Monday, June 19, 2017

Launch of international competition to design Southmere Village Library in Thamesmead, UK

Peabody and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) are pleased to announce the launch of an international design competition for a new library building in Southmere Village, Thamesmead. This new civic building will be at the heart of the first phase of the planned 1,622 new homes to be delivered as part of the Abbey Wood and South Thamesmead Housing Zone in the London Borough of Bexley. It will be located on the south side of Southmere Lake within 10 minutes’ walk of the eastern most terminus of the new Elizabeth Line at Abbey Wood. This new state-of-the-art building will serve the needs of new, existing and future communities, with a 21st century library, learning space and potential to accommodate other civic functions, including learning, health and wellbeing spaces. 

This competition provides an opportunity for creative design solutions to be explored that engage with the lakeside settings and Peabody’s commitment to investing in the local area. John Lewis, Executive Director, Thamesmead-Peabody said: “Building great places where people want to be is fundamental to our plans for Thamesmead. We are excited about the potential for a state-of-the-art library, learning and wellbeing space in a new cultural quarter close to the Elizabeth Line station at Abbey Wood. We are looking for architects from across the world to submit their ideas and help Thamesmead reach its potential as London’s new town.” Leader of the London Borough of Bexley, Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE said; “This is a chance to get involved with providing our residents with a building worthy of the great new development planned at Southmere Village. 

The new library will be a key part of the local community and with such an interesting brief we should see some innovative designs, giving us a building we can all be proud of.” Peabody’s plans for Thamesmead will deliver around 20,000 new homes in the town. Proctor & Matthews architects are leading on the design of the 1,622 new homes in the South Thamesmead Housing Zone and they will help draw up a shortlist from the expressions of interest alongside experts including: Peabody, the London Borough of Bexley and architect John Whiles from Jestico + Whiles acting as the RIBA Architect Adviser. Further details about the project and how to enter is available at or The deadline for receipt of Expression of Interest returns is 2.00pm (BST) on Thursday 13 July 2017.

Grenfell Tower on Fire | Story Unveiled

The first is building control, ensuring that increasingly complex building regulations are properly implemented. Building control departments in many local authorities have been eviscerated. They are invariably under-resourced with no teeth. Often a subset of planning departments, they lack the authority to carry out what is arguably the most important part of a local authority’s remit – to ensure the safety of its residents.
Furthermore this function has been partly privatised, with a range of companies competing for the business. It is often those companies with a reputation for gaining “easy” approvals that increasingly dominate the market, further undercutting the council building control.
The morale among many council building control officers is extremely low. I completed a small complex project in an inner London borough last year. The council building control officer I worked with was excellent, but told me that he could not cope with his workload, and was unhappy with the way the department was run. He has since left the council.
Second, fire officers play a crucial role in ensuring that all fire regulations are met, and devising a fire strategy for a project. Building control acts as a conduit to local fire departments to assess that all fire regulations have been met, as well as bringing their own experience to bear.
In early 2007 I was working on a large refurbishment project in the West End. We were informed by the fire officer who was reviewing the project with us that in the near future fire officers would no longer play an active role.
A new form of self-certification was to be introduced, with the onus on the developer/owner to ensure a project met all fire regulations. This took no cognisance of the fact that different buildings could have very different fire requirements. The fire officer looked me straight in the eyes and told me that in his opinion this was a recipe for disaster.
The third part of the triple lock is to ensure that all materials used in a building are fit for purpose – obviously particularly important in the case of fire safety. In the past, architects have specified construction materials and have then been in a position to ensure that the specified materials were used. This is increasingly not the case as performance specifications enable alternative materials to be used, often selected by the developer, contractor or sub-contractors.
With architects now seldom having the authority to insist on specific products being used, there is a tendency to go for cheaper materials, without necessarily understanding the impact or potential knock-on effect.
Public safety should not be privatised. Putting a monetary value on human lives is unacceptable. The triple lock should be recognised and strengthened.
Bring back building control to its rightful place in local authorities, working independently of the planning function and the private sector. Bring back fire officers working closely with council building control to scrutinise proposals and carry out proper inspections on all projects. Bring back the specification of materials to a single point of responsibility under the architect or engineer responsible for the specification of materials, working with the building control officer and fire officer.
Allow the experts to do what they know best without interference from politicians or those who tend to take shortcuts or the cheapest option. Look where that has got us.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

How to design a 3 bedroom house/apartment? | House Design

How to design a house with 3 bedrooms?

