Images 2024. Issue 1

Welcome to a refreshed edition of KA Connect, our quarterly newsletter, in which we speak about subjects which are close to us as a practice and relevant to the profession. In this edition we will be viewing things from a sustainability lens. Through our essay we discuss methods that can make decisions on sustainability and climate responsiveness integral to early design stages of projects. We also examine ways to simply the processes and break it down into simple & achievable targets so that integrating sustainability measures into design becomes a seamless process.

In our second section we look at an affordable housing project in which passive solar strategies informed the planning and facade design decisions, resulting in a design solution which is unique to the project and improves liveability by minimising glare and providing effective shading.

Through our news section we continue to provide you a glimpse into the life at KA beyond the projects. The end of the last financial year brought with it a lot of fun and excitement which we would like to share with you.

We hope that you enjoy the read. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for any feedback or suggestions on the content. We are always listening.


Developing a Project Specific
Sustainability Agenda


How to create a sustainability agenda for any project
A common version of sustainability agenda for a building construction project is a green building certification. This structured approach with clear goals is anchored by a specialist who gives clarity to each stakeholder on what is expected.

Whereas, majority projects, especially multi-family housing typologies, do not aim for a green building certification. When there is an interest in sustainability, each stakeholder brings their own perspective on what it means - whether it's about costs, materials or energy efficiency. Because sustainability is a broad term, the vagueness alongwith the diversity of viewpoints creates confusion, especially when there's no clear requirement in the project brief or designated professional to anchor it.

To solve this problem, a team needs to take a two-step approach to create a sustainability agenda for a project.

Step 1:Establishing clear and specific performance goals

Step 2:Connecting every architecture design strategy to a goal

Following is a list of performance goals. Considering metrics for each of these goals from different green building rating systems such as LEED, IGBC, GRIHA etc and Codes such as NBC, ECBC etc is a great start. Over time, the goals and targets can become more tailored and nuanced for an architecture practice.

Building design goals 1. Window Shading
2. Daylight levels
3. Thermal comfort
4. Natural ventilation
5. Envelope heat gain
6. Embodied energy

Site Level goals 1. Outdoor comfort

Building Services goals 1. Water demand reduction
2. Lighting demand/energy
3. Cooling demand/energy

Listing the goals is only 20% of the work. The real benefit of having goals is only realized when it is used to anchor the entire design process by connecting every design criteria to a building performance goal. That is Step 2.

For example, when evaluating facade options, you can consider shading criteria, daylight levels and envelope heat gain as metrics. When evaluating master plan options, you can consider potential for cross ventilation, outdoor comfort and glare ingress as a metric.


Daylight Analysis

When this approach is adopted in the design process, the outcome looks different. Here is an example of two teams with an interest in sustainability articulating their design.

Team A

Team B

• We have thought about the orientation with respect to sun movement and wind direction.

• All windows have shading devices.

• West facing units have decks.

• My site layout ensures 80% of the west facade is blocked from direct sun during summers.

• Horizontal overhang on windows shade 50% of the glazing during critical period. The window design should be revisited.

• East and West facade windows on the top 10 floors are directly exposed to sun for 40% of the year for units that do not have balconies. Units with balconies are completely shaded.

Team A either did not start with goals or did not connect goals to the design strategies, which is evident from how they have articulated the outcome.

It is evident that Team B started with performance goals and can connect design with clear metrics.

It's important to recognize that not all goals will be achieved in one project. The intent behind adopting this approach is to understand where the project stands with respect to benchmarks, measure what is implemented, practice achieving goals every day and improve our questioning skills.

Sustainability isn't all-or-nothing; every project can pursue some goals, from affordable housing to high-end commercial buildings. It is imperative to measure and communicate what has been implemented, even if it means only shading windows, because every little thing counts.


Climate Responsive Orientation: All Hostel rooms North And South. Limited Exposure To East And West.


Porous Form: Allow NW and SW Wind To Flow Across the site across the yearly cycle.


Shaded Landscape: Between Building Blocks. Existing Tree cover influence the microclimate. Ground plane as an extension of the outdoors coming into the building.


Passive design strategies for energy efficiency.


Use of biophilia into the interior spaces. Creating Unique spaces by incorporating trees into the design and spaces.


Creating buildings that breathe - ventilation. Adequate natural light for all spaces.


Orientation & Sunpath Analysis


Shading Analysis


Exterior Wind CFD Analysis.

Built Works

Casa Azzurra, Palava City

Images Images

At KA, our goal is to revolutionize affordable housing, transforming it into a realm of aesthetic appeal and functional design. We achieve this through mixing unit types, contemporary facade design, maximizing natural light in interiors, enhancing public spaces, activating the ground level, and strategically locating affordable housing amidst more aspirational developments, enriched with community spaces.

Responding to the critical need for innovation in the affordable housing sector, we developed a new segment of budget homes in Palava. This segment targets the younger working population in Mumbai's emerging eastern suburb. The city's perennial shortage of small, pleasant housing presents an ideal opportunity for us to infuse sensibility, sustainability, and serenity into our designs.

Our design philosophy incorporates perimeter blocks and internal courts, creating safe, humane spaces within each cluster while balancing the development's density. These clusters transition seamlessly into larger pedestrian realms reserved for recreational activities within lush, landscaped parks. Ensuring equal access to amenities, entry and exit points are meticulously planned for each cluster. The streets are confined to the outer periphery, with courtyards becoming the central hub of activity.

