana is back in Mumbai and currently gearing up for the second schedule of ‘Dhaakad’.
Taking to her Instagram stories, Kangana shared a screenshot of her post on the Koo app and wrote, “India can only rise if it’s rooted in its ancient spirituality and wisdom, that is the soul of our great civilisation. The world will look up to us and we will emerge as a world leader if we go higher in urban growth but not be a cheap copy of the western world and remain deeply rooted in Vedas, Geeta, and Yoga, can we please change this slave name India back to Bharat.” With this post, she shared photos of women during old times.
Kangana shared another post explaining the meaning of Bharat and claimed that it is made up of three Sanskrit words,“British gave us slave name India which literally means east of Indus River. Really would you call a child small nose or second-born or worse C section? What kind of a name is this? So rudimentary. Let me tell you the meaning of Bharat. It’s made of three Sanskrit words BH (bhav), Ra (rag), ta (tal). Yes, that’s who we were before we were enslaved, the most culturally and aesthetically evolved civilisation. Every name has a vibration and the British knew this they not only gave new names to places but even to people and important monuments. We must regain our lost glory, let’s start with the name Bharat.”
CHITRANGDA CELEBRATES YOGA DAY IN PICTURESQUE KASHMIR
Actor Chitrangda Singh who is currently at Pahalgam in Jammu & Kashmir, shared a few pictures of hers doing yoga in the mountains. These pictures have a breath-taking view of the mountains in the background. June 21 is celebrated as ‘International Yoga Day’ every year. Several people have been posting their pictures and videos to celebrate this day.
What makes Chitrangda’s photos more adorable was the fact that she was interrupted by her dogs as she sat down in a yoga pose. On the work front, Chitrangda will soon be seen opposite Abhishek Bachchan in Red Chillies Entertainment, Sujoy Ghosh’s Production, crime-thriller Bob Biswas.
SCHWARZENEGGER REVEALS HIS CHILDREN ‘HATED’ HIS MOVE FROM FILM TO POLITICS
WASHINGTON: The Former Governor of California and Hollywood legend Arnold Schwarzenegger recently opened up about his family life behind the scenes of his governorship from 2003 to 2011.
Arnold said his four children weren’t happy with his transition from action movie star to the 38th governor of California. The Schwarzenegger family moved from Hollywood to Sacramento, where Arnold served for two terms.
“First of all, I think it is very important to let everyone know how much you kids hated my job. It was one of those kind of odd things where I just thought that: ‘Oh, my kids will be so proud of me being governor now. And all this stuff, but I don’t think that you guys really kind of connected with that. I think you were so used to what we were doing when I was on a movie set,” he said.
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