ALL ABOUT TEAM SHUNYA FROM IIT BOMBAY
In a country like India, which is rich in solar power, it is important to raise awareness about energy conservation and the potential of renewable technology. Team SHUNYA from IIT BOMBAY is a unique entity of one of its kind that aims to formulate and document a design process, which could be replicated to create sustainable homes in a resource efficient way. If the dreams of Team SHUNYA gain wings in implementation and replication, it would surely transform the Indian building Industry by demonstrating affordability of sustainable housing. Since its selection, the team has made significant progress in the design and engineering of the house. In order to justify the decision to create a house for the Indian middle class, the team had to make a great number of decisions to ensure that the house appeals to the sensibilities of the widest range of Indian home owners. An active attempt has been made to provide as much functionality as possible at the lowest cost while staying within the competition limits. The members of Team SHUNYA are not mere engineers and architects, but technocrats with young innovative minds imprinted with the responsibility of fulfilling social obligations and with the inextinguishable desire to serve humanity. It represents India in Solar Decathlon China (2017-2018) and this will be another feather of success in the technological advancement of the country in solar housing with its rich scientific minds.
In conversation with Ruturaj, The Project Manager of Team SHUNYA as he unfolds the truth behind the team’s success!
Team SHUNYA has achieved a feat that was once thought impossible. What is the main motivation of Team SHUNYA ?
We are team of young innovative minds trying our best to change our country’s present scenario and we are trying to provide a solid solution to India’s growing energy and housing problems. We are committed to build a solar-powered, sustainable house for the Indian middle class. With amazing lessons from the past, our team is moving far ahead and now we are engaged in designing houses for ‘Amravati the People’s capital of Andhra Pradesh’, to demonstrate the energy efficient solar housing. As Amravati will be a green field construction on the banks of Krishna River, our team seized this opportunity to demonstrate housing options for future smart cities.
Where/How do you see yourself as the project manager of Team SHUNYA? Share your experience and tell us about your learning from the team.
This is my second year in Team SHUNYA and the experience has been a learning period for me as well and it has greatly enhanced my leadership qualities. We are Team India foremost and it is really a proud moment to be in the leading position to represent my mother nation in an International arena. Being, the project manager, I feel there is a huge responsibility upon me and I have given my heart and soul for the success of the project.
The theme of your team as you compete in the international arena is, ‘Building a Sustainable Future’. How relevant is the theme regarding the present Indian scenario?
We use energy faster than it can be produced – Coal, oil and natural gas – the most utilized sources take thousands of years for formation. Energy resources are limited – India has approximately 1% of world’s energy resources but it has 16% of world population. Energy is one of the most important resources for economic and social development as well as for environmental integrity and lack of it produces economic stagnation and social upheavals. Saving energy is important because energy use effects the environment and everyone in it and when we conserve energy we also save on the cost of living. With a growing population, the housing sector is one of the booming energy sectors in the country with the growing urban sector. And hence, there is a pressing need to design and build homes that are comfortable, cost-effective and sustainable and our team is motivated to contribute to the goal of creating a sustainable future by providing a solution to India’s growing energy and housing problems.
Team SHUNYA is competing on an international platform and this obviously require a lot of funding. So, how are you managing with the budget of the project?
Yes, Team SHUNYA is a huge project with a budget of nearly 4 crore and we have great sponsors who are funding our team which works actively to get sponsors for our event. Apart from the construction of the house, the team is also engaging in awareness activities to promote sustainable construction in India. These include a website, social media platforms, lectures, workshops, and active participation in various conferences. The team is looking towards academia and industry to provide assistance to successfully accomplish its mission.
This project is one of its kind and it is really appealing that a developing country like India is competing with the technological giants of the world to win the Decathlon. How do you view this whole competition?
The Indian civilization being one of the oldest civilizations in the world has a strong tradition of science and technology. Ancient India was a land of sages and seers as well as a land of scholars and scientists. Research has shown that from making the best steel in the world to teaching the world to count, India was actively contributing to the field of science and technology centuries long before modern laboratories were set up. Team SHUNYA is a very strong entity which would be showcasing the technological advancements of our country to the world. I consider Solar Decathlon to be one of the biggest platforms to exhibit the innovations and development that we as a country have achieved and we would be trying our best as a team to add feathers of success in the technological advancement of the country in solar housing.
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