"Guide to Master the Art of Public Speaking for Confident Presentations"
As a prelude to the CWAB Awards in its 18th avatar, a panel discussion brought together esteemed architects and builders from the Design-Build community to discuss ‘The Power of Collaboration: Bridging the Gap between Design Thinking and Execution for Sustainable Urban Real Estate’. Moderated by Shobhit Agarwal, MD and CEO, Anarock Capital Advisors, the event saw industry experts shedding light on the evolution of projects, financial viability and the importance of technology and community engagement in sustainable urban development. Sharing insights into the journey of the Symbiosis project since its inception in 2003, Rahul Kadri, Principal Architect, IMK Architects, highlighted the project's dynamic nature, shaped by unforeseen circumstances, and emphasised its alignment with sustainability goals through eco-friendly bricks and minimal topsoil utilisation. “Our project’s success lies in our commitment to innovative practices,” he added. Harsh Varshneya, Principal Architect, Sthapati, drew insights from his experience, particularly from airport projects, where he highlighted the importance of incorporating artistry into architecture. Emphasising upon the fusion of local elements and intricate artwork in architecture to create environments that resonate with the community, he pointed out, “Design extends beyond functionality; it should encompass a sense of place.” For sustainable construction, Manoj Rustagi, EVP and Chief Sustainability and Innovation Officer, JSW Cement, offered an intriguing perspective while vouching for the cost-effectiveness and resilience of slag cement compared to ordinary Portland cement. “In our quest for sustainable solutions, financial viability should not be overlooked,” he said. “Slag cement stands as a resilient and economical alternative to conventional cement, presenting an opportunity to balance both environmental and financial concerns.” Focusing on the nuanced relationship between cost and environmental impact, Dr Hari Parameshwar, Director of Design and Build, Shapoorji Pallonji (SP&C), lent his voice for the builder segment and highlighted the complexity of constructing Platinum-rated buildings and the importance of strategic planning. “Creating environment-friendly structures has its nuances. While Platinum-rated buildings undoubtedly contribute to lower carbon emissions, the costs must be weighed against their benefits. Strategic planning and involving architects, builders and residents can bridge the gap.” Sunil Godbole, Director and Regional Head, CBRE, underlined the significance of financial considerations that most often shape decisions. “Numbers have their sway in a savings-centric economy,” he remarked. “When we juxtapose numbers and letters, the former often prevails, shaping decisions in an economy where every rupee counts.” Dr Parameshwar rekindled the discussion by proposing a technological approach to collaboration among stakeholders. He suggested leveraging advanced tools such as 3-D modelling and digital platforms to ensure seamless coordination and alignment with the project plan. “Technology holds the key to effective collaboration,” he averred. “Employing tools like 3-D modelling and digital platforms fosters comprehensive stakeholder involvement, ensuring that each phase adheres to the original plan.” Kadri concluded the discussion optimistically with a forward-looking perspective by urging citizen engagement in urban development. He proposed a collaborative model that engages the community's intellectual capital, paralleling global practices, especially one that leverages technology to transform residents' ideas into reality, enhancing quality of life. The thought-provoking panel discussion highlighted the challenges of working in isolation and celebrated achievements while fostering dialogue on critical industry issues. It emphasised the importance of effective collaboration to bridge the gap between design thinking and execution, ultimately promoting sustainable real-estate development. The event, keeping sustainability at the forefront, is set to inspire professionals to strive for excellence, embracing collaborative practices that integrate diverse perspectives, expertise and experiences. It underscored the importance of human-centric design, environmental considerations and innovative solutions to create urban spaces that are ecologically responsible, socially inclusive and economically viable. Indeed, in an era characterised by sustainability imperatives, these key industry experts contributed innovative insights derived from the wealth of their individual experiences to collectively illuminate the multi-faceted urban development landscape. Their diverse viewpoints will collectively serve as a compass, guiding cities toward a greener, more harmonious future and a far better tomorrow. - R Srinivasan