(A) GLOBAL CONCERN
In the changing definition of development and realization of the effect of human interventions with the natures balancing co-existence, the word development itself has been brought under scanner due to man’s inability to handle the concept of development in the right context and spirit. Instead of development being associated with the progressive side of the future, it is becoming synonymous with destructive aspects.
Now-a-days a new vocabulary has emerged to convey progressive ‘Sustainable development’, the development which can sustain itself for long and can co-exist with the natural ecosystem without bringing major damage.
Development is associated mainly with the evolving comfort levels of mankind. Today’s modern man has come a long way from the caveman in enjoying these comforts in different walks of life. The comforts which were being enjoyed by very few selective have now penetrated down to the commonest of the common man.
This is made possible by fast growing scientific achievements, emerging technologies and mass production. After the industrial revolution, this phenomena has taken such a pace, man himself is unable to cope with its effects.
Man has brought himself to a situation in which he has become a slave of material dependency. A situation which he is surrounded by, it is difficult for him to come out even after hearing the alarming bells of his own existence.
(B) ROLE OF ARCHITECTURE
With the foregoing background, we need to move forward irrespective of the emerging dilemma of development v/s conservation. Architecture has a big role to play as one of the leading participant of construction activity. Architecture has been giving expression to built forms since ages in different context and end use with the help of available resources and technology. History tells us the story of Architecture for creating volumes for different purposes, interplay of these volumes and external manifestations of these volumes in the natural and man made surroundings.
Architecture has undergone tremendous change in expressing these built forms starting with the use of massive construction to create very small usable volumes to create large volumes doing minimum construction.
This is made possible with exploring different materials, understanding their behavior and optimizing their use to the fullest. Historically, man has used his creativity for making his habitat, places of power and defense, places of worship, entertainment and civic amenities, etc.
(C) INDUSTRIAL ARCHITECTURE ON A CRITICAL PATH OF EVALUATION
Creating volumes for Industries, their machines and process of manufacturing the man made products started with the onset of Industrial revolution. For Architects and people of other disciplines involved in the construction of these building, it was relatively a new experience creating volumes for different types of Industries. With the influx of new materials of construction, the expression of the industrial buildings are also changing very fast like other type of buildings.
As it is true for any other type of buildings, for Industrial buildings also, the external expression is a result of interplay of volumes created for the function, facilities required to carry out these functions, the materials used to achieve the result and prevailing technologies of the period.
The issues pertaining to the Industrial buildings differ from that of other type of buildings in which human being remain in focus for addressing various requirements. Where as in Industrial buildings, the focus is on the process for manufacturing, machines required for the ease of the process, the equipment and systems used for the movement of raw materials, product in process and finished goods, the stacking and storage of these materials in different stages, the utilities required for the different stages of process, etc. In case of some sensitive industries like pharma or food products, issues of quality of air, hygienic conditions play a major role in creating indoor volumes. Most important of the related issue is treatment and disposal of effluents produced due to the process of production which are becoming serious threats to existence of the earth.
Industrial Architecture is not only creating external facades and external manifestations of functional volumes but also addressing above related issues and evolving a building which is appropriate to the particular Industry type. In many cases the elements of expression are process vessels, utility supply network, storage silos, cooling towers, etc.
In the fast changing world, Industries have become integral part of human existence and symbol of development but huge efforts are required for industries to become part of sustainable development.
(D) APPROACH AT VMS
Looking at the present scenario, it is becoming crystal clear that sincere efforts will be required at different levels starting from policy making at Global and National level that can reverse the situation to commitment at individual industry level for acknowledgement of their role as responsible participant.
Only brighter side is the awareness though it has come very late and after paying a heavy price. What is also lacking is the implementation of the corrective measures in the right direction. VMS is involved in the Industrial design for many years and have fully realized our role as Industrial Consultant in acting as a link between global policies of corrective measures and implementation by individual Industries, expanding our role from mere technical adviser. Most important of many approaches is to educate the industrial clientele, encourage and persuade them to adopt relevant applicable norms and advise them on line of action for implementation.
-Rajesh Dave Sr. Associate & Mentor