The video covers all the steps of design from research, asking the right questions, listing the requirements. The importance of bubble diagrams has also been emphasized in the video and how they should be used for the purpose of design is demonstrated. Finally, converting the bubble diagrams to single line floor plan has been demonstrated in the video.

VIDEO: Design of a 3 bedroom House/Apartment?

Check out other videos on the Youtube Channel - SustainableInvention 

Also see an in-depth article on: Design Guide for a 3 bedroom House... especially for architecture students.

How to design an Old Age Home?

How to design an Old Age Home? The video sets out three steps for the design of old age homes. Step One : Research and Casestudies Research includes understanding old age homes and who are they for. What their purpose is? Casestudies include literature casestudy and live casestudies. Literature casestudy includes gathering information about old age homes from the internet and books. Live casestudies include visiting and documenting an actual old age home. The importance of comparative analysis cannot be undermined. It is important to do more than one casestudy to help you understand the differences in the two design and figure out the thought process of the designer behind the designs. Finally, getting feedback from the staff and residents of the Old AGe Home with a view to understand any missing needs that you might want to incorporate into your design. Please watch the video to understand it better...

VIDEO: Design of an Old Age Home - Part One

Check out other videos on the Youtube Channel - SustainableInvention 

Also see an in-depth article on the design of old age homes: Guide to Old Age Home Design

Friday, February 6, 2015

Achieve your life goals using the 15-Second Principle

One of the best self-help books out there which has helped millions of people achieve their goals.

This book focuses on one single thing... Force yourself to begin working on your dream project every day. Work on the dream for at least 15 seconds, but do it until you no longer enjoy it. Repeat again the next day.

This single technique will skyrocket your productivity and bring you closer to your goal.

Check out the book, The 15-Second Principle, by Al Secunda.

Reviews on Amazon

The best praise for a self-help book is to describe how much and how quickly your life changes direction for the better.

I started reading "The 15 Second Principle" seven weeks ago, and since day one, it has helped me to realize my dream project, the creation of a unique computer game. The problem was that I wanted to start, but had been procrastinating for over three years. Now daily progress is being made, and it THRILLS me; I am finally feeling fulfillment in this important area of my life. (It's also exciting to see friends who've read the book realize their dream projects as well.)

The technique is so simple, and related so artfully, that it gently chipped through all the barriers my mind had erected:

"There's not enough time"; "There's too much to do"; "It has to be perfect"; "I'm not good enough"; "Who am I to be doing what I love to do?"

If I had to choose a favorite part of the book, it would have to be the unusual celebrity stories. Maybe it's because Al Secunda is a gifted storyteller. Maybe it's because the stories are inherently entertaining. But the underlying ideas jolt to life when you can relate to someone who is familiar and successful (and imperfect).

I recommend this book without hesitation to anyone who has a seemingly unapproachable dream, goal, or passion. The book is wise, intelligent, entertaining, and comes from the heart. Put another way, "The 15 Second Principle" is THE BEST investment you can make in yourself. I feel so strongly about it, that I am adding my full name and e-mail address to these thoughts.

if you've ever spent 15 seconds procrastinating, overwhelmed, complaining, regretting, worrying, blaming, etc., then you've got to read this book.

Al Secunda has written a powerful little guide for anyone wanting to have a richer, fuller, more rewarding life. Although the subject matter is profound, Al writes in a conversational, easy-to-read manner. Humorous stories are used to convey deep, meaningful insights and lessons, making it not only informative, but entertaining. The tests and exercises are easy to follow. This book flows well. I found it hard to put down.