Sustainability and lowering the operating cost of buildings is also an important goal. We ran shadow studies to determine the depth of sunshades based on orientation and its location within the section. Wardrobes in certain rooms were strategically placed to reduce the ratio of glazing in the facade and create a solid feature in the elevation. The common corridors of the buildings are long, and the plan allows for the ends to open up to natural light & ventilation.


Project: Casa Azzura, Palava City

Client: Lodha group

Area: 1,29,000 sq.ft.

Type: Residential

Status: Completed in 2022

Architects: Kapadia Associates

Structure: Gokani Consultants Pvt. Ltd.

Electrical & Services: AECOM

Landscape: PBB


The choice of materials emphasizes robustness and durability, ensuring longevity and ease of maintenance. At the same time, a sense of lightness and playfulness is achieved through the strategic use of colours. Applied with discretion, colour breathes life into spaces, transforming them from mere structures into canvases of emotion and experience. These silent narratives and emotions profoundly shape our interaction with the built environment.

Casa Azzura aims to transcend the conventional notion of affordable housing. It is about creating a vibrant, sustainable community through thoughtful and innovative design.


Project Launch -
Godrej Reserve


Three towers launched at Godrej Reserve. Standing tall at 50 plus floors, located in Kandivali Mumbai, this project is themed around resort-style living, featuring tropical rainforests, state-of-the-art fitness centre, rejuvenating spa, sparkling pools, and vibrant community spaces, ensuring residents a comfortable and convenient lifestyle. A thoughtful masterplan ensures that the residential towers are surrounded on each side by a buffer of green or low-rise amenities, ensuring adequate distance, space, and respite from the urban density.

Small Talk -
Elie Gamburg KPF


Small Talk is the in-house lecture series at KA and an attempt to share learning and bridge gaps between thought & action, intention & expression. In May, our guest speaker was Elie Gamburg ( AIA LEED AP) who is one of the Principals at KPF. In his online presentation, Elie took us on a whistle stop tour showing visuals & drawings of projects across a wide range of categories around the world. All projects were consistently sensitive to human scale, urban context, placemaking and sustainable practices, along with a richness of detail. KA is proud to be collaborating with KPF as executive architects on two of their India projects.

JSW Steel Township at Dolvi -
Construction in Progress


Construction & Infrastructure development is in progress at the staff housing township, designed to accommodate more than 250 families of staff employed at the Dolvi Steel plant. This township built like a hillside town - will serve the residential needs of senior management and will include extensive landscape, social amenities & convenience retail, playground and extensive hill side trails. Promoting a vision of sustainability, the masterplan adapts an ecological and environmental approach to include water management, energy efficiency and biodiversity.

Annual Retreat -
Tropicana Resort, Alibaug


Our annual retreat is a long standing and much awaited event for all staff. This was held in Febuary this year at Tropicana Resort, Alibaug. This was a fun weekend of games, swimming, singing, dancing, food & drink, endless conversations and much more! KA staff members demonstrate full teamwork at all times - both at work also when it comes to partying!

KA Karnival


Once every year in April, our office in mumbai transforms into a fairground with vibrant pop-up counters by our crew, showcasing their talents and passions. From arts and crafts to delectable food stalls, there is something for everyone to enjoy. This year, the organizing team introduced a range of activities and creative workshops, including special events for kids designed to spark their creativity and imagination and a thrift shop for preloved clothes, books, and gear. Overall- a fun filled day with games, food, laughter and most importantly family and friends !

Post Crit - Avanza at
SP Infocity Pune


Post Crit is an internal initiative where a large and diverse group within the office visits a project completed by KA and attempts to learn from it with an aim to improve and to innovate better. The latest edition of this visit was to the Avanza building at the SP Infocity ITES office park in East Pune. 'Avanza' is a high-spec IGBC Platinum Certified Building, boasting an expansive 1.2 million sq ft of built-up area. Designed to inspire and elevate businesses, it offers best in class infrastructure facilities and premium spaces, creating an environment where creativity and collaboration thrive.



At KA, we believe that by empowering our team, we empower our future ! Embarking on our sustainability journey, we've kickstarted an internal capacity building series. We're starting with 'Literacy and Language' before delving into 'Technical Core Concepts'. While sustainability principles remain timeless, evolving skills are essential for driving integrated, climate-responsive design. Deepa Parekh who is the Sustainability lead at KA conducts these training programs. Continuous professional development remains a cornerstone of our work culture.

Sustainability Credentials
Sponsorship Program


We are excited to announce the continuation of our Sustainability Credentials Sponsorship Program for the year 2024-25. KA will sponsor up to 20 staff members each year who wish to undergo training and certification for LEED and IGBC accredited professional programs. This initiative underscores our firm's commitment to promoting sustainability and providing professional development opportunities to our team. Initiated last year in 2023 here are the staff members who completed this program successfully.

ACE Update Magazine -
Cover Story


The March issue of ACE Update magazine featured Deepa Parekh (Principal - Sustainability) at KA in their cover story - 'Piloting the path to sustainable architecture'. Deepa shared her views on energy efficient building designs and professional practice. She also commented on how creativity, frugal mindset and constraints lead to the most innovative solutions.

As an extension to this edition, ACE Update also organised an online panel discussion on "Energy-Efficient Building Designs and Landscapes". The webinar invited experts to talk about cutting-edge practices, sustainable technologies, and creative approaches that architects and designers employ to shape a greener and more efficient built environment.

Previous Newsletters December 2023, October 2023, August 2023, April 2023, Jan 2023, Oct 2022, July 2022, April 2022,
Jan 2022, July 2021, April 2021, Jan 2021

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