Taller, loftier, stronger, mightier - that´s as much true for the winners of the CW Architect & Builder Awards (CWAB) as the structures they have built and the dreams they have given flight.
Last year, the awards celebrated a glorious, decade-long journey of saluting excellence, honouring innovation and toasting creativity by felicitating past winners from across the country. This year marked the beginning of another chapter, a new avatar to kick off another decade, reflecting evolving times by recognising excellence in emerging cities: CWAB 2.0. Schueco and Fundermax were the Gold Sponsors and Hybec, the Associate Sponsor for the event.
It was an epic evening of celebration. Like every year, India´s Top Builders and Top Architects were recognised with the addition of a new category of Noteworthy Projects this year. Given the government´s thrust on growth in cities across the country, projects were awarded across six segments: Residential, commercial, interiors, institutional, retail and hospitality.
Introducing the audience to the new category, Falguni Padode, Group Managing Editor, ASAPP Info Global Group, elaborated upon the process of selection. Over 250 entries were received across categories this year, from which the editorial team shortlisted the best projects to be sent to an esteemed jury for assessment. In a first-of-its kind, online jury proceeding, the panel comprised Architect Hafeez Contractor; Russell Gilchrist, Principal I Design Director, Gensler; Mili Majumdar, Managing Director, Green Business Certification Institute; Roshni Udyavar Yehuda, Head, Rachana Sansad´s Institute of Environmental Architecture; and Anita Arjundas, Managing Director & CEO, Mahindra Lifespace (Hear them speak on www.ConstructionWorld.in). The jury meticulously studied every project; features such as green, amenities, materials, technology and design carried special weight in the final selection, giving us the final list of Noteworthy Projects (for winning projects, turn to page 86).
To arrive at the list of the Top Builders and Top Architects in India, the crFme de la crFme of the architecture and building industry was first selected through a perception-based survey and then through stringent jury selection. Having received a tremendous response from the survey, the final selection was done by the eminent jury that came together in Mumbai. The jury studied details about every architect and builder on the basis of the theme SMART - Sustainable, Material Innovation, Amenities or Aesthetics, Rationality of Design and Technology Use - and cast its vote through a secret ballot (for winning builders, turn to page 72, and for winning architects, turn to page 68).
The Architect Jury comprised: Girish Shah, Director, The Wadhwa Group; Chirag Baijal, Director-Commercial Sales, UTC-Climate Control and Security (India); Rajiv Balaggan, Sales Head-Architectural Glass India, Pilkington Glass India; Harsh Chitale, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Philips Lighting India; Percy Jijina, Director-Decorative Paints, Jotun Paints; and Sriram Natarajan, Director, CBRE South Asia.
The Builder Jury comprised: R Ramakrishnan, Vice Chairman, Joint Managing Director & Group CEO, Polycab Wires; Nirmalya Chatterjee, Executive Director & COO, Trimble Solutions India; Rajesh Chawla, Director, Veka India; Yoshiyuki Mabuchi, Managing Director, Toshiba Johnson Elevators India; Juzer S Kothari, Managing Director, Conserve Consultants; Nellie Samuel, Joint CEO and Executive Director, Knight Frank Property Services; Rahul Kadri, Principal Architect & Partner, IM Kadri Architects; Ani Ray, Managing Director, ACC; and Kamal Hadker, Chairman & Managing Director, Sterling Engineering Consultancy Services. The jury panels were also felicitated for their role in choosing the winners.
The evening kicked-off with the welcome address by Pratap Padode, Founder-Director, Smart Cities Council India (read excerpts of his talk on page 60). ¨The Prime Minister is dreaming of 2.0, and we welcome and dream the same,¨ he said, setting the perfect tone for the evening. Further, all eyes were on keynote speaker Dr Sunita Narain, Director General, Centre for Science and Environment, as she delivered an enthralling address with thought-provoking ideas, giving the architects, builders and 250-strong audience much food for thought (read excerpts of her talk on page 62). She said with certainty: ¨I´m here to push you to do better... because the crisis is enormous and we clearly need to do something.¨ There could have been no better place than CWAB 2.0 for this clarion call.
