With the theme GLOCAL: Thinking Global, Acting Local; a hall packed with over 250 attendees; 38 winners; a Wall of Fame and a live-streamed evening, the 12th edition of the awards had it all.
Royalty, luxury, power, ambition: These words perfectly defined the 12th CONSTRUCTION WORLD Architect and Builder (CWAB) Awards, set across a purple backdrop at Hotel Four Seasons in Mumbai on August 23. The winners' Wall of Fame with the winners' autographs only added to the glamour.
The evening celebrated the theme - GLOCAL: Thinking Global, Acting Local - and was graced by Chief Guest Sudhir Mungantiwar, Minister of Finance & Planning, Forests, Government of Maharashtra, Keynote Speaker Gauranga Das, Director, Govardhan Ecovillage, and special guests that included consul generals and trade commissioners of Kenya, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Korea and Sri Lanka, among others.
Supported by Gold Partners Carrier Airconditioning & Refrigeration, India, and HNG Float Glass; Silver Partners Schueco and FunderMax India; Bronze Partner Turner Project Management India; Luxury Audio Visual Partner Ultavo Theatres & Tunes; and Associate Partner D'Decor Blinds, the awards once again were a fitting showcase of excellence, with some new additions.
Dubbed the Oscars of the architecture and building industry, this year the awards recognised and awarded 11 Top Architects, 8 Top Builders, 18 Noteworthy Projects and 2 Sustainability Projects from across India, chosen through a transparent selection process. What's more, the grand evening was live-streamed at www.cwabawards.com.
How we do it!
Back in 2006, these awards were instituted to salute excellence and catalyse inspiration and motivation. 'To date, these are the only such awards where architects and builders are awarded on one platform,' said Falguni Padode, Group Managing Editor, ASAPP Info Global Group, in her welcome address. 'The top architects and builder winners are chosen by a perception-based industry survey while the noteworthy and sustainability project winners were chosen through an online jury.' (Read more on the jury process on page 68 and 84) While year after year, the CWAB awards have focussed on awarding India's Top 10 Architects and Top 10 Builders, she briefed, 'This year, the jury felt that given the selection, they would like to restrict the winning builders and add one more architect to the winners list.' Hence, CWAB 2017 awarded 11 architects (turn to page 70) and eight builders (turn to page 72).
Well spoken Affirming that the Indian construction industry is no longer limited to building in the metros, Pratap Padode, Managing Director & Founder, ASAPP Info Global Group, said, 'The new India of 2022 is not going to be built on our armchairs but when we break new ground.' (For more, turn to page 60) This was followed by Keynote Speaker Gauranga Das, Director, Govardhan Eco Village, who urged the eminent personalities in the room to consider the sustainable means adopted by the eco village for their own projects. (For more, turn to page 59) For his part, Chief Guest Sudhir Mungantiwar, who presented the awards, said, 'Imagination is our greatest wealth and I feel proud of your efforts and contribution to the nation-building exercise.' (Read more on page 59)
Apart from the winners, the event witnessed an august audience with over 250 guests, including the who's who of the building and support industries. In a display of Tlan, the winners walked the stage in celebration of their victory. Crediting her team for the award, Abha Narain Lambah, Principal Architect, Abha Narain Lambah Associates, said, 'It is great to be a part of the change in the architectural landscape of the country, and I hope we are all going to make a difference in all the cities.'
Expressing his gratitude, Ravi Sarangan, Executive Director, Edifice Consultants, added, 'Just as we are recognised for what we do in the field of architecture, we hope for, and will take greater pride in, winning an award for how we transform the community one day.'
Further, Manit Rastogi, Founder Partner, Morphogenesis, pointed to the CWAB awards as among the few to maintain a high vigour; and Sanjay Puri, Principal Architect, Sanjay Puri Architects, who called it a victory for his entire team, lauded CWAB as the best awards in the country.
Among the winning builders, Harshavardhan Neotia, Chairman, Ambuja Neotia Group, said, 'Every award means added responsibility; I hope we can continue to live up to it.' Jayanand Potdar, COO, Godrej Properties, also acknowledged that such recognition makes the company 'more responsible to build spaces that give a warmer experience to all customers'. And, Kishore Bhatija, Managing Director, K Raheja Corp, credited the victory to the company's partners, stakeholders, architects, suppliers and contractors, saying, 'It's because of them that we are here.'
These were just some of the highlights of the 12th CWAB Awards. But, as they say, sometimes pictures speak louder than words. Read on for more on our winners and jury - and enjoy the glimpses of a memorable evening.
With great power comes great responsibility.
On this note, Chief Guest Sudhir Mungantiwar, Minister of Finance, Planning, and Forest Departments, Government of Maharashtra, highlighted the challenges that need to be tackled by the building industry.
'First of all, I would like to congratulate all the winners who have received this prestigious award. You are all nation-builders. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chalked out an ambitious plan for smart cities in India; however, this is not something new to the country. This concept goes ages back when Lord Krishna created Dwarka - one of the smartest cities in that era.
Imagination is our greatest wealth, and I feel proud of all of you for the efforts and contribution you put in this nation-building exercise. You are not merely constructing a structure, but a nation. I felt overwhelmed watching all of you being awarded for the structures you have built and designed. However, there are a few concerns that need to be addressed.
