This facility has a spacious workspace, which naturally makes social distancing easier to follow.
As unreal as it may sound, a furniture manufacturing unit, owned and designed by Ayush Kasliwal- the founder of AKFD Storey, managed to stop the coronavirus from sneaking into its periphery. This 'green' building was inaugurated in Jaipur a few months before the country was struck by the pandemic, last year. Notwithstanding the risks posed by the deadly infection, this facility worked through the first and second COVID waves safely, by effectively employing the Indian architectural norms!
An overview of the first-of-its-kind facility in the desert state
This facility has a spacious workspace, which naturally makes social distancing easier to follow. Despite working regularly during the two waves, around 200 artisans and other staff managed to save themselves from getting infected because of the design and architecture of the place!
Lower carbon footprints
Contrary to the large spread-out areas designated for furniture manufacturing, this place was designed in a way that is efficient with a sprawling workspace. It has been designed in this particular fashion, to reduce the carbon footprints of the building. The available floor area has been reduced to create an excellent circulation of air while maintaining openness, says Ayush.
Geetanjali Kasliwal, architect and wife of Ayush Kasliwal, stated that just like everyone else, they had no idea about the kind of panic a virus could create. She mentioned how the idea of creating a first-of-its-kind facility in the desert state, saved them from facing the disastrous effect of COVID. Geetanjali pointed out that they maintained a building height of 35 feet and reduced the coverage on the ground to incorporate more green space. Proper ventilation and ample sunlight worked in their favour and helped them to stay healthy, she added.
The concept of sustainability
Based on the concept of sustainable water management, large underground water tanks are used to collect rainwater in this green facility. Apart from this, a new sewage treatment plant has also been installed here. This plant treats water for toilet and horticultural needs. Additionally, an organic garden has been designed in the courtyard of the facility!
A rainwater collection tank of 1,75,000 litres has been built, which collects the surface water runoff of 23,000 square feet area. This water is then used for daily personal and work needs, thereby, making the space net water neutral, says Ayush. Reusing waste material and repurposing old furniture systems, have been implemented across the space for an overall ecologically and sustainable solution.
Ventilation & natural light
Windows of the facility have been designed in a way to keep the entire place well-ventilated. The strip windows on the western side of the facility with fixed louvres, prevent excessive heat from direct harsh sunlight. Indigenous terracotta jaalis have also been used in the stairwell to control the airflow; this reduces the facility's artificial cooling needs. To further increase natural cooling, a large atrium with side slits has also been installed. This helps in filling the space with natural light and improves air circulation.
The power couple- Ayush and Geetanjali, designer & architect
The duo, Ayush and Geetanjali, are both experts in their respective fields. Geetanjali is the co-founder of AnanTaya, which has been a recipient of the UN Certificate of Excellence, many times. Ayush, a designer of international fame, has achieved various global accolades for his unique designs. The beautiful 'Mudra' installation at Delhi Airport, speaks of his excellence as well. He is famous for his unexampled style of fusing centuries of craftsmanship with contemporary design sensibilities!