20 February 2019

Interaction-Niroop K Reddy, Founder, NA Architects

Our firm is committed to designing homes and buildings that use at least 40 per cent less energy

NA Architects founded in 2001 is a design based firm focusing primarily in the fields of Architecture and Interior Design. The firm has conceptualised designs and executed a wide range of architectural and interiors projects for residential, commercial and shopping malls in many cities in India and has also successfully completed projects in Dubai and Myanmar. NIROOP KUMAR REDDY, FOUNDER & PRINCIPAL ARCHITECT, NA ARCHITECTS responded to queries from CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES.

 

Please offer us an understanding of your company’s operational philosophy and your contribution towards developing sustainable structures?

Design is at the core of our operation philosophy. Design marks out a vision for what can be; the act of Designing is to move with intent to close the gap between existing conditions and that vision. Be it Interior or Architecture, to me Good Design is an ongoing process of decisions and strategies that enable innovation and create effectively-designed spaces and create environments that enhance functionality and quality of life.

As a firm, our philosophy is about letting the principles of sound design guide us to bring together light, space, materials, form and function, environment and blending them with the Client’s design preferences and timelines.

 

 

Give us an understanding of the process and methodologies you employ in the design of of your projects?

We approach design activities from 'design worlds' that function as holding environments for their design knowledge. Whether the task be adding an entertainment console to a living room wall or the design of a multi-million dollar building, the contents of each designer's ‘design world’ will influence the manner in which concepts are framed, engaged, and delivered. Features of these design worlds are normally broken into at least two major categories: substantive knowledge and process skills. 'Substantive knowledge' is what a designer 'knows' while 'process skills' refers to what a designer 'does.' These two categories are necessarily intertwined. We make sure our design process includes our extensive design knowledge, and a strong way to implement, modify, and express it, so our designs grow to fit our clients’ unique situations. Similarly we ensure our design team understands how to express and modify designs to showcase variety and depth.

At our firm, we ensure that these two categories intertwine to create a process of intelligent reflection whereby our design team observes a situation, reflects upon it, and makes the right choices which in turn seed for further improvement in the process.

 

 

Give us an idea of the construction design software used by your firm in your various projects?

We have adopted some latest technologies such as 3D rendering and simulation, model-driven design including building information modeling (BIM) for our projects. Talking about technology, I feel that access to technology has leveled the playing field for A&ID practitioners and firms from India, enabled our firms to compete in the global market and also paved way for exchange of ideas ad collaboration across borders and over distances. Our Dubai and Bangalore offices are an example of how our adoption of technology and latest trends helped us branch out to offer our services on a national and global scale.

 

 

With regards to usage of green and energy efficient buildings materials, to what extent are they used in your projects. Could you also share with us names of such products you use.

Energy efficiency and sustainability are not an optional checkbox items at Niroop Architects, rather it is a deeply ingrained principle that impacts our use of design. It drives our process and defines the attributes of every project.

Our firm is committed to designing homes and buildings that use at least 40 per cent less energy than standard traditional structures. We also help clients reach higher levels of energy efficiency standards, such as attaining a tight envelope. In builder lingo, the better a structure keeps out the wind and the rain, the tighter its envelope.

Maintaining positive indoor air quality is vital to occupant health. We select materials that minimise pollutants and design ventilation systems to ensure a constant supply of fresh outdoor air. Water conservation, capture, reuse and points of use, including bathrooms and kitchens, combine beauty and functionality in our designs that enables water efficiency.

Here are a few products from my list of favorites that we recommend and incorporate in our design process:

Low-E Windows

The "E" in low-E stands for emissivity, and a clear coating of metallic oxide on these windows keeps the heat inside the house in the winter and outside in the summer. The technology comes in soft coatings and hard coatings. The soft coatings go between layers of glass, while the hard coatings go on the outside. Low-E windows typically cost between 20 to 25 per cent more than clear glass storm windows, but they definitely have benefits: They can reduce heat flow through the glass by half, and that will help reduce energy costs by up to 20 per cent.

