I must be an idiot

crackpot environmentalist architect

The Crackpot Environmentalist Architect

Just received a call from a gentleman who wanted to develop 9 acres of land at Nasrapur village in Karjat, very close to some of the bungalows I’ve done and am doing there. That sounded interesting, naturally.

Unfortunately he wanted to make houses entirely and exclusively out of prefab steel. Never mind that they would not be environmentally sustainable and, therefore, contrary of the kind of work I do; never mind, even, that they might look like factory sheds! Someone had obviously convinced him that this was the way to go.

I said that I could not take up a project if I felt it was ecologically damaging and urged him to at least consider other options. He was closed to such crackpot ideas but very understanding about my foolishness. His words were, “Yes, of course, everyone has their… their own…” and then his voice trailed off.

Sometimes, it’s better to lose a project before you even have it in hand.

5 thoughts on “I must be an idiot

  1. Pingback: bT Square Peg (@btsquarepeg)

  2. I am a student and i am just curious and would like to know why do you say that construction with steel is not sustainable because i have read otherwise.Thank you.

    • Steel has an extremely high level of embodied energy. Under certain conditions, if it can be easily reused at the end of a building’s life-cycle, one might divide that embodied energy over multiple uses. However in this case, the pre-coated, steel panels with insulation sandwiched between layers would, in a best-case scenario be partially recycled. It is more likely, however, that they would simply have to be scrapped.

      • Would you still say same if the house has to be constructed in Seismic Zone 4 ? I wanted to your opinion if the load-bearing structure is enough for G+1 plus Solar PV panel

        • I probably would, Vinay. For earthquake resistance in load-bearing structures, one of the simplest solutions is to use ring-beams. Another is to make sure that the roof is light in weight. Solar PV panels aren’t that heavy, so I wouldn’t worry about them.

          If you’re in a high-risk seismic zone, it is wise to consult a structural engineer.

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