Patel illustrate sustainable design while calling for other architects to do the same
‘Practise what you preach’ is a phrase which ‘green’ architect and Interior designer Narendra Patel projects with confidence. Upon completion of the Henderson Community Building in California, the architect has issued a message to the construction industry to follow his lead and take their ecological responsibility seriously. “There needs to be a sharp awareness towards sustainable building,” he said. “We are in this together and we all need to participate and do our part. Construction waste is one of the major components that goes into landfill. Every construction site needs to have recycling arrangements with the waste management.
“Ultimately our goal should be not to minimize waste –we want to eliminate the idea of waste.”
The Henderson Community Building functions as a worthy example of how sustainable design and construction can also be fitting architecture. Sited with mountain facing views, the Henderson Community Building is designed to form an important centerpiece for the City of Palm Desert, and present an image of modern, sophisticated, high performance and importantly, ‘green’, design.
The design integrates almost seamlessly with the surrounding topography whilst presenting a modern face for the center which is also home to the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce. Working in harmony with the natural features and resources surrounding the site, materials that are sustainably grown or recycled rather than new materials from non-renewable resources were used. All casework was designed with Bamboo facing.
The entire building shell, including the interior walls, is built from highly insulated panels covered with high strength concrete. Surfaces from floor to ceiling are kept in their raw form without the addition of paint or drywall thus limiting the use of harmful chemicals and unnecessary materials. Materials used had a high percentage of recycled content and all waste was carefully managed and sent to the recycling facilities. The building process and use of material greatly reduced CO2 emissions and used fewer natural resources.
“In time, sustainable design concepts will simply be incorporated as inherent attributes of standard practice,” says Patel. “‘Going green,’ might be the buzz phrase today but ultimately, it will become a survival skill.”
Niki May Young