Recycled Wood/Plastic Composite Lumber

This 50-50 combination of wood fibres and waste plastics is more durable and less toxic than conventional treated lumber. The material is also more rigid than pure plastic lumber because the wood fibres add extra strength. While it's more resistant to mold and rot, the composite lumber is more rigid in the cold and more pliable in the heat than plastic lumber.

Bamboo Plywood

Used for interior design elements such as wall coverings, cabinetry and flooring, bamboo plywood is a zero-VOC(Volatile Organic Compound), rapidly renewable, sustainable resource. It is also beautiful, and adds a touch of greening elegance to any home. In addition to being all natural and non-toxic, it is as easy to work with as hardwood or laminates.

 

 

What are the new opportunities you see for your organisation in the fast changing construction landscape of India? What specific role do you see playing in terms of contributing to new Smart City developments being planned?

Megacities and Smart cities development boosts construction activity–and opportunities for strategic integration across traditional functions of A&D practices. New technologies enable the reinvention of buildings and infrastructure. Increased use of pre manufactured modules, growth in demand for good water and waste management, improved infrastructure monitoring for predictive and corrective maintenance, consumption of more renewable energy than primary energy.

We at Niroop Architects are at the forefront of adopting these new age practices and incorporating various aspects and features of Smart Cities in our existing projects, while encouraging our clients to think in these lines as well.

 

 

What difference can a quality architect like you bring to the construction process – in terms of design, savings in cost, time, planning and execution?

A quality Architect can bring in the practice of a design-build construction methods, where the designer and constructor are the same entity or are on the same team rather than being hired separately by the client. For instance we at Niroop Architects have recently begun to embrace a lead role in the design-build approach, Architect-led design–build (ALDB) process. Through the ALDB projects we ensure interdisciplinary teams of architects and building trade professionals collaborate in an agile management process, where design strategy and construction expertise are seamlessly integrated thereby delivering high fidelity between project aims and outcomes.

This process allows clients the opportunity to participate with full transparency in the financials of the project throughout its time-line.

Over the arc of a building project, our strategic leadership role remains constant while driving the following centrally from a single point of contact:

  • Discovering and prioritising client’s requirements (functional, aesthetic, budget, schedule)
  • Identifying contextual constraints (technicalities of site, materials, construction methods, neighborhood/cultural mindset, historical meaning)
  • Synthesizing both to define initial parameters and set project direction to assume the best and most complete architectural expression
  • Drafting documentation for that design that invites and facilitates continuous client and consultant feedback
  • Managing the financials and assuming full fiduciary responsibility over the course of the project with full client transparency
  • Refining progressive iterations of a design from both design and construction perspectives until an optimal outcome, appropriate to the project goals, emerges.
  • Preparing actionable, legible drawing sets that reflect construction-ready and trade-specific details for each trade to refer to, under architect’s supervision, on site – and publishing these at the appropriate time in the process of construction.

 

 

Tell us about your ongoing/recent projects? What are your company’s plans and outlook for the future.

Some of our ongoing projects are:

  • Telangana Chief Ministers Official residence and Camp office, Hyderabad.
  • CMC hospital at Vellore (1500 beds),
  • Ultra luxurious Single floor 6336 sft floor plate apartments-4 towers For DSR Builders at Hyderabad,
  • IT building at Hyderabad,
  • Hotel near Hyderabad international airport,
  • Residential apartments in Dubai,
  • Bio tech lab SEZ near Bangalore for Indus Gene Expressions Pvt Ltd.

And many luxurious high end Residences in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Raipur, Chennai and Dubai.

Our outlook for the future is to become a destination A&D firm for creating environmentally friendly, sustainable design concepts and bring Indian design influences and ethos into international projects within the Indian sub-continent. Become a Go-To firm for alternative design approaches in addition to the contemporary west influenced designs.

 




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