If you're like me, you've probably read many other books of this type, but it's the actual 15 second principle itself that is truly different and not something I've seen or read elsewhere. Al Secunda used his years of personal and professional experience to develop this concept that is so simple, it's brilliant ! Most of all, it WORKS! Before even finishing this book, I was able to not only begin, but complete a big project I previously dreaded so much I had put it off for over a year-and I did it in far less time than I initially thought it would take! I can't say I was so motivated by any of the other books I'd read. Read THIS book!

I was browsing the Internet a few weeks ago and suddenly saw a book entitled "The 15 Second Principle" listed in a database. Mathematical research has discovered that it only takes 15 seconds to start anything, i.e., a though, a movement, etc. An interesting sideline here: In the pitstop in the national automotive races, it takes exactly 15 seconds to change the oil, tires, wash the windows, etc. As a matter of fact, the pitsops rules only allow 15 seconds for this.

 The book caught my interest, and I purchased the book on my next outing to a bookstore and quickly read the cover notes (15 seconds to read the cover notes!!?). I thought that this may just be another "trick" to get someone to buy another motivational book which would be a "quick fix" in our already rushed society. Not at all! I manage 22 financial analysts in my company and have often found myself saying that I don't have time to learn this or that and "who in the heck" could achieve something in 15 seconds....? 

No matter how scattered or busy we are, we can find a small amount of time each day to devote to our dream or goal even if we only think about it. According to the author, even thinking about our dream or goal brings us closer to taking action and taking action on a regular basis will finally bring us to achievement and mastery. I read the book (not in 15 seconds), began devoting a portion of each day to what was my secret goal--that was to learn to play golf.

 By taking this writing and principles to heart, I have in less that two weeks already located a golf coach and taken a step on to the golf course. I can't guarantee that I will make a Hole-in-One on the 17th Hole of St. Andrews in Scotland, but I will arrive there if I control my mood, attitude and feelings as this book directs. I am excited! I am thinking about giving each one of my employees a copy for their own personal use as a special "surprise bonus" and watch them surprise themselves as they follow the principles of mastery to acheive their own dreams or professional goals.

 I honestly believe that if you are introduced to the book and are "too busy" to read and follow, at least in part, some of the author's suggestions and proven principles, then you are too busy period and will probably use your own "15 Seconds" to whine away the dreams and goals which you could have achieved by a simple short commitment and conscious belief....

Check out the book, The 15-Second Principle, by Al Secunda.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sustainable Design and Construction Practices

The new SF Public Utilities Commission Headquarters, located at 525 Golden Gate Avenue, is possibly the greenest office building in America. Applying evolving water and power technologies with new light management and computer controlled environment, the SFPUC has created a building which looks towards the future of environmental building construction, and reaches for the ultimate engineering accolade, the LEED rating of "Platinum".

Green building guru Jeremy Sumeray outlines sustainable future for construction sector. Filmed for the online information source for environmental professionals.

There are many parts a sustainable building. Energy piece is a huge aspect of sustainable construction. Active devices and passive methods to achieve zero carbon state are being developed. Smart energy meters and advanced devices like Nest Learning Thermostat can help you in reducing energy use and save money. There are now many manufacturers of efficient solar panels which can really reduce your energy consumption, especially when the weather is suitable for energy generation. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Row Houses in Karad by Architect Javed Kachchhi

Premium row bungalows in Karad by Kachchhi Constructions

A premium row housing scheme has been launched in Karad by the renowned Architect Javed Kachchhi. There are a total of 68 row houses with a range of amenities and facilities.

Details about the row house:

The row houses is comprised of G+1

The ground floor comprises of the following areas:
Spacious Kitchen
Common Toilet
Wash area
A lawn
Car parking space

First Floor
Master bedroom with balcony and attached bathroom
Children's bedroom with balcony and attached bathroom

Current status
The construction is taking place on site in full swing. It is a novel concept for the people in Karad. Apparently, there is no other scheme that stands a competition to the row housing scheme by Javed Kachchhi.

Other pictures of the row housing community

 Contact Details:
Architect Javed Kachchhi
Mobile: 0919490189945