Winners had their say too as CWAB gave them the perfect platform to voice their opinions. ¨The single-window system is a change required to boost the real-estate industry,¨ said Architect Sanjay Puri - the audience was in complete agreement. Similarly, Niranjan Hiranandani, Managing Director, Hiranandani Group, pointed to ease of doing business as the most awaited reform in the sector. And JC Sharma, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Sobha, shared on a positive note: ¨RERA will bring in transparency and help customers choose the right developers.¨
Gilding the insight was glamour. As is now custom, India´s Top Builders and Top Architects - as well as, for the first time, the winners of the Noteworthy Projects category - walked the ramp like showstoppers with pride, elegance and inimitable style. They were cheered by an august audience that comprised the who´s who of the industry along with municipal commissioners and envoys from consulates. Indeed, the evening ended on a picture-perfect note: All 28 winners posing together, a promise captured in time to build a new India, building it right and bright.
¨Even our PM is dreaming of India 2.0!¨
With this statement, Pratap Padode, Founder-Director, Smart Cities Council India, welcomed all the winners, VIPs and the audience to CWAB 2.0 Awards
Setting the perfect tone to the event, Padode laid emphasis upon how traffic is a major bugbear in cities today. Pointing to Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata as the three upcoming mega cities, he highlighted that basic amenities need to be defined, capacity expansion of infrastructure made, and cities need to grow vertically. Here are some excerpts from his talk:
CWAB 2.0 Keynote Speaker Dr Sunita Narain, Director General, Centre for Science and Environment
Delivering an enthralling address with thought-provoking ideas and incredible lucidity, Dr Narain affirmed, ¨I´m not here to tell you that everything is okay. I´m here to push you to do better... because the crisis is enormous and we clearly need to do something.¨ Clearly, she gave us all food for thought - and then some. Here are some excerpts from her talk:
More than 70 per cent of buildings that will stand in India in 2030 are yet to be built. The question is, will we build right?
Buildings in India consume 40 per cent electricity; this will increase to 75 per cent by 2040. The sector has one of the biggest ecological footprints and building right is imperative, particularly in an age of climate change.
The Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) is ´designed´ to improve energy performance of buildings. An ECBC-compliant building is ´expected´ to use 40-60 per cent less energy than conventional buildings. But nobody knows if they do!
The iterative nature of architecture - of improving buildings so we actually know that they are performing - is not happening. That feedback loop must be established.
There is little or no information in the public domain on the actual performance of green buildings. When we compared the performance of some green buildings with the Energy Performance Index, many failed.
There is a difference between what you design, who uses it, and how the building will operate - that´s the connection we need to make.
If government patronage is given in the form of property tax and FSI incentives, it must be based on performance and not design.
We first build to be inefficient and then spend to be energy-efficient. Will India build brown and then green? Or will we, from the very beginning, make the building energy and resource efficient?
Glass is inefficient in a country like India. You have to green it with double or triple-insulated windows and expensive energy-efficient appliances. We need to build ecologically appropriate buildings.
Air-conditioners are environment criminals. In a recent study, we found that at high heat, a five-star air-conditioner performs as badly as a one-star air-conditioner. ACs are designed for mild climates, not hot ones.
New-generation architecture first reduces energy demand in the passive way, through shadings, orientation, etc. Then, the big cost goes into insulation and we subsequently talk about efficient appliances. So, you first reduce and then go in for efficient appliances. It only makes sense when you first reduce demand - that´s really building sense.
It is not just about smart buildings, but that we need smart and green cities. For this, we really need to push the envelope to bring best practices into policy.
The current growth model of urbanisation is resource and capital-intensive, and leads to inequitable and unsustainable growth. We need to reinvent this growth model. For this, we need to be inventive, inclusive and, most important, appropriate.