Santhosh Kumar, Vice Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants

The built environment of any community is considered to be the reflection of regional architecture – and thereby a significant component of differentiation.

In the pre-Industrial Revolution phase, India’s built environment, as in the rest of the world, was shaped by certain values and cultural beliefs.

However, with tremendous urbanization and globalization after the Industrial Revolution, India’s rich cultural and architectural heritage is vanishing. This is primarily due to increased usage of industrially-produced and standardized materials.

With that, the dependency on locally-available materials has declined, transforming ‘vernacular architecture’ buildings to more standardized modern concrete structures.

Vernacular architecture refers to structures built indigenously to a specific time or place, taking into consideration the experience of centuries of community building. It depicts the characteristics of the local environment, technology and climatic conditions.

Importantly, buildings constructed through traditional techniques using natural, locally-sourced, non-toxic, renewable and biodegradable materials can also minimize negative ecological impacts.

Modern architecture, on the other hand, uses industrially-produced materials (such as steel and concrete) that possess a low thermal resistance and require high energy intensity,