The SNS Chennai Campus
The school reflects the values a society imagines for its future. It is a space to set children up with the tools to question pre-conceived norms and construct new, un-imagined realities. Design can make a critical difference in achieving this. The Shiv Nadar School, Chennai, is envisioned to be the epitome of environmental sustainability.
The design stems from the dense vegetation on the beautiful site, ensuring that no single tree is cut. A biophilic design allows a seamless connection indoors and outdoors for the students to be with nature. A banana leaf-like parasol roof unifies and shades the different blocks of the school that doubles up as a skylight and solar power generation.
Designed and engineered for climate responsiveness, the school structure is an appropriate combination of passive measures, optimized active systems, solar energy generation, and various innovative building strategies. The objective is to improve well-being while reducing the carbon footprint of the building. The design promotes hybrid tempered ventilation, a combination of air-conditioning and natural ventilation while ensuring natural light during the daytime. The building material palette highlights the raw and natural characteristics with refurbished wood panels, steel, and AAC blocks, with radiant barrier insulation to keep the indoors cool.
The overall landscape is integrated with the built form by using existing trees and plants to reduce irrigation requirements. It activates the existing waterbody with effective rainwater harvesting and wastewater treatment strategies. A blend of simple yet effective passive and mechanical strategies, optimized and engineered using building physics simulations, contributing toward a net-zero built environment.