One has heard of IITians winning accolades for their work the world over, but trust them to have a campus that is just as good. The IIT campus buildings in Gandhinagar, Gujarat have bagged the top prize for being earthquake resistant by Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited (HUDCO). And the credit goes to Professor Sudhir K Jain, director of the institute and an expert in earthquake engineering.
The campus in Palaj, Gandhinagar won the first prize in the category of “Cost Effective Rural/Urban Housing Including Disaster Resistant Housing” at the HUDCO Design Awards 2015.The notable innovation in earthquake resistant building technology used in constructing the staff housing and student hostels at the institute’s campus is the first large-scale application of earthquake-resistant “confined masonry construction” in India in residential buildings.
Prof Jain says, “IIT-Gn aspires to become an educational institution of world stature and lays strong focus on innovation. Development of our 400-acre campus on the banks of the Sabarmati in Gandhinagar provided us great opportunities to innovate. The HUDCO Award is recognition of one of the innovations in campus development. Confined masonry construction has the potential to transform earthquake-resistant construction in India.” In addition to improved earthquake resistance, confined masonry technology also provides significant cost savings.
The master plan envisages a compact, walkable and low energy use campus. Some of the sustainable features of the campus infrastructure include alternative and sustainable strategies covering for rainwater harvesting, grey-water reuse in flushing and root zone treatment plant for sewage. The buildings at the campus focus on being low rise and high density with safety standards and GRIHA rating. The fly ash brick used for the construction was manufactured at the construction site itself.
HUDCO instituted these design awards in 2012 to give recognition and felicitate innovative ideas and initiatives that contribute to make Indian cities inclusive, livable and environmentally sustainable.