On my recent visit to Telangana, when I visited a few industries - one of them being granite - the industry raised a few concerns over limited availability of granite. So, we need to safeguard natural resources, which are on the verge of extinction.
At present, we have a challenge in front of us: Extensive use of natural resources in nation-building needs to be restricted for the betterment of our future. Nation-builders must use resources that can be reused, recycled and reproduced to create greener structures, which will enhance the quality of citizens.
The onus is on you- and with great power comes great responsibility. Although you have created beautiful and aesthetic structures now, in future you must create better structures that are environment-friendly.'
'Climate Change Adaptation through Sustainability, Tradition and Technology - Story of Govardhan Ecovillage.'
Gauranga Das, Director, Govardhan Ecovillage, shares key initiatives adopted in the village.
'Govardhan Ecovillage (GEV) is a 90-acre model farm community and retreat centre located at the foothills of the Sahyadhri Mountains, 108 km north of Mumbai. It illustrates 'Simple Living & High Thinking' - a principle that is so succinct, yet profound, and formed the basis of life in the bygone age of wisdom.
In India, more than 65 per cent of the population live in villages. Hence, we decided to put our efforts to transform the villages in India. In 2003, we thought of a strategy to attract corporates, tourists, scientists, students and NGOs to the villages; these were the custodians of tradition and culture in Vedic times and so we recreated a Vedic eco-village modelled after Vrindavan in Galtare village, Wada Taluka, Palghar District in Maharashtra.
The eco-village is designed to create an eco-system for life by addressing four basic human needs: Ecological, economic, social and cultural. GEV implemented various environment initiatives in its campus including green buildings, water conservation, alternative energy, waste management, soil bio-technology, organic farming, cow protection, etc, thus showcasing the model of environment conservation in action. It developed a bio-diversity park spread over 15 acre, providing a cultural and spiritual ambience. It has a retreat centre facilitating eco-friendly guest house, auditorium, seminar rooms, ayurvedic centre, etc. That said, through its integrated environmental, social, spiritual and cultural model and comfortable facilities, the ecovillage attracts various people from cities to come, experience harmony and wellness, learn best practices on environment and inspires them to tour nearby tribal villages and contribute to their development.
GEV runs a rural development programme since 2009 in around 16 tribal villages comprising Wadi programmes (integrated farming system comprising of agriculture, floriculture and horticulture) for empowering farmers through organic farming, providing non-farm enterprises to landless labourers, water resource creation for drinking and irrigation, water conservation, etc.
In short, the ecovillage is an innovative platform for bridging the urban-rural divide by attracting the powerful from India and abroad to rural India and inspiring them to support the powerless, and thus transforming the landscape of rural India.'
'The new India of 2022 is going to be built by breaking new ground.'
Pratap Padode, Managing Director, ASAPP Info Global Group, and Founder & Executive Director, Smart Cities Council India, speaks on the progress India is set to make.
'We have a special theme this evening: GLOCAL-Thinking Global, Acting Local. It's an unusual theme but it's timely enough, particularly when our Prime Minister is making waves around the world and India is the buzzword because it is one of the fastest growing economies.
India loses Rs 50,000 crore per annum owing to cost overruns in projects.
India was ranked 185th out of 190 countries in construction permits. A horrible position to be in; but let's take some respite that we are not the only ones.
The world construction industry is at $10 trillion and 90 per cent of infrastructure projects are either late or over-budget - that's not just us, it's happening all around.
According to McKinsey, construction holds the dubious honour of having the lowest productivity gains of any industry. The reasons include continued use of labour instead of technology and lack of consolidation, among others.
In India, there has been a promise of change. As per information provided by the government to the World Bank, it takes only 60 days following eight online procedures to get construction permits in Delhi and Mumbai. These two cities effectively earn us our ranking in the annual Ease of Doing Business report.
With RERA, the new Building Code, the Smart Cities mission, Bharatnet, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and metro projects under construction in 14 cities and approved in another 10, things are set to change.
Even before the government chose this as the manifesto - the Smart Cities movement - we tied up with the Smart Cities Council in the US and set up a chapter in India. There is an India Readiness Guide, which is a framework for cities to be planned. And so, ASAPP has continued this process and taken this mission forward.
There is a lot of scepticism around the smart cities concept and in the process the wave of change it is bringing to urban planning is getting lost. So here's the progress so far: 57 projects worth Rs 941 crore have already been completed as of April 2017. An additional 462 projects worth Rs 15,000 crore are likely to be completed through 2018. And an additional 920 projects for which DPRs have already been prepared worth Rs 25,000 crore are estimated to be completed by the end of 2018.
Twenty-two of the 60 cities have already initiated smart roads; 20 cities have smart water projects; 26 cities are implementing solar rooftop projects; and 18 cities have initiated integrated command-and-control projects.
The new India of 2022 is not going to be built on our armchairs but by breaking new ground. Our Bollywood industry has also learnt this. Therefore, they don't come with stories of mega cities anymore; even they need to get the 'Barfis' of 'Bareilly'!'